Mobilizing knowledge

Reported speech and citation in public policy deliberations


  • Tosh Tachino Independent Scholar



citation, knowledge mobilization, public inquiry, public policy, reported speech, research dissemination


Many linguistic studies have analyzed the ways in which reported speech is used to mobilize knowledge in academic writing, but there have been far fewer such studies of knowledge mobilization in non-academic genres. This study analyzes the functions of reported speech in a Canadian quasi-judicial public inquiry report, a genre that is intertextually situated between research genres (through academic expert witnesses) and policy genres (through its role in making policy recommendations to the government). All instances of explicitly marked citation and reported speech in the commission report were identified and coded by function. The findings show citation and reported speech had specific functions that contributed to knowledge mobilization by discursively creating evidence, transporting worldviews and values, and changing knowledge status in the legal genres. The analysis also raises theoretical questions in linguistics, resulting in the argument that reported speech is not a static, formal category but a discursive status negotiated by the participants.

Author Biography

Tosh Tachino, Independent Scholar

Tosh Tachino received his PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University. He has taught and tutored in diverse contexts on a range of subjects, including academic writing, rhetorical analysis, informal logic, and classical Latin, as well as Japanese, math, and Spanish literacy in Spanish. Some of his previous work has appeared in Text and Talk (2017), Written Communication (2012), Linguagem em (Dis)curso (2010), and in a collection, Genre and the Performance of Publics (2016, University Press of Colorado). 


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How to Cite

Tachino, T. . (2021). Mobilizing knowledge: Reported speech and citation in public policy deliberations. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 15(3), 288–312.