dell hymes ethnography of communication pdf after a stint in prewar Korea. Hymes’ career can be divided into at least two phases. Hymes defined a broad multidisciplinary concern with language in society.
Hymes’ later work focuses on poetics, particularly the poetic organization of Native American oral narratives. Hymes studied with Burke in the 1950s. Burke’s work was theoretically and topically diverse, but the idea that seems most influential on Hymes is the application of rhetorical criticism to poetry. Hymes termed this approach “the ethnography of speaking. The SPEAKING acronym, described below, was presented as a lighthearted heuristic to aid fieldworkers in their attempt to document and analyze instances of language in use, which he termed “speech events. Embedded in the acronym is an application and extension of Jakobson’s arguments concerning the multifunctionality of language.
He articulated other, more technical, often typologically oriented approaches to variation in patterns of language use across speech communities in a series of articles. Patterns of words and word use follow patterned, artistic forms. He feels that the translated versions of the stories are inadequate for understanding their role in the social or mental system in which they existed. English translation, are essential to understanding how the story is shaped and how repetition defines the structure that the text embodies. Hymes developed a valuable model to assist the identification and labeling of components of linguistic interaction that was driven by his view that, in order to speak a language correctly, one needs not only to learn its vocabulary and grammar, but also the context in which words are used. The living room in the grandparents’ home might be a setting for a family story.
Scene is the “psychological setting” or “cultural definition” of a setting, including characteristics such as range of formality and sense of play or seriousness. The family story may be told at a reunion celebrating the grandparents’ anniversary. At the family reunion, an aunt might tell a story to the young female relatives, but males, although not addressed, might also hear the narrative. The aunt may tell a story about the grandmother to entertain the audience, teach the young women, and honor the grandmother. Form and order of the event – The aunt’s story might begin as a response to a toast to the grandmother. The story’s plot and development would have a sequence structured by the aunt.
Possibly there would be a collaborative interruption during the telling. Finally, the group might applaud the tale and move onto another subject or activity. The aunt might imitate the grandmother’s voice and gestures in a playful way, or she might address the group in a serious voice emphasizing the sincerity and respect of the praise the story expresses. The aunt might speak in a casual register with many dialect features or might use a more formal register and careful grammatically “standard” forms. Social rules governing the event and the participants’ actions and reaction – In a playful story by the aunt, the norms might allow many audience interruptions and collaboration, or possibly those interruptions might be limited to participation by older females. A serious, formal story by the aunt might call for attention to her and no interruptions as norms. Different disciplines develop terms for kinds of speech acts, and speech communities sometimes have their own terms for types.