Free indirect discourse

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Monika Fludernik (Universität Freiburg)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

Free indirect discourse (FID) can be defined as a mode of speech and thought representation which relies on syntactic, lexical and pragmatic features. On the syntactic level, passages of FID are constituted by non-subordination and (if applicable) temporal shifting in accordance with the basic tense of the report frame.

Orlando WALKED through the house with his elk hounds following and FELT content. He had matter now, he THOUGHT, to fill out his peroration. Perhaps it WOULD be well to begin the speech all over again. (Virginia Woolf, Orlando)

Since the frame is in the past tense (walked), the verbs in Orlando's thoughts rendered in FID need to be aligned …

799 words

Citation: Fludernik, Monika. "Free indirect discourse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [, accessed 26 March 2023.]

444 Free indirect discourse 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.