Saturday, February 21, 2009


Last week, we ranged over the readings from Crystal and discussed some possible areas of consideration for our effort to create a grammar of storytelling. Mi Ryoung suggested that we call this branch of study "Story Linguistics." As I look over the question I think I can begin to bring it into more focus.

First: we are looking at a dynamic process, a behavior we call storytelling. That makes it a possible subset of narrative. Stories are narratives, but we are specifically looking at the storytelling event (narrative in action.)

Second: our assignments are to record and analyze a conversational storytelling event and a formal storytelling event. For this reason, let us focus our concerns more on the storytelling event of the present time and somewhat less on the larger historical continuum.

Here are the terms we have been throwing around, loosely organized into categories:

I. Gesture/ Attitude / Body Language
II. Sound / Phonetics / Phonemes
III. Phrase / Clause / Sentence / Image / Idea
IV. Involvement / Grooming / Strokes
V. Lexicon / Plumage / Elegance / Eloquence / Dialect

The following should come under scrutiny, though we have not yet discussed them:

VI. Syntax / Spelling
VII. Context

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