Rebecca Clift, Elizabeth Holt

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64 Citations (Scopus)


(I)n real life people talk most of all about what others talk about – they transmit, recall, weigh and pass judgement on other people's words, opinions, assertions, information; people are upset by others’ words, or agree with them, contest them, refer to them and so forth. (Bakhtin, 1981: 338) Introduction This volume is an investigation of reported speech in naturally occurring spoken interaction. We recurrently use talk to report talk, whether we are reporting the compliment someone gave us or conveying how we made a complaint or told a joke. In the following extract, for example, the speaker uses reported speech as part of a story relating how she was the victim of a nasty put-down (arrowed): [Holt: C85: 4: 2–3] (Lesley has been looking around the stalls at a church fair) Lesley's animation of the man's words is the culmination of her reporting of a series of actions. It is this phenomenon – the reproduction of prior talk in a current interaction – that the studies in this volume are concerned with. Together they bear witness to the use of reported speech and its variant forms across the range of interactional contexts from ordinary conversation to so-called institutional talk such as political interviews and debates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReporting Talk: Reported Speech in Interaction
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780511486654
ISBN (Print)0521824834, 9780521824835
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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