At the end of 2022 our project officially came to an end, but project activities will still continue well into 2023.
After talks in Brussels and Austin, Texas last year, Daniela is now focusing on thesis writing, sifting through the coded examples from her 100 sample languages using the qualitative data package for R, RQDA. One exciting aspect of this approach (which, as far as I know, has not yet been attempted in linguistic typology) is that it allows for the bottom-up classification of examples, which delivers some surprising results and correlations between semantic classes of extended reported speech and their grammatical make-up. Keep an eye out for her thesis!
Together with colleagues from Indigenous Studies and General Linguistics in Helsinki I will be organising a panel on Language diversity and sustainability at the HELSUS Sustainability Science Days in May and with Esther Pascual (Shanghai International Studies University) and Arie Verhagen (Leiden University) I will present talks about extended reported speech and fictive interaction at the conference of the International Pragmatics Association (in Brussels) and the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (in Düsseldorf).
Three book volumes associated with the project should finally be published this year as well: a volume on reported thought for Mouton De Gruyter (edited with Daniela, Silvio Cruschina and Pekka Posio), our project’s volume on reported speech (all chapters are currently under review and authors will receive review reports within the next couple of months) and my short book on Grammatical Participation, a theory of language that suggests that dialogue is the primary driver for both linguistic diversity and variation and conventionalisation (‘core grammar’).
It looks like we will have a short resumption of our online reported speech workshop from April, so if you have participated in earlier workshop meetings, expect an email update about this by early Spring!
After several conversations with workshop participants and presenters we have decided to restart the online workshop in Spring 2023. These new sessions will probably not follow the previous bi-weekly format, but will be held over two or three months, mostly taking the form of reading group-style meetings where we will discuss chapter contributions to our Language Science Press volume on reported speech. The schedule and details will be announced in March 2023.
All contributors to the volume will receive individual updates and reviews of their chapters before the restart of the workshop. We look forward to talking further in 2023!
The first half of 2022 has been a relatively quiet period for our project, with project members either taking time off for family circumstances (Stef) or focusing on thesis completion (Daniela).
However, we will return with several conference presentations and events in the autumn and complete the two editing projects that are part of our project: a volume on reported thought (co-edited with Silvio Cruschina and Pekka Posio) for Mouton De Gruyter and a volume on reported speech for Language Science Press.
If you have been taking part in our online workshop or are contributing to our project’s edited volumes, you will receive further announcements in early autumn!
A new academic year has started and for 2021-2022 our project has multiple activities and publications in the pipeline, including two edited volumes and several research papers. The first of these, titled ‘In a Manner of Speaking: How Reported Speech May Have Shaped Grammar‘ was recently published in Frontiers in Communication (https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2021.624486). Any comments or other feedback will be much appreciated!
We are hoping to be able to organise an in-person workshop on reported speech in May/June 2022. Currently, however, the project is a sponsor and co-organiser of the workshop Emerging Topics in Typology, which will take place online 25 October – 25 November 2021. It should be an engaging series of meetings showcasing the breadth of contemporary linguistic typology and includes presentations, discussion sessions and other activities. Please come and join us for the conference!
April and May saw our workshop moving into slightly new territory again with two ‘reading group’ sessions and a ‘writing clinic’ in connection with an edited volume on reported speech, many workshop participants are contributing to.
On 22 April we discussed a forthcoming paper by Tatiana Nikitina, Ekatarina Aplonova and Leonardo Contreras Roa on interjections in reported speech, which addressed many recurrent topics in the workshop but also explored some exciting implications for the analysis of the grammar of discourse more widely.
6 May we met to discuss any queries that have arisen in the preparation of our chapters for an edited volume on reported speech that is planned to appear with Language Science Press in 2022.
On 20 May Sonja Gipper gave an interesting preview of her data session on Yurakaré. A longer session on Yurakaré will be scheduled after our summer break but Sonja raised a very interesting question about how to interpret verbs occurring in clauses introducing reported speech constructions as opposed to those occurring in Matrix clauses. During this session we also discussed a paper coming out of our Helsinki project on extended reported speech: expressions that are/diachronically derive from reported speech constructions but that do not clearly reflect a meaning of speech.
