Quotation in Family Communication

2019. № 5, 34-46

Anna V. Zanadvorova, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences)
(Russia, Moscow), annazann@gmail.com


The article examines how quotations are utilized in verbal family
communication. The family belongs to the so-called small social groups.
Family communication is spontaneous, free of constraints, closely related
to the everyday domestic routine and its participants share a common apperceptive
base (common experience). However, relaxed style and informality
of family communication is accompanied by existence of a hierarchy. All
of these features affect the functioning of language in the family.
As opposed to quotation in public sources, quotes in the family communication
are not always “to the point”. A quotation can often be motivated
not so much by similarity of a situation as by a certain word combination
or even a single word that “tugs” the quote after it. Unlike in public speech,
family quotes do not usually get a metatextual introduction, such as “As this
person once said...” or “According to that person...”, thus they are reproduced
without citing the source. Many of them become family speech stereotypes
being regularly used in recurring communicative situations. Children often
pick up such quotes from their parents before getting acquainted with their
actual source. Quotations are often reproduced in modifi ed forms and are
subject to playful modifi cations. The original phrase is often reduced to just
a couple of words (e.g. vtoraya svezhest’ [second freshness]) that hint at the
original text [e.g. “Second freshness — that’s what is nonsense! There is only
one freshness — the fi rst — and it is also the last.” — M. Bulgakov. Master and