direct and Indirect speech (Swan 274-6)
"Words that are spoken or thought in one place by one person may be reported in another place at a different time, and perhaps by another person. Because of this, there are often grammatical differences between direct and indirect speech.
word order — Where's Alice? I asked where Alice was.
pronouns — Who are you? He is asking who I am.
'here and now' words' —
How will you come here now? He asked I would go there then.
tense – Where is he? He asked where he was.
question marks — are omitted
Direct reported speech gives the actual wording of the original.
Indirect reported speech gives only its content. (Huddleston 11 §9)
The major difference between direct and indirect speech is deixis. The deictic expressions are interpreted in relation to the original utterance, whereas in indirect speech they are interpreted wholly or predominantly in relation to the act of reporting. (1025)
deictic – specifying identity or spatial or temporal location from the perspective of one or more of the participants in an act of speech or writing, in the context of either an external situation or the surrounding discourse, as we, you, here, there, now, then, this, that, the former, or the latter.
Interrogative content clauses. Embedded Questions: The main structural difference between subordinate and main clause interrogatives is that subject-auxiliary inversion does not generally apply to the subordinate structure. (11 §5.1)
Question-word clauses. Question-word clauses as objects (Swan 485)
Clauses beginning with question words can refer both to questions and to the answers to questions. They often act as the objects of verbs.
- They asked who will be there.
- We wondered why he wasn't there yet.
- He asked where we wanted to go.
- She explained the situation to us.
Indirect Speech – who, what, when, where, how
— conjunction (Swan 276)
— subordinating conjunction (Azar 365)
Subordinate Interrogatives mainly occur in complement function where they have to be licensed by an appropriate head: [a particular verb or S-V wording]: ask, inquire, wonder investigate, know, find out, remember, tell, show, decide, determine, make up one's mind, agree, doubt, question, etc. (list of verbs 976)
Survey of constructions containing subordinate interrogatives. As complement or supplement (Huddleston 11 §5.3.1)
- Subject: Where he was is unclear.
- Specifying predicative complement: The question is what we should do.
- Complex-transitive construction: They consider it unimportant what we do.
- Internal complement licensed by the matrix verb: They investigated what caused the accident.
- Complement of a preposition: He was upset because of what she did. [required prep]
They can't agree (about / as to / on) what they will do next. [optional prep.]
- Complement of an adjective: They were interested in who would be coming.
- Complement of a noun: The question what to do next was discussed at the meeting.
- Supplements: They need to make a decision whether to proceed or stop.
who, what, when, where, how – markers of subordination in interrogative clauses (Huddleston 956)