Attention to Quotation(s): From Activation to Inhibition

In: Cognitive Semantics
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In the spirit of Talmy’s recent remark on desirable extensions of cognitive semantics into discourse analysis and multimodality, this paper outlines an agenda for framing quotation as an attention- and modality-sensitive phenomenon. A quotation’s distinct discourse function by itself – naturally – calls for an attention-driven analysis, and the representational subsystems of language yield modality-specific manifestations: Conventionalized figural delimiters prompt quotations’ metalinguistic and verbatim status in writing, while in (casual) speech they tend to stand out through vocal dynamics and visible bodily actions. With recourse to Talmy’s attention-based trigger-and-target construct, I will scrutinize a cross-section of videotaped samples of quoting by experienced us speakers from different speech genres in public settings, to demonstrate orally performed quotations’ responsiveness to attentional gradience: Exhibiting patterns of activation, attenuation, inhibition, and sustainment in indexing ‘the other voice,’ the case studies illustrate multiple effects of fore- and backgrounding ensuing from the different modalities’ complex interactions.

Abstract

In the spirit of Talmy’s recent remark on desirable extensions of cognitive semantics into discourse analysis and multimodality, this paper outlines an agenda for framing quotation as an attention- and modality-sensitive phenomenon. A quotation’s distinct discourse function by itself – naturally – calls for an attention-driven analysis, and the representational subsystems of language yield modality-specific manifestations: Conventionalized figural delimiters prompt quotations’ metalinguistic and verbatim status in writing, while in (casual) speech they tend to stand out through vocal dynamics and visible bodily actions. With recourse to Talmy’s attention-based trigger-and-target construct, I will scrutinize a cross-section of videotaped samples of quoting by experienced us speakers from different speech genres in public settings, to demonstrate orally performed quotations’ responsiveness to attentional gradience: Exhibiting patterns of activation, attenuation, inhibition, and sustainment in indexing ‘the other voice,’ the case studies illustrate multiple effects of fore- and backgrounding ensuing from the different modalities’ complex interactions.

1 Quoting at the Interface of Writing and Speech

This cross-modality study of quoting and quotation relates, as its overarching framework, in multiple respects to Cognitive Semantics. First of all, Talmy’s (2007b) insights into language’s ontological ‘divide,’ following from intrinsically differential production and reception circumstances, address major determinants regarding the modality-specific representation of another voice. And, second, closely connected with this agenda, attention (by one of its most fundamental causes, perceptual contrast) is seen to naturally emerge as an essential explanatory construct for analyzing quotations.

To illustrate: While both the verbal code in general (in the sense of communication studies’ common semiotic division into the verbal, vocal, and visual channels) and the figural mark-up (typically, quotation marks) fundamentally rely on (discrete) digitalness, the vocal-auditory and kinesic-visual modalities that are drawn on in speech inherently depend on (gradient) analogicity. In print, the paired digital quotation marks, first, unambiguously make a verbatim quotation stand out and are thus likely to generate in readers a fairly identical attention effect; second, a quotation’s salience especially in formal writing is further enhanced through the rigorous conventionalization of this pattern, which only tolerates minor variation (comma vs. colon, or double vs. single quotes in English). With such all-or-none devices typically unavailable to voice and gestures,1 this state of affairs categorically changes in the spoken modality, whose inherent dynamics, in turn, allows for fine-grained variance and subtle, yet essentially elusive, effects. And it is the ensuing intricacies accompanying the transition from the written modality’s digitalness to the analogicity of the spoken modality that define one focus of this article. In particular, I will, in the empirical sections of my study, explore the strategies experienced us speakers recruit in public settings to index a quotation’s verbatimness in their oral performances, gauged against their corresponding manuscript versions or transcriptions. The overarching research question of this paper, then, reads as follows: How, if at all, is ‘another voice’ made salient to hearers – in functional analogy, say, to the conventionalized punctuation marks that direct readers’ attention to quotations in writing; or, in short, do we ‘speak’ and/or ‘gesture’ quotation marks?2

The susceptibility of quoting to an attention- and modality-sensitive analysis that informs this study has in fact been addressed in Talmy’s (2007a, forthcoming)3 own account of quotative like, which explicitly covers vocal-acoustic characteristics to yield salience effects. Apart from indexing its discourse function as a quotation, be like is conceptualized as specifically lexicalized to direct hearers’ attention to and trigger their awareness of a concomitant – a semantic component closely associated with the adjacent quotation; that is, quotative like additionally targets another voice’s distinct style of vocal delivery that the current speaker typically overlays on the quoted sequence – an attention-sensitive cue unavailable in digital writing or print.

In line with such assumptions, I will argue that in quoting speakers may recruit the entire range of modality-specific devices, also in their various combinations, to direct hearer attention to another voice for a variety of subtle attentional effects. My objective, then, implies two generalizations as a further extension of cognitive semantics into multimodality and discourse analysis: following up on a cognitive semantic perspective on quoting in speech and paying respect to its multimodal contingency. To this end, section 2 will outline the cognitive semantics research avenue, while section 3 will add some notes on the data and method of analysis. Section 4 will present six quoting events from different public speech genres to illustrate the variability of both the devices recruited to index a verbatim quotation in speech and the effects achieved – ranging from highlighting a quotation through the discrete, digital verbal and/or visual codes, over animating the other voice through the gradient, analog devices of the visual-manual and vocal-auditory channels, to suppressing a quotation’s metalinguistic status altogether. And, finally, section 5 spots some initial trends.

2 Quoting as an Attention-based and Modality-sensitive Phenomenon

The underlying rationale for calling on attention as an organizing concept (not only) for quoting emerges from the fundamental insight that any linguistic representation is, first, inevitably selective. Second, on account of the impossibility to uniformly convey and simultaneously foreground the welter of information available in a particular context in its entirety in a given discourse/text, speakers/writers will variously direct hearers’/readers’ attention to the selected material, to differentially yet variably respond to their addressees’ informational and communicative demands at any given moment; that is, they will functionally accommodate to hearers’/readers’ limited cognitive processing resources, who will then allocate their attention in particular patterns over the respective linguistic representation. And it is such attention-specific variability and modality-responsive adaptation at the interface of writing and speaking that is the prime objective of this outline.

The perspective taken in this paper will specifically challenge the purported archetype of quotation, x said: “y.”, as a valid basis for quoting in the spoken modality (cf. Lampert, forthcoming, for details): Ultimately adapted from fiction writing, this model effectively continues to serve as the yardstick even in the sparse expert literature on ‘spoken’ quotations (cf. Klewitz and Couper-Kuhlen 1999; Kasimir 2008) – despite occasional explicit and well-founded criticism, such as Nunberg’s (1990:1–7) principled rejection of a simple medial ‘translation’ of punctuation into prosody. Kinesic devices, however, have so far not been in the center of research into (potential) indicators of quotations’ specificity, except for Lorenz’ (2007) short corpus-based analysis, which reports on a co-alignment of prosody, gestures, and quotations in personal narratives, or Maury-Rouan (2011) and Stec et al. (2015), who find co-correspondences of vocal, facial, gestural, and postural parameters and shifts in footing (i.e., reported speech).

My own research on quoting in public settings instead suggests a much more varied and complex interaction between the vocal-auditory and kinesic-visual modalities (including patterns of mutual enhancement as well as disintegration) that call for a more flexible model in the service of descriptive adequacy. In particular, rather than representing a static ‘product’ as implied in the nominal(ization) quotation, the other voice, following Talmy’s (2007a, forthcoming) re-analysis, emerges as a dynamic, attention-based, even attention-driven, act of quoting.

2.1 Multimodal Effects and Attentional Gradience in Orally Performed Quotations

As I have explicated elsewhere (e.g., Lampert 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Talmy’s (to date unpublished) The Attention System of Language conceptualizes attention in terms of activation, and, informed by the causal dynamics of trigger and target, it also provides for relevant quotation-sensitive explanatory concepts.

In its most recent draft version (Talmy, forthcoming)4, this hierarchically organized factor model of attention in language hosts, in its contextual Domain C, mechanisms that capture attentional effects observed in quotations, accounting for linguistic configurations in which “two separate entities are co-present in a discourse,” with one entity “affect[ing] attention on the other.” Unlike in the other domains of ‘Linguistic Attention,’ the causal factors all yield asymmetric attention effects: One of the two co-present entities, the trigger, enacts attentional effects through activation of the selected-out second entity, the target of attention, increasing its salience. And while more attention is invariably directed to the designated target entity just for being selected out among alternatives, the specific amount of attention directed to it, beyond its general activation, is critically gradable – it ranges from minimal to substantial and affects both the target’s form and meaning. That is, “attention … can be increased, decreased, or kept down – with the result that the content can be activated, attenuated, or inhibited.” As will become evident below, these differential effects are critically observable in quoting.

