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Arizona Tewa Kiva Speech as a Manifestation of Linguistic Ideology - Essay Example

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Arizona Tewa Kiva Speech as a Manifestation of Linguistic Ideology


Author Paul Kroskrity states that “examining the Arizona Tewa culture of language as a site for the investigation of linguistic ideologies is multiply warranted”. …
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Arizona Tewa Kiva Speech as a Manifestation of Linguistic Ideology

Download file to see previous pages... (298) He reports that Tewa were a Pueblo Indian group “which removed itself from Spanish influence in 1700 by migrating to the eastern most of the Hope Mesas” (298) In order to maintain their distinct culture they 1) resisted linguistic borrowing from other languages and 2) were the only out migrating group to retain its’ language into the present. The language preservation has been achieved through the Tewa control of “kiva” speech which is the religious ceremonial speech common to all Pueblo societies. The instruments of control are 1) regulation by convention 2) indigenous purity 3) strict compartmentalization and 4) linguistic indexing of identity. Regulation by Convention Ritual performances rely on fixed prayer and song texts with no tolerance for innovation. This is also manifested in everyday speech preferences, for example by greeting formulae. Also in traditional stories “audience members and performers alike have a tradition which employs stylized non-verbal accompaniment and uses familiar story telling conventions,” for example the repeated use of “ba” as a genre making equivalent to our “so they say”. Such conventions must be followed even if narrators chose to contextualize their stories for specific audiences, or the content and narrator are non traditional in order for audience acceptance Indigenous Purity and Strict Compartmentalization. The author reports that the Tewa have a strict prohibition against the inclusion of foreign words and non kiva Tewa words in kiva ceremonies. This he contends is prompted by the “need for stylized consistency “ in a conventional liturgical speech level, rather than indicating xenophobia against foreign languages. (302) By a trickle down effect the prohibition against foreign words prevails in everyday speech patterns as well. There is also a strict compartmentalization in Tewa linguistic ideology with “kiva talk” strictly segregated from both foreign influence and everyday Tewa language in order to preserve its’ sanctity. While examination of linguistic data supports the conclusion that few foreign words have been incorporated into Tewa language, there is evidence of grammatical convergence. Linguistic Indexing of Identity The author states that in Tewa society “a person’s speech behavior expresses important information the speaker’s identity”. This relates to his or her positional rather than personal identity. For example, “a conventional component of public announcements is the explicit announcement by the chanter of his mediating status as spokesman.” (306) Conclusion Kroskrity concludes by claiming “linguistic ideology presents an account which captures the cultural unity of otherwise disparate linguistic norms” and justifies the opening quote of this summary.(311) Since in Tewa society both religious and political leadership is concentrated in kiva ceremonies, their linguistic ideology provides an insight into how power and social control are exercised. The “Father Knows Best” Dynamic in Dinnertime Narratives Introduction This article “addresses gender asymmetry in middle class European American families through an examination of a simple social activity narrating ( a story or a report) over family dinner” on the basis of the Father Knows Best dynamic where father is typically set up to be primary audience, judge, and center of family members actions, conditions, thoughts, and feelings as was the case for this well known 1950s ( 101 )TV sitcom. In spite of more recent feminist ideology, this family power dynamic appears to still prevail. Methodology The author’s study focuses on dinnertime communication patterns of 7 two-parent families earning under $40.000 per annum between 1987 and 1989.( 102 ) Each family had a 5 year old child who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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