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Complaints in Kewa Letters

Complaints in Kewa Letters Abstract: In this study, we examine 63 letters written in West Kewa by a Papua New Guinean man (called Yombo throughout) to Karl Franklin and his family over a period of fifteen years. We first discuss the ways complaints have been handled by various authors. We then provide a brief background to the Kewa culture before analyzing the pragmatic context of speech acts that disclose various complaints in a sampling of the letters. The classification and modification of the complaints have benefitted in particular from the theories of A. Trosborg, and also J. House and G. Kasper. We relate the complaints to various cultural scenarios and scripts in order to show how Yombo complains and what he is complaining about. He often avoids direct confrontation and mitigates the offense. The study also demonstrates how a newly literate man uses various styles and features from his language (West Kewa) to discuss the events in his life and to complain about some of them. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Complaints in Kewa Letters

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 51 (1) – Jun 30, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: In this study, we examine 63 letters written in West Kewa by a Papua New Guinean man (called Yombo throughout) to Karl Franklin and his family over a period of fifteen years. We first discuss the ways complaints have been handled by various authors. We then provide a brief background to the Kewa culture before analyzing the pragmatic context of speech acts that disclose various complaints in a sampling of the letters. The classification and modification of the complaints have benefitted in particular from the theories of A. Trosborg, and also J. House and G. Kasper. We relate the complaints to various cultural scenarios and scripts in order to show how Yombo complains and what he is complaining about. He often avoids direct confrontation and mitigates the offense. The study also demonstrates how a newly literate man uses various styles and features from his language (West Kewa) to discuss the events in his life and to complain about some of them.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 30, 2012

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