Reported Speech: A Central Skill of Conversation

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John Campbell-Larsen, Kyoto Women’s University

Reported speech is a prominent and recurrent feature of conversational language, but its importance is often sidelined in many ESL materials, with most ESL textbooks treating reporting as a grammar point similar to canonical grammar targets such as passive or causative constructions. The semantics of the reporting verbs and the interactional uses of reported speech are usually given little attention in coursebooks. In this paper I explain the importance of reported speech, particularly in the English language. I refer to corpus studies to challenge some of the widely accepted assumptions about the grammar of reported speech. I also investigate the semantics of the reporting verbs, (including be like) and discuss some of the interactional uses of reported speech in such genres as spoken narrative and topic proffering.

間接話法は会話の中で何度も使用される重要な物であるが、多くの英語教材ではそれほど重要視されていなく、殆どの教材では受け身や使役の様に一般的な文法として扱われている。教材では間接話法の意味論と会話中の間接話法は控えめに取り上げられている。この論文は特に英語会話での間接話法を重要視しており、コーパスによる間接話法の研究結果との違いを参照する。その上、間接話法の動詞( be likeを含む)と会話中の話術と話題提供による間接話法の使用の仕方を説明する。