ERIC Number: ED252074
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Tuneful Weeping: A Mode of Communication. Working Papers in Sociolinguistics Number 27.
Tiwary, K. M.
In the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in northern India the speech styles of men and women differ markedly in a number of ways. One mode of communication, tuneful weeping, is exclusive to women. This behavior is distinguished from spontaneous crying caused by pain, and is used only in certain prescribed social situations, and not necessarily in sorrow. It is accompanied by a well-organized set of statements on certain topics and themes, "wept statements," that are used only with weeping. Vocal embellishments to wept statements enrich their emotional charge, and the degree of affection in the situation can affect the length of the weeping. It is often done with a weeping partner, and the usual topics are memories of the past lived with the weeping partner, the fear of an unknown future in an unknown place, apologies for not being as dutiful or respectful as possible, and appeals for forgiveness and requests not to be forgotten. Male response to female weeping is in a normal conversational tone. Typical weeping situations include a woman's leaving her home for her husband's, visits from kinsmen, reunions of women long separated, a period after initial mourning in which the women sit around the dead body and weep, or in a quarrel when grievances are being aired. Under the given conditions, women are obliged to weep or be considered antisocial. However, many modern young women are refusing to weep and this mode of communication may become obsolete. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Science Research Council, New York, NY. Committee on Sociolinguistics.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Identifiers - Location: India