by Dr. Laurence Goldman
Thus far, I have been concerned to elucidate the meshing of language form, context and social interaction. I have sought to explain the degree to which aesthetic and rhetorical norms determine speech in disputes, and the extent to which the inherent set of semantic axes are used in processes of situational definition and interpretation. The delineation of a number of verbal repertoires – positive and negative evaluation terms, locative and perlocutionary expressions -within the domain of “talk about talk”, reveals a complex metaphoric code drawn from speech patterns used in other social contexts apart from disputes. The inherent features of meaning which constitute the metaphors, express levels of congruity and contrast along a number of semantic dimensions. The axis of futility is characterised by the contrast of talk which is like “pain” or “bone” (both substantial metaphors), with the words listed in H.1-11 Table 4 (all insubstantial images). In the same way, along the dimension of control Manali (men with Mana) are
opposed to the connotations of disorder inherent in the appellation Iba Tiri with respect to the axis of covertness, “straight and “true” talk are contrasted with talk which is “covered” or “veiled” as in bi mabura or yobage.
Furthermore, a homologous structure of contast relations typifies the domain of proverb and to some extent the classification of speech types. The rules for the production and interpretation of discourse reveal a complex background of expectations concerning the appropriateness of indirect and direct talk, which are both embedded in the speech types themselves and manipulated as strategies of defence and accusation during conflict. As a development of the above I turn now to a microanalysis of vocabulary composition and change with two ends in mind:-(1)to reveal what “control” and “being good at “speech implies in Huli, and (2) to prepare the ground for later discussion of anger, shame, lying and insult. There are four principal situations when use of everyday vocabulary is prohibited (bi -ref.Chapter 1) and Bi ilililil assumption of specialised cant is culturally required. First, when entering bush proper for hunting, collecting pandanus, or travel 1 people must employ only Tayenda Tua ilililil (forest vocabulary). This is explained as an attempt to “trick” bush-spirits rendering them unable to use harm by anticipation of human intentions or movements. Hunting rites performed both prior to and during one sojourn in forest areas, similarly incorporate actions aimed at fooling harmful supernutural agents. I recorded some 300 lexemes (Goldman(ms)1977) of which 25% were Duna terms incorporated as meaningless alternatives. Nevertheless, in use and structure the vocabulary reveals a remarkable homologous relation ·· to patterns of everyday language use. For example:
Both haguene and its Tayenda analogue share the same range of intension / extension within their respective language environment. Hangarine signifies eye and good (perhaps also reflecting the semantic relation between “sight” and “truth”) in Tayenda, and like its Huli counterpart de (eye) denotes ‘fourteen’. In Huli the term for tears is compounded of de (eye) + iba (water) precisely as in Tayenda jargon i.e. hangarine (eye)+erene (water / urine / liquid). The etymological derivation of other Tayenda lexemes shows a prevalence of minimal pairing, particularly initial consonant contrasts as in Huli:bemo (ashes) – Tayenda: or bamba (before) – yamba. This last observation is central to understanding
generative aspects of Huli language, and we have earlier seen how deliberate use of minimal pairing in children’s joking behaviour is made to express opposition. Later discussion will demonstrate the same aspect in naming (cf. Iba Tiri appellations) and insult terminology. Second, Ma’nda Hare initiates would be taught a “sacred” vocabulary set for use when entering Tigi Anda. In this context word change functioned as a technique of social discrimination, marking them off from Ma’nda Tene. Despite minor regional differences in accounts I collected, certain transformations seem invariant: e.g. Huli:pero (tongs) – Haroli : lebolaki and mandi (leaf in which smoke is rolled: acalypha insulana, fam.euphorbiaceae) -gambali tongo. The third situation in which specialised cant is required concerns the ritual sites of Lidu and Kebe. Here ritual experts would protect themselves from danger of contact with Dama by using different words known only to themselves. The fourth and last situation relates to the “education” of Tege initiates, the transmission of “male knowledge” through ritual teasing / degradation behaviour which centred on significant word changes: agali (man) became tegene; wali (woman) – endeli; (sweet potato) – irabi and na (to eat) – waya. In all these above situations areas of prohibited / permitted speech are tightly circumscribed, and all implicitly reveal degrees to which interactions of “deception” involve lexical change
paralleling speech behaviour in everyday contexts like joking and insult. These occasions are quite different from those predetermined situations of word substitution and word elaboration indigenously denoted by the terms kai (eulogistic terms), mini mende (synonyms, “second names”) and bi mone
(talk+wasp;”good speech”). These characterize all displays of talk and particularly norm , formulations (pureremo) used in disputes.