One such contextual attention factor, ‘Targeting a concomitant of a referent,’ in particular, addresses the causal dynamics present in quoting, selectively specifying the asymmetric co-occurrence effects of semantically dedicated triggers such as be like and quote to establish “certain kinds and degrees of meta-linguistic awareness in the hearer” (Talmy, 2007a: 278) and pertaining, in the case at hand, to the quotation co-present in the linguistic environment. In selecting out an adjacent, fully separate speech-internal sequence as their designated object of attention, said quotatives not only increase their target’s salience to represent another voice, but also activate closely associated concomitants beyond their referential default function. More specifically, they redirect some hearer attention away from both their own and the quotation’s referential content onto the quotation’s metalinguistic status and specific discourse function as a (verbatim) rendering of (typically) another speaker’s utterance. Thus re-conceptualized as triggers, be like and quote activate a concomitant closely associated with the quotation’s referent “but different from it per se.”

To illustrate the quotatives’ different usage profiles: Preferring be like over say, the current speaker appeals to a specific phonological concomitant, enacting the other voice through a “particular intonation pattern and vocal dynamics,” which diverges from their “neutral delivery.” Beyond directing hearer attention “to the overall referent of the utterance,” then, quotative like raises awareness for the quotation’s style of delivery, concomitantly highlighting the original speaker’s “affective state … that can be inferred from that style – in Talmy’s own example, So then I was like: Wow, I don’t believe this!, “presumably something like surprise.” And such animation of the other voice, I argue, may include a particular facial display and, perhaps, diverse types of co-speech gestures, whose quotation-indexing potential might therefore deserve extended scrutiny (see also Clark, 2016).

Following Talmy, quote, another “concomitant-targeting” dedicated trigger, foregrounds the quotation’s “exact wording used to represent” the original conceptual content: Lexicalized to convey the current speaker’s adherence to the verbatimness principle, this quotative “requires the citing of an utterance, but now for its wording.” Directing hearer attention “not only to the overall referent of the expression that follows, but especially to … the specific selection of morphemes in their particular sequence,” quote most likely conveys the current speaker’s attitudinal (di-)stance toward the original lexical choice(s), for instance, “that roughly the same referential content could have been evoked by a different expression closer to Gricean maxims or to social or stylistic norms,” from which the actual utterance is considered to diverge. In So she said to him, quote: You need to take a bath., the particular concomitant alerted to would be “presumably the bluntness of the remark,” which is missing from its referential equivalent So she said to him that he needed to take a bath., with no “special effect that the speaker might feel the original wording engendered.”

While these brief sample analyses are meant to demonstrate the distinguishable attentional effects ensuing from the respective quotative’s associated concomitant (i.e., foregrounding the prosodic enactment of another voice or the quotation’s verbatimness), Talmy’s account (so far) does not include an attentional profile of the prototypical reporting verb say, which, judging from its suitability as a foil of comparison for be like and quote, is apparently conceived as lacking any such concomitants. Given this state of affairs, I will suggest, in a first partial extension of Talmy’s exposition, that quotative say serves the same facilitating function of establishing hearer awareness of a quotation’s specific discourse function: In its quotative usage, say is lexicalized to target the adjacent constituent’s status as a (meta-)linguistic act of reciting or repeating (which is notably incorporated as a backgrounded semantic component in the meaning of be like and quote), while it remains agnostic about the original utterance’s exact wording or the actual performance of the quote (though it does not preclude that versatile say readily accommodates either of these two concomitants in response to contextual particulars, see section 4.4).

Compatible with Talmy’s rationale of integrating prosody in the generalized form of a construction, I will, in yet another partial extension of his model, not only incorporate acoustic devices but, in view of a comprehensive account of orally performed quotations, I will argue that said attention-driven processes and salience effects, quite generally, draw on devices of whatever modality that may potentially index the verbatimness of the other voice, independently or in combination, to eventually constitute a multimodal trigger complex.

To account for the multimodality of quoting, it would seem suitable to distinguish between two categories of triggers by their representational form(at), verbal and non-verbal, which I provisionally designate as primes and prompts, respectively; see Lampert (2015, forthcoming). Prime will refer to any verbal introducer to a quotation (i.e., Talmy’s specialized semantically dedicated triggers), indexing an adjacent sequence as an instance of quoting and, for some subcategories at least, including associated concomitants. Reserved for non-verbal triggers, prompts serve to index a quotation’s verbatimness and delimit its exact scope; they pertain to two stimulus types, which, distinguished by the perceptual systems they draw on, will come in two medium-specific representational formats:

  1. 1The figural tags, which in scripted or printed text are conventionalized to visually demarcate verbatim citations, such as a limited set of punctuation marks in a running text or a specific spatial arrangement in the case of block quotations. Minimally, for mixed quotations, single or double quotation marks are mandatory, while the prototype includes (apart from a digital-verbal quotative) an opening separating colon or comma and a closing separating comma, semi-colon, period, question mark, exclamation point.
  2. 2In their oral performances, speakers might be expected to draw attention to a quotation’s verbatimness (and possibly its scope) through acoustic devices that are held to correspond to the figural prompts: leading pauses medially ‘translating’ the opening figural prompts, and/or trailing pauses the closing figural prompts, thus delimiting the other voice. Though only occasionally mentioned in the literature, vision-based kinesic modes provide a(nother) potential resource to index the other voice, which, in principle, offers a range of modal options to serve as delimiters: gaze direction, body posture, and (perhaps) manual gestures, while facial displays typically relate to affective and/or attitudinal stance; sign languages, for instance, have conventionalized a shift in body posture to indicate speaker discrimination (see Goodwin, 2007:23 for a corresponding analysis of a quoting example). The air quote gesture, however, literally only announces the beginning of a quotation, whose temporal scope will typically exceed the time interval occupied by the gesture itself, while its end effectively remains unindexed. Typically, changes in vocal dynamics, like distinctive pitch contours or shifts in intensity or speech rate, overlaying the quotation, are commonly assumed medial translations in the service of both indexing the metalinguistic status of a (verbatim) quotation and conveying affective and/or attitudinal stances of the (current) speaker. In effect, then, these signatures would primarily serve to separate between the discourse function, though by implication, they may help delimit the other voice. Pitch and intensity resets would likewise provide a potential source for demarcating at least the beginning of the quotation, while these cues notoriously fail to delimit its end due to various functional ambiguities, such as the common declination effect in statements, which would then have to be gauged against the next pitch reset and thus remain an unreliable cue.

Apart from this major division based on the cues’ ontology, a third category of prompts, cross-cutting the modality dimensions, might be distinguished: verbal(ized) prompts, which will include (discontinuous) specimens like quoteend (of) quote/unquote. In their most general form, they may be dubbed ‘spoken’ quotation marks, whose exclusive function it is both to delimit a quotation and to assert its verbatimness; and, concomitantly, via their delimiting function they will, by implication, index the quotation’s distinct discourse function.

It should be added that though one (type of) trigger may suffice to index a constituent’s metalinguistic status as a quotation, it stands to reason that multiple triggering will add to the target’s salience as an instance of quoting – which, as will be seen below, in turn, depends on the trigger category’s intrinsic properties, increasing or decreasing the triggers’ potential as facilitator for the addressee.

2.2 Attention to Another Voice: A Force Dynamics Model of Quoting

Granted that general attention critically inheres dynamicity, in both steady-state or change-of-state patterns, this key characteristics provides, on a meta-conceptual (or theorological, p.c. Talmy) level, the motivational basis for a link-up of two conceptual systems, Attention and Force Dynamics (see Talmy, 2000:1; for details cf. M. Lampert and G. Lampert, 2013). Significantly, in the draft version of The Attention System of Language, Talmy outlines, in a move toward integrating cognitive systems, a consistent re-analysis of attention with recourse to force dynamics specifications: In very general terms, an object of attention exhibits different intrinsic force tendencies that accommodate the attentional categories of activation, sustainment, attenuation, or inhibition. Such trans-systems correspondences of general cognition provide the foundational principle of causal framing, accounting for processes of attention direction in which opposing forces re-assemble in different configurations to enact their fundamental role in setting degrees of salience. That is, the same patterns of force interactions that have been found to underlie the meanings of morphemes or expressions (in categories like causation and modality) differentially determine degrees of salience: “The only adjustment needed for this shift of venue is that the ‘action’ and ‘rest’ of the original formulations now become ‘higher weight’ and ‘lower weight’” (Talmy, forthcoming).

