Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Functional Status Of Quoted And Reported Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 303):
What about the function of  to keep quiet, it’s half past ten? In formal grammar what is said is treated as a ‘noun clause object of the verb say’, meaning a clause that is rankshifted by nominalisation. But functionally this clause is not rankshifted; it functions as the secondary clause in a ‘clause complex’, being either (a) directly quoted, as in (he said) ‘I’m hungry’, or (b) indirectly reported, as in (he said) he was hungry. This means that such sequences consist of two clauses. (Only the primary clause is a ‘verbal’ one, of course; the other may be a process type of any kind.)