Consider the following sentences in standard Japanese:
Below are the same four sentences, but I have inserted additional quote marks (「...」) that would not be used to render such sentence in printed Japanese text:
The phrases between the 「」 strike me as analogous to quoted speech. (Note that all these fragments are followed by と or という, which are standard markers for quoted speech in Japanese.)
More specifically, I think these sentences could be translated to English, very literally and unnaturally, as the following:
- I did a "Let's read the very small letters."
- A spirit of "Let's believe that." was still more not there.
- The "Why does it takes courage to learn a foreign language?" is because at the beginning one makes only mistakes.
- Even upon becoming an adult maybe there is an "I want to be cute." consciousness.
...where the part of each translation that is in "double-quotes" corresponds to the part in the original that is between the 「」 in the second listing above.
Of course, a more standard translations of these sentence to English would be
- I tried to read the very small letters.
- I was even less inclined to believe it.
- Why does it take courage to learn a foreign language, because at first you make a lot of mistakes.
- Maybe I am conscious of wanting to be cute even after becoming an adult.
...but here I am not interested in questions of translation per se.
Rather, I am interested in the use of "quoted speech"-like forms in standard Japanese, as illustrated by the four sentences above.
My question is: is there a technical name in linguistics for such a phenomenon? (My hope that I may be able to use such technical terminology to more effectively search for additional "quoted-speech" examples.