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Book Information

   

Title: Quotative Indexes in African Languages
Subtitle: A Synchronic and Diachronic Survey
Written By: Tom Güldemann
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110185904-1
Series Title: Empirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] 34
Description:

The book represents the results of a synchronic and diachronic
cross-African survey of quotative indexes. These are linguistic expressions
that signal in the ongoing discourse the presence of a quote (often called
"direct reported speech"). For this purpose, 39 African languages were
selected to represent the genealogical and geographical diversity of the
continent. The study is based primarily on this language sample, in
particular on the analysis of quotative indexes and related expressions
from a text corpus of each sample language, but also includes a wide range
of data from the published literature on other African as well as non-
African languages. It is the first typological investigation of direct
reported discourse of this magnitude in a large group of languages. The
book may thus serve as a starting point of similar studies in other
geographical areas or even with a global scope, as well as stimulate more
detailed investigations of particular languages. The results of the African
survey challenge several prevailing cross-linguistic generalizations
regarding quotative indexes and reported discourse constructions as a
whole, of which two are of particular interest. In the syntactic domain,
where reported discourse has mostly been dealt with under so- called
sentential complementation, the study supports the minority view that
direct reported discourse and also a large portion of indirect reported
discourse show hardly any evidence for the claim that the reported clause
is a syntactic object complement of some matrix verb. With respect to
grammaticalization, the work concludes that speech verbs are, against
common belief, not a frequent source of quotatives, complementizers, and
other related markers. Far more frequent sources are markers of similarity
and manner; generic verbs of equation, inchoativity, and action; and
pronominals referring to the quote or the speaker. Another more general
conclusion of the study is that especially direct reported discourse can be
fruitfully analyzed as part of a larger linguistic domain called "mimesis".
This comprises expressions which represent a state of affairs by means of
enactment / performance rather than with the help of "canonical" linguistic
signs and includes, besides reported discourse, world-referring bodily
gestures, ideophone-like signs, and non-linguistic sound.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Syntax
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Electronic
ISBN: 3110185903
ISBN-13: 9783110185904
Pages: 686
Prices: Europe EURO 132.00
U.S. $ 211.00
Europe EURO 118.00
U.S. $ 189.00