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Unformatted text preview: Language Language Cultural components Cultural Institutions least stable → Language quite stable Language Religion more stable; values not Religion institutions institutions → Motor habits most stable: art, music and dance Two Views of Language Two Language: Enlightenment Language: Language: names which stand for Language: objects objects Words get their meaning from the Words object object Implies thought is prior to language Language describes reality Language Language: Postmodernism Language: Words get their meaning from other Words words (Wittgenstein) words The linguistic system determines the The meaning of the individual parts meaning Words create the reality Words the No language gives us an accurate No picture of the world Social Control Social Eliminate African Cultures Eliminate Strategy – separate language groups Prevent possibility of fomenting Prevent rebellion rebellion Part of seasoning process Attempt to destroy cultural memory Impose Western Culture Impose Learning English: forced Africans to Learning operate in a socially constructed universe that was western universe “To speak is to assume culture.” To (Fanon) (Fanon) Reconstruct Language Reconstruct Pidgin – allow two different Pidgin language-speaking groups to communicate. Creole / Patois – organic process in Creole which African language form acted upon the European language imposed from outside. imposed Nation Language Nation Combine mostly English words in a Combine modified African structure modified Full range of expression: deepest Full thoughts and feelings of a people thoughts African understanding of nommo. African nommo Patois Patois 1973 Radio 1973 Interview: San Francisco Francisco Invisible Spaces Invisible “The barracks The compound – that’s where the slaves lived – was a place where they [the property owners] allowed them [the slaves] to have their dancing and their drum beating and their songs and things. . . telling stories, singing old songs making up songs and different things.” Oral Tradition Oral Oral vs. Written Tradition Oral Immediate – can’t be paused Active – happens in the moment Dynamic – the act of ‘sounding’ not inert Communal – slave compound / yard Experiential versus imperial permanence Openly and intentionally magical. Openly Expressions: Storytelling Expressions: Storytelling – teaching stories Storytelling Anancy stories Anancy Trickster – disrupts rigid structures Symbol of resistance Masculinized Performance Performance One of his most One important characteristics is his lisp his Jamaican ‘Storyteller’ – Louis Bennett Expressions: Word Play Expressions: ‘Will-by-force’ ‘Head-decay-shun’ ‘You Rope I Hands’ Mickey Smith Mickey
Centrality of Centrality Voice* Voice* Sistren: Lion Heart Gal Lion Afro-Creole Spaces Afro-Creole Call and response/participatory On-the-spot verbal contests Tea Meetings: Ritualized use of Tea language language Elocution contests Musical lyrics Musical Language as Resistance Language Received punishment for verbal abuse Received described it as “indecent”, “scandalous”, “outrageous”, “insulting”, “abusive”, or “threatening.” “threatening.” It required “great patience to bear with the It provoking tongues and noise of the women.” women.” Visible Assertion of Dignity Visible “I don’t know much don’t ‘bout book, but I tell you what me fren, I is a person wid a terrible long head, I can tell you, and de man dat want fe mek me a fool, mek him come!” mek Source of Stereotypes? Source Define own truth: “telling lies to Define backra” backra” Define own law: ‘what I take from Define my master, being for my own use, who am his slave, or property, he loses nothing in the transfer.’ ...
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- Spring '10