Shared Flashcard Set


Language final
Undergraduate 2

Additional Anthropology Flashcards




Language and socialisation model

Focus on documenting how people manage concerted activity by constantly informing and conforming each other to whatever it is that is supposed to happen next.

  • EG: Duranti's test of seating. The young boy went by a model dictated by the blueprint of structure he was socialised to know... The matai could use his own sense to bypass the model.
Duality of Structure

The Contrast between need for individuals to rely on some pre-determined system of rules, forms, expectations (structure), and the need to adapt those already available and tested forms to new and often unpredictable circumstances. (Agency)

  • Structure and Agency are mutually constitutive and reflective, in that people/agents shape structure (if the individuals are skilled), and the Structure confines agency to somewhat normative boundaries
  • Structure is the set of resources that act to create meaning, Agency is the ability to act and create meaning 
Ethnography of communication

speech community: people that share rules for producing and interpret language (Samoans, fono members, etc.)

Speech situation: Instance of talking or not talking (Fono, everyday interaction, dinner, fa'alupega)

Speech event: Particular conversation from beginning and end, governed by special rules/norms (specific Fa'alupega speech, interview, etc.)

Communicative acts: Specific utterances: (addressed to chiefs, orators, or various people)

Communicative style/ways of speaking: interchangeable ways of speaking in events (dinner, fono, etc.)

Speaking Mneumonic

Situation: scene setting, what is it a part of, where and when (psychological+physical)


Participants: Who speaks, who is listening, audience, what relationship (ali'i vs. tulafale)


Ends: Reasons for speech, what is the agenda (goals are specific)


Act Sequence: What words are used and in what order (Remember duality of Structure.. ideal vs actual)


Key: mood, tone, spirit of speech (Duranti had people interpret but was misinterpreted without the specific context...Duranti states this as most important)


Instrumentality: Space+Time+language+styles of speaking (I.E> semiotic resource) 


Norms:who and when do people get to speak and where do they sit in relation to each other


Genre: Fono, fa'alupega and everyday...

Heteroglossia (Definition and features in the fono)

Simultaneous existence of multiple forms and norms associated with intertextuality (linking of texts, reffering to eachother, genres share reference from one text to another)


*The fono itself is Heteroglossic as it moves from Lauga to Talanoaga*


*Semiotic resource work in a heteroglossic nature as they are commonly used in conjunction with each other*


In the fono:


A)    Mixing speech registers or codes: Talalnoaga uses profanity, slang, English borrowed words, whereas the Langua they would never be spoken.

B)    More pronounced display of affect: Show of personal emotion in Talanoaga, that in the langua is only used for the gods, reverence, ceremony, geneology. (i.e. proper emotion)

C)    Invocation of Personal Identities: talanoaga uses personal names, langua uses title as it is passed down through descent and is separate from the person. (shows a concern for violating the epic vision of ancestral powers)

D)    Use of quoted direct speech: Langua recite myths, history, titles, etc. In the ceremonial langua uses quoted speech to get personal goals accomplished without direct conflict.

E)    More dialogical exchanges: Macro turns (long ceremonial discourse) in langua, however talanoaga is about dialogue (micro).

F)     Logical argumentation: (if-then) in the talanoaga is a way of getting alternative views into the conversation and compare the past and present.

G) Mention of negative contributions and bad deeds: Langua is all about God is good, Matai are great, etc. Talanoaga is the personalised negative things. This is dealt with as a way to get back to the good


Field Linguistics

Learning about particular linguistic rules or features: entails going to the site in order to find people who can perform specific utterances so the linguist can analyze (not interested in context)

Ethnographic linguistics

Tries to find out what language means in context (performance), participants engage in locally meaningful speech events (language with specific ends). Grammar is only important so far as it affects social life.

  • Methods: to manifest these goals (theoretical more than practical) field, context informants. The goal is to have ethnographic dialogue in which it is spontaneous and indegenous (opposed to researcher affected)
  • Duranti sat in on fono, recorder language, asked people to interpret, talked to other villages to see generalisability, recorder everyday talk to compare (Ethnography of communication framework)
Semiotic resources (main 4)
  1. Language (key)
  2. Space
  3. Ergative Case Marking (ways of mitigating agency)
  4. Time
  5. interruptions
Semiotic resources and how they operate
  1. Space: Seating arrangements have an ideal model in the fono, in which the front and center is reserved for the high status orators (moe'ono), the sides are for Ali'i (highest in the middle), and the back for the lowest ranking individuals, and those who have little or no say.

Ex.1: Taflili sits in the front to indicate her intention to speak and right to defend her brother.


Ex.2: Duranti sits in the back, gets served last, however another orator notices and the problem is rectified.


**This shows that a blueprint exists (moral model), but that it can be manipulated for specific ends.


2. Temporal Boundaries:(framing/Kava distribution)

..Ceremonial: God, Senior ali'i (or guest), orators

..Fono: God, Tulafale, senior ali'i


EX1. Highest ranking orator doesn't get served first, as in the blueprint, instead the lowest comes first

        ---Explanation: lowest ranking village used to clear the way on the battlefield for the higher ranked, also the kava distributor was from the same village.


** Once again shows the blueprint is maleable, but also that the seating plan is not so definite in it's meaning, also the kava distributor has a certain amount of agency.


