Maier on the Alleged Transparency of Mixed Quotation

  • Alessandro Capone
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 22)


In this chapter I propose, unlike Maier (Semant Pragmat 7, 2014), that quoted fragments in so called ‘mixed quotations’ (what I prefer to call ‘mixed indirect reports’) are opaque. This view of opacity is required, we propose, to preserve the difference between direct and indirect reports, direct reports involving possibly high levels of literality, accuracy and granularity, even if we concede, in keeping with Maier, that verbatim quotations are also susceptible to contextual standards of ‘verbatimness’, as Maier terms it. Maier’s considerations against opacity and in favour of transparency are based on a shifted interpretation of indexicals, anaphoric reference, morphological adjustments (in Italian) and grammatical adjustments (transformations involving a different word order with respect to the original utterance in Dutch). Claim by claim, we are made aware that we should see regard things differently and that, after all, it makes sense to adhere to the conservative and classical Fregean claim that mixed quotations (and indeed quotations) are cases involving opacity. In fact, where would we be if we abandoned the idea that quotation in mixed quotation requires reference to an utterance understood to be verbatim, rather than through mere paraphrase? Is this not similar to arguing that quotation is also not an opaque context? Yet Frege, as highlighted by Evans (The varieties of reference, OUP, Oxford, 1982), insisted that intensional contexts were contexts providing evidence in favour of opacity and were at a level of meaning which was different from denotation (the other level of meaning which is constituted by senses or modes of presentation).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Capone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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