On 3 June we will have our final two data sessions this academic year. Bethany Lycan will discuss the Californian language Pahka’anil and Mostafa Morady Moghaddam will talk about indirect speech in Persian.
Please join us for our last session of the workshop series in 2020-2021!
In the thirteenth session we embarked on a virtual journey through the grammatical structures of Macedonian, a south Slavic language spoken in Europe with Izabela, and Chácobo, a Panoan language spoken in Bolivia with Adam.
Speech reports in Macedonian are marked most frequently by two verbs that both translate as ‘say’ in English. As Izabela showed in her presentation, one of the verbs is on the path of grammaticalization into a quotative marker, depending on the dialectal variation of Macedonian and the register speakers use. Furthermore, Izabela presented cases from her data, where a discourse report is embedded in a discourse reported event.
Speech reports in Chácobo, are usually marked by verbs of speech where ‘say’ occurs most frequently, or the cognitive verb that is equivalent to ‘think’ in English. The language also has a reportative evidential marker that is obligatory, but not integrated into the inflectional system. Adam points out that the reportative evidential is rarely left out. The majority of cases where it is left out is when a Chácobo speaker is telling a joke.
Both presentations have shown that some of the frequent strategies of speech reporting in the respective languages are on the path of grammaticalization into quotative markers.
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!
The eleventh session of our reported speech workshop returned to our regular format of data sessions with two presentations that again demonstrated the breadth and impact of the phenomenon of reported speech.
Within the context of a broader study on Hindi-English code-switching, Aung Si discussed corpus examples of code-switching in reported speech constructions. In addition to introducing data from yet another language area (and language families) into the workshop, his analysis also showed that the locus of switches between English and Hindi could violate about any syntactic prediction proposed in the literature. This raised interesting questions about the structural representation of reported speech and, especially, led to discussion about the (in)sufficiency of reducing, e.g., indirect speech constructions to ‘regular’ examples of complementation clauses.
Timur Maisak brought us to an area that we have visited more frequently in the workshop, presenting data from the Caucasian language Andi, but made it very clear that languages in this geographical region show some of the most surprising and exciting features to study semantic and structural properties of reported speech. His talk addressed the marking status of quotative markers in combination with matrix elements, various semantic extensions of reported speech and finished with interesting observations about the indexical properties in Andi reported speech (unlike in many other Caucasian languages not related to pronominal clitics, but to the behaviour of demonstatives).
Please join us for two new data sessions on the 25th!
A slightly atypical edition of the reported speech workshop this week: we discussed some of the themes that have come up during the past nine sessions and considered some topics that we would still like to discuss in upcoming meetings.
The diagram below, collaboratively produced using a whiteboard webservice called ‘Flinga’, visualises some of the workshop topics and their connections (for a higher-resolution version, please contact us; thanks to Denys Teptiuk for providing the screenshot!):
Next time we will return to our regular data session format, so please join us again then.
Our third reported speech workshop in 2021 provided yet another set of perspectives on the topic: geographically, with a discussion of Nisvai, the first Oceanic language in the series and thematically, with discussions of a social media corpus of Ivorian French and the acoustic properties of direct speech.
Lacina Silué shared his fascinating data on Ivorian French, showing that the French complementiser que appears to have been co-opted into a quotative function under the influence of the Djula quotative marker ko. This quotative also has been directly borrowed into Ivorian French with a pejorative reporting meaning. The similar-but-different types of logophoric markers in the language led to interesting comparative discussions with the other Africanists in the workshop.
Jocelyn Aznar presented his annotated corpus of Nisvai narratives, demonstrating interactions in the length and position of pauses, ‘silent gaps’, relative to the reported clause and interjections occurring at its boundaries. Other participants in the workshop shared comparative observations about the role and impact of structural marking of interjections, prosodic and multi-modal features or reported speech and methodological suggestions were exchanged.
The regular programme of the workshop returns on the 11th of March, but next time we will take stock: looking back at the issues that have been raised over the past nine sessions, identifying open questions and research angles and exploring possibilities for collaboration on sub-projects and publications. Please join us!