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My talk, others’ talk — Quoted speech and evidentials in Kotiria conversation

Kristine Stenzel, University of Colorado, Boulder

Wed, 10/26 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 1-S-5 Green Hall

Program in Linguistics

In Kotiria, an endangered East Tukano language of northwestern Amazonia, direct or quoted speech is prevalent in informal everyday conversations and is used to represent both actual dialog and the internal monologic speech of oneself and others. This presentation considers the questions: How do speakers use direct speech in conversation? Why is it employed so pervasively and for what kinds of interactional purposes? Examples drawn from a large corpus of conversational data reveal new facets of quoted speech use — including multilingual shifts and multiple levels of embedding (e.g. quoted speech within quoted speech) — and also shed light on some of the interactional motivations driving speakers’ choices to “repackage” information as quotation. Of particular interest is how the use of direct speech can aid the interactional reconstruction and validation of a speaker’s own evaluation of a situation. We examine data showing that speakers’ skillful manipulation of evidential coding (obligatory in Tukanoan languages) in their own speech and within speech attributed to others can aid management and negotiation of epistemic rights and social responsibilities.

Dr. Kristine Stenzel was an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for thirteen years and is now at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has conducted research with the Kotiria and Wa’ikhana language communities since 2000, receiving grants from NSF, NEH, ELDP, as well as CNPq and CAPES in Brazil. Her scientific contributions include A Reference Grammar of Kotiria and publications in English and in Portuguese on diverse topics in phonology, morphosyntax, discourse, multilingualism, contact phenomena, and language documentation. She has developed language maintenance and revitalization materials for the Kotiria and Wa’ikhana, including practical orthographies, pedagogical publications, documentary films, and audiovisual archives (ELAR, open access).

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