By Sw. Anand Prahlad
A groundbreaking examine of proverbs in African-American speech from slave instances to the current
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Additional resources for African-American Proverbs in Context (Publications of the American Folklore Society. New Series (Unnumbered).)
Signaled by the syntax or the semantics of the statement itself" (131), (4) "[p]roverbs potentially relate a large number of instances that can themselves be literally and referentially unrelated" (131-132), and (5) "[u]ttered in context, a proverb as a figurative statement is neither necessarily true nor necessarily false" (132). These authors further discuss relationships between proverbial utterances and metaphors that occur in speech events, observing that proverbs are less "context-driven" but more "knowledge-driven'' than metaphors.
In developing the methodology and analytical framework for this study, I have incorporated the theories of prominent contextualists (Hymes 1964, 1974; Bauman 1977, 1983, 1986; Ben-Amos 1972, 1977; Ben-Amos and Goldstein 1975). I have also relied upon the works of other folklorists and anthropologists who utilize components of the contextual approach in their studies of various cultures and forms of expression (Briggs 1980, 1985, 1988; Basso 1976, 1979). The analysis throughout my work is based on the assumption that an understanding of a given folkloric speech event relies upon the study of the entire situation in which that event occurs.
Once I had gathered what seemed to be sufficient data, I struggled with some of the most common paremiological problems in writing my Page xi dissertation, eventually focusing on the contextual and sociolinguistic analysis of speech events. Speech act analysis and performance theory seemed the most helpful theoretical perspectives in framing and analyzing instances of proverb speech, and so I based much of my methodology and discussion on these. Ultimately, however, I was unhappy with the analysis in my dissertation, which seemed too conservative and failed to establish a model for examining all of the components of proverbial speech that I had been exposed to in those years of listening to proverbs and to the speakers' comments about them.
African-American Proverbs in Context (Publications of the American Folklore Society. New Series (Unnumbered).) by Sw. Anand Prahlad