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Producing the text of culture: the appropriation of English in contemporary Samoa

Producing the text of culture: the appropriation of English in contemporary Samoa
  

To the untrained ear, the language used by faafafines in Samoa, may just sound like common slang, or bilingual mockery. But according to a study by Samoan academic, Letuimanuasina Dr Emma Kruse-Vaai, the unconventional use of Samoan and English by faafafines has led to a distinct... read full description below.

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ISBN 225461
Published 12 July 2011
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Emma Kruse-Vaai, Dr

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 225461
ISBN-10
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 7-15 working days
Publisher unlisted
Publication Date 12 July 2011
Publication Country Samoa Samoa
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Emma Kruse-Vaai, Dr
Category Non-Fiction (Child / Teen)
Cultural Studies
Sociology, Social Studies
Sociology: Family & Relationships
NZ, Maori & Pasifika
Pasifika
New Zealand & Related
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Number of Pages Not specified
Dimensions Not specified
Weight Not specified - defaults to 600g
Dewey Code Not specified
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

To the untrained ear, the language used by faafafines in Samoa, may just sound like common slang, or bilingual mockery. But according to a study by Samoan academic, Letuimanuasina Dr Emma Kruse-Vaai, the unconventional use of Samoan and English by faafafines has led to a distinctive "faafafines dialect," that is ever evolving. In her recently published book, Producing the Text of Culture, which focuses on the appropriation of English in contemporary Samoan, Dr Kruse-Vaai explores the role of the faafafines in the evolution of the Samoan language. Text of Culture Producing the Text of Culture ... the book. "The faafafines use a specific mixture of English and Samoan. Their unconventional language use, ostentatious clothing, assumed feminine voices and mannerisms have always been openly displayed." Dr Kruse-Vaai points out the open acceptance of faafafines in the Samoan society as strength in developing the dialect among Samoans. "Faafafines are a distinctive speech community and they are also very much a part of the wider Samoan community." According to the author, a Samoan relative can explain their relation to a faafafines by stating, "Ioe, o lou uncle, o le uso o lou tama ae o le aunty," translated, "Yes he is my uncle, my father's brother, but he is an aunty." Though it may sound confusing Dr Kruse-Vaai says it is widespread and commonly understood. "Like other speech communities, faafafines language use involves some expressions which are not readily comprehensible to others. The topics or content are a mixture of everyday concerns and activities as well as taboo subjects." A common feature of the faafafine speech, according to Dr Kruse-Vaai, is a distinctively high, sibilant and feminine sounding tone of voice. Dr Emma Kruse-Vaai Dr Kruse-Vaai .... faafafine dialect resembles the accent of a European speaking Samoan. In her research, which was originally conducted for her PhD in English for the University of New South Wales in Australia, the Samoan academic suggests that aspects of the faafafine dialect resembles the accent of a European speaking Samoan. "In a way this is a good example of mimicking European speech but it has gone farther than mere mimicking. It has become as a distinctive feature of faafafine speech which can be readily identified over a telephone radio talkback." Dr Kruse-Vaai explains that faafafines play on multi-syllabled words, both English and Samoan, and either invert the syllables of mix both Samoan and English syllables in one word. Therefore Samoan words with double syllables are inverted, such as terms for girl and boy: teine and tama, in faafafines dialect then becomes neite and mata. In the faafafine dialect, multi-syllable words are either inverted or mixed to create other terms, such as the use of the word 'Sa-chick', which means Samoa or Samoans. The first syllable "Sa" remains the same, while the second syllable "moa" which means chicken, is abbreviated "chick" hence the word becomes, "Sa-chick" or "Sa-hen". The faafafines dialect include words such as, Montrella for Monday, sistra for sister, strop for stop and major for boyfriend. Dr Kruse-Vaai praises the uniqueness of the dialect in her book saying: "The unconventional use of language by faafafine is partly a sign of identity as a well as a genuine enjoyment of language and its creative potential. They are an example of a smaller and distinctive speech community in Samoa."

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Author's Bio

Emma Kruse Va'ai is a Samoan chief (matai), writer[1] and educator in Samoa. Her matai chief title is Letuimanu'asina.[2]She has a PhD in English from the University of New South Wales in Australia and is a former director of Samoa Polytechnic. Currently, she is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Samoa following the polytechnic's merger into the university in 2006. Also a lecturer in English at the university, she is a strong advocate for bilingual education in both English and the Samoan language. As a writer, she has published poetry and stories which have been translated into other Pacific Islands languages.[3] She is also an executive committee member of the Samoa Association of Women Graduates (SAWG).[4] Letuimanu'asina was born and raised in Samoa in a family of eight siblings. Her primary and secondary schooling was at the Marist Missionary Sisters. Later, she studied at Victoria University in New Zealand before undertaking her doctorate in Australia.[3] She is married to lawyer Alo Vaimoa Va'ai and they have four children

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