UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 9 (1997)

Immediate contexts and reported speech


'Context' and 'reported speech' are both ordinary language expressions, and important terms in a theory of verbal communication. In this paper I will argue that a relevance-theoretic treatment of 'context' and the concept of 'immediate context' are useful tools for the analysis of deictic phenomena and reported speech. I will also show that though reported speech in conversation looks quite different from that in fiction, they can be explained by a single pragmatic principle, differing only in the way it is applied.

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