Linguistics

The Performed Performative: An Account of Performative Utterances in Song Lyrics

“The goal of this paper is to address and account for a particular piece of datum that presents problems for current theories both of performative utterances and of metaphor: the metaphorical I do as it is used in song lyrics. This account considers, in particular, proposed constraints on propositionality of metaphors and performatives both.”

 

Deeply Rooted, Standing Firmly: A Linguistic and Autoethnographic Account of Slavic Folk Music

“It’s not that my grandparents defied the odds, necessarily–the gendered odds. It’s just that all people are inherently of science and technology, dirt and nature, and giving birth. People are transformative, as they are transformed. The world transforms everything about them. That’s how Papa George got his flat, square head, and how Nana and Petra got their fiery tempers.

The function of music, too, is inherently transformative. Songs bring stories into the world, and every subsequent repetition of those songs propagate their stories. Slavic women’s folksong is transformative in a very specific way for me: I am a Slavic American woman, who sings, and speaks the smallest amount of Russian, and I am able to supplant myself over and between these melodies by the sheer force of their existence.”