The Use of Quotations in Discourse about Ethnicities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Examples from Czech and Swedish conversations illustrate how conversationalists use quotations when they define their own identity and when they speak about the identity of the others. The analysis is based on Tannens concept of constructed dialogue where direct quotation is seen as the creation of the speaker rather than the party quoted. The results indicate that quotations can be used strategically. They have not only the communicative functions to particularize, dramatize, and to create scenes but also to imitate and characterize the others: It is less threatening for the speakers to compress their valuations in quotations than to use evaluative attributes about the others. Constructed dialogue allows speakers to position those who are animated as speakers in unflattering light. The speakers who supply constructed quotations are less likely to be accused of having stereotypic opinions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • positioning, formulating social and ethnic identity, quotations, constructed dialogue
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialoganalyse VI. (Proceedings of the 6th International Congresss of IADA - International Association for Dialog)/Beiträge zur Dialogforschung; 17
EditorsS. Cmejrkova, J. Hoffmannova, O. Mullerova, J. Svetla
PublisherMax Niemeyer Verlag
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0940-5992

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Swedish (015011001), Educational Sciences (000026010), Cognitive Science (015001004)