A brief examination of these is important to the present discussion. Mini Mende: Synonyms which occur both in the formalised speech genres listed in Table 5, and in everyday speech as illustrated by the alternative terms given in Table 2. The vocabulary set is extensive over the empirical domain, retaining both genus and species differentiation. (In the following examples the “everyday” term is given first followed by the mini mende.) wali(woman) / bai ) amodu (sugar-cane) / hiwa tege; nogo (pig)/minditia (possum /dulu baya; anda (house)/tamu; dalu (rain)/ ginane; bauwa (casuarina)/ auwale;lai (tree:rodonaea viscosa fam.s a pindaceae)/ uruma;komia Lesser bird)/galu wabia; wanekui(forehead) homa embo. The ability to control use of these terms in conceived to be the mark of a good orator. The rhetorical function of galu wabia and homa embo is illustr a ted in the Aba pureremo cited in Chapter 1(see also D.7.). In addition to this oratorical use, they incorporate in a different context aspects of “deception” remarked upon above. Names of dead relatives are never mentioned (or indeed slain enemies) for fear of possible hostile actions by their spirits (dinini). Veiled references, however, can be made to particular dead individuals by the appropriate mini mende; it is also a reciprocal relation. For example, in the case of a man called Dalu (Ialuba councillor,ref.D.3,4,5) the term ginane can be used since both also signify “rain”; for Andaya (interpreted as close to anda (house)) the word tamu would apply. Reciprocally, for Hiwa Tege (see D.1) the everyday term du is usable , and for Manda ( see D. 4) the word nogo could apply in the specified contexts I have described. Bi Mone: Occur in the same enviroments as mini mende, but structurally differ from the latter in that they are predominantly “elaborations” rather than “substitutions”. The normal word is most usually retained and a prefix or suffix appended as in the following:
Names of places and clans are subject to the same form of alteration observable in D.1. where agali haguene display verbal skills by rendering the relevant names as Dugu Yawini (Dugube), Wataga Pina (Pina) or Hulu Gomaiya (Huli). Kin terms such as imane (ref. Appendix 1) may similarly occur in a bi form as ‘imalu imane’ when a speaker wishes to lend emphasis to a relation in discourse. Precisely the same kinds of transitions typify wailing speech (ref. Appendix 8) where ainya (mother) is variously rendered as ainyali (8:3:2), (8:3:4), amale (8:3 : 23), amu (8:3:72), amai(8:3:93) and amuli (8:3:160). Most pureremo include some bi mone forms knowledge of which, and appropriate use, display Mana. Behavioural norms a re codified in Huli culture by these formulae in which style is an essential factor to retention and transmission. How, for example, one should decorate in war is stated below where the underlined terms are all bi mone appendages:
Waya humbi/ Ayu humbi/ Alu humbi/Honagaga / Melabe dindi/ Wagaba hibuni/ Hula pungua/ Daiya dongoma/ Dumbi du/ Ayege /andare/Shield/shield/shield/cassowary/feathers/red clay on body/bow string/black charcoal/white clay on shield/red leaves/spear Kai: Represents a far more complex application of the structural facets and occurs only in formalised speech. What distinguishes Kai from the above forms is that each genus term may be duplicated several times. The everyday term nogo(pig) can be seen from the text in Appendix 7:1 to have the following kai (eulogistic) analogues: ibuna/ awaiya/ Earila/ aiyabe / nali/hinali. Other examples of kai use found within texts given in this thesis are as follows:
Detailed analysis of kai use reveals the most significant facet of aesthetic form in Huli -name pairing. The above terms always occur sequentially and in pair formation; the second segment showing slight phonological similarities (underlined) to initial terms. It is a meshing of minimal pairs, contrastive sets and vowel harmony – a recognition of sound similarities of consonants or vowels occurring in either initial, medial or final positions. This aesthetic manipulation typifies the use of place names:
The audience under stands and is able to predict from the first line the form and content of the next lines; what appears as boring repetition in translation, is for the Huli poetic form. It is a sequencing device in verbal interaction that allows and structures participation in Dawe, Wali O or Gamu. Furthermore, it is my contention that these types of pairing and word order perform a mnemonic function facilitating both retention and learning situations. Predictability of speech is a signal for recognition of oratory which consists (with respect to content) of control and apt use of mini mende, bi mabura, bi mone and kai. Ability to handle these stylistic devices in disputes, and more particularly in formulations of norms or Damba Bi, is the mark of a Bi yi (man who ‘holds’ talk), of a Manali (man with Mana) in Huli society.