LINGUIST List 12.991

Mon Apr 9 2001

Sum: Use of the Term 'Reporting'

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1.>, Use of the Term 'Reporting'

Message 1: Use of the Term 'Reporting'

Date: Sat, 07 Apr 2001 04:16:44 -0000
From:> <>
Subject: Use of the Term 'Reporting'

Dear Linguists,

Several months ago I posted a question (Linguist 11.1695) on the term 
'reporting.' I apologize for being late in posting a summary. The query 
goes as in the following:

- ------------------------------------
Dear Linguists,

Does anyone know who is the first to use the term 'reporting'? Or do you 
know an umbrella term which covers reported thought and perception as well 
as reported speech? As far as I know, Thompson (1994) uses 'reporting,' and 
Janssen and van der Wurff (1996) (and many others) employ 'reported speech.'
 Thank you very much in advance. I will post a summary if I receive enough 

Janssen, Th. A. J. M. and Wim van der Wurff. 1996. Reported Speech: Forms 
and Functions of the Verb. (Pragmatics & Beyond: New Series 43). 
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Thompson, Geoff. 1994. Reporting. (Collins COBUILD English Guides 5).
London: HarperCollins.

- ------------------------------------

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the following linguists, who 
have given me quick responses and valuable information:

Prof. Theo A. J. M. Janssen
Dr. Zouhair Maalej
Dr. I. R. Warner
Martin Wynne
(ABC order; the title according to each linguist)

The following is the result.

Professor Janssen:

informed me that the oldest reference of 'reported speech' he knows of is 
Ullmann (1957).

Dr. Maalej:

finds the term 'presentation' used by Leech & Short (1981) and Short (1996) 
more convenient than 'reporting.' He also let me know that Mick Short had a 
talk about 'speech, thought, and writing presentation' and referred me to 
Short (1984) and Short, Wynne & Semino (1999).

Dr. Warner:

gave me several examples of the terms: 'indirect discourse' (including 
'free' ID) in romance language circles, 'projection' (reports, ideas, facts) 
as a clause type discussed by M. A. K. Halliday, 'representation' (either 
through 'resemblance' or 'interpretation of a speaker's opinions or 
thoughts) in Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson, Blakemore, etc.). Saying 
that she is interested in if anyone has studied this problem not simply one 
of terminology but of paradigm, she also mentions Volosinov/Bakhtin-inspired 
approaches, which treats language use as contextualized utterances which are 
polyphonic or dialogic in that different voices are incorporated (e.g. 
Bakhtin (1981) and Bakhtin (1986), which Allan Bell mentions in his book on 
media discourse, and Volosinov (1973)).

Martin Wynne:

pointed out that terms such as 'reporting' and 'reported speech,' 
('representation' as well) are problematic especially where there has not 
been a prior speech event, and gave me an explanation of the terminology in 
the work by Short, Semino, Culpeper and himself, where they "have developed 
the Leech and Short model of categories of 'reporting', and have found it 
necessary to talk about 'speech, thought and writing presentation', as there 
are specific forms and functions associated with reports of written 
language." Their works (see the bibliography below as well as his website) 
prefer to stress the specificity of the different modes such as 'thought 
presentation' (for thought events) 'narration of internal states (NI) (for 
cases of perception, emotion and other psychological processes and states),' 
rather than to stress the hypernym 'discourse' employed by authorities such 
as Fludernik (1993). As for the hypernym or superoredinate, Martin 
considers the term 'reporting' as problematic, because it is also often used 
to refer to one of the more specific categories (i.e. indirect forms as 
opposed to direct ones). He also informed me of what Mick Short pointed out 
to him, "'Report' also tends to get used by the grammarians, who by and 
large use made-up examples and so the issue of accuracy of report never 
really arises. The CDA [critical discourse analysis, e.g. Norman Fairclough] 
people use 'representation' because they want to stress variations with 
respect to so-called 'report' which they claim are there for unreasonable 
reasons - strategies of discourse engineering etc."


Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikha. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. 
(University of Texas Press Slavic Series 1). Austin, TX: University of 
Texas Press.

Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikha. 1986. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. 
(University of Texas Press Slavic Series 8). Austin, TX: University of 
Texas Press.

Fludernik, Monika. 1993. The Fictions of Language and the Languages of 
Fiction: the Linguistic Representation of Speech and Consciousness. 
London/New York: Routledge.

Leech, Geoffrey N. & Michael H. Short. 1981. Style in Fiction: A 
Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. (English Language 
Series 13). London, etc.: Longman.

Semino, Elena, Mick Short & Martin Wynne. 1999. "Hypothetical Words and 
Thoughts in contemporary British Narratives." Narrative 7: pp. 307-334.

Short, Mick. 1984. Speech Presentation, the Novel and the Press. 
Lancaster Papers in Linguistics 30: pp. 1-26.

Short, Mick. 1996. Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose. 
(Learning about Language). London, etc.: Longman.

Short, Mick, Elena Semino & Jonathan Culpeper. 1996. "Using a Corpus for 
Stylistics Research: Speech and Thought Presentation." In: Jenny Thomas and 
Mick Short (eds.), Using Corpora for Language Research: Studies in the 
Honour of Geoffrey Leech, London, etc.: Longman.

Short, Mick, Elena Semino & Martin Wynne. 1997. "A (Free Direct) Reply to 
Paul Simpson's Discourse." Journal of Literary Semantics 26: pp. 219-228.

Short, Mick, Martin Wynne & Elena Semino. 1999. "Reading Reports: 
Discourse Presentation in a Corpus of Narratives, with Special Reference to 
News Reports." In: Hans-Jurgen Diller & Erwin Otto Gert Stratmann (eds.), 
English via Various Media (Anglistik & Englischunterricht), Heidelberg: 
Universitatsverlag C. Winter: pp. 39-66.

Ullmann, Stephen. 1957. "Reported Speech and Internal Monologue in 
Flaubert." In: Style in the French Novel, Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge 
University Press: pp. 94-197.

Wynne, Martin, Mick Short & Elena Semino. 1998. "A Corpus-based 
Investigation of Speech, Thought and Writing Presentation in English 
Narrrative Texts." In Antoinette Renouf (ed.), Explorations in Corpus 
Linguistics (Language and Computers: Studies in Practical Linguistics 23; 
Proceedings from the 18th ICAME Conference), Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi: 
pp. 231-245.

Speech & Thought Presentation Corpus (maintained by Martin Wynne)

(Ms) Minako NAKAYASU
Shigakukan University, Kagoshima, Japan/
Graduate School of Yasuda Women's University, Hiroshima, Japan
Email: (I have changed the email address from However,, which I used 
when I posted a query, is still active.)
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