Everyday (re)enactment: reporting strategies in non-narrative talk-in-interaction
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While all instances of reported speech involve “speech within speech, utterance within utterance,” as Voloshinov states (1986: 115), interactants realize and mobilize reports in varied ways, in the service of situated, diverse projects. However, the research on reported speech has largely overlooked this internal diversity, with individual studies opting to treat reports as either reproductions of actual prior utterances or inventions by current speakers, exclusively. Furthermore, the research on reported speech has focused almost solely on conversational narratives, failing to consider reported speech in an array of interactional environments, despite the integral relationship between reported speech and reporting context. In contrast, this study devotes analytical attention to how interactants manage the internal diversity of reported speech in the furtherance of situated projects, looking exclusively at non-narrative episodes of talk-ininteraction. In particular, this analysis provides empirical descriptions of two reporting strategies, or presentation formats involving the local and interactional management of reports; namely, the practical reenactment presentation format, in which reporters present, and recipients take up, reports as authentic, “faithful” repeats of actual prior utterances, and the creative enactment presentation format, in which reporters present, and recipients take up, reports as inventions by the current speaker that are nonetheless not the current speaker’s own talk in the current exchange. This analysis then considers in some detail the multiple uses to which these presentation formats can be put, from a social interactional perspective, within several non-narrative conversational activities, outlined here.