The influence of utterance-related factors on the use of direct and indirect speech

Jianan Li*, Joran Jongerling, Katinka Dijkstra, Rolf Zwaan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


People routinely shift between direct and indirect speech in everyday communication. The factors that impact the selection between these two modes of reporting during language production are under-investigated. The present study examined how utterance-related factors (the vividness of non-verbal information and the utterance type) influence the use of direct and indirect reported speech in narratives. Participants were asked to watch and retell four movie clips. All narratives were videotaped and then transcribed verbatim for analyses. The data were analyzed using a mixed effects logistic regression model. The results showed that the utterances accompanied by vivid voice were more likely to be reported in direct speech. The vividness of facial expressions did not influence the form in which utterances were reported. In addition, we found that utterances that belonged to so-called Main Clause Phenomena were more likely to be reported in direct speech than in indirect speech. The current study helps us further understand the factors that influence structure choices during language production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33631
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (201706750007).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. All rights reserved.

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