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Workshop : Cross-disciplinary perspectives on quoting and speech reporting

Publié le 18 août 2022 Mis à jour le 18 août 2022

The aim of this three-day workshop is to reinforce the links between different groups of scholars working on quotation and on reported speech. That is why we invite contributions from variationist sociolinguistics, from formal semantics, from pragmatics, from Conversation Analysis, from sign linguistics, from all areas of the language sciences that undertake to theorise or analyse quotational phenomena.   The workshop also seeks to broaden the scope of research by bringing to prominence research on sign languages and on ‘less well-studied’ languages.

Quotation and reported speech have a long tradition of being approached from a variety of perspectives. The following examples are not intended to give an exhaustive picture of the field:  
Semanticists and pragmaticists debate whether quotation is essentially a matter of semantics (is it brought about by elements of linguistic structure) or of pragmatics (a communicative act resulting from particular speaker intentions), a debate in which the question whether it is necessary for quotation to be triggered by marks of quotation, syntactically realised or unrealised, remains central.  
Variationists have shed light on the mechanisms underlying the diffusion of new quotative markers, identifying sociodemographic factors as playing a role, but also highlighting new discourse functions performed or facilitated by the new quotatives. Those variationist studies have been enriched by the contributions of linguistic typologists, who have discussed many quotative markers across a large number of languages. Some typologists have also raised the question whether the range of constructions used to report speech displays syntactic commonalities over and above the obvious semantic ones.  
Conversation Analysts have paid careful attention to where in an interaction reported speech, especially quotation, is used by conversation participants. They have also identified a variety of functions fulfilled by quotations.  
Sign linguistics has been another thriving research area, which has devoted a lot of attention to the iconic and mimetic dimension of quotation, possibly offering support to the idea that, in quoting, not just words or utterances are reproduced but also attitudes and bodily actions.  
There are numerous potential convergence points between these different research perspectives. For example, one question is whether the new quotatives may be preferentially selected for the expression of some of the functions highlighted by Conversation Analysts and variationists. Besides, those quotatives clearly play a role in making salient the iconic dimension of quoting. That iconicity, in turn, has an impact on the debate between semanticists and pragmaticists, and is also a factor to be reckoned with when addressing the question whether such apparently different ways of reporting speech as ‘direct discourse’ and ‘indirect discourse’ actually belong together syntactically.

info and registration on the workshop website

Du 5 octobre 2022 au 7 octobre 2022
Campus du Solbosch
Philippe de Brabanter : philippe.de.brabanter@ulb.be