Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse

Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse

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In Responsibility and evidence in oral discourse twelve prominent linguists and linguistic anthropologists examine 'responsibility', 'authority', and 'knowledge': central, but problematic, concepts in contemporary anthropology. Their detailed case studies analyze diverse forms of oral discourse - everyday conversation, conversational narrative, song, oratory, divination, and ritual poetry - in societies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The studies show how speakers attribute responsibility for acts and states of affairs, how particular forms of language and discourse relate to claims and disclaimers of responsibility, and how verbal acts are themselves social acts, subject to such attributions. The volume challenges those cognitive theorists who locate responsibility for the meaning of verbal acts solely in the intentions of individual speakers. Instead, the contributors focus on the production of meaning between speakers and audiences in particular social and cultural contexts, through dialogue and interaction which mediate between linguistic forms and their interpretations. This landmark volume will serve for years to come as a point of reference in the study, not only of responsibility and evidence, but of reported speech, authorship, and other phenomena in the social life of language. Besides linguistic and cultural anthropologists, linguistics, and folklorists, it will interest also readers from pragmatics, legal studies, sociology, religion, and social psychology.show more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4 tables
  • 1139170333
  • 9781139170338

Review quote

"This book is an exceedingly important contribution to the understanding of the use of rhetorical devices in oral discourse...the volume as a whole gives us a rich, multicultural perspective on the impact of context and interaction in the construction of meaning." The Modern Language Journal "This very cohesive volume will be of particular interest to second language reserchers studying speech acts...All of the articles in this volume provide insights into a wide variety of authentic speech events and speech acts." Susan Fiksdal, Studies in Second Language Acquisitionsshow more

Table of contents

List of figures and tables; Introduction Jane H. Hill and Judith T. Irvine; 1. Intentions, self, and responsibility: an essay in Samoan ethnopragmatics Alessandro Duranti; 2. Meaning without intention: lessons from divination John W. Du Bois; 3. Seneca speaking styles and the location of authority Wallace Chafe; 4. Obligations to the word: ritual speech, performance, and responsibility: verbal abuse in a Wolof village Judith T. Irvine; 6. 'Get outa my face': entitlement and authoritative discouse Amy Shuman; 7. Reported speech and affect on Nukulaelae Atoll Niko Besnier; 8. Disclaimers of performance Richard Bauman; 9. Mrs. Patricio's trouble: the distribution of responsibility in an account of personal experience Jane H. Hill and Ofelia Zepeda; 10. The grammaticalization of responsibility and evidence: interactional manipulation of evidential categories in Newari Edward H. Bendix; 11. Evidentiary standards for American trials: just the facts Susan U. Philips; 12. Recollections of fieldwork conversations, or authorial difficulties in anthropological writing Tullio Maranhao; References; Index of subjects; Index of names.show more

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