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COPYRIGHT: John Barnden, 1997.
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This metaphor casts a thinking event as an event of ``internal speech.'' Internal speech is not literally speech. An example manifestation of the metaphor is ``Sally said to herself that Mike was untrustworthy,'' prvoided that this is in a context that implies that Sally did not say the utterance to herself out loud.
That example uses a speech verb, and no speech verb seems to be barred from being used to describe an internal-speech event. For instance, one example in the databank uses the word ``whisper.''
A modifier like ``to herself'' is not needed if it is clear from context that a thought is being reported.
The use of a speech verb is not necessary for the metaphor to be
manifested. For instance, the sentence
Sally thought, ``Mike's untrustworthy''manifests the metaphor.
It is also common, especially in fiction, for speech-like thoughts to be portrayed in much more implicit ways, without even the use of a mental-state verb let alone a speech verb. See, for instance, Cohn (1978).
Part of Sally was saying, ``Mike's untrustworthy''illustrates this mixing, in that the utterances of an inner person are thoughts of the the overall agent. Also, a sentence like
Sally said to herself that Mike was untrustworthycan (in many contexts) be taken to illustrate the mixing: one part of Sally is saying something to another part.
However, most manifestations of Ideas as Internal Utterances do not locate the utterances at particular places in the mind ``space'' or cast the utterances as moving around. An expecially vivid exception occurs in the database.
The large majority of manifestations I have seen of the metaphor involve internal speech as opposed to writing. But the databank does contain examples involving writing, jotting, etching and engraving.
Also, sometimes the type of utterance (speech vs. writing) is not clarified.
Cohn, D. (1978). Transparent minds: Narrative modes for presenting consciousness in fiction. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.