Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes / Edition 1

Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes / Edition 1

by David C. Rubin
     
 

Long studied by anthropologists, historians, and linguists, oral traditions have provided a wealth of fascinating insights into unique cultural customs that span the history of humankind. In this groundbreaking work, cognitive psychologist David C. Rubin offers for the first time an accessible, comprehensive examination of what such traditions can tell us about the… See more details below

Overview

Long studied by anthropologists, historians, and linguists, oral traditions have provided a wealth of fascinating insights into unique cultural customs that span the history of humankind. In this groundbreaking work, cognitive psychologist David C. Rubin offers for the first time an accessible, comprehensive examination of what such traditions can tell us about the inner workings of human memory. Focusing in particular on their three major forms of organization - theme, imagery, and sound patternRubin proposes a model of recall, and uses it to uncover the mechanisms of memory that underlie genres such as epics, ballads, and counting-out rhymes. The book concludes with an engaging discussion of how conversions from speech to writing can predict how computer technologies will affect the conventions of future communication. Throughout, Rubin presents the results of important original research as well as new perspectives on classical subjects. Splendidly written and farsighted, Memory in Oral Traditions will be eagerly read by students and researchers in areas as diverse as cognitive psychology, literary studies, classics, folklore studies, and cultural anthropology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195120325
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction3
2The Representation of Themes in Memory15
3Imagery39
4Sound65
5Combining Constraints90
6The Transmission of Oral Traditions122
7Basic Observations on Remembering146
8A Theory of Remembering for Oral Traditions175
9Epic and Formulaic Theory194
10Counting-out Rhymes227
11North Carolina Ballads257
12Discussion299
13Epilogue: A Note on the Future308
References329
Author Index367
Subject Index377

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