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Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Cree Once More

Good read:

Rather than speaking to convince (cf. Aristotle’s ‘Rhetoric’), a Plains Cree speaker’s communicative intent is understood as coming from a need to express what they believe is the truth, individualized to the particular audience they are speaking to (Lightning 1996:63).
The mechanisms of discourse, then, are organized to set up the proper events for “truth to happen” (Lightning 1996:63).
This means that accuracy in representation, both of the Speaker’s beliefs and the beliefs they convey from others, is absolutely crucial to the Speaker’s goals for the discourse; the Hearer(s) must trust the Speaker, and the Speaker must be trustworthy." ...

The Plains Cree language is ‘soft,’ then, because its users prize the “mutual-thinking” (Lightning 1996) that develops between Speaker and Hearer through careful representation, and they value this over the force of logical or charismatic persuasion. 
This means that, to a speaker of Plains Cree, the grammatical material covered in this thesis relates to how the Speaker “makes truth happen.” ...

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