The twelveth session of our reported speech workshop travelled through various parts of Africa, with Guillaume Guitang discussing the Chadic language Gizey and Alexandra Vydrina discussing the Mande language Kakabe.
Both presentations gave detailed accounts of reported speech marking in the respective languages, including extended functions and variation in the form of matrix units -and managed to introduce some new surprises.
Guillaume Guitang showed that the quotative marker in Gizey consists of various morphological components that are synchronically only partially transparent, but can be analysed as a combination of dedicated quotative elements and other markers, including a modal element. He also shared the rather spectacular find of an ‘anti-logophoric’ marker in Gizey, which, unlike regular logophoric pronouns, appears to be used to indicate non-coreferentiality between matrix subjects and those in report clauses.
Alexandra Vydrina shed an interesting new light on indirect speech, by demonstrating that in Kakabe indirect pronominal reference is in fact much more common in conversation than in, e.g., narrative genres, with direct speech being most common in genres that the current speaker has no involvement in at all. This appears to contradict the common assumption that indirect speech is a more literary and written device, whereas spontaneous spoken language typically favours direct speech.
Please join us again for a new and varied session on 8 April!