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Temporal Adverbials in Direct and Indirect Discourse

Schmidt, L.P. (2016) Temporal Adverbials in Direct and Indirect Discourse. Bachelor's Thesis, Artificial Intelligence.

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Abstract

Kaplan (1989) originally proposed that pure indexicals do not shift in indirect reported speech. An indexical is shifted in indirect speech when the indexical is evaluated with respect to a context different from the current speaker. However, recent research has been chipping away at this claim. One way in which there is a potential to see shifts is in the comparison of direct and indirect reported speech. We did an experiment investigating how English speakers interpret the temporal adverbials `today', `tomorrow', and `yesterday' in direct and indirect speech. 43 participants identified the day of an event. The first hypothesis, based on Kaplan (1989), is that temporal adverbials are pure indexicals and therefore do not shift in indirect reported speech. The second hypothesis, based on Köder(2016), is that temporal adverbials are harder to interpret in direct speech than in indirect speech because direct speech requires a shift of perspective from the current speaker to the original speaker. We found that people gave more answers consistent with the report type in direct speech (93.80%) than in indirect speech (70.93%). The majority of the answers which were not consistent with the report type were consistent with the other report type. In other words, unshifted in indirect speech but shifted in direct speech. Our results do not support either hypothesis and strongly suggest that, contra Kaplan, English grammar allows time indexicals to be shifted in indirect speech.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:23
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:23
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14322

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