Publication details

The marking the end of direct speech in Late Latin



Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Graeco-Latina Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Linguistics
Keywords Late Latin; direct speech; quotation; particles; grammaticalization
Description The present paper examines the marking of the end of direct speech in five selected Late Latin texts. It shows that a range of strategies is employed in the texts, among which the use of particles, pronouns and participle constructions was analysed in greater detail. Although the end of direct speech tends to be signalled, none of the means can be viewed as becoming a routinized marker of the end of direct speech in Late Latin as the most frequent one – the particle et "and" – has been found to appear only in 19 % of instances in the examined texts. When an expression was seemingly used in a routine fashion, its higher occurrence was limited to one or two texts and attributed in the present analysis to the style of the author. The most frequent expressions (the particles et and -que "and", demonstrative and relative pronouns) identified do not carry any specific meaning with respect to direct speech, but rather fulfil the function of cohesive devices. The end of direct speech thus seems to be treated as a mere boundary in the discourse, lacking any specific marking in Late Latin.