In effect, then, Talmy re-conceptualizes (general) attention in terms of opposing forces re-assembling in different configurations to enact their fundamental role in setting degrees of salience. With its four basic components Agonist, Antagonist, Force Tendency, and Resultant, Force Dynamics allows for an identification of force-dynamic patterns in which representations of the Antagonist, now acting as the triggering device, exert force on an Agonist, which is the target component in the interaction, to impact its “intrinsic tendency toward either action or rest.” The pattern relevant for quoting corresponds to the general notion of causation, that is, a configuration in which a stronger Antagonist overcomes the Agonist’s intrinsic force tendency, while a weaker Antagonist only impedes the Agonist in expressing its force tendency. Four attentional configurations are then found in which triggers generate gradient effects on their respective target: The corresponding causal factors of activation and attenuation impart “onset causing of higher weight” and “onset causing of lower weight” respectively, while another pair of effectors involves sustainment, the “extended causing of higher weight,” and inhibition, the “extended causing of lower weight” (Talmy, forthcoming).

To illustrate: A quotative like say, in its function as priming another voice, instantiates the pattern of onset causing of higher weight; more specifically, say triggers attention to the upcoming quotation, i.e., to the Agonist of the force-dynamic configuration whose ‘fate’ is at issue. Or, by the same logic, the typographic format of a block quotation in print would, for instance, represent a case of extended causing of higher weight (sustained attention), ‘guiding’ readers’ attention over the entire sequence of the quotation’s extension. Such salience effects will be seen to affect quoting in a variety of ways, not least deriving from a fundamental difference of the spoken and written linguistic systems’ ontologies.

The ensuing differences in degrees of salience link up with the effects induced by the dedicated triggers’ enacting their attentional potency, as explicated in the previous section. The selected-out targets first undergo gradient activation, ranging from minimal to substantial; and they are then actively affected through attentional weighting by the processes of activation, attenuation, sustainment, or inhibition: The quotations’ metalinguistic status as another voice and their potential verbatimness increase or decrease in salience, including cases of its continuous upholding or suppression.

In addition to the dimensions of gradience defined in terms of degree of activation and attentional weighting (which are ‘native’ to the linguistic items themselves by their respective modality), such as the intrinsic properties emerging from the representational ontologies of, e.g., dichotomous digital triggers in contrast to gradient analog devices; see Lampert, forthcoming), still further gradients in salience would seem to derive incrementally from a variety of sources to ultimately yield complex convergence patterns and induce further attentional effects, some of which will be demonstrated in section 4. To just exemplify one case, enhancement by combination through multiple activation (which involves different modalities and their effects): A quotation’s activation level generated by the verbal prompt quote (an instance of digital onset of higher weight) may be increased by adding a multiple causal effect through vocal onset of higher weight, e.g., in form of a perceptually distinctive leading pause after quote plus an audibly discriminating (higher or lower) pitch reset; further, a speaker may prosodically overlay the whole quotation with a perceivably distinct pitch contour and intensity, which may then again incrementally be accompanied by a particular manual-gestural behavior spanning over the quotation’s delivery, in addition to a discriminate reading gaze behavior, with the speaker’s eyes directed, for instance, on a manuscript/laptop screen (see sections 4.2 and 4.3).

3 A Note on Method and Data

This brief sketch, in the previous section, testifying to the intrinsic versatility of both attention modulation and modality responsiveness affecting quoting in speech, would indeed suggest that variation across the board is the most likely expectable outcome, which, in turn, will have a decisive impact on the methodology of choice: Possible cross-modality interactions of the diverse trigger categories and their multiple combinatorial potential call – at least initially – for a strictly qualitative microanalysis of every single case; accordingly, I will essentially rely on introspection and analytical thought (in the sense of Talmy’s Cognitive Semantics framework), complemented with some insights from (likewise qualitative) approaches such as Discourse and Multimodal Interaction Analysis (see, e.g., Mondada, 2016). Intended as a first rough approximation to verbatim quotations’ multimodal and attentional specification, my paper, mainly heuristic and programmatic in character, will accordingly have to remain with a few suggestive illustrations; and for space limitations, I will, in the upcoming analyses, exclusively report on attentional and multimodal aspects that turn out positive results for the parameters – a decision that will certainly, to some extent at least, distort the overall picture, but that might nevertheless pass as justifiable given the present purpose and the overall state of the art (for a more balanced account see Lampert, forthcoming).

The analyses of the individual cases follow strictly empirical principles and take a usage-based approach to spoken language seriously: Innovative in that it attempts to synthesize various disjoint lines of research, probing into verbatim quoting in speech presupposes, in my view, an uncompromisingly multimodal approach – unlike the extant publications on the issue at hand. Based on the tacit assumption of a cross-medially uniform model of quoting, they have, in general, refrained from embracing the multimodal reality of communication in spoken settings, which, at least for quoting (in public contexts), testifies to selectivity and variability rather than manifesting a ‘neat,’ or categorical, alignment of the verbal, the vocal, and the visual dimensions.

While scrutinizing the verbal dimension of communication in its sequential organization, the conversation or discourse analysis oriented studies – the hegemonic framework regarding quoting and quotation in speech – have so far remained with either exclusively perceptual or coarse-grained prosodic analyses, lacking any support by concrete measurements (e.g., Kasimir, 2008; Klewitz & Couper-Kuhlen, 1999), which I would indeed deem essential (see explicitly Liberman, 2016). Following such rationale not only lends empirical support to theoretical claims, but, at the same time, represents an attempt to back up Talmy’s insights gained by introspection and analytical thought by (acoustic) phonetic data.

In the case studies to follow I will hence include, as potential quotation-indicative prosodic devices, pause durations, pitch contours (specifically resets) and intensities, to assess, in consistent cross-venue comparisons,5 quotation-internal against quotation-external values, a procedure that logically involves the parameters’ precise measuring; for its concrete implementation, the analysis relies on tools and methods from acoustic phonetics as available in form of the standard software Praat.

Subscribing to a genuinely multimodal approach, I will then add observations on speakers’ kinesics, not least inspired by Talmy’s recent forays into gesture studies; in this particular respect, the paper’s insights will certainly remain preliminary and cursory. Kinesics, dividing at least into facial display, gaze behavior, manual and bodily gestures as well as body posture, has so far only seen isolated topic-related studies (Lorenz, 2007; Maury-Rouan, 2011; Stec et al. 2015); hence, surveying – and collecting potential cues from – all modes that could arguably serve a quotation-indication function would seem appropriate, disregarding, however, referential or representational co-speech gestures (like iconics, metaphorics, emphatics) as well as recognizably individual kinesic behaviors unrelated to acts of quoting.

The samples below are ecologically valid data; they have been taken from a small corpus (all in all more than 350 instances)6 of freely available videotaped sources by experienced us speakers in diverse public settings, for which official transcripts have been available (except for Pinker’s); occasionally, they had to be adapted to the speakers’ actual delivery. Following the same procedure as in Lampert (2013, 2014, 2015, forthcoming), the analyses aim at specifying the relative ‘share’ of the modality-specific strategies implemented and their ensuing relative attentional strength, with an eye on the verbal, vocal, and gestural dimensions’ interaction, interdependence, and/or independence.

4 Performing Quotations in Public: Six Case Studies

The illustrations offered next are meant to give an impression of the range of options that speakers have at their disposal to index – or not – another voice as a verbatim quotation, even within the confines of public settings. The prime criterion of choice, then, has been to demonstrate the variability in the parameters that appeared informative for the purpose at hand, to eventually identify (potential) recurrent determinants and/or intricate combinations the multimodal dimensions enter into. Beginning with the most activated verbal pattern, in which the non-verbal modalities are inhibited at the same time, I will offer cases with variable competition between verbal and non-verbal activation, ending with an instance that leaves the other voice unidentified.

The samples under analysis are, first, reprinted from the transcripts, highlighting the primes through small caps; subsequently, the speakers’ actual delivery is presented, including all pauses (positions and durations) between vertical lines but removing all punctuation and capitalization (except in names). A table then records the pitch peaks and means as well as the intensity peaks and means in the particular tone units (delimited by the respective speaker’s own pausing pattern); corresponding bold-faced items and numbers indicate pitch and intensity peaks, while underlining denotes intensity maxima, in case these two measures do not collapse on the same item. The numbers in the tables will then be followed by topical comments, and some conclusions on their (potential) significance will be offered.

