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ERIC Number: ED200048
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Of Puppet Voices and Interlocutors: Exposing Essences of Puppetry and Speech.
Puppetry has potential for illuminating many aspects of human life. One of these aspects, the system of language and speech, is explored here. An examination of the widespread use of a voice-modifying instrument to provide the puppets' voices demonstrates that traditional puppeteers act both as folk linguists and as folk sociolinguists. The study examines several examples of puppet dialogue from different traditions in which voice modifiers are used. In all the traditions, it is found that the resources available to the puppeteer to increase the intelligibility of his distorted voice operate in three areas: dialogue, communicative event, and speech itself. In addition to speech modifiers, the use of other devices, such as foreign language words or accent, are examined for their ability to provide a distinct language in which puppets can interact. Three conclusions are derived from the study: (1) human speech is capable of being distorted and reduced without its sense being sacrificed, because of the inherent redundancies built into the speech system itself; (2) speech has its locus in dialogue and understanding is necessarily dialogic in nature; and (3) the essence of all art is the dynamic tension between illusion and reality. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Note: In its Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, Number 79, p1-31 Aug 1980. Small print may be marginally legible.