Project update 2023

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 later this year. Contributors, expect an email update over the Summer!

– Stef

Workshop update and new publication

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 ( 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!

Thirteenth session: Macedonian and Chácobo

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.

– Daniela