Orality vs. Literacy. Orality: Thought and verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy are unfamiliar. Literacy: The skills of reading and writing, the ability to think critically about the written word. Orality.
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Orality vs. Literacy Orality: Thought and verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy are unfamiliar. Literacy: The skills of reading and writing, the ability to think critically about the written word.
Orality • Oral cultures are untouched by writing, have no knowledge of it. • To ‘look up something’ is an empty phrase. • Language is a mode of action, an event. • Words have great power by the inflection of sound. (Tonevolume)
Orality • Think memorable thoughts. • To solve the problem of retaining and retrieving articulated thought, thinking must be done in mnemonic patterns. • Highly rhythmic-->Rhythm aids recall. Key note: All expression and all thought is to a degree formulaic, every word and every concept conveyed in a word is a kind of formula.
Orality • Redundancy, repetition, fluency, fulsomeness, and volubility are all important in oral culture. • Knowledge that is not repeated aloud will soon disappear. Oral societies must retell important stories/information so they continue to remain relevant. Narrators through the ages have been known to introduce new elements to old stories. • What are some examples?
Orality • Oral societies live in the present. • The meaning of each word is controlled by the real life, the here and now. • Vocal expression was learned by observation and practice. • Oral cultures tend to use concepts in situational, operational modes of reference. They are not concerned with the abstract. • Gestures, vocal inflections, and facial expressions are important tools for people of oral cultures.
Literacy • The skills of reading and writing • 3 facts about literacy: recency, lack of evidence, and restricted nature. • The earliest systems were rooted in the need to remember and identify an object or a being. • There was the discovery that words could be expressed in written symbols and that better methods of human intercourse would result.
Literacy-Phoneticization • The most important single step in the history of writing and preliteracy. • Arose from the need to express words and sounds that could not be indicated by pictures or their combination. • The correspondence of signs with words and meanings, and of signs with syllabic values. (signs and the direction, shape, lines of script)
The first to allow a truly useful and popular literacy based in readership was….???
The Greek Alphabet • The developing modern alphabet had to meet a number of social and intellectual conditions. • It had to cover a large number of linguistic sounds and a sufficient number of characters of visible shape, and trigger a readers memory of distinctive sounds. • The number of signs and shapes had to be limited to avoid overburdening one’s memory. • The alphabet created the possibility and potential for development and change. • This idea eventually moved on to Rome where they took on Greek models.
Final thoughts: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies • Plato proposed that humans don’t perceive truth directly, but only in an indirect, distorted image. Humans cannot see themselves as they are. • Images are opposed to reality, adjacent with illusion.