Article published in:Narrative in ‘societies of intimates’
Edited by Lesley Stirling, Jennifer Green, Tania Strahan and Susan Douglas
[Narrative Inquiry 26:2] 2016
► pp. 286–311
Represented experience in Gun-nartpa storyworlds
The Gun-nartpa people of northern Australia use represented experience to mark prominence at narrative highpoints. The term ‘represented experience’ refers to verbal expressions that form paratactic relations with surrounding discourse. It encompasses the speech of story actors, environmental sounds, and sound-symbolic renderings of events. Such representations impart moments of drama to narrative discourse, in which shifts in perspective position the deictic centre at an imagined interpersonal space within the storyworld of the narrative. It is here, where the storyteller and audience enter the subjectivity of story actors, that elements of the narrative most clearly express its underpinning cultural proposals. The Gun-nartpa construe the cultural proposals that make up the notional structures of narrative discourse in terms of relational knowledge, in which conceptualisations of ‘belonging’ are of primary value. This relational frame of reference provides context for the interpretation of the evaluative implicatures that arise at highpoints, and lends coherence to Gun-nartpa narrative discourse.
Keywords: Australian Aboriginal languages, narrative, evaluation, represented speech
Published online: 30 March 2017
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