ENCONTROS QUINZENAIS DE LINGUÍSTICA SISTÉMICO-FUNCIONAL  

 

Encontro 27º

   

27 de Junho de 2007, Quarta-feira , às 16:15 h.

 

 

THE PRAGMATICS OF PARODY AND IDENTITY IN TORAJA DISCOURSE

 

 

Aurora Donzelli (ICSUL, Portugal)

 

 

In public and academic discourse, ethnic identity is generally perceived as “a serious matter”. The strong association between ethnicity and narratives of authenticity (and the connection between ethnicity and violence outbreaks) is probably responsible for the little consideration given to instances of ethnic humor and self-mockery (but see Chung 2004, Hill 1998, Labrador 2004, Rampton 1995). This paper explores how, in the plurilingual context of the Toraja highlands (Indonesia), despite a widespread discourse of ethnic pride, speakers often engage in parodic performances of their own ethnic identity, through the stylizations of linguistic stereotypes.
Drawing on notions such as stance (Du Bois 2002), footing (Goffman 1981), and epistemic authority (Heritage and Raymond 2005), the aim will be to explore how the speaker’s orientation to the ongoing talk is pragmatically realized in interaction. It will be argued that the managements of shifts between serious and non serious frames is an essential semiotico-pragmatic device to activate multiple and coexisting identities.


 

Aurora Donzelli is an FCT postdoctoral Fellow and an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences in Lisbon. She is a linguistic anthropologist and her main areas of research are political and formal speech, language ideologies, missionization and the emergence of colonial discourse genres. Her PhD dissertation, based on extensive fieldwork in the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi (Indonesia), explores communicative practices as a locus for the social reproduction of political theories and moral notions.