Event Detail

Fri Feb 25, 2022
1303 Dwinelle
3–4:30 PM
Syntax and Semantics Circle
Márta Abrusán (Institut Jean Nicod)
Varieties of Perspective Shift: Protagonist Projection vs. Free Indirect Discourse

Natural languages allow us to describe the mental state of an individual in various ways: from the outside perspective of an observer/narrator but also from the inside perspective of the protagonist herself. In this talk I examine different techniques that allow to shift—at least partly—to the inside perspective of the protagonist, in particular free indirect discourse (FID) and protagonist projection (PP). In both cases the shift in perspective is achieved without an overt operator. While FID is based on a presumed (possibly silent) speech-act of a protagonist, its less well-known cousin, PP gives a linguistic form to pre-verbal perceptual content, sensations, feelings or implicit beliefs. I propose to analyse PP in a bi-contextual framework, extending Eckardt’s (2014) approach to FID. Under the resulting analysis, FID and PP are two instances of a more general category of perspective shift.