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Integration of direct speech in the superordinate clause

A sample of direct speech is integrated to a limited extent into the larger syntactic structure in which it is found, as can be seen from the possibility of bound variable binding, although this also depends on construction type. Indirect speech tends to be more fully integrated into its superordinate structure, though this also depends on construction type. The superordinate structure can usually be built on bridge verbs, that is, verbs of expression like sizze say, tinke think and so on. However, the superordinate structure may also be a degree-effect sequence, with a degree adverb in the superordinate clause, or an effect-cause construction, in which the cause clause may be introduced by the conjunct om't because.


The following example shows that the direct speech phrase triggers Verb-Second of the main clause tensed verb sei said, just as other constituents do which are found in the first position of the main clause:

Example 1

'Se lykje by uzes allegearre wol fan stien,' sei Heerd nei in skoftke
they appear at us all DcP of stone said Heerd after a while
'It appears as if they are all made of stone at our place,' Heerd said after a while

This indicates that direct speech is integrated into the superordinate structure, as far as Verb-Second is concerned. Furthermore, the verb of reporting assigns a thematic role to the phrase containing the direct speech. In fact, if the direct speech consists of several utterances, then this list of utterances as a whole receives a thematic role from the verb of reporting.

Direct speech is partly integrated into the superordinate structure defined by the bridge verb. It is integrated with respect to bound variable binding, provided that the bound variable pronoun is a first person pronoun. An example is given below:

Example 2

Elkenien sei, ik ha skroei
everyone said I have hunger
Everyone said, I am hungry

However, direct speech is not integrated into the bridge verb's superordinate structure with respect to other phenomena. It tends to show the type of cohesion which the independent successive main clauses of a discourse show, but it lacks the type of cohesion which may relate a regular embedded clause to the main clause in which it is found. For example, negative polarity is a relation which may cross the boundaries of embedded clauses, but not the boundaries of main clauses: so negative polarity can be found to cross an embedded clause boundary, as in the example below:

Example 3

Jouke hie net tocht dat er ek mar ien kear winne soe
Jouke had not thought that he DcP DcP one time win would
Jouke had not thought that he would win even once

By contrast, negative polarity cannot cross the boundary separating direct from indirect speech, as shown in the example below:

Example 4

*Jouke hie net tocht, 'ik sil ek mar ien kear winne'
Jouke had not thought I shall DcP DcP one time win
Jouke had not thought, 'I shall win even once'

In the same vein, this boundary cannot be crossed by other processes restricted to the main clause, such as question formation, passivisation, reflexivisation, and so on. Only processes operating across main clauses are allowed, such as pronominal coreference. Pronominal coreference is a marker distinguishing direct speech from indirect speech. In addition, some direct speech constructions allow bound variable binding while others do not.