Allusive talk – Playing on indirect intertextual references in Russian conversation

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


In casual conversations, interlocutors often merely hint at intertextual references. The elusive design of such references ranges from extremely truncated or modified quotes, or mentions of names, to the rendition of generic patterns and enregistered (Agha, 2007) varieties associated with social or ethnic stereotypes. The paper refers to such non-explicitly marked references as allusions and discusses the methodological challenges posed by their detection and analysis. Qualitative analyses of four conversational episodes illustrate how Russian speakers and interlocutors draw on such allusions and playfully exploit the meaning potential of the (con-)text referenced. The talk that thereby emerges points, in various ways, to the recognition and possible understanding of an allusion. Allusive talk is thus both based on, and points to, a common ground shared by the interlocutors and providing a rich inferential substrate of interaction (Haugh, 2017) that usually remains unexposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123 - 134
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 508007 Communication science
  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 602047 Slavonic studies
  • 602048 Sociolinguistics
  • 602026 Cognitive linguistics
  • 602041 Rhetoric

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