The Pragmatic Recontexualization of Oral Tradition

Project: Social Policy

Project Details

Grant Program

Social Policy Grant

Project Description

This research in linguistic anthropology seeks to investigate the contemporary role of oral traditions in social and cultural life in Kazakhstan, and to provide a pragmatic analysis of these traditions in everyday real-world contexts. The power demonstrated by these traditions lies precisely in their longevity – the ability to be transmitted and to stay culturally relevant. How can linguistic anthropological theory inform translations of historical examples? What new meanings do the words and voices from the past, have in the conditions of the present? In what contexts do contemporary audiences encounter, for example, lines from epic or improvisational poems, or the blessing words of their ancestors? How do oral traditions continue to have not only relevance, but also the power to act or change society today?
Effective start/end date8/15/198/14/20


  • oral tradition
  • performance
  • central asia
  • kazakhstan
  • linguistic anthropology
  • recontextualization


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