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Orality and Literacy.doc

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CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

Lecture 4- Orality and Literacy • Oral society truth is what is spoken • Literate societies focus on the written word • Belief in literate truth is possible due to invention of printing press ◦ Exact same written works • Historical development through forms of communication technology ◦ Tribal age, electic age, manuscript age, writing age. ◦ Not in stone, iron etc,---> Communication technology ◦ Can learn about culture from dominate communication being used • Walter Ong interested in way oral societies and literate societies differ. Emphasis on change from orality--> literacy and how it effected social cultural, and education implications ◦ note taking privatizes thinking. ◦ Oral society has collaborative learning • Orality and Literacy ◦ Testimony in courts given orally ▪ ritualistic ▪ more difficult in court ◦ Public debate(ie Political Forums) ▪ politions in pressure. Thinking on their feet ◦ Graduate students in oral examination ◦ Marriage ceremonies have important, ritual component • John Stuart Mill(1806-1873): Scottish Philosopher ◦ Wrote book questioning free speech ◦ Within right to write anything you want and publish it ◦ Do not have right to give public speech on same subject ◦ B/c public speech rouses people an provokes emotions ◦ Text is private moment, can read more into it, can act critically ◦ Audience @ speech more easily moved to action compared to pamphlet ◦ written text does not have as much emotional power • What is different between written text and oral lectures? ◦ Things can be repeated during a talks, rephrased ▪ Due to rapid fading • Milman Parry: Scholar ◦ Oddyssey and Illiad and other Epics were never originally written down ◦ Oral texts transcribed ◦ Possess oral traits, lists, songs ◦ Greek poet able to recite thousands of line of poetry because no other option ▪ Forced to pass information orally ◦ Exosomatic technologies(out of the body)= books, computers, don't memorize, write down • Oral societies must memorize ◦ Origin/social history ◦ geographical, political, genalogicalaspects of life ◦ To memorize used Mnemonics ▪ r
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