4.1 Speaking Quotation Marks: Dianne Feinstein’s Report

us Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein’s report on an ‘interference’ by the cia with congressional records on the Senate floor (03/11/14) represents the digital-verbal activation pattern of the onset-and-offset causing of higher weight, targeting the quotation’s verbatimness.

(1) The cia director stated that these cables were, quote, “a more than adequate representation,” end quote, of what would have been on the destroyed tapes.

Quote and end quote, both effectively verbal(ized) prompts, medially translate, one-to-one, the opening and closing figural prompts delimiting a verbatim quotation in print7 into the discontinuous quotative, which ‘encloses’ the phrase a more than adequate representation.

Regarding the significance and formality of the cause, such maximally salient dichotomous digital triggering of the quotation’s verbatimness through the verbal equivalent of the delimiter-quotes perfectly fits the speaker’s purpose of expressing her (di-)stance toward the referential content of the quotation – a concomitant lexicalized in the compound quotative: Apart from indexing more than adequate as a verbatim statement, Feinstein unmistakably attributes this unequivocal evaluation to the original speaker; rendering the phrase’s verbatimness less explicit, she would have run the risk of being perceived as the ‘source’ of this qualification – just the opposite of her own intent. Notably, the discontinuous prompt directs attention selectively and exclusively only to the evaluative sequence the speaker specifically distances herself from, while leaving the remainder of the Director’s statement, of what would have been on the destroyed tapes (which may or may not be a verbatim reproduction) untagged and integral to the narrative.

Apart from this onset-and-offset causing of higher attentional weight through the paired digital verbal prompts, the speaker’s oral performance lacks any further activation of the quotation and its verbatimness through either of the two analog modalities: Feinstein’s style of vocal delivery is in keeping with her detached matter-of-fact attitude and focus on the factual content of her report, maintaining the level prosody and rhythm characteristic of her entire speech. Quite contrary to mainstream assumptions, according to which the delimiter commas enclosing parenthetical quote and end quote of the transcript would invite pauses (see, very explicitly, Kaltenböck et al. 2011), any leading (parenthetical) pauses are missing. Instead quote and end quote are both prosodically cliticized to their preceding items, establishing tone units of their own – were quote and representation end quote, see (1’); the quotatives are, however, succeeded by perceptually discriminating pauses, vis-à-vis the two quotation-external silences after director and cables, 8 only half in duration.

(1’)the cia director | .27s | stated that these cables | .27s | were quote | .57s | a more than adequate representation end quote | .63s | of what would have been on the destroyed tapes

Even if these quite substantial delays might, at first sight, suggest an additional cue to the quotation and its limit through (onset and offset) activation, any such supposition of a deliberate speaker strategy proves unfounded, however, as Feinstein’s pause range spans from around .30s up to .90s, leaving this analog device undecided as a virtual indicator of the sequence’s distinct discourse function. As an attentional increment to the quotatives, though, this prosodic device might well – indirectly – elevate the activation level of the phrase’s status as a verbatim quotation; and if this analysis is deemed plausible, Feinstein’s double-indexing the Director’s qualification through two modes may well emphasize her distance toward this evaluation.

tab1

As the table indicates, pitch values would, in fact, seem to corroborate such surmise: For one, not only is the pitch lowering commonly assumed in the pertinent literature on parentheticals (e.g., Kaltenböck et al. 2011, Dehé 2014) missing, but, quite on the contrary, quote and end quote stand out by their acoustic characteristics: Compared to the quotation-external high resets on cia and on these cables, the opening trigger, approximating these values, indeed runs counter to the expected attenuation; instead, it is likely to incrementally induce a(nother) foregrounding effect by the fundamental attentional principle of deviation from the norm. It may even be argued that quote, effectively reaching the pitch levels of the environment, receives a surplus activation; not only on a par with open-class cia and demonstrative these, the closed-class particle quote instead increases in salience by its fundamental frequency. Its closing complement, end quote, however, lies in the range of were and the general mean value of the entire sequence respectively. Intensities appear to follow this trend: Preceding the quotation, highs are found on cia and stated, with quote approaching these values, and while end quote peaks at 4 dB lower than the average peak, it surpasses the average mean by 10.5 dB.

Seen against their commonly expected decrease in salience through parenthetical delivery, quote and end quote rather exhibit the attentional pattern of activation in the two major phonetic parameters pitch and intensity, while the quotation itself does not stand out by these features, displaying the same declination trend like the non-quoted narrative. Regarding the overall net result of this combinatorial effect, it might be argued that the lack of leading pauses is compensated for by the relatively higher pitch and intensity values on quote, as against end quote’s lower intensity (albeit almost the same pitch height); and the verbalized prompts are then followed by pronounced (though not necessarily distinctive trailing) pauses. Given the actual function of this compound quotative, ‘speaking quotation marks,’ its activation appears more likely than attenuation.

An inspection of the third modality yields no quotation-sensitive results for body posture, manual gestures, or facial display; and Feinstein’s gaze behavior features an inconspicuous regular reading pattern: Her eyes keep on the text, facing the audience only for (very) brief intervals, in which, however, she does not discriminate between the quoted and non-quoted text.

Overall, then, the verbal code’s digital representational format is seen to prevail over the analog options of the vocal and kinesic modalities to attentionally activate a verbatim quotation in a context of high political significance; what seems, however, equally evident is that the dynamic modalities offer devices to enhance this effect by emitting some additional attentional weight – likely to be exploited by a speaker for a functional purpose in a given context rather than to just reproduce an expected pattern: The speaker’s general style of vocal delivery, characterized by a detached matter-of-fact attitude, underscores the factual content of her report and keeps her own and the second voice apart.

4.2 Activating Another Voice in Retrospect: Noam Chomsky in a Talk

This sample from an academic talk of the ‘political’ Chomsky given at the dw Global Media Forum (06/17/13) has been chosen for illustrating the practice of retrospectively indexing sequences as acts of verbatim quoting: Of the six quotations in a paragraph of 22 lines, only vaguely introduced with So I’ll give some illustrative quotes from leading figures, I will only comment on the last three ‘quotatives,’ which manifest a ‘post-hoc’ offset activation pattern. Note that, for reasons of space limits, I will not expand on the attentional activation ensuing from the unusualness of either the ‘quotatives’ individualized formulation or of their position – which undoubtedly will yield additional effects arising from attentional factors interacting (but see Lampert, forthcoming).

(2)… It’s necessary also to discipline the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young.” all quotes, incidentally. And if we can do this, we might be able to get back to the good old days when “Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of-of a relatively small number of Wall Street law-lawyers and bankers.” This is all from icons of the liberal establishment, the leading progressive democratic theorists. Some of you may recognize some of the quotes.

This instance of multiple quoting is remarkable in an academic context, as it lacks any specification of the source(s), leaving the other voice(s) and the concomitant of verbatimness, though entailed in quotes, at least underspecified (if not entirely unidentifiable) in the talk, while the transcript features the regular prompts. Though these specimens of ‘closing’ primes effectively represent offset causing of higher weight (now with an additional attentional increment by their lexical category effect as open-class nouns), the metalinguistic status of the quotations is, however, substantially attenuated, as the post-fact ‘announcement’ inhibits its identification for a listening audience under the transient reception conditions; indeed, the retrospective summary primes All quotes and This is all from … democratic theorists would presuppose listeners’ shared background knowledge. And, in fact, Chomsky explicitly appeals to such common ground: Some of you may recognize some of the quotes. In case this precondition does not apply, the audience would have to rely on a sufficiently distinct acoustic and/or kinesic signalization to acknowledge the verbatim quotations.

