Publication details [#15825]

Vincent, Diane and Laurent Perrin. 1999. On the narrative vs non-narrative functions of reported speech: A socio-pragmatic study. Journal of Sociolinguistics 3 (3) : 291–313.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Blackwell Publishers


Reported utterances have often been analyzed with regard to their narrative function. While it is true that this narrative function applies to a large group of cases, we have observed that reported speech can fulfil other functions, which are incompatible with the properties of a narrative utterance. This study, based on spontaneous discourse, will focus on the non-narrative functions of reported speech, that is, the appreciative, the support and the authority functions. We will first define the semantico-pragmatic properties of these functions of reported speech, on the basis of examples that are univocal in their contexts. Next, we will turn to examples more complex, in which there seems to be a conflict between functions considered to be incompatible. Finally, we will present the results of a distributional analysis, relating the functions of reported speech to linguistic and extralinguistic factors. The results will lead us to propose hypotheses concerning the strategic diversification of discourse behaviours by speakers.