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Reported speech in earthquake narratives from six Tibeto- Burman languages

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journal contribution
posted on 05.07.2020 by Lauren Gawne, Kristine A. Hildebrandt
This paper is an analysis of the use of reported speech in six Tibeto-Burman languages from two closely-related sub-branches (Tamangic and Tibetic). The data come from a set of interview narratives about people’s experiences of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The analysis begins with an examination of the relationship between reported speech, overt subjects and ergativity. We also look at reported speech and evidentiality, including grammatical reported speech evidentials. Structural features discussed include hybrid reported speech and multiple clause relationality. Interactional features discussed include the use of deictic shift, prominent subordination, and the multiple functions of reported speech forms, as well as zero-marked reported speech events. This analysis highlights the benefits of studying linguistic features such as reported speech in narrative context. We conclude with the implications of this usage-based analysis in the coverage of reported speech in descriptive grammars.

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