(2’)| .68s | it’s necessary also to discipline the institutions | .43s | responsible for the indoctrination of the young | uh 1.07s | all quotes incidentally | uh 1.34s | and if we can do this | uh .71s | we might be able to get back to the good old days when | .48s | Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of-of | .39s | a relatively small number of Wall Street law-lawyers and bankers | .65s | this is all from icons of the | .46s | liberal establishment the leading progressive democratic theorists some of you may recognize some of the quotes | uh .91s |

As (2’) demonstrates, such expectations, however, are not met, and the identification of the other voice(s) remains at least obscure: For one, pause behavior does not seem to provide any decisive clues for raising any meta-awareness of the quotations, with “indoctrination of the young” being entirely integrated in the intonation contour of the restrictive postmodification (see Table 2); and no leading pause would introduce this mixed quotation. While the extended filled silence after young might be conceivable either as a trailing prompt or as a leading parenthetical pause introducing All quotes, it coincides with (the period at) the end of the sentence, thus precluding an unambiguous quotation-indexing function; likewise the prolonged filled (trailing parenthetical?) pause after All quotes, incidentally. remains indiscriminate vis-à-vis its bi- or even multi-functionality as a (discourse) syntactic pause and/or a hesitation phenomenon. By the same token, the potentially leading pause before Truman fails to serve as an unequivocal prompt against discontinuance following a disfluency after cooperation of-of, or another hold-up before liberal establishment as well as the silence after bankers, which is again ambiguous between a trailing (quotative) and an intersentential pause. Since, in Chomsky’s talk, pause durations are in general fairly variable and extended (in the paragraph under scrutiny, they cover a considerable range of one second, from .35s up to 1.34s), the instances at issue fall short of effectively indicating the end of the two quotations, all the more so since leading counterparts are missing in both cases.

tab2

The table reveals a low pitch reset on “indoctrination of the young, peaking lower than the reset maxima in both the paragraph’s narrative and quoted sequences, and is thus inconspicuous from its generally low frequency environment. And the quotatives tie in with this delivery, while the extremely low creaky setting of the parenthetical comment incidentally and a semantically motivated emphatic rise on this diverge from this trend; the ‘un-quoting’ clause’s peak is then again on a par with the reset on Truman and accommodates with the preceding narrative, displaying a regular final declination over liberal to quotes. Overall, pitch values – both peaks and means – do not show any conceivable tendency toward a discourse-functional division: The mixed quotations are entirely integrated in the overall flow of speech, as are the ‘quotatives.’

Essentially the same observations hold for intensities; they are quite ‘level’ within a narrow range over the entire paragraph (and the talk in general). Again, both peaks and means remain indiscriminate in terms of indexing the quotations’ discourse function: While the quotations’ values are slightly (but inaudibly) lower in peaks than the preceding narrative sequences, the retrospective quotatives remain at lower levels; and, after a comparison of the means, a division suggests itself that separates the narrative and the quotations off from the quotatives’ lower trend. These results might appear to confirm the claims in the literature (see section 2) of expected parenthetical lowering – provided differences of about 2.5 dB (comparing the highest mean of the primes against the lowest of the narratives) and 3.3 dB (maximum mean of the primes against minimum of the quotations) were distinguishable given the standard reception circumstances. Whether, however, a differential of 1.3 dB between the lowest average of the narrative and the highest in the quotation is perceivable under normal listening conditions (and, in fact, almost identical highest averages), remains debatable – all the more so in the face of a missing opening prime.

Reading out the text, which includes quite comprehensive quotations that will even span over several lines of text and hence are most probably beyond the speaker’s memory capacity, Chomsky’s eyes keep on his (visible) sheets, typically for longer intervals; between these periods, his gaze is shifting between the audience and the manuscript. It remains on the text during [“indoctri]nation for the young”, then faces the audience at Uh, all quotes, while his gaze returns to the manuscript at incidentally, only to resume the shifting pattern until to the good old days, just before the long quotation; subsequently, Chomsky’s eyes keep on the text (including the repairs on of-of and law-lawyers) until the end of the extended quotation, when he again raises his eyes at (ban)kers to once more re-establish eye-contact with the listening public. Suggestive of typical reading behavior, the speaker’s gaze pattern may well serve as a(n additional) clue toward indexing a (longer) verbatim quotation and thus as an instance of sustained activation, but it would presumably not be sufficient as a conclusive quotation-indexing device.

Manual gesturing, in contrast, would seem to provide a more reliable, and indeed quite consistent, cue; it is pervasively performed, in quite high frequencies, throughout the entire talk and, moreover, manifests a strong tendency to virtually occur exclusively outside the quotations: Evidently to be conceived as an individual gestural habit, Chomsky raises both hands at All quotes, fingers relaxed and slightly spread, from their rest position on the desk (see Fig. 1); they then move apart, and after a brief vertical, oblique hold, palms face each other, and return to their home position. Notably, the gesture is missing during It’s necessary … “indoctrination of the young”, but repeatedly reoccurs at and [if we can] do this and [this is] all from [icons].

Figure 1
Figure 1

Chomsky’s hands-move-apart gesture at All quotes.

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

Significantly, this specific two-hand co-speech gesture tends to also align with the speaker facing the audience, while, however, vice versa, not every eye contact with the audience involves this manual gesture. Though found throughout the entire speech, albeit with some minor variations in hand position and range as well as in its spatial orientation (but leaving its overall shape intact), this specific manual gesture is (almost) consistently absent during quoting. And this lack of visible hand movements (except for infrequent emphasizing beats) might well serve to index a metalinguistic discourse function; admittedly a perceptually weak signal, it would, however, be possibly conceivable as (negative) sustainment, i.e., as extended causing of lower weight: Via suspending his own gesturing, the current speaker would seem to physically withdraw from the ‘stage,’ thus indexing that another voice is ‘speaking.’

This sample, ironically reversing the usual ‘announcing’ function of quotatives, as it were, illustrates a deviant pattern for its retrospective verbal-digital indication of verbatim quotations in the transient medium of speech – hence arguably yielding both an attenuating effect (regarding its perceptual strength) and inducing activation (in view of its unexpectedness); moreover, it includes some clues of attentional sustainment, with its analog devices of gaze direction and suspension of manual gesturing. Particular(ized) as this subtle co-ordination of bi-modality quotation-indexing may be, it makes an intriguing case for the range of potential effectors and their combinations – indeed it begins to circumscribe the agenda for a comprehensive analysis of quotation-indexing devices when exposed to the ‘real’ and ‘authentic.’

4.3 Quoting Realized Across Two Media: Steven Pinker’s Slide Show

The two specimens from a slide-supported talk given by cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, presented before The Royal Institution (10/28/15), illustrate differences in the attention activation devices under analysis, this time effectuated by the diverse options and constraints of the media. Exploring the question of “Why is so much writing so bad,” Pinker, after surveying some notorious complaints voiced over the centuries, turns to “a better theory”; a full-screen slide (see Fig. 2) displays the following:

Figure 2
Figure 2

Screenshot from Pinker’s slide show (The Royal Institution)

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

Additional to its being enclosed by the regular quotes, hence representing the onset-offset activation pattern in accordance with the academic convention of citations, (3) involves another potential attentional increment: An increase in salience of the (purportedly verbatim)9 quotation’s metalinguistic status through onset causing of higher weight would perhaps derive from its format as a non-bulleted (left adjusted) text fragment (among the bulleted, non-quoted paragraphs of the slide show), while its bluish print – yet another feasible option for digital enhancement, i.e., extended causing of higher weight – is, however, indiscriminately used throughout the text body.

The speaker, not visible by the viewers of the video (but by the co-present audience of course) is heard to say:

(3’)I-I think a better theory comes from | uh .84s | Charles Darwin | .20s | who wrote | .10s | man has an instinctive tendency to speak as we see in the lan | .17s | babble of our young children | .46s | whereas no child has an instinctive tendency to bake | .14s | brew or | .20s | write | .64s

Specifying both the source (Charles Darwin) and the medium (write), Pinker provides the viewer-listener with relevant referencing information – including his own stance (I think). The actual performance, then, one more time, reinforces the visual prompts’ effects, incrementally activating the quotation’s discourse function and its verbatimness through the prime’s onset causing of higher weight; exclusively functionalizing digital triggers (visual-figural and verbal), the two modalities cooperate to endow the other voice with a substantial surplus in salience.

Pause behavior, however, again fails to further support the identification of the quotation, as (3’) is likely to demonstrate: Except for the quotation-irrelevant filled pause after from, Pinker’s speedy delivery only features brief (articulatory) hold-ups below the 200ms limit and pauses after Darwin, children, and or – despite the repair lan[guage]/babble; and the silence of .64s after write would hardly qualify as a(n unambiguous) trailing quotative pause, as the following sequence (introduced with that is) concludes the entire topic: whereas speech is instinctive, writing is and always has been hard, then exploring the reasons for this difficulty.

tab3

Regarding pitch, Table 3 reveals a trough on who wrote, following a (lower rising) reset on Charles Darwin (against the quotation-external peak on theory), which would perhaps conform to a parenthetical contour overlaying the quotative; but by its moderate numerical difference, it is likely to remain an inconclusive clue. This partial attenuation of the quoting clause by pitch is matched by its intensity profile (though loudness shows a very limited range overall): Charles Darwin and who wrote are hardly audibly distinct against the quotation-external peak and the quotation’s falling contour, from speak to write, only interrupted by a semantically motivated contrasting rise on whereas. The quotation itself starts on another pitch reset, probably with sufficiently distinctive local values compared to the quoting clause; and, after a lowering over the comparative clause, pitch rises over children up to emphasized no, then declines to write. Prosodic delivery, then, would seem inconsistent with respect to any definite quotation-indexing function.

