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Direct speech

Direct or quoted speech is spoken or written text that reports speech or thought in its original form phrased by the original speaker; in narrative, it is usually enclosed in quotation marks,[1] but could be enclosed in guillemet. The cited speaker is either mentioned in the inquit (Latin "he/she says") or implied.

Comparison between direct, indirect and free indirect speech

  • Quoted or direct speech:[a]
He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. "And just what pleasure have I found, since I came into this world?" he asked.
He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. He asked himself what pleasure he had found since he came into the world.
He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. And just what pleasure had he found, since he came into this world?

A crucial semantic distinction between direct and indirect speech is that direct speech purports to report the exact words that were said or written, whereas indirect speech is a representation of speech in one's own words.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Both direct speech and indirect speech purport to report the speech or thoughts of an original speaker. Some writers use the terms reported direct speech and reported indirect speech[2] Direct speech and indirect speech can also refer to the difference between speech acts where the illocutionary force is conveyed directly and indirectly, respectively. Thus, "What time is it?" is a direct speech act that might also be expressed by the indirect speech act "Do you know what time it is?"[3]

References

  1. ^ a b Leech, Geoffrey (2006). A Glossary of English Grammar. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 34, 101. ISBN 978-0-7486-1729-6.
  2. ^ Huddleston, Rodney; Pullum, Geoffrey (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1023–1030. ISBN 0-521-43146-8. Direct reported speech purports to give the actual wording of the original, whereas indirect reported speech gives only its content. ...[Note:] Some writers omit the 'reported' and simply talk of 'direct speech' and 'indirect speech', while others restrict the term 'reported speech' to the indirect type; we believe, however, that it is useful to have a term for covering both. Further alternative terms for direct and indirect reported speech are 'oratio recta' and 'oratio obliqua', respectively.
  3. ^ Huddleston, Rodney; Pullum, Geoffrey (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 861–865. ISBN 0-521-43146-8.

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