Instances of direct speech, authentic and imaginary, in Old Frisian

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This paper offers a descriptive account of direct speech in texts written in Old
Frisian (extending till 1550). A distinction is made between two types of this stylistic device: imaginary, as found in narrative texts, and authentic, which regards recordings of sentences spoken in a conversation or an allocution. Fixed formulaic phrases in legal texts, though having the appearance of direct speech, were obviously excluded from this investigation.
The number of instances found is small, while true dialogues are even entirely
lacking. The percentage of direct speech quotes in narrative texts – scarce
as they are – turns out to be about the same as in some Old English narrative
poems. About twenty specimens of authentic direct speech could be gathered
from witness depositions and witness testimonies. Although they are perhaps
somewhat less lively than might be expected, they still convey an impression of
the spoken form of the late Old Frisian vernacular.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom West to North Frisia A Journey along the North Sea Coast. Frisian studies in honour of Jarich Hoekstra
EditorsAlistair Walker, Eric Hoekstra, Goffe Jensma, Wendy Vanselow, Willem Visser, Christoph Winter
Place of PublicationAmsterdam/Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)978 90 272 5826 7
ISBN (Print)978 90 272 1016 6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2022

Publication series

NameNOWELE Supplement Series (NSS)
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
ISSN (Print)0900-8675

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