While Pinker’s gaze behavior logically provides another (potentially) reliable source of information for attentive co-present listeners, the video allows only limited insights: Immediately preceding I think (during the pause filled with laughter from the audience), he apparently scans the text on his laptop screen placed before him on the desk; and after a short glance at the audience, he redirects his eyes to the screen at from uh. Then the video displays the full-screen slide (3), and when it disappears, Pinker’s gaze is also oriented toward the laptop, suggesting that he has been reading out the entire quotation (see Fig. 3). This reasoning may be corroborated by the quotation’s extremely fluent style of delivery (despite the repair), which appears to be even perceivably faster than the off-hand parts of his talk – though articulation and speaking rates would of course have to be compared for the entire talk to establish a quotation-indexing sustainment pattern involving an alignment of prosody and gaze.

Figure 3
Figure 3

Pinker’s gaze after the slide has disappeared

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

Gesturing, as is evident from the video, does not feature any quotation-related clues, except perhaps, trivially, for Pinker’s left thumb pressing the remote control in his hand to cause the slide to appear.

Again, this sample, then, testifies to the evolutionary advantage of digitalness, while the other voice is incrementally reinforced through the combination of multiple devices.

4.4 Multiple Activation Patterns: Bill Clinton Re-enacting Maya Angelou

The next sample, from Clinton’s speech on the occasion of the memorial service for African American writer-activist Maya Angelou (06/09/14), represents a remembered dialog between Bill Clinton and the late poet:

(4)And I looked over, and there was Maya. And I went over to her, and I hugged her, and i said, “I cannot believe that you have gotten yourself here.” and she said, “Just because I am wheelchair-bound doesn’t mean I don’t get around.”

Given the ambivalence between a verbatim or only approximate representation10 of this previous exchange by memory, versatile say may, on semantic grounds alone, be the obvious quotative choice, faithfully directing hearer attention to the original’s referential content and typically abstracting away from any contextual concomitants; she said, however, is now found to introduce a vividly animated quotation, which would, following section 2.1’s concomitant analysis, rather have invited be like.

(4’)| 2.04s laughter | and I looked over and there was Maya | 1.81s | and I went over to her and I hugged her and I said I cannot believe | 1.51s | that you have gotten yourself here | .75s | and she said | .60s | just because | .68s | I am wheelchair | .57s | bound | 1.27s | doesn’t mean | .84s | I don’t get around | 13.66s laughter, applause |

tab4

As Table 4 documents, Clinton’s self-quotation lacks any of the discourse-functional clues: While intensities, in general, do not seem to be functional (hence are disregarded in this analysis), pitch values appear semantically motivated, and pauses serve the purpose of dramatization. The emphatic rise on believe vocally translates the surprise component of the verb phrase, which is further enhanced by an extended suspension creating pause after believe, which is clearly audible against the preceding reset on And I went over to her (lower by 50 Hz). The quoting clause itself, with cliticized and prosodically attenuated I said, conforms to the expected parenthetical lowering and is succeeded by a high pitch reset on contrastively emphasized you, then declines to here, and ends in another extended (turn-indicating) pause. Notably, however, Angelou’s response stands out through Clinton’s dramatic animation, revealing a high degree of salience by increments in acoustic parameters: Again, the quoting clause features a low reset on and and a further declination to said (matching the previous I said), followed by another substantial silence; rather than an unequivocal, functional quotation-indexing leading pause inducing onset causing of higher weight on the quotation, this is the first of five silences likely to mimic the poet’s staccato style of vocal delivery, who suffered from breathing trouble. Angelou’s quotation now gains prominence through sustained attention: Clinton not only lowers his pitch to a creaky-like voice, with a low reset on just because, followed by another pause (of similar length), but he also draws out {-cause} in a Southern drawl-like manner. And this pattern repeats: A level reset on I’m declines over wheelchair – and a pause – to bound, followed by another extended silence; pitch is reset again on mean and, after one more delay, remains consistently low until around, whereas the potential trailing pause is prolonged due to laughter and applause.

Though the two parallel quoting clauses do not differ in pitch, they reveal dissimilarities in intensity, with and she said being louder by 3 dB on average (and 5 dB in peaks). These results would, in turn, have to be evaluated against the prosodic profile of the two quotations: intensities, both peaks and means, do not appear to be discriminate, though Clinton’s peaks and means average overall slightly lower than the poet’s. Gauged against the pitch results, with Clinton’s self-quotation lacking any perceivable difference in pitch, and Angelou’s quotation, in effect, manifesting lower internal frequencies, the prosodic parameters under analysis unequivocally serve an overall speaker discriminating effect.

Whereas in Clinton’s self-quotation no perceivable difference in prosody compared to the narrative is observed, Angelou’s quotation would arguably manifest a persistent differential by combinatorial reinforcement of the critical prosodic parameters to convey an unambiguously sustained vocal dynamics in the service of ‘staging’ the other voice – an effect that is further, and multiply, enhanced through the third modality: First, while quoting, Clinton’s manual gesturing remains unobtrusive, or is lacking altogether (compared to his vivid and pronounced gestures accompanying most of the remainder of his speech) – a feature that would correspond to the suspension of gesturing as a potential quotation indicating cue observed with Chomsky. Second, gaze direction and body posture apparently serve the function of speaker discrimination (see Goodwin, 2007: 23 for a corresponding analysis of a quoting example): Starting center stage, Clinton turns to the left during his self-quotation (Fig. 4), then redirects to the right on and she said, lowering his head. And, as long as he is quoting the late poet, his gaze keeps on a lowered position in the space somewhat to his right front, as if addressing an imaginary Maya Angelou sitting in a wheelchair (Fig. 5); next, Clinton returns center to his rest position, gaze down on the desk. This behavioral gestalt would arguably instantiate the extended causing of higher weight pattern, with the suspended manual gesturing representing ‘negative’ sustainment, while gaze behavior and body posture are arguably conceivable as ‘positive’ sustainment. Finally, facial display is also likely to re-enact Angelou’s emotional response of objection to Clinton’s original utterance (see Ekman and Friesen, 2003): Opening his eyes wide at around (which causes an expressive frowning), he apparently mimics her look of (benevolent) reproach, whereas in Clinton’s self-quotation, an attenuated frowning of disbelief on cannot believe and yourself here would seem again semantically motivated.

Figure 4
Figure 4

Clinton’s gaze direction during his self-quotation (at believe)

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

Figure 5
Figure 5

Clinton’s gaze direction during Angelou’s quotation (at bound)

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

This very particular configuration of attention devices appears to perfectly comply with the needs of the actual purpose: Such decisive contextual sensitivity would indeed echo the notorious non-conventionality of (not only manual) gestures and decisively contradict the narrow frame of quotation-indexing devices that has generally been addressed in the literature – in fact, limited to few restricted prosodic parameters (see section 2). While the verbal-digital dimension induces onset causing of higher weight, prosody and gaze as well as posture (possibly also enhanced through the suspended manual gesturing) resort to the sustainment pattern in the service of foregrounding the other voice – and, surprisingly, perhaps, in a fairly formal public setting at that.

4.5 Modalities in Competition: Serena Williams

In this example, the different modalities engaged in quoting are seen to conflict, each vying for attentional precedence: During a routine press conference, the winning 2013 us tennis champion is requested to imagine “a 17-year-old Serena Williams playing against a 31-year-old Serena Williams,” and reason on such competition’s potential outcome; and this hypothetical scenario calls up the interviewee’s memory of a match against the then number one, Steffi Graf.

(5)I’ve been looking at film when I was 17. I remember I played Steffi Graf in Indian Wells, and – gosh, I was good (laughter [in audience]). I was really – I had no idea. I came to the net, and I’m like, Me? I was out there and I hit volleys.11 I was like, I hit volleys? Yeah, I mean …

Serena’s choice of quotative like exactly conforms to its designated usage profile, targeting reported thoughts and/or the speaker’s emotional state (see section 2.1 and, e.g., Lampert, 2014); and the emotionality caused by this re-visualization finds its direct expression in her dramatic reenactment, involving both prosodic and kinesic ‘overlays.’

