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Reported Speech in Matses: Perspective Persistence and Evidential Narratives

Robert Munro, Rainer Ludwig, Uli Sauerland and David W. Fleck
International Journal of American Linguistics
Vol. 78, No. 1 (January 2012), pp. 41-75
DOI: 10.1086/662637
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662637
Page Count: 40
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Reported Speech in Matses: Perspective Persistence
and Evidential Narratives
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Abstract

In Matses reported speech, the personal, spatial, and temporal indexicals of the reported speech act must be maintained from the point of view of the original speaker, thus resembling a strict form of direct speech. However, substantial paraphrasing, extraction, reconfiguration, and de re construals are permitted, which are features more typically associated with indirect speech. We give a detailed account of this unique reported speech system, its relationship to the evidential system, and the broader implications for theories of reported discourse. In relation to the evidential system, all past events learned through inference or speech must encode the point of view of an event’s detection, and in turn the context of the reporting of that event, the only exception being that community elders may make direct indexical reference to unobserved past events within a “Narrative Past” construction used exclusively for recounting oral history.

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