The Interface Between the Written and the Oral

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 9, 1987 - Social Science - 328 pages
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Whilst the fundamental significance of the spoken language for human interaction is widely acknowledged, that of writing is less well known, and in this wide-ranging series of essays Jack Goody examines in depth the complex and often confused relationship between oral and literate modes of communication. He considers the interface between the written and the oral in three cultures or societies with and without writing, and that within the linguistic life of an individual. Specific analyses of the sequence of historical change within writing systems, the historic impact of writing upon Eurasian cultures, and the interaction between distinct oral and literate cultures in West Africa, precede an extensive concluding examination of contemporary issues in the investigation, whether sociological or psychological, of literacy. A substantial corpus of anthropological, historical and linguistic evidence is produced in support of Goody's findings, which form a natural complement to his own recently published study of The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society.
 

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Contents

The historical development of writing
3
Protowriting
8
Early writing systems
18
The development of phonetic transcription
38
The alphabet
40
The unity and diversity of alphabets
49
The implications of graphic systems
53
THE INFLUENCE OF EARLY FORMS OF WRITING
57
The interface between the sociological and the psychological analysis of literacy
211
Vygotsky and the psychological analysis of Vai literacy
214
Varieties of script and varieties of tradition
217
Logic and logical reasoning
219
Mediated and unmediated implications
221
Literacy effects in the Vai study
223
The shift from abilities to skills
226
Memory and writing
234

Literacy and achievement in the Ancient World
59
Africa Greece and oral poetry
78
Memory and verbatim memory
86
Oral composition and oral transmission
91
Heroic societies and the epic
96
Oral composition and oral transmission the case of the Vedas
110
WRITTEN AND ORAL CULTURES IN WEST AFRICA
123
The impact of Islamic writing on oral cultures
125
Oral recitations
127
Writing and magicoreligious activity
129
Time and space
132
Literacy and the nonliterate the impact of European schooling
139
Postscript
147
Alternative paths to knowledge in oral and literate cultures
148
Traditional knowledge among the LoDagaa
149
The growth of knowledge
155
Three modes of acquiring knowledge
156
Literacy
157
Two paths to knowledge as social control
161
Conclusions
164
Memory and learning in oral and literate cultures the reproduction of the Bagre
167
Verbatim memory in oral cultures
174
Schools and memory
182
Conclusion
189
Writing and formal operations a case study among the Vai with Michael Cole and Sylvia Scribner
191
The writings of Ansumana Sonie
196
WRITING AND ITS IMPACT ON INDIVIDUALS IN SOCIETY
209
Schools
236
The experimental method
244
Culture and cognition
245
Abilities capacities and skills
246
Cultural resources and individual attainment
251
Psychological tests and practical action
252
The internalexternal problem
253
Language and writing
258
Linguists and the written language
261
Three dimensions of the written and the spoken
262
The written and spoken registers compared
263
Grammar and rules
265
Individual performance in the two registers
266
Divergences between the written and oral registers
270
Crossword puzzles
272
Other grapholinquistic techniques of cognitive operation
274
Lists and categories
275
Reordering information
276
Arithmetical operations
277
The syllogism
278
Writing and diglossia
279
Class and register
283
Recapitulations
290
Notes
301
Bibliography
306
Index
321
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