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Accepted Paper:

The semiotic register in Kalevala-meter incantations: analyzing indexical cues for affect  
Tuukka Karlsson (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

This paper inspects the possibilities of finding and analyzing the presence of displays of affect in Kalevala-meter incantation performances, via a new theoretical framework, that draws from folkloristic and linguistic anthropologic theories.

Paper long abstract:

Incantations in Kalevala-meter, an oral tradition actively practiced in the Finno-Baltic area up to the 20th century, have received scholarly attention since the birth of the field of Folklore Studies as an independent discipline. However, new views and results can still be gained by using new theoretical and methodological frameworks.

In my paper, I will discuss the performances of Kalevalaic incantations seen through a new methodology that combines linguistic anthropological theories of semiotic registers (Agha 2007), stance taking (Du Bois 2007), and voice (Keane 1999).

The framework that I am using, enables inspection of ways the performer constructed linguistically formed social personae, and employed them in their performance. These social personae manifest on the level of utterances, para-linguistic devices and bodily expressions, thus forming a part of a semiotic register.

I will pay special attention to the challenges of inspecting emotions present in performance, when contextual information is limited, and the research material has been archived in textual form. The questions I am especially interested in my paper, concern the possibilities of studying displays of affects in the archived incantation material. I discuss indexical cues for affects on textual level, and how they can be abstracted and analyzed. The discussion illuminates performer's ways of addressing different agents, and argues that displays of affect index various stances taken.

Panel Body06
Body, affect, senses and emotion: fields and perspectives [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 April, 2019, -