Speech presentation, largely a stylistic notion, attracts scholars’ attention from various fields. While narrative theory is devoted to studies on language in fiction and treats speech presentation in close relation with narrator’s distance from the narrative and intervention in the character’s utterance, linguistic perspectives range from categorical classification of speech presentation structures to theoretical exploration into its nature and function. In the meantime stylistics recognizes the compositional and communicative process of speech presentation in narrative and examines linguistic devices by which the narrator orients the reader and creates a text’s style. This paper reviews a number of approaches to speech presentation and the distinctive features of each approach shed light on further stylistic studies on this important discursive phenomenon.
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