A taxonomy of testimonial smothering
Kristie Dotson formulates testimonial smothering as a form of testimonial oppression where a speaker truncates or removes the content of her testimony leaving the testimony empty from any content for which the hearers demonstrated testimonial incompetence. On Dotson’s account of smothering, the speaker empties her testimony from all content relevant to the domain of exchange. However, Dotson’s account does not include or cover instances where a speaker smothers her testimony, yet her smothered testimony contains some content relevant to the domain of exchange. In this thesis, I present a more detailed analysis of testimonial smothering to showcase different ways in which oppressed speakers interact in exchanges in which they are oppressed. I take Dotson’s notion of smothering to be one form of testimonial smothering, which I call smothering via emptying. I introduce two other types of smothering, smothering via altering and smothering via echoing, to encompass cases where a speaker’s smothered testimony is not empty from content relevant to the domain of exchange. Then I use the taxonomy of testimonial smothering to showcase ways in which oppressed speakers can contribute to conversations in which they are oppressed.