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Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse

Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse


Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language

Jane H. Hill, Judith T. Irvine, Alessandro Duranti, John W. Du Bois, Wallace Chafe, Judith T. Irvine, Amy Shuman, Niko Besnier, Richard Bauman, Ofelia Zepeda, Edward H. Bendix, Susan U. Philips, Tullio Maranhão
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  • Date Published: June 1993
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521425292

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About the Authors
  • 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.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1993
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521425292
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 156 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • 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 Maranhão
    Index of subjects
    Index of names.

  • Editors

    Jane H. Hill, University of Arizona

    Judith T. Irvine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


    Jane H. Hill, Judith T. Irvine, Alessandro Duranti, John W. Du Bois, Wallace Chafe, Judith T. Irvine, Amy Shuman, Niko Besnier, Richard Bauman, Ofelia Zepeda, Edward H. Bendix, Susan U. Philips, Tullio Maranhão

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