ERIC Number: ED252063
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Semiotics of Two Speech Styles in Shokleng. Sociolinguistic Working Paper Number 103.
Two speech styles, origin-myth telling and ritual wailing, found among the Shokleng Indians of south Brazil are analyzed from the perspective of two specific functions of speech style: (1) for indexing or highlighting the subject matter in certain contexts, and (2) for relating the contexts and subject matters to other contexts and subject matters based the iconicity of its signals (pronunciation differences, distinct intonational patterns, etc.) with other linguistic and nonlinguistic signals employed in the culture. It is argued that there are certain formal-functional regularities in the relation between the special speech style and the everyday code, characterized as expressive restriction and formal amplification, and that the Shokleng speech styles use pragmatic (nonsemantic) features, taking the marked value of some pragmatic variable in everyday code and fixing it in the speech style. Formal amplification, an alternative form of marking, is found in the alternating use of semantically equivalent forms. The indexing function of the speech styles, which is stated as a hypothesis about the Shokleng styles, is seen to have a more general relevance in that speech styles tend to occur in connection with contexts or subject matters that are areas of cultural emphasis. The second speech style function considered, the iconic function, works both to lead to meanings in various directions and to pull together or bring into focus those diverse regions of the system to which it leads. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Identifiers: Brazil; Shokleng