Person alignment in reported speech and thought: the distribution and typology of participant roles (based on six Finno-Ugric languages)


  • Denys Teptiuk University of Tartu



reported speech, reported thought, reported evidence, person alignment, Finno-Ugric


This paper investigates how person alignment is arranged in discourse reporting. I focus on participant roles appearing in narrated and speech events (Jakobson [1957] 1971) and how they are linguistically encoded in (re)presentations of speech and thought. Besides the (re)presentations of speech and thought attributed to other speakers, I include two other types of report: self-quotations (Reported Speaker = Reporter) and quotations with an unknown source (Reported Speaker = ?). For illustrative purposes, I use data from internet communications of six Finno-Ugric languages: Hungarian, Estonian, Finnish, Erzya, Udmurt, Komi. The results show that three types of reports exhibit idiosyncrasies regarding the participant distribution in the narrated event. These idiosyncrasies affect how the linguistic encoding of participants is arranged and how different perspectives are highlighted in reported speech and thought. In addition to two canonical perspectives, i.e. Reported Speaker’s and Reporter’s, there are some ambiguous cases where person marking does not index only one type of perspective. Such ambiguity is characterized by the overlap between different roles carried out by one participant or subsumption of participants from different events under one formal reference. Furthermore, ambiguous cases often contain a generic reference equally suitable for participants in the narrated and current speech event.


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How to Cite

Teptiuk D. Person alignment in reported speech and thought: the distribution and typology of participant roles (based on six Finno-Ugric languages). LTC [Internet]. 2022Jan.1 [cited 2023Dec.4];2(2):39-92. Available from:



Research articles