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Unformatted text preview: ial and temporal organization of the exchange. Although
future studies may prove the need to regroup or even eliminate some of the
distinctions that I a m proposing, for the purpose of this article I have chosen
to keep the six criteria distinct to ensure a broader spectrum of potentially
relevant cases. Finally, I should mention that although both verbal and
nonverbal aspects of greeting behavior were taken into consideration in the
choice of defining features, later on in the article, I will favor verbal over
nonverbal aspects of greetings. This is simply due to my efforts in this case
to draw attention to the importance of the specific verbal expressions used
in greetings and is not meant to undermine the importance of gestures and
motion in the analysis of social encounters, which I have addressed elsewhere (Duranti 1992a) and intend to return to in the future.
Criterion 1: Near-Boundary Occurrence
Greetings are routinely expected to occur at the beginning of a social
encounter, although they may not always be the very first words that are
exchanged between parties. This first feature of greetings is related to their
potential function as attention-getting devices and their ability to establish
a shared field of interaction (see criteria 2 a nd 5). As defined here, greetings
must then be distinguished from closing salutations or leave takings,
despite the fact that in some cases the same expression might function as
both opening and closing salutation.6
Criterion 2: Establishment of a Shared Perceptual Field
Greetings either immediately follow or are constitutive of the interactants' public recognition of each other's presence in the same perceptual
field,7 as shown by the fact that they are usually initiated after the parties
involved have sighted each other (Duranti 1992a; Kendon and Ferber 1973).
In some cases, making recognition visually available to the other party may
constitute the greeting itself (viz., with a toss of the head, a nod, or an
eyebrow flash); in other cases, visual recognition is followed by verbal
recognition. There are differences, however, in the timing of the verbal
exchange vis-a-vis other forms of mutual recognition or verbal interaction.
In some cases, talk may be exchanged before the actual greeting takes place.
This is the case, for instance, in the Samoan ceremonial greetings (see
below), where participants may exchange jokes, questions, or a few brief
remarks before starting to engage in what is seen as the official greeting. A
possible hypothesis here is that the more formal—or the more institutionally oriented—the encounter, the more delayed the greeting, and that the
more delayed the greeting, the more elaborate the language used. Thus we
would expect brief and casual opening salutations to occur simultaneously
with or at least very close to mutual sighting"and long and elaborate
greetings to occur after the parties have had a chance to previously Universal and Culture-Specific Properties of Greetings recognize each other's presence in some way. One of the most extreme
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2014 for the course ANTHRO 33 taught by Professor Wertheim during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08
- The Bible