I think there is much to be said for "bare attention" versus those who interpret the instructions as a call to also "label".
I think the problem stems, in some part, from just how replete the Satipatthana Suttas are with the "iti" markers eg
Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'
Dīghaṃ vā assasanto ‘dīghaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti, dīghaṃ vā passasanto ‘dīghaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti, rassaṃ vā assasanto ‘rassaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti, rassaṃ vā passasanto ‘rassaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti,
Following the standard Pali grammars, eg Warder, the iti markers are said to describe either (i) direct speech or (ii) thoughts.
But, do the iti markers here in the Satipatthana instructions mean "thoughts", and by extension "labelling"?
It's commonly said that Pali and other Middle Indo Aryan languages do not have indirect speech constructions, and therefore the presence of the iti markers must denote either direct speech or thoughts. I think Norman makes a good argument for evidence of the Sanskritisation of the Pali Canon at various stages, such that perhaps earlier layers of the Canon had not yet been locked down with this way of reporting speech. One example of indirect speech is in fact the Buddha's recollection of his 2 teachers' declarations of their attainment, reported without the iti marker : MN 26.
What is now known of iti's function in Middle Indo Aryan languages is that it also functions as what grammarians call "object/subject complementizer". A sample definition -
A sentential complement clause, an embedded clause that functions as an object of a verb, is introduced by a marker that is called a complementizer.
Is there any evidence of such "object complementizers" in the Pali Canon?
It's there, and one of the most famous examples is found in the First Sermon, SN 56.11 -
And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. ...
Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned' ... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'
Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhasamudayaṃ ariyasaccaṃ – yāyaṃ taṇhā ponobbhavikā nandirāgasahagatā tatratatrābhinandinī, seyyathidaṃ – kāmataṇhā, bhavataṇhā, vibhavataṇhā. ...
Idaṃ dukkhasamudayaṃ ariyasacca’nti me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuṃ udapādi, ñāṇaṃ udapādi, paññā udapādi, vijjā udapādi, āloko udapādi. ‘Taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkhasamudayaṃ ariyasaccaṃ pahātabba’nti me, bhikkhave, pubbe…pe… udapādi. ‘Taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkhasamudayaṃ ariyasaccaṃ pahīna’nti me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuṃ udapādi, ñāṇaṃ udapādi, paññā udapādi, vijjā udapādi, āloko udapādi.
What the iti markers are doing in such passages are denoting neither speech nor thought, but simply Truth Propositions, ie raw data. It is a formal way to privilege cognitive data as corresponding to hard reality. We are being instructed to look at reality, and not gloss it with labels.
I think this is a reasonable way to construe the "iti" instructions in the Satipatthana Suttas and consistent with the suttas' refrain that the anupassana is just for knowing (panassa) and recollection (sati).