The Proper Name Theory of Quotation and Indirect Reported Speech

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The Proper Name Theory of Quotation (PNTQ) is widely regarded as a spectacular failure. I argue here that the theory works very well when it is based on a sound understanding of properhood. I outline the analysis of proper names in Coates (2006, 2009), and use it to underpin a revised version of PNTQ. I show that the arguments against the traditional version of PNTQ (the version associated with Quine and Tarski) do not threaten the revised version. I then claim that a clear distinction between Direct Reported Speech (DRS) and Indirect Reported Speech (IRS) emerges naturally when PNTQ is supplemented with an analysis which treats quoting, attributing and reporting as types of speech act. DRS combines the speech acts of quoting and attribution. IRS does not involve quoting, just explicit attributing. The characteristic features of DRS and IRS, and the differences between them, are natural consequences of this analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndirect Reports and Pragmatics. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology
EditorsA. Capone, F. Kiefer, F. Lo Pipar
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319213958
ISBN (Print)9783319213941
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Publication series

NamePerspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology


  • Semantics
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Pragmatism


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