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Drawn from the Ground
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Sand stories as social and cultural practice; 3. Catching a move as it flies: multimodal data collection; 4. Lines in the sand; 5. Body-anchored and airborne action; 6. Ordering, re-drawing and erasure; 7. Vocal style in sand stories; 8. Crossing boundaries.

Promotional Information

Provides a multimodal analysis of women's sand stories from Central Australia, showing how speech, sign, gesture and drawing work together.

About the Author

Jennifer Green is a Research Fellow in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. She has over 30 years' experience working on projects documenting indigenous languages, history and visual arts.

Reviews

'It is a commonplace to note that humans communicate with one another in many different ways. It is rare, however, to encounter analyses of human communication which display analytically the complex nature of how the semiotic ensemble humans make use of may be organised. Drawn from the Ground is an outstanding example of such an analysis. Besides being a very significant contribution to our understanding of an important and interesting cultural practice among central Australian Aborigines, this book is remarkable for the insightful way in which it demonstrates how diverse semiotic modalities function in relation to one another. An extremely valuable piece of work.' Adam Kendon, University of Pennsylvania and University College London
'This tour de force draws the study of a language in a totally new direction. Through her close study of Central Australian women's storytelling traditions - and this investigation is steeped in the insights of decades of deep linguistic and cultural immersion - Jennifer Green shows how much we gain in semiotic understanding when we reintegrate the fractured family of our communicative modalities. Speech, chant, gesture but also a particular Central Australian tradition of dynamic drawing on specially-prepared sand surfaces, are all turned to the task of heightening narrative intensity, and the book tackles the challenge of reuniting all these channels analytically, in a way that fully captures the experiential vividness of the storytelling. The publisher, Cambridge University Press, is to be commended on including several strikingly sumptuous colour plates that give some feel for the visual richness of the sand-drawing genre.' Nicholas Evans, Australian National University, Canberra
"It is a commonplace to note that humans communicate with one another in many different ways. It is rare, however, to encounter analyses of human communication which display analytically the complex nature of how the semiotic ensemble humans make use of may be organised. Drawn from the Ground is an outstanding example of such an analysis. Besides being a very significant contribution to our understanding of an important and interesting cultural practice among central Australian Aborigines, this book is remarkable for the insightful way in which it demonstrates how diverse semiotic modalities function in relation to one another. An extremely valuable piece of work." --Adam Kendon, University of Pennsylvania and University College, London
"This tour de force draws the study of a language in a totally new direction. Through her close study of Central Australian women's story-telling traditions - and this investigation is steeped in the insights of decades of deep linguistic and cultural immersion." - Jennifer Green shows how much we gain in semiotic understanding when we reintegrate the fractured family of our communicative modalities. Speech, chant, gesture but also a particular Central Australian tradition of dynamic drawing on specially-prepared sand surfaces, are all turned to the task of heightening narrative intensity, and the book tackles the challenge of reuniting all these channels analytically, in a way that fully captures the experiential vividness of the story-telling. The publisher, Cambridge University Press, is to be commended on including several strikingly sumptuous colour plates that give some feel for the visual richness of the sand-drawing genre." --Nicholas Evans, Linguistics, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and The Pacific Australian National University

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