Article published in:Narrative and Identity Construction in the Pacific Islands
Edited by Farzana Gounder
[Studies in Narrative 21] 2015
► pp. 81–100
Small stories and associated identities in Neverver
For the Neverver-speaking people of Malekula Island in Vanuatu, name avoidance is a central part of everyday life. Name avoidance permeates all types of discourse, including nimitl (traditional legends) and nossorian lele (little stories) that arise in more and less formal contexts. I examine name avoidance by tracing four women through a large corpus of recorded speech events. I consider a traditional folk figure, a young woman who worked closely with me, her paternal aunt, and myself. Drawing on a variety of narrative types and my associated ethnographic observations, I look at the choices that speakers make in context to talk about and to these women (including myself), revealing that naming choices embed speakers fully in their society.
Published online: 20 May 2015
Enfield, N.J. & Stivers, T.
Lynch, J., & Crowley, T.
Sacks, H. & Schegloff, E.
Stivers, T., Enfield, N.J., & Levinson, S.