In literary works, the direct speech construction consists of the speech of the actor and the author’s words. The verbs in the author’s words are divided into two large groups according to their lexical meanings: verbs indicating speech or thought and verbs that do not denote speech or thought. We call the direct speech construction with verbs of the first group “the type of verb of speech (TVS)”, and the direct speech construction with verbs of the second group “the type of verb of non-speech (TVN)”. Previous studies on the direct speech construction have not paid sufficient attention to the functional and semantic differences between TVS and TVN. The aim of the present paper is to investigate them in terms of the parameters of “foreground” (which concerns the main characters) and the semantic transitivity of the predicate verb in the author’s words. The results of the research on the frequency of use of two types of direct speech constructions show that unlike TVS, TVN bears a close connection with lexical meanings of low transitivity and tends to be used in contexts of foregrounded situations. These results coincide with the fact that typologically the phenomena of lower transitivity often deviate from the linguistic norm.

Keywords: the direct speech construction, TVS, TVN, the main characters, semantic transitivity


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Information about the author:

Kitajo Mitsushi (Kyoto, Japan) – Ph.D. The owner of the Medal of Pushkin (Russian Federation National Award), professor, Head of the department of Russian language, Faculty of foreign studies, Kyoto Sangyo University. E-mail:

For citation: Mitsushi Kitajo, (2020). Analysis of the Direct Speech Construction from the Point of View of the Text Linguistics and the Concept of Semantic Transitivity. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol.5, Issue 3 (2020), pp. 133-145 (in USA)