Social keywords in postcolonial melanesian discourse: Kastom ‘traditional culture’ and tumbuna ‘ancestors’

Carsten Levisen, Carol Priestley

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


In postcolonial Melanesia, cultural discourses are increasingly organised around creole words, i.e. keywords of Bislama (Vanuatu) and Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea). These words constitute (or represent) important emerging ethnolinguistic worldviews, which are partly borne out of the colonial era, and partly out of postcolonial ethno-rhetoric. This chapter explores the word kastom ‘traditional culture’ in Bislama and pasin bilong tumbuna ‘the ways of the ancestors’ in Tok Pisin. Specific attention is paid to the shift from “negative “ to “positive” semantics, following from the re-evaluation of ancestral practices in postcolonial discourse. Social keywords in postcolonial discourse form a fertile ground for understanding how speakers in Melanesia conceptualise the past as a vital part of the present.
TitelCultural Keywords in Discourse
RedaktørerCarsten Levisen, Sophia Waters
ForlagJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publikationsdato20 okt. 2017
ISBN (Trykt)9789027256829
ISBN (Elektronisk)9789027265470
StatusUdgivet - 20 okt. 2017
NavnPragmatics and Beyond New Series

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