Abstract

“Talking shit” is a well-established social activity in many African American speech communities. This study of such talk by one speaker in a small south Louisiana town describes the dynamics of such talk as a negotiation, within a flexible set of forms, of the nature of the relationship between the speaker and the researcher in order to place the latter within a traditional framework of relationships between individuals. The study focuses on how the interactional order is embedded in the very structure of talk itself, revealing the potential logic behind what seems at first glance to be “verbal filler” but, I argue, actually is an extension of the larger world-view at work in speaking.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-1882
Print ISSN
0021-8715
Pages
pp. 304-326
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-04
Open Access
No
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