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Oral Culture. Team Presentation 1: Laura Ahumada, Nick Cerretti, Brian Hall, Kara McDermott, Yasmine Sareini. History of Orality. 40,000 yrs ago: records show the beginnings of oral traditions 6,000 yrs ago: Chirographic culture begins

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oral culture

Oral Culture

Team Presentation 1:

Laura Ahumada, Nick Cerretti, Brian Hall, Kara McDermott, Yasmine Sareini

history of orality
History of Orality
  • 40,000 yrs ago: records show the beginnings of oral traditions
  • 6,000 yrs ago: Chirographic culture begins
  • Ancient Greece: first significant move from a primarily oral
ancient greece
Ancient Greece
  • First significant move from a primarily oral culture
  • Greek vowels appeared in the 4th cent. BC
  • Allowed for a closer representation of the sounds of spoken language
western world
Western World
  • In the last 1000 years or so, oral culture has been mostly replaced by a literate culture
  • The invention of the printing press marks the end of oral culture
  • Orality still exists in some forms within the literate culture
roles in an oral culture
Roles in an Oral Culture
  • “Poet”- very important member of society
    • Responsible for knowing all the vocabulary, history, and traditions of a society and passing them down to the next generation
secondary orality
Secondary Orality
  • Orality still important in gathering history (e.g. experiences in wars)
  • Sustained by telephone, radio, TV, internet
    • These forms create the same collaboration found in oral culture
  • Characteristics:
    • Deplotted fictions
    • “Hollowed-out” characters
    • Post-Modernism
characteristics of orality
Characteristics of Orality
  • Additive vs. subordinate
  • Aggressive vs. Analytic
  • Redundant
  • Conservative
  • Thought is concrete
  • Agonistically intoned
  • Sympathetic vs. distanced
  • Homeostatic
  • Situational vs. abstract
aspects of an oral culture
Aspects of an Oral Culture
  • Superstitions
  • Music
  • Dance
development in an oral culture
Development in an Oral Culture
  • Evolution of human speech capabilities
how orality is seen in our texts
How Orality is seen in our texts
  • Emphasis on stress and alliterative long line used as a mnemonic device
  • Reinforcement of values
    • E.g. Loyalty and bravery in the Battle of Maldon
  • Makes Christian themes accessible
  • Entertainment
    • As seen in the riddles, which could be passed from person to person as a game
advantages of an oral culture
Advantages of an Oral Culture
  • Flexibility
  • Personal
  • Emphasis on memory
  • Focus on community
works cited
Works Cited
  • Biakolo, Emevwo. “On the Theoretical Foundations of Orality and Literacy.” Research in African Literatures. Austin: Summer 1999. vol. 30, Iss. 2; pg. 42. Accessed from Proquest on 3 October 2006.
  • Dolan, Molly. “Orality in Relation to Computer-Mediated Communication.” The Implications of Technology on the Perception of Community. http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~univ302/StudentWork/S96/Dolan/orality.html
  • Wolman, David Chewing Over the Evolution of Speech, Science and Spirit Magazine 2002.
  • Fitch, W. T. (2000) The evolution of speech: a comparative review. Trends in cognitive sciences, 4(7):258--267.
  • The Evolution of Speech, in: Brown, K (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 2nd edition, Elsevier.
works cited1
Works Cited
  • Comparative Vocal Production and the Evolution of Speech:Reinterpreting the Descent of the Larynx, W. Tecumseh Fitch (in press in: The Transition to Language (A. Wray, Ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • “Descent of the larynx in chimpanzee infants” by Takeshi Nishimura, Akichika Mikami, Juri Suzuki, and Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Published online 05 29 03, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA , 10.1073/pnas.1231107100
  • http://www.ucalgary.ca/~bakardji/Orality/orality_characteristics.html
  • http://www.engl.nin.edu/wac/ong_rvw.html
works cited2
Works Cited
  • Bingham, Art. “Review of Walter J. Ong's Orality and Literacy.”
  • The Computer Culture. < http://www.units.muohio.edu/englishtech/eng49501/
  • moscakj/essay.htm>.
  • Charlton, Thomas L, Lois E. Myers, and Rebecca Sharpless. Handbook of Oral History.
  • Altamira: New York, 2006.
  • December, John. “Characteristics of Oral Culture in Discourse on the Net.” 1993.
  • http://www.december.com/john/papers/pscrc93.txt
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