Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This paper examines the pragmatic uses and functions of the Latin verb (‘I say’) and compares it with three synonyms – (‘I say, I speak, I declare’), (‘I speak, I say, I utter’) and (‘I say yes, I say, I affirm’). Verbs of speech and thought in the first person are (cross-linguistically) a source of pragmatic markers, because the first person of these verbs is necessarily speaker-orientated and is also apt for expressing the speaker’s attitude. This can be seen in English pragmatic markers developed from verbs, such as and , and Romance ones, such as the Italian (‘I think’). Latin verbs with the meaning ‘I say’ (henceforth used as a hypernym for all of the verbs examined herein) also show pragmatic uses, as is clear from Latin dictionaries. The issue addressed in this paper is the extent to which they are interchangeable and how advanced they are in their development towards becoming pragmatic markers. For this goal, the paper will focus on a variety of pragmatic uses of ‘I say’, the contexts in which they appear, and the influence of genre on their distribution. Drawing on Bazzanella (2006) and Ghezzi (2014), the pragmatic uses will be divided into three main categories: textual, cognitive and interactional. It will be shown that the border between different pragmatic functions or readings is not neat and one instance can have various pragmatic uses at the same time.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): aio; dico; grammaticalization; I say; inquam; Latin; loquor; pragmatic markers
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