Reported speech forms a dedicated syntactic domain

Stef Spronck, Tatiana Nikitina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In many languages, expressions of the type ‘x said: “p”’, ‘x said that p’
or ‘allegedly, p’ share properties with common syntactic types such as construc-
tions with subordination, paratactic constructions, and constructions with sen-
tence-level adverbs. On closer examination, however, they often turn out to be
atypical members of these syntactic classes. In this paper we argue that a more
coherent picture emerges if we analyse these expressions as a dedicated syntac-
tic domain in itself, which we refer to as ‘reported speech’. Based on typological
observations we argue for the idiosyncrasy of reported speech as a syntactic
class. The article concludes with a proposal for a cross-linguistic characterisa-
tion that aims at capturing this broadly conceived domain of reported speech
with a single semantic definition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLinguistic Typology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)119-159
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • demonstration
  • optionality
  • quotation
  • reportativity
  • reported speech
  • syntax
  • 6121 Languages

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