Reported speech: A typological questionnaire

TUL Questionnaires

Author : Stef Spronck

Publication date : 2020

Questionnaire URL :


The goal of this questionnaire is to classify various grammatical and discourse phenomena associated with reported speech. The topics covered in the questionnaire relate to ongoing discussions on reported speech in the typological literature, but authors completing the questionnaire are encouraged to primarily focus on those topics that they deem most appropriate for their specific data type and language.

Data collected through the questionnaire are not projected to constitute a maximally comparable typological data set of features. Rather, the corpus of examples and analyses constructed through the completed questionnaires is intended to show the breadth and variability of the phenomenon of reported speech across languages.

Protocol summary

The questionnaire is not intended as an elicitation tool. It aims to guide the classification and identification of different types of reported speech and relevant phenomena in a data corpus of, preferably, spontaneous discourse and/or narratives.

An assumption behind the approach taken in this questionnaire is that talking about language is a common feature of spontaneous or (semi-)prompted
speech. For this reason, any corpus of narratives or spontaneous speech of about an hour or more could serve as data for the answers in the questionnaire. Although the questionnaire can be filled out on the basis of any corpus of sufficient length, speech by a single speaker (in a narrative of monologue) may be more effective data than conversation.

Development context

This questionnaire was distributed among contributors to an edited volume of fieldwork- and corpus-based studies on reported speech (publication planned for 2022), with the aim of maximising the coverage of phenomena in the volume and prompting various analytical judgements about pragmatic and grammatical aspects of reported speech encountered by the authors.

Comments on the questionnaire would be very much appreciated and should you wish to share a completed questionnaire, please forward it through the email address provided in the document.

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