A study of Modern Greek storytelling
Conversational narratives provide valuable resources for the discursive construction and invoking of personal and sociocultural identities. As such, their sociolinguistic and cultural analysis constitute a high priority in the agenda of discourse studies. This book contributes to the growing line of discourse-analytic research on the dynamic relations between narrative forms and functions and their immediate and wider communicative contexts. The volume draws on a large corpus of spontaneous, conversational stories recorded in Greece, where everyday stortytelling is a central mode of communication in the community’s interactional contexts and thus a rich site for a meaningful enactment of social stances, roles, and relations. The study brings to the fore the stories’ text-constitutive mechanisms and explores the ways in which they situate the narrated experiences globally, by invoking sociocultural knowledge and expectations, and locally, by making them sequentially and interactionally relevant to the specific conversational contexts. The stories’ micro- and macro-level analysis, richly illustrated with narrative transcripts throughout, leads to the uncovery of a global mode of narrative performance which is based on a closed set of recurrent devices. It is argued that the choice or avoidance of this mode is at the heart of the stories’ (re)constitution of a self, an other and a sociocultural world. The numerous cases of intergenerational narrative communication (adults-children) shed additional light on the performance’s contextualization aspects and contribute to the cross-cultural understanding of the dynamics of oral performances.<br />Besides students and researchers of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics, narrative analysis and Greek studies, this book will also appeal to all those interested in communication and cultural studies.