Quoting in meetings

Mazeland, Harrie

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands

TP164: Forms of social organization in meeting talk

Meeting talk is replete with quotes. In my data – a series of 3 work meetings of a team of advertising managers in a big company --, the team members frequently inform their colleagues about what some person has said by reporting about it.

Sometimes, they quote the talk of more than one person in a series of reports on what other parties have said. A team member may also report a dialogue between him and a third party, or between him and another member of the team. Quoting is used for updating the team about communicative events that have happened elsewhere and earlier on. By this kind of redistribution of knowledge about communicative events, the team collaboratively produces a characterization of its position in the surrounding organizational world with regard to the business at hand. Quoting is not only used for rendering what other people said, however. It is also deployed as a device for characterizing the position of another department, for example, or for describing a communicative move in a future course of action. In the way the quote is delivered, the speaker inevitably signals his stance towards the talk he is reporting about, e.g., by the way he is qualifying his source or mode of access. A recipient, on the other hand, may also claim epistemic stakeholdership in the way he is responding to the quote. Depending on what a speaker is doing with the situation he is reporting about in a quotation, he uses specific types of quotative frames and reporting formats.

In my paper, I will first give an overview of the most prominent types of quoting in my meeting data. I will then focus on a typifying use of quoting that is regularly framed with the Dutch quotative marker 'van' (similar to Enlish 'is like').

Session: Themed Panel (part 2)
Forms of social organization in meeting talk
Thursday, April 3, 2008, 15:45-17:15
room: 06