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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Theory of Direct Discourse: Its Semantics and Pragmatics

  • Author(s): Matsusaka, Youichi
  • Advisor(s): Kaplan, David B
  • et al.

The dissertation presents a new account of how direct discourse works in natural language. After presenting preliminary discussions of the views of quotation given by Tarski, Quine, and Davidson in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is devoted to historical investigations into Frege's theory of quotation and direct discourse. Although Frege's theory is often summarized as a theory of ``autonomous'' use of expressions, Frege's actual views are more complex, in part due to his nominalistic stance toward the ontology of linguistic expressions. The principal claim of the dissertation, put forward in Chapter 3, is that direct discourse is a form for reporting the content of an utterance. A defense of this claim is given, as well as criticisms of a widely accepted view that direct discourse is a form for reporting the exact words used in speech. Finally, in Chapter 4, this claim is compared with Maier's account of direct discourse.

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