Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595



Drawn from a larger project on reported speech in parliamentary interaction (Reber, forthcoming), this paper studies visuo-material performances of so-called “literalized” (Rumsey, 1992) quoting, i.e., verbatim reproductions of original utterances. Taking an interactional-linguistic perspective, I analyze how participants accomplish ‘literalized’ reported speech through vocal, verbal, and visual cues, recruiting their material documents. The data are culled from video recordings of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), a parliamentary session where the Prime Minister (PM) takes questions from the Leader of the Opposition (LO) and Members of Parliament (MPs) at the British House of Commons. I place my focus on cases where speakers use original documents as visual aids, a classic rhetoric device of persuasion, and show how paper documents are constituted, celebrated, and rhetorically enacted as (seemingly) original documents in embodied, situated ways. As a conclusion, I argue that the display of original documents allows the speaker to make claims of having not only evidential but also experiential access to their sources, a practice that underpins their evidential authority.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): evidentiality; PMQs; quotation; rhetorical device; visuo-material performance
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