Edited by Mark Dingemanse, Eva van Lier and Jorrig Vogels
[Linguistics in the Netherlands 38] 2021
► pp. 21–39
We investigate the discourse structure of Free Indirect Discourse passages in narratives. We argue that Free Indirect Discourse reports consist of two separate propositional discourse units: an (explicit or implicit) frame segment and a reported content. These segments are connected at the level of discourse structure by a non-veridical, subordinating discourse relation of Attribution, familiar from recent SDRT analyses of indirect discourse constructions in natural conversation (Hunter, 2016). We conducted an experiment to detect the covert presence of a subordinating frame segment based on its effects on pronoun resolution. We compared (unframed) Free Indirect Discourse with overtly framed Indirect Discourse and a non-reportative segment. We found that the first two indeed pattern alike in terms of pronoun resolution, which we take as evidence against the pragmatic context split approach of Schlenker (2004) and Eckardt (2014), and in favor of our discourse structural Attribution analysis.