Indirect Reports and Pragmatics

In F. Lo Piparo & M. Carapezza A. Capone (ed.), Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 389-411 (2013)

Abstract

Abstract: An indirect report typically takes the form of a speaker using the locution “said that” to report an earlier utterance. In what follows, I introduce the principal philosophical and pragmatic points of interest in the study of indirect reports, including the extent to which context sensitivity affects the content of an indirect report, the constraints on the substitution of co-referential terms in reports, the extent of felicitous paraphrase and translation, the way in which indirect reports are opaque, and the use of indirect reports as pragmatic vehicles for other speech acts such as humor, insult, or irony. Throughout I develop several positions: (i) that a semantic analysis of indirect reports is insufficient, (ii) that the distinction between direct and indirect reports is not clear and that indirect reports are the predominate way of reporting while direct reports may be a para-linguistic variation on them, (iii) that most questions about the semantics and pragmatics of indirect reports will rely on a full understanding of the nature of what is reported and how it gets reported, (iv) that an analysis of reporting requires the pragmatic tools of metarepresentation and a social, inter-personal understanding of relevance and shared knowledge.

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Nellie Wieland
California State University, Long Beach

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Citations of this work

Indirect Reports as Language Games.Alessandro Capone - 2012 - Pragmatics and Cognition 20 (3):593-613.
Reporting and Interpreting Intentions in Defamation Law.Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - In Alessandro Capone, Ferenc Kiefer & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.), Indirect Reports and Pragmatics. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 593-619.
Explicatures Are NOT Cancellable.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - In Alessandro Capone, Franco Lo Piparo & Marco Carapezza (eds.), Perspectives on linguistic pragmatics. Springer. pp. 131-151.
Metalinguistic Acts in Fiction.Nellie Wieland - 2021 - In Emar Maier & Andreas Stokke (eds.), The Language of Fiction. Oxford University Press. pp. 301-324.

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