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Summary Details

Query:   Use of the Term 'Reporting'
Author:  Minako Nakayasu
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Discourse Analysis
General Linguistics

Summary:   Dear Linguists,

Several months ago I posted a question (Linguist 11.1695) on the term
'reporting.' I apologize for being late in posting a summary. The query
goes as in the following:

Dear Linguists,

Does anyone know who is the first to use the term 'reporting'? Or do you
know an umbrella term which covers reported thought and perception as well
as reported speech? As far as I know, Thompson (1994) uses 'reporting,' and
Janssen and van der Wurff (1996) (and many others) employ 'reported speech.'
Thank you very much in advance. I will post a summary if I receive enough

Janssen, Th. A. J. M. and Wim van der Wurff. 1996. Reported Speech: Forms
and Functions of the Verb. (Pragmatics & Beyond: New Series 43).
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Thompson, Geoff. 1994. Reporting. (Collins COBUILD English Guides 5).
London: HarperCollins.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the following linguists, who
have given me quick responses and valuable information:

Prof. Theo A. J. M. Janssen
Dr. Zouhair Maalej
Dr. I. R. Warner
Martin Wynne
(ABC order; the title according to each linguist)

The following is the result.

Professor Janssen:

informed me that the oldest reference of 'reported speech' he knows of is
Ullmann (1957).

Dr. Maalej:

finds the term 'presentation' used by Leech & Short (1981) and Short (1996)
more convenient than 'reporting.' He also let me know that Mick Short had a
talk about 'speech, thought, and writing presentation' and referred me to
Short (1984) and Short, Wynne & Semino (1999).

Dr. Warner:

gave me several examples of the terms: 'indirect discourse' (including
'free' ID) in romance language circles, 'projection' (reports, ideas, facts)
as a clause type discussed by M. A. K. Halliday, 'representation' (either
through 'resemblance' or 'interpretation of a speaker's opinions or
thoughts) in Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson, Blakemore, etc.). Saying
that she is interested in if anyone has studied this problem not simply one
of terminology but of paradigm, she also mentions Volosinov/Bakhtin-inspired
approaches, which treats language use as contextualized utterances which are
polyphonic or dialogic in that different voices are incorporated (e.g.
Bakhtin (1981) and Bakhtin (1986), which Allan Bell mentions in his book on
media discourse, and Volosinov (1973)).

Martin Wynne:

pointed out that terms such as 'reporting' and 'reported speech,'
('representation' as well) are problematic especially where there has not
been a prior speech event, and gave me an explanation of the terminology in
the work by Short, Semino, Culpeper and himself, where they ''have developed
the Leech and Short model of categories of 'reporting', and have found it
necessary to talk about 'speech, thought and writing presentation', as there
are specific forms and functions associated with reports of written
language.'' Their works (see the bibliography below as well as his website)
prefer to stress the specificity of the different modes such as 'thought
presentation' (for thought events) 'narration of internal states (NI) (for
cases of perception, emotion and other psychological processes and states),'
rather than to stress the hypernym 'discourse' employed by authorities such
as Fludernik (1993). As for the hypernym or superoredinate, Martin
considers the term 'reporting' as problematic, because it is also often used
to refer to one of the more specific categories (i.e. indirect forms as
opposed to direct ones). He also informed me of what Mick Short pointed out
to him, '''Report' also tends to get used by the grammarians, who by and
large use made-up examples and so the issue of accuracy of report never
really arises. The CDA [critical discourse analysis, e.g. Norman Fairclough]
people use 'representation' because they want to stress variations with
respect to so-called 'report' which they claim are there for unreasonable
reasons - strategies of discourse engineering etc.''


Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikha. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays.
(University of Texas Press Slavic Series 1). Austin, TX: University of
Texas Press.

Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikha. 1986. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays.
(University of Texas Press Slavic Series 8). Austin, TX: University of
Texas Press.

Fludernik, Monika. 1993. The Fictions of Language and the Languages of
Fiction: the Linguistic Representation of Speech and Consciousness.
London/New York: Routledge.

Leech, Geoffrey N. & Michael H. Short. 1981. Style in Fiction: A
Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. (English Language
Series 13). London, etc.: Longman.

Semino, Elena, Mick Short & Martin Wynne. 1999. ''Hypothetical Words and
Thoughts in contemporary British Narratives.'' Narrative 7: pp. 307-334.

Short, Mick. 1984. Speech Presentation, the Novel and the Press.
Lancaster Papers in Linguistics 30: pp. 1-26.

Short, Mick. 1996. Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose.
(Learning about Language). London, etc.: Longman.

Short, Mick, Elena Semino & Jonathan Culpeper. 1996. ''Using a Corpus for
Stylistics Research: Speech and Thought Presentation.'' In: Jenny Thomas and
Mick Short (eds.), Using Corpora for Language Research: Studies in the
Honour of Geoffrey Leech, London, etc.: Longman.

Short, Mick, Elena Semino & Martin Wynne. 1997. ''A (Free Direct) Reply to
Paul Simpson's Discourse.'' Journal of Literary Semantics 26: pp. 219-228.

Short, Mick, Martin Wynne & Elena Semino. 1999. ''Reading Reports:
Discourse Presentation in a Corpus of Narratives, with Special Reference to
News Reports.'' In: Hans-Jurgen Diller & Erwin Otto Gert Stratmann (eds.),
English via Various Media (Anglistik & Englischunterricht), Heidelberg:
Universitatsverlag C. Winter: pp. 39-66.

Ullmann, Stephen. 1957. ''Reported Speech and Internal Monologue in
Flaubert.'' In: Style in the French Novel, Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge
University Press: pp. 94-197.

Wynne, Martin, Mick Short & Elena Semino. 1998. ''A Corpus-based
Investigation of Speech, Thought and Writing Presentation in English
Narrrative Texts.'' In Antoinette Renouf (ed.), Explorations in Corpus
Linguistics (Language and Computers: Studies in Practical Linguistics 23;
Proceedings from the 18th ICAME Conference), Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi:
pp. 231-245.

Speech & Thought Presentation Corpus (maintained by Martin Wynne)

(Ms) Minako NAKAYASU
Shigakukan University, Kagoshima, Japan/
Graduate School of Yasuda Women's University, Hiroshima, Japan
Email: (I have changed the email address from However,, which I used
when I posted a query, is still active.)

LL Issue: 12.991
Date Posted: 09-Apr-2001
Original Query: Read original query


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