The speech event kuutu in the Eastern Maroon community

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Title: The speech event kuutu in the Eastern Maroon community
Authors: Migge, Bettina
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Date: Dec-2004
Abstract: Sociolinguistic analyses of creoles are generally restricted to morphosyntactic aspects, drawing their data from vernacular speech in informal interviews. While this approach has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of the grammatical competence of creole speakers, it has provided relatively little insight into their communicative competence. The present study follows the 'ethnography of speaking' approach (Hymes 1972) to investigate the social and linguistic properties of an important formal event in the Eastern Maroon community, the kuutu 'council meeting'. The data underlying this study were collected among the Pamaka maroons. My investigation shows that the kuutu event is characterized by structured social and linguistic practices that provide important face-saving strategies, and create an aura of dignity, importance and respectability. The social practices described here include participation privileges, and procedures for organizing and holding a kuutu. Concomitant linguistic practices include turn-taking procedures as well as lexical and pragmatic choices. The social conventions and speech acts described here are primarily associated with titled persons and elders, who are the sole active participants in a kuutu. The analysis provided also suggests that speech genre analysis offers important insights into the nature of linguistic varieties and the social meanings they index.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: John Benjamins
Keywords: Maroons--SurinameSociolinguistics
DOI: 10.1075/cll.27
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Escure, G. & Schwegler, A. (eds.). Creoles, contact and language change: Linguistic and social implications
ISBN: 9789027295088
Appears in Collections:Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection

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