Zeitschrift für Indogermanistik und historische Sprachwissenschaft / Journal of Indo-European Studies and Historical Linguistics
Ed. by Fortson, Benjamin W. / Keydana, Götz / Rieken, Elisabeth / Widmer, Paul
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This paper examines the use of the participles dicens or dicentes ‘saying’ introducing direct speech in Late Latin texts from the 6th to 8th centuries. It argues that dicens/dicentes shows signs of ongoing grammaticalization and develops into a quotative marker, acquiring a discourse-organizing function. The analyzed signs of grammaticalization of dicens/dicentes examined in the paper include “frozen” dicens/dicentes which disagrees in case and/or in number; redundant dicens/dicentes after verbs of speech; the position of dicens/dicentes immediately before direct speech; and the spread of dicens/dicentes to new contexts. It is assumed that individual instances show various degrees of grammaticalization, but that dicens/dicentes is not a fully grammaticalized quotative marker.