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Unformatted text preview: st the six criteria provided above, we find
that it matches only two or perhaps three of the criteria for identifying
(i) It is part of a relatively predictable part of a speech (criterion 4).
(ii) It contributes in part to the establishment of a spatiotemporal unit of
interaction (to the extent to which it contributes to clarifying the type
of encounter in which it occurs) (criterion 5).
(iii) It identifies the interlocutors as distinct and yet related beings (criterion 6).
But tulounga does not qualify according to the three remaining criteria:
(a) It does not occur close to an interactional boundary (criterion 1).
Instead, it is used in the middle of a speech.
(b) It does not establish a shared perceptual field (criterion 2). Such a field
has already been established by a number of other expressions and
(c) It is not in the form of an adjacency pair (criterion 3). There is no
immediate or obvious response to the particular section of the speech
in which the speaker uses tulounga.
The analysis of greetings presented here shows that semantic analysis
must be integrated with ethnographic information if we want to provide
an adequate pragmatic analysis of speech activities within and across
speech communities. Whatever greetings accomplish, they do it by virtue
of the participants' ability to match routine expressions with particular
sociohistorical circumstances. To say that greetings are constituted by
formulaic expressions only tells half of the story. The other half is how such
formulaic expressions may be adapted to, and at the same time help
establish, new contexts.
I have argued that we cannot compare greetings across speech communities unless we come up with a universal definition of what constitutes a
greeting exchange. After proposing such a universal definition consisting
of six criteria, I have shown that the tendency to see greetings as devoid of
propositional content or expressing "phatic communion" is too limiting
and, in fact, inaccurate. Greetings are, indeed, toward the formulaic end of
the formulaic-creative continuum that runs across the full range of communicative acts through which humans manage their everyday life, but they
can also communicate new information to participants through the types
of questions they ask and the kinds of answers they produce. My analysis
of four different types of Samoan greetings offers an empirical corroboration of the six criteria and proposes some new hypotheses about the work
that is done during greetings in human encounters. In particular, I have
shown the following: Universal and Culture-Specific Properties of Greetings 1. The notion of "greeting substitute" used for English greetings such as
"How are you?" may not be extendable to other speech communities. I
showed that in Samoan, since no particular greeting can be identified as the
most basic or unmarked one, there is no sense in claiming that any of the
expressions used in greetings are "greeting subst...
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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