Does Searle’s challenge affect chances for approximating assertion and quotative modal <i>wollen</i>?
The possibility of reporting on overheard monologic or ‘secret’ language use by means of the German quotative modal <i>wollen</i> shows that a ‘volitional-epistemic’ analysis of the latter is problematic. This finding allows making a further distinction between Searle’s and Zaefferer’s analyses of assertion, indicating that only the former, based solely on speaker commitment, would be able to properly approximate assertion and quotative <i>wollen</i>. However, embeddability of <i>wollen</i> under negation casts doubt on the desirability of such an approximation. Keywords: assertion; commitment; embedding; quotative evidentials; volition