The concept of secondary orality: observations about speech and text in modern communications media.

Durant, Alan (1984) The concept of secondary orality: observations about speech and text in modern communications media. The Dalhousie Review, 64 (2). pp. 332-353. ISSN 0011-5827

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Abstract

This article examines the changing relation between speech and writing in contemporary communications. Firstly, it considers the development, during the 20th century, of new kinds of audio and audio-visual communication media [as at 1983]; such media, it argues, shifted the long-standing cultural pre-eminence of printed forms in the direction of recorded speech. Secondly, the article discusses academic conceptualisation of changes brought about by new communication technologies as a stage in social evolution that is likely, over time, to remodel literacy concerns as challenges presented by ‘secondary orality’ (Ong, 1982). The author argues that the mass speech community brought into being by contemporary ‘speech media’ needs to be understood in terms of specific discourse forms and related notions of cultural value, rather than by means of general observations about speech and writing. Educational priorities in relation to such new media, it is suggested, cut across the two most influential ways of describing their capabilities: insights offered by discourse analysis as regards differences between what is spoken and what is written, and general propositions based on anthropological and sociological studies of orality and literacy.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
ISI Impact: 2
Item ID: 8198
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2011 07:07
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2015 17:37
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/8198

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