A classification system for describing quotative content

Agnes Terraschke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Academic investigations of quotative content tend to either provide detailed descriptions of specific discourse contexts or differentiate quotative content only on a superficial level to facilitate quantification over large datasets. To date, no comprehensive classification system has been developed that can capture different quotative uses in larger datasets and thereby offer further insights into the patterns of use of quotatives as a stylistic feature in informal interactions. The present research aims to address this gap by introducing such a quotative content classification system. This proposed system conceptualises quotative content on six levels, each describing a different aspect of quotative use. The levels were developed based on the analysis of a set of informal dyadic interactions between native speakers of New Zealand English. The study draws on examples from the data to illustrate the different classification levels and describe the coding parameters, followed by an analysis of the dataset using basic quantitative measures to show how the classification system can be used. The classification system is proposed here as a starting point for analysis of other datasets in order to facilitate inter- and cross-cultural comparisons of quotative use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Dyadic interactions
  • New Zealand English
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Quotative content classification
  • Quotatives

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