Littera Deusto

Modern Languages, Basque Studies and Humanities

Orality and Literacy.

enero 10th, 2009 · No hay Comentarios

The Orality is the oral expression of Literacy, which remains unknown for a lot of people in the world, such as people living in the third world. Walter J. Ong, an important scholar who is very used to investigating this field, has name the two different forms of orality: ‘primary orality’ and ‘residual orality’. PRIMARY ORALITY refers to cultures that don’t know what writing or printing is because they haven’t reached them yet. As Walter J. Ong explains: ‘ If a hunter kills a lion he can see it, touch it, feel it and smell it. But if he hears a lion he must act, fast. Speech is a form of sound that shares this common power. Like other sounds, it comes from within a living organism. A text can be ignored; it is just writing on paper. But to ignore speech can be unwise; our basic instincts compel us to pay attention.’ RESIDUAL ORALITY affects the cultures that have reached the printings and writings, but just in an external, superficial way. Ong also affirms that Literacy is an important pattern so as to know if a culture or a country is or ins’t developped, because illiteracy is an important cause os poverty; and he finally summarizes ten key aspects of the ‘psychodynamics of orality’.



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