Reported speech through the lens of corpus data.

2018. №4, 47-73

Vera I. Podlesskaya
Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation;
Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation;


The paper investigates pragmatic, grammatical, and prosodic parameters that differentiate between direct and indirect speech, the two main strategies used to report what someone else said. Based on data from prosodically annotated corpora of personal stories, the study provides a qualitative as well as a quantitative analysis of non-prototypical cases of reported speech massively represented in Russian informal spoken discourse. Speech events registered in the analyzed data were checked against the scale of explication (from the maximal to the minimal): citation with direct speech > citation with indirect speech > description of speech event without reported speech > no mention of the speech event in the text. Comparing elicited spoken versions of personal stories with their written versions put down later by the same speakers allowed to conclude that in spoken stories, reported speech is used more often and with a higher degree of explication than in written stories.