Entextualizing vernacular forms in a Maniat village: Features of orthopraxy in local folklore practice

Korina Giaxoglou


Language ideology as a field of inquiry (Woolard et al. 1998: 3) involves, among others, the critical analysis of inequalities manifest in discursive and textual practices. This paper deals with folklore practices and language ideologies related to the project for the collection and publication of oral traditions in 1930s Greece. The institutionalization of this project relied heavily on G.Chatzidakis (1890-1923), Professor of Linguistics and N.G. Politis (1852-1921), Professor of Comparative Mythology at the University of Athens whose works arguably created an orthodox model of folklore text-making. Instead, though, of focusing on the orthodox metadiscourse or practices of these two central figures to the project, I will turn to their localization by a philologist engaged in the collection of vernacular forms in a Maniat village (Southern Peloponnese). The turn to local practices seeks to uncover features of orthopraxy (Blommaert 2003), that is adaptations which although guided by the orthodox model at the surface level, can be related to acts of identity, expressing resistance to hegemonic ideologies, revealing inequality in the distribution of resources or in gate-keeping restrictions.The analysis draws on the personal archives of I. Strilakos from the period 1930-35, which include three notebooks and a manuscript collection of Maniat lament verbal art. The approach of the archives is based on the examination of Strilakos’ entextualization practices, a term that refers to the way that textual ‘shape’ is given to extracted stretches of discourse (see Bauman and Briggs 1990). The systematic examination of local folklore entextualization practices sheds light on the mediated ways in which ‘authentic’ voices become indexes of nationally subsumed regional identities.

Quick links
A browser-friendly version of this article is not yet available. View PDF
Bauman, R., and Ch. Briggs
(2003) Voices of modernity. Language ideologies and the politics of inequality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Blommaert, J
(2003) Orthopraxy, writing and identity: Shaping lives through borrowed genres in Congo. In Pragmatics (International Pragmatics Association) 13.1: 33-48.  BoP. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(2005) Discourse. A critical introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Briggs, Ch
(1993) Metadiscursive practices and scholarly authority in folkloristics. The Journal of American Folklore 106.422: 387-434. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Coupland, N
(2003) Sociolinguistic authenticities: Contextualising ‘the authentic speaker’. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7.3: 417-431. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Δίκτυο Μουσείων Μάνης
(2004) Μανιάτικοι Οικισμοί. (Maniat Settlements). Αθήνα: ΚΑΠΟΝ.Google Scholar
Heath, B.S
(1983) Ways with words: Language, life and work in communities and classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  BoP. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Herzfeld, M
(1982) Ours once more. Folklore, ideology, and the making of Modern Greece. Texas: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
Κουτσιλιέρης, Ανάργυρος
(1997) Μοιρολόγια της Μάνης. Μνημεία γλωσσικά-ιστορικά (Laments from Mani. Monuments of language-history). Αθήνα: Μπεκάκος.Google Scholar
Mackridge, P
(2004) 'Sie sprechen wie ein Buch': G.N. Chatzidakis (1848-1941) and the defence of Greek diglossia. Kampos 12: 69-87.Google Scholar
Μirambel, A
(1929) Étude descriptive du parler Maniote Méridional. Paris: E. De Boccard.Google Scholar
Πατσουράκος, Ιωάννης
(1910) Η Μάνη και οι Μανιάται. (Mani and Maniats). Πειραιάς.Google Scholar
Πολίτης, Αλέξης
(1984) Η ανακάλυψη των δημοτικών τραγουδιών. Προϋποθέσεις, προσπάθειες και η δημιουργία της πρώτης συλλογής. (The discovery of folk songs. Conditions, attempts and the creation of the first collection). Αθήνα.Google Scholar
Πολίτης, Γ. Ν
(1920) Λαογραφικά σύμμεικτα 1. (Folklore miscellaneous). Αθήνα.Google Scholar
Πολίτης, Γ.Ν
(1914) Εκλογαί από τα τραγούδια του Ελληνικού Λαού. (Selections from the songs of the Greek Folk). Αθήναι: Εκδόσεις Βαγιονάκη (6η έκδοση).Google Scholar
Shuman, A
(1993) Collaborative writing: Appropriating power or reproducing Authority? In B. Street (ed.), Cross-cultural approaches to literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Silverstein, M., and G. Urban
(1996) Natural histories of discourse. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Street, B
(1995) Social literacies. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Τριανταφυλλίδης, Μανόλης
(1978) [1941] Νεοελληνική Γραμματική (της Δημοτικής). (Modern Greek Grammar (of the Demotic)). Θεσσαλονίκη: Ινστιτούτο Νεοελληνικών Σπουδών.Google Scholar
(1938) Νεοελληνική Γραμματική, Α΄. Ιστορική Εισαγωγή. (Modern Greek Grammar A΄, Historical introduction). Αθήνα.Google Scholar
Τσοπανάκης, Αγαπητός
(1987) Προβλήματα της δημοτικής: το τελικό -ν. (Problems of the demotic: The final -n). Θεσσαλονίκη: Εκδοτικός Οίκος Αδελφών Κυριακίδη.Google Scholar
Herzfeld, M
(1996) National spirit or the breath of nature? The expropriation of folk positivism in the discourse of Greek nationalism. In M. Silverstein, and G. Urban (eds.), Natural histories of discourse. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Woolard, K.A., B.B. Schieffelin, and P.V. Kroskrity
(eds.) (1998) Language ideologies. Practice and Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Φιλήντας, Μένος
(1907) Γραμματική της Ρωμαϊκής γλώσσας, Α΄. (Grammar of the Roman language, Α΄). Αθήνα.Google Scholar