Analogical reasoning with quotations? A spotlight on Russian parliamentary discourse
- Resource Type
- ACADEMIC JOURNAL
- In Journal of Pragmatics January 2020 155:101-110
Quotations in political discourse often aim at buttressing the current speaker's argument in an ongoing debate by citing an utterance that states, presupposes or implies an analogous thought. Given the controversial nature of analogical reasoning, this raises a number of questions. First, why does the speaker choose an argumentative strategy that is vulnerable in several respects, easily refutable by providing counter-analogies, questioning the analogy's relevance, etc.? Second, are the intertextual references meant to enhance the analogy, or do they offer additional pragmatic values that could compensate the “detour” caused by introducing a new voice? For instance, does the quoter align or disalign with the quoted analogy? Does s/he support or delegitimize other deputies? What benefits are offered by fictive quotations and how do “canned” quotations, such as proverbs, contribute to the speaker's strategic goals?The study is based on a sample of quotations from the Russian State Duma. The analogies found allow for the conclusion that the intertextual strategy does not invite a debate on the analogy itself but rather prevents further discussion by focusing the attention on other effects, such as face-threatening acts, entertainment, self-staging or creating a common ground. This holds also for fictive references.