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The spoken and the written word : stylistic creation in Black broadcasting.

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In this investigation an attempt is made to show that in the world of radio communications in South Africa the oral mode of expression or radio oralism is manifestly more valued than the literate mode. The study deals with three basic issues: firstly, the new electronic culture which, to a large extent, depends on the spoken word, secondly, the significance of the spoken word that new mass media has developed; and, thirdly, what is likely to happen in broadcasting as a whole in South Africa, where the new oralism already had a decisive impact. The study explores the structure of the oral poetic language of radio grammar by examining black announcers' language usage. The thesis focuses on the individual announcer, her or his repertoure of repetitions and styles, and the quality of her or his practice of the traditional artistic expressions. It explores why one phrase is used and not another; it examines the many forms of repetition, their meanings, sounds, and the sound patterns formed by what precedes and follows them. starting with the individual announcer, the study worked outwards to the group to which she/he belongs, namely to other announcers who have influenced him or her and then to South African black society as a whole. The language of black South African radio announcers is in many respects stylised and ordered. In their creations, these announcers have incorporated praise names, geneologies and formulas which show their reliance both on the more specialized bardic repertoire and on the wider Izibongo tradition. At the end of this study, four things are noted: 1. The meaning of word in radio is controlled by what Goody and Watt (1968:28) call 'direct semantic ratification', that is by the real-life situations in which the word is used here and now. Words acquire their meanings only from their insistent actual habits - these include gestures, vocal inflections, and the entire human existential setting in which real, spoken words always occur.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1993.


South African Broadcasting Corporation., Radio broadcasting--South Africa., Blacks in mass media--South Africa., Bantu languages--Usage., Theses--Orality-literacy studies., Discourse analysis.