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Unformatted text preview: d to you, the mother (of the family)! L.J
In this case, the exchange is enacted as a series of reciprocal compliments,
as shown by the syntax of the last utterance by Tula'i: "maid indeed to you,
the mother (of the family)!", but it also works as a greeting. This is predictable given that it conforms to the six criteria introduced earlier and no other
greeting with Amelia follows.
In 1978,1 was told by a Samoan instructor who had taught Peace Corps
volunteers not to use mold as a greeting. He, like other adult Samoans with
whom I spoke, considered the use of maid as a greeting a relatively recent
and degenerate extension of the use of maid as a compliment. (This view is
supported by the fact that maid is not mentioned as a greeting in any of the
earlier ethnographic accounts.)
How can we explain the extension of the mdid from one context to the
other? In the malo greeting, the party who is about to enter another's living Universal and Culture-Specific Properties of Greetings space calls out to the other by starting an exchange of mutual support and
recognition. Since the other is likely to be busy doing something or to have
just finished doing something, maid is an extension of the one used in those
contexts in which one party is more explicitly seen as "doing something"
and the other as "supporting the other party's efforts." When the maid
exchange is started by the person who is stationary (e.g., inside a house), it
could be seen as an extension of a congratulatory act to the newcomer for
having made it to the present location, overcoming whatever obstacles he
encountered or could have encountered.
In its ambiguous state between a congratulating act and a greeting act,
this Samoan greeting shares certain similarities with the English "How are
you?" d iscussed by Sacks (1975) and others. In both cases, we have a
greeting item that is not exclusively used for greeting and in fact is imported, as it were, into the greeting exchange from other uses and contexts.
In both cases, we have a relative or incomplete ritualization of the term so
that it can be still taken "literally." There still is, in other words, some of the
force of the malo compliment in the maid greeting. At the same time,
differently from the English "How are you?", we cannot define the malo
greeting as a "greeting substitute" because there is no other obvious candidate for the same types of situations.
Ceremonial greetings are typically exchanged when a high status person
(e.g., a titled individual [or matai], a g overnment official, a minister of the
church, a deacon, a head nurse) arrives at what is either foreseen or framed
as an official visit or public event. As discussed in Duranti (1992a), ceremonial greetings (CGs) only take place after the newly arrived party goes to
sit down in the "front region" of the house. CGs are the most complex
among the four types of Samoan greeting...
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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