The Semantic Functions of Oblique Speech

  • Witold Marciszewski
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 119)


Veni, vidi, vici. We know quite well to what these words, addressed by Caesar to the Roman Senate, referred: to the events which occurred when the Roman troops came face to face with the army of the king of Pontus. To what, however, does the statement made by a student during his Latin class refer if that student says that ‘Caesar said that he came, saw and conquered’ ? Does it refer to the same events to which Caesar’s words refer, and if it does, what does it say about those events ? Does it say that they were the subject matter of the report made by Caesar to the Senate ? Or is it a statement not about military events, but about linguistic events, namely the pithy formulation coined by the conqueror? Or is it a statement about Caesar’s state of mind at the time when he was making it ? When we refer to his words by using their English-language version we do not reproduce the sounds which were then heard in the Senate chamber; we merely reproduce the speaker’s thought, and hence his state of mind.


Semantic Category Quotation Mark Semantic Function Exact Reproduction Conjunctive State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
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© PWN — Polish Scientific Publishers — Warszawa 1979

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  • Witold Marciszewski

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