As (5’) below is likely to document, the quoted sequences lack any leading pauses – in fact, both are attached to the primes to yield a tone unit; see also example (1); likewise, rather than as trailing pauses, the silence after Me? qualifies as a deliberate attention-getter in the service of creating suspension, while the extended pause following volleys? arguably represents an instance of hesitation (accompanied by ‘terminating’ Yeah, I mean) as Serena formulates her conclusion from this narrative – her actual answer to the journalist’s question coinciding with a topic shift (I don’t know. Both of us are fighters.). Accordingly, pauses fail to index the quotations’ metalinguistic status.

(5’)I’ve been looking at film when I was 17 I remember | .20s | I played Steffi Graf in | .35s | Indian Wells and | .84s | gosh I was good | .61s laughter | I was | 1.44s laughter | I was really | .15s | good I had no idea I mean I-I came to the net and I’m like me | .83s | I was out there and I hit volleys I was like I hit volleys | 2.05s |

Regarding the remaining acoustic parameters, however, I will, in this example, zero in on an intricate interplay of attenuation and activation patterns, summarized in comparative Table 5.

tab5

First, parallel in their morphological composition, the quotatives display the same attenuative pitch pattern, with a low(er) reset on and, then declining to like; and, second, followed by a steep rise in pitch, the quotations by far surpass outside values, activating be like’s typical concomitant of emotionality through onset and extended causing of higher weight – enacted as a steep pitch rise on Me?, and a still more dramatic rise-fall-steep rise pattern on I hit volleys? Apart from this expectable activation (assumed for quotative like), the first quoting clause outscores the second by a higher pitch reset, with the effect that the second quotative is likely to undergo perceivable attenuation, if the quotation’s meta-linguistic status (effectively the lowest peak in the entire passage) should not even be considered completely inhibited. And this effect is in turn enhanced by both the second quotative’s decreased intensity values (by 5.5 dB), causing an overall backgrounding of this prime; moreover, the first quotative surpasses the loudness peak of the adjacent quotation (by more than 5 dB), while this proportion is reversed for their second counterparts with almost identical values. In addition, the marked difference between quotation-external and -internal peaks results in a further gradient effect – the second quotation, then, stands out by incremental reinforcement to yield its overall prominence.

Though accompanying the entire narrative, Serena’s dramatic enactment fails to tell apart quoted from non-quoted sequences but expresses her emotional appraisal of the remembered scene: Her facial expression at (quotation-external) gosh, I was good is arguably mirroring her re-lived joyful disbelief at her risky play as a teenager – eyes open wide, she wrinkles her nose, the typical ‘surprise display’ (see Ekman and Friesen 2003:34ff). The same pronounced facial animation indiscriminately ‘overlays’ the entire sequence I came … volleys?, including the (hypothetical) quotations; simultaneously, her gaze keeps directed toward some lower region in front of her, where she pictures the imaginary scenario, then retracts her head during I came to the net as if to increase the distance, with her look conveying an air of (pretended?) playful amazement (Fig. 6). Screwing up her eyes and pulling her eyebrows together at and I’m like, Me?, Serena leans forward, as if inspecting more closely of what she witnesses, wrinkling her nose and forehead in mock disbelief (Fig. 7). While performing a self-referencing pointing gesture – the left index finger pointing at her chest at I (was out there) – her gaze is still on the imagined scenario when she “was out” at the t-line and hit volleys; then returning back to her upright rest position and ‘leaving’ the scene, she makes eye-contact with the audience.

Figure 6
Figure 6

Serena William’s facial display at [I came to the] net?

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

Figure 7
Figure 7

Serena William’s facial display at Me?

Citation: Cognitive Semantics 3, 2 (2017 ) ; 10.1163/23526416-00302003

In light of the modalities’ complex interaction regarding their discourse-functional discrimination of the quotations – verbal identity, prosodic conflict, and kinesic inhibition – the sample manifests ambivalence and competition in the attentional devices’ tendencies; and under the conditions of ‘normal’ perception, the final impression would probably remain with the overall re-enactment of Serena’s past experience, critically determined by the emotionality conjured up by the invoked memory: Despite the presence of quotation-sensitive verbal and prosodic clues, then, they are overruled by the narrative’s dominant expressive overlay.

4.6 Suppressing the Other Voice: John F. Kennedy

The final sample, a mixed quotation from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, displays the onset-and-offset activation pattern, unambiguously conveying its verbatimness in the official transcript via the canonical figural delimiters, while it lacks any (overt) verbal reference to its biblical source, Romans 12:12:12

(6)Now the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” – a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Unless the digital indication finds a medial translation into its performance modalities, functionalizing the respective analog devices, the audience would presumably miss the discourse-functional status of the phrase rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation as a verbatim quotation.

An inspection of Kennedy’s vocal delivery reveals extended (hence clearly perceivable) pauses between (phrasal and clausal) tone units throughout the speech; they give rise to a pronounced rhythmical pattern, which is unaligned, however, to the quotation’s specific discourse-function: Just to consider the complex phrase – but a call … enemies of man, pause durations range from .72s to 1.23s – with the potential leading and trailing pauses, preceding rejoicing and following tribulation at midway position; and though identical in length, the silences surrounding the ‘quotation’ would arguably not discriminate between the discourse functions at issue, see (6’).

(6’)… but a call to bear the burden | .72s | of a long twilight struggle | 1.05s | year in | .76s | and year out | .95s | rejoicing in hope | 1.23s | patient in tribulation | .95s | a struggle against the common enemies of man …

tab6

Following this trend in pause behavior, intensity peaks do not yield perceptually distinctive values – they lie locally within a very narrow range of 2.5 dB between parenthetical year in and year out, the quotation and the (local) quotation-external peaks; and pitch values likewise do not provide any clue to the quoted phrase: Overall, a modest rise-fall pattern of resets dominates, with similar to identical pitch peaks in the tone units inside and outside the quotation. Rather than distinguish between voices, this style of vocal delivery appears consonant with the orator’s consistent, dominant rhetorical pattern, overruling any discourse functionalization of prosody.

Analogous to the vocal dimension, gestural parameters are not found to index the other voice either: In the entire speech, Kennedy overwhelmingly performs right hand beats in the service of his rhythmical style of rhetoric, while his left hand shifts the sheets of paper from time to time; and his gaze behavior, redirecting between the audience and down on the manuscript before him (sometimes for longer intervals), fails to discriminate between the discourse functions.

With both overt verbal priming and non-verbal analog prompts remaining absent, (6) waives any acknowledgment of its source by intratextual reference, and the onset-and-offset activation of the verbatim quotation in the transcript does not find any medial translation. The metalinguistic status of rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation as a verbatim quotation, then, is inhibited and would have to be retrieved either on the basis of cultural knowledge or, perhaps through its stylistic deviation (serving as a kind of epistemic trigger), which is prominent even in this formal environment – tribulation, with its specific contextually associated meaning component, in particular, might testify to its biblical source.

Comparing, once more, the attentional effects across the modalities, the discrepancy between the medial representation of the other voice becomes again manifest: The quotation’s activation through its conventionalized digital delimiters in the transcript does not receive any correspondence in its analog representational system, it is ‘performed’ as a non-quotation and thus as a regular constituent of the text.

5 Concluding Remarks

Even these few glimpses of the universe of quoting under the restrictions of a particular setting might have adumbrated the enormous range and intriguing variability that speakers avail themselves of in (not) indexing another voice – given their various communicative purposes and the expressive options of the multimodal spectrum. And granted that such individuality and particularity would seem to dominate quoting in spoken settings across the board, further substantial scrutinizing of diversified and comprehensive samples is beyond question, then systematically varying all relevant categories of determinants. However, despite this study’s limited scope with its still coarse-grained attention analyses and sweeping multimodality sketches, some tentative observations and feasible trends might nevertheless be spotted:

  1. The preponderance of codified invariance of the written modality’s exclusively digital representation transforms into variance from multiple sources in the spoken modality, with both digital (verbal) and analog gradient (non-verbal) repertoires of devices, each with their functional niches.
  2. Contrary to the persistent assumptions constantly recurring in the literature on quoting, prosody is not seen to be regularly recruited as a medial equivalent of punctuation marks to index another voice and its concomitant verbatimness – an outcome which might well find one motive in the modality’s inherent transience, handling quotation more lenient in general, but which, on necessity, may well be implemented; see (1).
  3. Gesture categories, including gaze and body posture, in contrast, though again notably variable, might perhaps – somewhat surprisingly – invite a systematic investigation for their potential to (help) index quotations, singly and in combination; cf. (2), (3), (4).
  4. Quoting in bi-modality settings, with speakers having access to visual and auditory devices (now in form of slide presentations), vividly testifies to its dependence on the options of production and reception circumstances; see (3).
  5. Systematically probing into multiple modalities’ interacting would seem promising in view of a comprehensive model of quoting that not only pays respect to critical semantic differentiations as effects of attention processes but also to its potential of recruiting and combining modality-sensitive devices.
  6. And notably, all these observations in effect suggest a reanalysis of quoting and quotation as essentially dynamic in nature.

