Indirect Speech, Premodern
(1,853 words)

Reported speech in classical Chinese has the syntactic properties of direct speech. The sayings attributed to such personalities as Confucius or Mencius purport to convey the ipsissima vox of the philosopher they are attributed to. Thus, first person pronouns in reported speech refer to the speaker in the text and not to the author of the speech report. The second person pronouns in reported speech refer to the person addressed by the speaker and not the person addressed by the author of the speech report.

On the other hand, in many early historical sources, what poses syntactic…

Cite this page
Christoph HARBSMEIER, “Indirect Speech, Premodern”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 20 November 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000197>
First published online: 2015



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