New Perspectives on New (and old) Quotatives

Ingrid Catharina van Alphen, Isabelle Buchstaller

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Newcastle University, UK


A constructional approach to the structure of "be like" and related quotatives in English Lieven Vandelanotte
It’s like, why fictive interaction? On the multifunctionality of direct speech in spoken English and languages without writing Esther Pascual, Lourens de Vries
On the Grammatization and functions of Ke’ilu & Kaze in Hebrew. Yael Maschler
Performed narrative: The pragmatic function of 'this is me' and other quotatives in London adolescent speech Jenny Cheshire and Sue Fox
Quotative variation in later childhood: Insights from London preadolescents Stephen Levey
Unravelling intentions: Speaker attitudes in new quotatives Stef Spronck

This workshop proposes to draw together (socio)linguists working on the 'new quotatives', such as like (English), van (Dutch), kaze (Hebrew), so (German), genre (French), tipo (Italian), tipa (Russian), ba (Swedish), olsem (Bislama), with the aim to investigate their differences and similarities in pragmatic functions, their sociolinguistic profiles, their history, grammaticalization and future (spread), as well as the attitudes attached to these items.

The workshop will be firmly cross-disciplinary and cross-linguistic, in order to draw on lesser as well as better known languages. The questions (amongst others) that will be addressed are:

1) What languages of the world have 'new' Quotatives (NQs) and how (if at all) do they distinguish themselves from older, traditional ones?

2) What is the historical & sociolinguistic profile of the phenomenon in the languages / communities under investigation?

3) What is the origin, form & nature of the linguistic construction?

4) What is/are the pragmatic functions of the NQ's?

5) What approaches have been used to tackle these innovations (in terms of method, data, quantification…)

Research on new quotatives, which was arguably kick-started by Butters’ 1980 and 1982 research notes on go and be like English, has yielded a rich and diverse output in the last two decades. However, given the diversity of approaches and methods used to investigate these quotatives and also given that individual research programmes focused on a large number of languages (see key references), the consolidation of findings and cross-fertilisation between different strands of research is not necessarily a given. This workshop brings together a range of scholars whose work has been instrumental in research on quotation. The focus of the workshop is therefore to consolidate findings and to interlink research across disciplines and languages in order to achieve a deeper insight in the phenomenon ‘quotation’ with a focus on innovative forms.

Relating to the Conference Theme "Micro and Macro connections", we are particularly interested in shedding light on the typological aspects of these quotative innovations and on their globalization.

At the macro-level the investigation of the cross-linguistic similarities and differences among these innovations is especially timely. How do macro connections play into the global spread of these items? What are the typological aspects in their development in terms of markedness or naturalness? What are the respective roles of borrowing / cross-influence (language contact) and independent but parallel development? What is the role of globalization with respect to this phenomenon? (Socio)linguistics has seen a rising interest in exploring linguistic variability that can be interpreted locally as well as translocally. We are interested in exploring how the global occurrence of these quotatives interacts with very local processes of adaptation and reclaiming, hoping to contribute to the development of a coherent theory of language variation and change that captures linguistic processes on a micro as well as on a macro scale.

At the micro-level the concrete use of these quotatives in mono- and multilingual contexts is of interest. When using these innovations and (thus) reported speech, how and why do people reconstruct speech events? What makes speakers choose between different quotative options? What do speakers display by these 'reconstructed verbal practices'? Which cultural typifications are being transmitted in the quoted speech? Whose voices and whose identities are being 'quoted'? Also the notions of grammaticalization and pragmatization are of interest.