Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics



First Advisor



The study of the functions of reported speech makes five ma­jor contributions to the current literature on discourse. (l) It highlights the multifunctional characteristics of reported speech; (2) it correlates these functions with discourse types; (3) it points out the necessity to separate the situational features from the deep structure organizational features and relates both to surface structure discourse types; (4) it defines more clearly the nature of dialogue discourse, that of a portmanteau realization of deep structure narrative and repartee; and (5) it shows for the first time within the stratificational grammar framework that contrastive discourse structures occur both in the semology and in the grammar of a language. The study of reported speech was prompted by a dissatisfac­tion with the current treatment of quotations as the object or complement of the verb 'say'. A large corpus of text material in Aguaruna, an Amerindian language of Peru, South America, was examined for the purpose of identifying the functions of reported speech within the texts. The study of the relationships between the deep and surface structures of the Aguaruna texts showed the following functions of reported speech in the surface structure of these discourses: (1) to realize speech acts; (2) to highlight events and partici­pants, and to mark peak; and (3) to realize nonspeech acts such as awareness attribution, causal relations, identification rela­tions, and performatives. The functions of reported speech correlate closely with con­trastive discourse types. The realization of speech acts is found primarily in narrative, dialogue, and dramatic discourse. The use of reported speech to highlight is characteristic of narrative. The realization of awareness attribution is found in all discourse types but is especially characteristic of expository discourse. The realization of causal relations and identification relations is characteristic of procedural and expository dis­course. Reported speech which realizes performatives occur in all discourse types but with a specific surface structure form for each type. The semological features and the situational features which determine discourse deep structure genre are described and illus­trated. The separation of these two sets of features in deep structure is an important step forward in the understanding of deep structure. The characteristics of the surface structure realizations of discourse is discussed and the formal grammatical markers of discourse types presented. Dialogue is described as a portmanteau realization of deep structure narrative and repartee. In the description of surface structure discourse types, special emphasis is given to dialogue and drama because the reported speech which occurs realizes deep structure repartee. The model used is a synthesis of stratificational grammar and tagmemics. The conclusions of the study are illustrated by forty texts in which the functions of reported speech are labeled for the reader's easy examination.


Language, Literature and linguistics


Linguistics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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