Japanese Reported Speech: Against a Direct–Indirect Distinction

  • Emar Maier
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5447)


English direct discourse is easily recognized by, for example, the lack of a complementizer, the quotation marks (or the intonational contour those induce), and verbatim (‘shifted’) pronouns. Japanese employs the same complementizer for all reports, does not have a consistent intonational quotation marking, and tends to drop pronouns where possible. Some have argued that this shows no more than that many Japanese reports are ambiguous. These authors claim that, despite the lack of explicit marking, the underlying distinction is just as hard in Japanese as it is in English. On the basis of a number of ‘mixed’ examples, I claim that the line between direct and indirect is blurred and I propose a unified analysis of speech reporting in which a general mechanism of mixed quotation replaces the classical two-fold distinction.


Person Pronoun Quotation Mark Direct Discourse Direct Report Direct Speech 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emar Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.ILLC/University of AmsterdamNetherlands

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