Article published in:Discourses in Interaction
Edited by Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen, Marja-Liisa Helasvuo, Marjut Johansson and Mia Raitaniemi
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 203] 2010
► pp. 133–150
“O England! England! She says – my Father – my Sisters – my friends! – shall I ever see you more?”
Reporting in 18th-century correspondence
This study focuses on reporting in the letters of eighteenth-century writer Frances (Fanny) Burney. Our purpose is to study the occurrence of reporting from a socio-pragmatic perspective, with the aim of understanding the function of reporting in all its communicative situations as well as in personal and interpersonal functions. The results from the analysis show that reporting is more typical in Burney’s letters to close recipients, and that the saying of those closest are much more often reported than general sources like newspapers. Her reporting is often accompanied with evaluative remarks that further highlight the interactive nature of letters and emphasise the use of reporting to show personal stance. Direct reporting also seems to appear in emotionally laden contexts in particular.
Published online: 22 December 2010