Dynamic Embodiment in Assiniboine (Nakota) Storytelling

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This article reexamines a Nakota storytelling performance in which Plains Sign Talk and spoken Nakota are employed simultaneously. The new analysis presents further observations regarding relationships between vocal signs and action signs, nested performance spaces external and internal to the narrative, and the spatial syntax of Plains Sign Talk. It also illustrates how processes of entextualization and traditionalization can occur through visualkinesthetic means as well as speech. The analytic focus on pragmatic function rather than assumed differences in semiotic channel (i.e., "verbal" versus "nonverbal") illustrates the theoretical value of a dynamic conception of embodiment in the analysis of discursive practices generally.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-64
JournalAnthropological Linguistics
StatePublished - 2002


  • Plains sign talk
  • linguistic anthropology
  • Tipis
  • narratives
  • gestures
  • storytelling
  • semiotic signs
  • verbs


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