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A quotative is grammatical device to mark quoted speech in some languages, and as such it preserves the grammatical person and tense of the original utterance rather than adjusting it as would be the case with reported speech. It can be equated with "spoken quotation marks". In the English sentence
- John said "Wow,"
- John Wow kiyalaa kivvaa
has an overt indication of quoted speech after the quoted string Wow, the quotative kiyalaa.
In Japanese, the quotative と [to] is used to indicate direct speech in this sentence:
|Ishida-san||ha [wa]||"tomato ga suki janai"||to||iimashita.|
|Mr. Ishida||top.||"tomato-nom. like-neg."||quot.||say-past-polite|
|"Mr. Ishida said that he didn't like tomatoes" lit. "that 'I don't like tomatoes'"|
The following example shows the preservation of both grammatical person and the tense in a quoted utterance using the quotative particle:
|Kanojo||ha [wa]||boku||ni||"anata ga suki da"||to||itta.|
|She||top.||me||dat.||"you-nom. like cop."||quot.||say-past|
|"She told me that she liked me" lit. "that 'I like you'"|
See Japanese grammar for more examples of when と (to) is used.
The following sentences show the use of the first person and non-first person quotative particles respectively. Note the preservation of both the person and tense of the original utterances:
First person quotative
|He-ERG||cry-AOR||when||I told-AOR him||that||your||son-NOM||in the army||must||he goes-OPT||1st person quot.|
|"The old man cried when I told him that his son had to enter the army" lit. "that 'your son has to enter the army.'"|
Second and third person quotative
|To Kakheti||but||Intourist-GEN||excursion-DAT||must||you accompany-OPT it||3rd person quot.|
|"But (they said) that I had to accompany an Intourist excursion to Kakheti" lit. "that 'you must accompany'"|
Note that this second sentence omits an overt verbum dicendi since the original speaker is already known, and context makes it clear that the speaker was the original addressee.
|"They said that they were ready" lit. "that 'we are ready'"|
- "Japanese example sentences". Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Howard I. Aronson, A Reading Grammar, §8.5
- Howard I. Aronson, A Reading Grammar, p. 218
- Howard I. Aronson & Dodona Kiziria, Georgian Language and Culture: A Continuing Course, p. 68
- Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar, §2590a
- Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.4.10
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