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ERIC Number: ED250940
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Tellings, Retellings, and Tellings Within Tellings: The Structuring and Organization of Narrative in Kuna Indian Discourse. Sociolinguistic Working Paper Number 83.
Sherzer, Joel
A system of classification for tellings and retellings by Panama's Kuna Indians reveals the dimensions of their structure and function, textually, contextually, strategically, and ethnographically. Kuna verbal life can be characterized in terms of three distinct ritual-ceremonial traditions marked by three distinct languages, settings, sets of official actors, and speech events and two basic patterns in the organization and performance of discourse. A constant interaction of poetry and discourse is also characteristic of Kuna verbal life. The typology deals with the intersection and interplay of saying or reporting, and retelling or reformulating. Five types of telling-retelling are distinguished as: (1) a telling followed immediately and sequentially by a retelling; (2) a telling followed by a retelling to a different audience in a different setting; (3) telling of the same content in one way for one purpose in one context and in a different way for another purpose in another context; (4) a range of contexts for performance of magical texts; and (5) performance of the same narrative content as the central verbal event of two separate and discrete ritual-ceremonial traditions, by different performers, in different linguistic varieties, in different contexts. Attention to these different telling-retelling relationships allows for focus on interplay of allusive and non-allusive language, rhetorical strategies, verbal expression of new information, and the Kuna theory and practice of magic and narration. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Identifiers: Cuna (Tribe); Panama
Note: Paper presented at the conference "Oralita: Cultura, letteratura, discorso" (Urbino, Italy, July 1980).