Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking

First published in 1974, this collection of classic case studies in the ethnography of speaking had a formative influence on the field. No other volume has so successfully provided a broad, cross-cultural survey of the use, role and function of language and speech in social life. The essays deal with traditional societies in Native North, Middle, and South America, Africa, and Oceania, as well as English, French, and Yiddish speaking communities in Europe and North America and Afro-American communities in North America and the Caribbean. Now reissued, the collection includes a major new introduction by the editors which traces the subsequent development of the ethnography of speaking and indicates directions for future research. The theoretical and methodological concepts and perspectives which illuminated the first edition are now recognized and valued by many disciplines beyond that of linguistic anthropology. Scholars and students whose backgrounds may be in literature, speech communication, performance studies or ethnomusicology will equally welcome this new edition.


Introduction to the second edition; Part I. Preface and Introduction: Preface; Introduction; Part II. Communities and Resources for Performance: Introduction; 1. A quantitative paradigm for the study of communicative competence Gillian Sankoff; 2. Language identity of the columbian vaupés indians Jean Jackson; 3. ‘Our ancestors spoke in pairs’: rotinese views of language, dialect, and code James J. Fox; Part III. Community Ground Rules for Performance: Introduction; 4. Warm springs ‘indian time’: how the regulation of participation affects the progress of events Susan U. Philips; 5. Contrapuntal conversations in an Antiguan village Karl Reisman; 6. Norm-makers, norm-breakers: uses of speech by men and women in a malagasy community Elinor Keenan; 7. Speaking in the light: the role of the quaker minister Richard Bauman; Part IV. Speech Acts, Events, and Situations: Introduction; 8. Strategies of status manipulation in the wolof greeting Judith T. Irvine; 9. Rituals of encounter among the Maori: sociolinguistic study of a scene Anne Salmond; 10. Speaking of speaking: Tenejapa tzeltal metalinguistics Brian Stross; 11. Black talking on the streets Roger D. Abrahams; 12. Namakke, Sunmakke, Kormakki: three types of cuna speech event Joel Sherzer; 13. The concept and varieties of narrative performance in east European jewish culture Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett; Part V. The Shaping of Artistic Structures in Performance: Introduction; 14. Correlates of cree narrative performance Regna Darnell; 15. An analysis of the course of a joke’s telling in conversation Harvey Sacks; 16. When words become deeds: an analysis of three iroquois longhouse speech events Michael K. Foster; 17. The ethnographic context of some traditional mayan speech genres Victoria R. Bricker; 18. To speak with a heated heart: Chamula canons of style and good performance Gary H. Gossen; Part VI. Toward an Ethnology of Speaking: Introduction; 19. Data and data use in an analysis of communicative events Allen D. Grimshaw; 20. The ethnography of writing Keith H. Basso; 21. Ways of speaking Dell Hymes; Notes; References; Index of names.