3. Talk: Before the fono=overlap, multiple conversation, casual topic (exception is the arrival of Moe'ono)

During the fono= ritualised, use of metaphor, proverbs, structured (follows the order of the Kava/seating arrangements)


EX1. Ali'i talks out of turn to cut off orators, Iuli puts him back into canonical order


EX2. Interruption of Matafa (old guy), accomplishes distraction from the issue.


4. Ergative case marking:

5. Interruption:

6. Ways of mitigating Agency:


**Essentially Semiotic resources are heteroglossic (they can be used simultaneously in the same discourse) and can be used to achieve or mitigate agency, and skilled users can manipulate existing structural boundaries through the use of semiotic resource**


Difference between ceremonial lauga and talanoaga in reference to


1) Interuptions

2) constructions of worldview

3)Turns at talk


--interruptions: A distinction between the interruption in a fono vs. Other contexts is located in the key in which the interruptions are carried out and interpreted.

*In the fono, the interruptions are often serious and are aimed at controlling the general demeanor of the event in which the participants are expected to show respect for the tradition, and avoid emotional or uncontrolled rebuttals. If someone does either, they may be interrupted to return to the controlled discourse. (i.e. the chief who tries to cut off an orator and Iuli puts him in his place, or Mata’afa who responds to Moe’ono in a heated manner... however effectively shames Moe’ono and the act of being interrupted to smooth out his discourse by his chief helps to take the attention from the matter to the interruption itself and takes away the consensus to kick them out.)

 *Ceremonial interruptions skip the genealogies (lengthy) and are less serious (Key) the interruption is expected and ritualised so no hard feelings are expected, the interrupter even thanks the person after he omits the geneology. 

*Interruptions are often performed to avoid public mention of past events, genealogies included, which can bring up potentially controversial issues and thus either escalate already present tension in a fono or break the frame of reached agreement typical of speech performances during ceremonial encounters.  


--constructions of worldview: The fono is characterised by contradiction, resentment, etc. While the ceremonial address is characterised by harmonious, well organised, politeness, etc.  


--turns at talk:Before the Lauga starts, speakers engage in casual talk, in which case there is much overlap, everyday gossip is mentioned, and informal structures are not solidified i.e. turns at talk are individually negotiated.

*After the lauga starts, turns at talk become highly ritualized, beginning with Orators (high to lower status), turns are macro as they can take the form of entire speeches and include geneologies and epic stories of the past

*During the Talnoaga, turns become micro (less formulaic, concentration on dialogue) and there are more interruptions and thus, turns are shorter.

Information Flow and Moral flow definitions

Information Flow: the system of including or excluding the referent (traking) depending on the activity of the referent.


Moral Flow: Characters are introduced and their actions judged against moral types; this gives a way of evaluating the information of the utterances (regulated by the information flow). In Samoa this is co-produced, as it is the group which must come to consensus in order to pass judgement.


**Talk is therapeutic as it is not just an exchange of new information, but assessing moral values. Without the moral flow, talk would be meaningless. Politics is the process of making those assessments part of institutions by elevating them to pragmatic principles and policies that have collective importance**

Ergative Case Marking
  • The goal is to place blame or praise for ones actions or ability to act which is set against the moral ideals set by society.


What it accomplishes:

  1. Agency and responsibility assigned (be it a deity, person, or group of persons)
  2. Agency and power is given/re-asserted by those who use it.

It's occurence in the fono versus everyday talk:

  • Grammatical configurations are similar: "E" is more explicit as it's goal is to place blame or praise more explicitly...however zero-anaphora (ommiting the subject completely) is more ocmmon in everyday speech as well as the use of "si" which implies explicitly that the audience should have sympathy for the referent.
  • Access to this resource differs: Everyone can use it in everyday speech
  • Response to ergative agency differs: much more immediate response, partly due to turn-taking process in conversation as opposed to speechmaking.


Ways of mitigating Agency in the fono: (3)

1. mention of potential agent via alternative marking:

oblique (i, or ia/means from ) gives the agency to the human initiator, indirectly.

genitive (o or a) gives agency to the object, taking away agency from the human agent, (in cases in which class is an issue)

2. self- or other-abasement: Lowers one’s status (or the referent) and at the same time highlights the responsibility of the referent. This is also called a double bind in which the responsibility cancels itself out. i.e. Duranti as the boy, and who is writing all the important stuff Moe’e’ono says...(Occurs in situations to diffuse face threatening acts, and apologies.)

3. embedding of transitive clause in quoted speech: This essentially: 1) allows lower status agents to use ergative case marking, 2) and allows the speaker to make accusations without taking responsibilities for it. **This is important because it shows that power is not just reflective of the way language is framed, it is also constituted by agents, i.e. it is achieved by agents framing.** ** Moe’eono uses ergative marking to accuse and assign responsibility, and the high chiefs use it to praise God***


Locutionary Acts and Illucutionary acts

Locutionary acts: the act of saying something (the actual utterance) I.E. "you're fired!"


Illocutionary acts: The act the speaker can accomplish in saying something, by means of the conventional force of the locutionary act. I.E> have no job now...


**The effect of the illocutionary acts are justified by context (as speakers do not usually define their utterances as clearly blaming or praising), and it is the other participants, with their responses, assessments, counteraccusations, and affective stances who provide the stuff out of which meaning can be interpreted by a third party**


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