Incorporating Other Voices

Jeanne Fahnestock

in Rhetorical Style

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199764129
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918928 | DOI:
Incorporating Other Voices

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Set in larger, persisting communicative situations, rhetorical discourse often features language attributed to other speakers and texts. Speaking for others was especially important in ancient forensic settings where witness testimony was reported secondhand. The methods described in this chapter for incorporating language from other sources follow those in Leech and Short's Style in Fiction. Other voices can be quoted directly, though always with selection and often with stylization, or they can be quoted indirectly. Indirect quotation invites paraphrase that can wander tendentiously from the original wording, and, as it appears in written texts, indirect quotations often include zones of ambiguous attribution. The words or near-words of others can also be abandoned in favor of reporting the speech act achieved by their words. Written texts may be represented using the same options of direct or indirect quotation, or the reporting of speech acts, each of these options increasing the interpretive control of another text. Speakers, of course, without the benefit of quotation marks, have to rely more on vocal dynamics to mark off another's words. The rhetorical manuals favored the dramatic mimicking of other voices (prosopopoeia), going so far as to recommend that the absent, the dead, and even inanimate entities be given a voice in a speech. Bakhtin noted the extremes of language mixtures as the heteroglossia that can result from the often unattributed incorporation of others’ language, even to the point of the double voicing of a single word. In a new media age of IM and blogs, such multivoicing has in fact become routine.

Keywords: voice; direct quotation; stylization; indirect quotation; paraphrase; report of a speech act; Leech and Short; prosopopoeia; Bakhtin; heteroglossia; multivoicing

Chapter.  9272 words. 

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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