Talk of interest on 10/06: Logic Colloquium with Emar Maier (Groeningen)

The Logic Colloquium on Friday, October 6, at 2pm in in Laurel Hall 108, will feature Emar Maier, semanticist from Groeningen.

Eventive vs. Evidential Speech Reports

I argue for a distinction between eventive and evidential speech reports. In eventive speech reports the at-issue contribution is the introduction of a speech event with certain properties. Typical examples include direct and free indirect speech. In evidential speech reports, by contrast, the fact that something was said is not at issue, but serves to provide evidence for the reported content. Typical examples include Quechua reportative evidential morphology, Dutch reportative modals, or German reportive subjunctive. Following up on an observation by Von Stechow & Zimmermann (2005:fn.16), I argue that English indirect discourse is ambiguous. In the current framework this means it allows both an eventive reading, where a reported speech act is at issue, and an evidential reading, where it is backgrounded.