Dr. Kristine Stenzel

University of Colorado Boulder / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

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.