Quotatives: New Trends and Sociolinguistic Implications
Buy Rights Online Buy Rights

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title Quotatives: New Trends and Sociolinguistic Implications


Quotatives considers the phenomenon “quotation” from a wealth of perspectives. It consolidates findings from different strands of research, combining formal and functional approaches for the definition of reported discourse and situating the phenomenon in a broader typological and sociolinguistic perspective.

  • Provides an interface between sociolinguistic research and other linguistic disciplines, in particular discourse analysis, typology, construction grammar but also more formal approaches
  • Incorporates innovative methodology that draws on discourse analytic, typological and sociolinguistic approaches
  • Investigates the system both in its diachronic development as well as via cross-variety comparisons
  • Presents careful definition of the envelope of variation and considers alternative definitions of the phenomenon “quotation”
  • Empirical findings are reported from distribution and perception data, which allows comparing and contrasting perception and reality


Isabelle Buchstaller is professor for English at Leipzig University. Her research focuses on (morpho-) syntactic and discourse phenomena, including quotation, intensification and Northern English features, such as the Northern subject rule. Among her publications is Quotatives: Cross-linguistic and Cross-disciplinary Perspectives (2012, with Ingrid van Alphen), which investigates quotation cross-linguistically from a wealth of disciplines.


Acknowledgements vii

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xiii

1 Introduction: What’s New about the New Quotatives? 1

The History of Innovative Quotatives 4

Why? 12

2 You Can Quote Me On That: Defining Quotation 34

Defining Quotation 37

Direct versus Indirect Quotes 55

Why Does itMatter? The Ramifications of Variable Definition 64

3 Variation and Change in the Quotative System: The Global versus the Local 89

Tracing the Global Attestation of Innovative Quotatives 90

Investigating Models of Diffusion 93

Investigating the Global Reality of Innovative Quotatives 97

Putting It All Together 134

4 Quotation across the Generations: A Short History of Speech and Thought Reporting 148

Tracing Quotation in Tyneside English across the Past 60 Years 150

Quotations across the Decades: Tracing the Changes in the Variable Grammar 166

How to Create Variability in a Low Entropy System? 183

5 Ideologies and Attitudes to Newcomer Quotatives 198

Don’t Sound Stupid, Stop Saying like 198

Language Ideologies: Facts and Fiction 202

Testing Attitudes towards the Innovative Quotatives 207

What Type of Person would use such a Form? Testing Associations with Personality Traits 210

Where do be like and go come from? Investigating the Perceptual Geographies of Innovative Quotatives 221

Social Perceptions Associated with be like and go 227

Youth Inarticulateness and the Pedagogical Debate 234

6 Lessons Learned from Research on Quotation 245

The Innovative Quotatives: A New, Uniform and Unique Phenomenon? 245

The Elephant in the Room: Situating Quotation in Linguistic Modularity 251

Tackling Some Illusions 256

Tracing the Present and Future of Quotative Forms 258

Conclusion 270

Appendix 1 Linear Regression Analysis Investigating the Conditioning Factors on the Quotative System in the US and the UK 278

Appendix 2 Alternative Cross-Tabulations 279

Appendix 3 Social Attitudes Survey 284

Index 295


“Overall, the wide scope of this book means that it will be of interest not only to scholars of language variation and change and those working on the sociolinguistics of globalisation but also to researchers working on the study of reported speech within many other sub-disciplines of linguistics.”  (Journal of Sociolinguistics, 20 March 2015)

“These distinctive perspectives provide the readership with fresh food for thought on the exciting and important topic of quoting and quotatives, and with a more nuanced knowledge base as regards the linguistic properties, social uses and pragmatic functions.  In brief, this volume is a treasure trove and highly recommended for those who are keen on communication studies, discourse analysis and sociology.”  (Discourse Studies, 1 January 2015)

“In Labov’s tradition of using language variation to address socially and linguistically interesting questions, this book examines quotatives from many perspectives: from historical change and grammaticalisation, to narrative studies and attitudes. Buchstaller has a unique passion for and understanding of quotatives.”
-- Miriam Meyerhoff, Victoria University of Wellington

“With this book, Buchstaller’s coronation as the queen of quotative introducers is complete. She insightfully integrates research from quantitative sociolinguistics, semantics and pragmatics, language ideology, and the study of language variation and change.”
-- John R. Rickford, Stanford University

"Buchstaller’s extensive experience as a researcher in the field shines through in this riveting first-ever overview of the exciting and important topic of quoting and quotatives."
-- Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary, University of London