Chapter published in:The Construction of ‘Ordinariness’ across Media Genres
Edited by Anita Fetzer and Elda Weizman
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 307] 2019
► pp. 73–101
Quoting ordinary people in Prime Minister’s Questions
Prime Minister’s Questions is the central British parliamentary institution. Every week Members of Parliament have the opportunity to pose questions to the Prime Minister, frequently utilising quotations from various sources, e.g. allies from the quoter’s political party, political opponents, experts, or ordinary people. The focus of this contribution is on the strategic use of quotations from ordinary people in the interchanges between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The data comprise 240 question-response sequences. In the sequences analysed, quotations make up 9% of the total word count for Cameron-Miliband and 10% for Cameron-Corbyn: 2% of the quotations are sourced by ordinary people in the Cameron-Miliband data, and 31% in the Cameron-Corbyn data. Corbyn’s systematic use of quotations from ordinary people was novel, foregrounding their political issues and assigning them the status of an object of discourse in the media thus making the government accountable to them.
Keywords: accountability, elite political discourse, follow-up, metadata, non-elite political discourse, ordinariness, private-public interface, quotation
Published online: 12 December 2019
Antaki, Charles and Ivan Leudar
Brendel, Elke, Jörg Meibauer and Markus Steinbach
Brown, Penelope and Stephen C. Levinson
Buchstaller, Isabelle and Ingrid Van Alphen
2015 “ ‘When you came into office you said that your government would be different’: Forms and Functions of Quotations in Mediated Political Discourse.” In The Dynamics of Political Discourse: Forms and Functions of Follow-Ups, ed. by Anita Fetzer, Elda Weizman and Lawrence N. Berlin, 245–273. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Fetzer, Anita and Elisabeth Reber
Fetzer, Anita and Elda Weizman
Grice, Herbert Paul
Gumperz, John J.
Schäffner, Christina and Susan Bassnett
Weizman, Elda and Anita Fetzer
Cited by other publications
Bull, Peter, Anita Fetzer & Dániel Z. Kádár
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