Intertwined voices

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In this contribution, a mental space analysis model is presented to conceptualize and explain voice intertwining in journalistic texts. News text genres abound with clearly recognizable representations of source discourse, such as direct and indirect speech. In addition, blended representation types can be described, such as free indirect speech and implicit viewpoint, in which voices of journalist and source are less easy to discern. Comparison of various news texts concerned with a particular criminal case shows that news reports have a preference for direct or indirect speech and avoid the intertwined type of free indirect speech; by contrast, in feature stories and opinion contributions free indirect speech is not uncommon. Even free indirect thought, stemming from fictional genres, appears to be possible in these subgenres. Finally, blending of journalist and source voices is present in references to characters and events. Analysis of mental spaces attributed to sources in various news genres helps to explain how the intertwining of voices is established by linguistic form. Consequences for theory on functions and effects of source representation are discussed.


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