Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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This paper aims to provide a resolution of Frege’s difficulties in the semantic composition of discourse reporting by conducting a case study of . The sample corpus involves a typical contrast between semantic transparency and discourse reporting. As is revealed by the special wording of ancient Chinese, it should be the fact represented by the mixed quotation that serves as the object of the reporting predicate. This leads to objectification of a fact. Hence it can be inferred that a specific layer of meaning is picked out by a specific reporting predicate. When this inference is applied to the case of direct speech, it follows that some layers of its pragmatic meaning contribute to the semantic meaning of the reporting clause by being singled out as the objects of the reporting predicates. Some of them are abstract entities, like rheme and illocution. This leads to objectification of an abstract entity. In defense of objectification, we find that the difficulties of the compositionality principle (CP) in discourse reporting are caused by the ignorance of the hierarchical structure of discourse and the false belief that objects must be concrete entities in the world. Objectification enables the CP to be recursively applied from a reported clause to a reporting clause.


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