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A quotative is a 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.
- Ik zei er van Japie sta still (a line from a children's song).
- I said, 'Japie [colloquial diminutive of Jaap], stand still.'
Quotative van can be used in combination with a verb of speech, as in the above example, a noun designating something with message-carrying content, or a light verb, e.g. a copula (like for English quotative like).
- De ouders hadden zoiets van laten we het maar proberen, wie weet lukt het.
- The parents were like, let's try it, who knows it will work.
- He was like, 'You'll love it.' And I was like, 'You can't be serious!'
In speech, the word like in this use is typically followed by a brief pause, indicated here with a comma. This quotative construction is particularly common for introducing direct speech indicating someone's attitude.
In Japanese, the quotative と [to] is used to indicate direct speech in this sentence:
|Ishida-san||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||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' "|
- 'Hastayım' dedi.
- 'I am ill', he said.
- 'Hastayım mı?' diye sordu.
- 'Am I ill?', he asked.
In contrast, indirect speech uses the opposite order. The reported utterance is preceded by the verb of utterance and introduced by the conjunctive particle ki, comparable to English "that":
- Dedi ki hastaydı.
- He said that he was ill.
- "Ik zei er van Japie sta stil". De Liedjeskit. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Peter-Arno Coppen; Ad Foolen (2012). "Dutch quotative van: Past and present". In Isabelle Buchstaller; Ingrid van Alphen. Quotatives: Cross-linguistic and Cross-disciplinary Perspectives. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 259–280. ISBN 978-90-272-3905-1.
- A. Foolen; I. C. van Alphen; E. J. Hoekstra; D. H. Lammers; H. Mazeland (2006). "Het quotatieve van. Vorm, functie en sociolinguïstische variatie". Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen (in Dutch) 76 (2): 137–149. ISSN 0169-7420.
- George Yule (1998). "Quotative be like". Explaining English Grammar: A Guide to Explaining Grammar for Teachers of English as a Second Or Foreign Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 283–284. ISBN 978-0-19-437172-8.
- "Japanese example sentences". Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Howard I. Aronson (1990). Georgian: A Reading Grammar, §8.5. Slavica Publishers. ISBN 978-0-89357-207-5.
- Howard I. Aronson (1990). Georgian: A Reading Grammar, p. 218. Slavica Publishers. ISBN 978-0-89357-207-5.
- Howard I. Aronson; Dodona Kiziria (1997). Georgian Language and Culture: A Continuing Course, p. 68. Slavica Publishers. ISBN 978-0-89357-278-5.
- Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar, §2590a
- Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.4.10
- Jaklin Kornfilt (2013). "188.8.131.52. Direct speech versus indirect speech". Turkish. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-83252-2.