To be sure, attention direction – again – emerges as the fundamental cognitive determinant of quoting, and Talmy’s attention system of language proves a differentiated and comprehensive analytical tool to envisage descriptive (and probably even explanatory) adequacy. His factor model of differentially setting (degrees of) attentional strength, indeed in its current preliminary draft version, demonstrates its power in accounting for quoting as a complex and multimodal dynamic phenomenon: In particular, with its notably fine-grained and discriminating inventory of constructs and descriptors, it captures the gradient salience effects, resulting from the basic causal attention processes – activation, attenuation, inhibition, and sustainment – as its relevant categories. Engaging in variable interaction and multiple combination to yield gradient attentional profiles, this general causal dynamics is conceived as underlying the specific basic attention factors (of which only one has effectively been addressed, while due to space limitations some others have just been very cursorily and selectively alluded to). And, finally, the insights into the modality-specificity of digital and analog systems of representation manifest another decisive source of determinants to motivate, if not systematize, the particular – or even individual – patterns surfacing in quoting.

As I hope to have demonstrated, Talmy’s framework provides invaluable component tools that, in novel combination and modest extension, may go some way toward offering a coherent, cognitively motivated account to capture quoting in its structural flexibility, functional variability, modality-responsive variedness, and gradient effects in making the other voice salient (not only in spoken settings as it were).

References

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  • Dehé Nicole . 2014. Parentheticals in Spoken English: The Syntax-Prosody Relation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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    • Search Google Scholar
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    • Search Google Scholar
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    • Search Google Scholar
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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    • Search Google Scholar
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  • The Official King James Bible Online : Authorized Version (kjv), http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org.

Sources

1

For simplification, I will disregard the primary attentional dichotomy of presence vs. absence, which likewise holds for pauses or gestures, e.g., in air-quotes.

2

In essence, this paper presents central insights of my forthcoming book, Speaking Quotation Marks: A Multimodal Analysis of Verbatim Quotations in Public English Discourse.

3

Once again, I express my sincerest gratitude for the privilege of sharing a very substantial part of Len Talmy’s as yet unpublished research.

4

Unlike otherwise indicated, all references in this section pertain to Talmy’s (forthcoming) unformatted draft version, which lacks page numbers.

5

Notably, the envisaged intra-speaker comparisons may draw on methods and insights gained from forensic phonetics, which entertains essentially a comparative approach (see especially Jessen, 2012).

6

See Lampert (forthcoming) for details on the selection of the sources and instances conceived as quoting.

7

Interestingly, in the Washington Post article quotation marks are missing, while the text on Feinstein’s website omits the verbal prompts.

8

Note that a silence of .20s minimum is commonly considered the low end of a functional pause (see, e.g., Kendall 2013: 63).

9

The text deviates from Darwin’s wording, replacing whilst with whereas and lacking dots of omission.

10

While Clinton’s self-quotation might not be an exact reproduction of his original utterance, Angelou’s is likely to be a verbatim quotation as its formulation, playing on wheelchair and around, might stick.

11

I would not consider this sequence a part of the quotation, but rather a description of what she sees before her mental eye. Note that the figural prompts are (consistently) missing in the official transcript, with definite attention-related effects on the reader to be expected.

12

See http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org (date of retrieval 04/16/16).

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Clark Herbert H. 2016. Depicting as a Method of Communication. Psychological Review 123 (3):324347.

  • Dehé Nicole . 2014. Parentheticals in Spoken English: The Syntax-Prosody Relation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ekman Paul and Friesen Wallace V. . 2003. Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Expressions. Cambridge, ma: Malor Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goodwin Charles . 2007. Interactive Footing. In Holt Elizabeth and Clift Rebecca (Eds.), Reporting Talk: Reported Speech in Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jessen Michael . 2012. Phonetische und linguistische Prinzipien des Stimmenvergleichs . München: Lincom.

  • Kaltenböck Gunther , et al. 2011. On thetical grammar. Studies in Language 35.4:848893.

  • Kasimir Elke . 2008. Prosodic correlates of subclausal quotation marks. zas Papers in Linguistics, (49):6777.

  • Kendall Tyler . 2013. Speech Rate, Pause, and Sociolinguistic Variation . Houndmills, Basingstoke/New York, ny: Pelgrave Macmillan.

  • Klewitz Gabriele and Couper-Kuhlen Elizabeth . 1999. Quote – Unquote? The role of prosody in the contextualization of reported speech sequences. In LiSt, 12. Retrieved from http://ling.sprachwiss.uni-konstanz.de/pages/anglistik/publikationen/inlist/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina . 2012. Attention to style of delivery: Linking up cognitive and register perspectives on quotatives. In: Stylistics Across Disciplines Leiden 2011 , Conference Proceedings:1–10.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina . 2013. Say, be like, quote (unquote), and the air-quotes: Interactive quotatives and their multimodal implications. English Today 116 (29.4):45–56.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina . 2014. Cognitive Semantics Goes Multimodal: Looking at Quot(ativ)es in Face-to-Face-Settings. International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics, (4):103132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina . 2015. Crossing Modalities: A Cognitive Semantics Perspective of Quoting. Cognitive Semantics, (1):213240.

  • Lampert Martina . Forthcoming. Speaking Quotation Marks: A Multimodal Analysis of Verbatim Quotations in English Public Discourse . Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina and Lampert Günther . 2013. … the ball seemed to keep rolling … Linking up Cognitive Systems in Language: Attention and Force Dynamics. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liberman Mark . 2016. Trump’s Prosody. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=27267#more-27267 (date of access 12/12/16).

  • Lorenz Frank . 2007. Prosody and Gestures as Contextualisation Devices in Reported Speech. Berlin: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin.

  • Maury-Rouan Claire . 2011. “Voices” and bodies: Investigating nonverbal parameters of the participation framework. Stam, Gale and Mika Ishino (Eds.), Integrating Gestures: The interdisciplinary nature of gesture. 309–319. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mondada Lorenza . 2016. Challenges of multimodality: Language and the body in social interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics, (20): 336366.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nunberg Geoffrey . 1990. The Linguistics of Punctuation. Stanford: csli Publications.

  • Stec, Kashmiri et al . 2015. Multimodal analysis of quotation in oral narratives. In Open Linguistics 1:531554.

  • Talmy Leonard . 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics. Volume i: Concept Structuring Systems. Cambridge, ma: mit Press.

  • Talmy Leonard . 2007a. Attention phenomena. In Geeraerts Dirk and Cuyckens Hubert (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, 264293. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Talmy Leonard . 2007b. Recombinance in the evolution of language. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society: the Panels, 2660. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Talmy Leonard . Forthcoming. The Attention System of Language. Cambridge, ma: mit Press. [draft version from 2010].

  • The Official King James Bible Online : Authorized Version (kjv), http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org.

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein says cia searched Intelligence Committee computers http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/2/e/2e927b21-1415-403e-811e-e2fd4f104c77/BDAADD85F318D8724B99149AF02AD145.march-cia-speech.pdf. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/transcript-sen-dianne-feinstein-says-cia-searched-intelligence-committee-computers/2014/03/11/200dc9ac-a928-11e3-8599-ce7295b6851c_story.html.http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4486712/sen-feinstein-accuses-cia-searching-congressional-computers.

  • Noam Chomsky: A Roadmap to a Just World – People Reanimating Democracy. dw Global Media Forum, Bonn, Germany, June 17, 2013.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btlgQs0UDxY.

  • Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century – with Steven Pinker. The Royal Institution, 28.10.15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV5J6BfToSw (access date 12/18/15).

  • Maya Angelou Memorial Service, June 7, 2014, Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University. http://livestream.com/wfu/angelou/videos/53146823.

  • An interview with Serena Williams, September 8, 2013. http://2013.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2013-09-08/201309091378694041603.html.

  • John F. Kennedy, xxv President of the United States: 1961–1963, 1 Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=8032 (06/28/14).

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