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

Paperback | October 1, 1997

byDavid C. Rubin

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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 anaccessible, comprehensive examination of what such traditions can tell us about the complex inner workings of human memory. Focusing in particular on their three major forms of organization--theme, imagery, and sound pattern--Rubin proposes a model of recall, and uses it to uncover the mechanismsof memory that underlie genres such as counting-out rhymes, ballads, and epics. The book concludes with an engaging discussion of how conversions from oral to written communication modes can predict how cutting-edge computer technologies will affect the conventions of future transmissions.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, and cultural anthropology.

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From the Publisher

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 anaccessible, comprehensive examination of what such tr...

David C. Rubin is at Duke University.

other books by David C. Rubin

Understanding Autobiographical Memory: Theories and Approaches
Understanding Autobiographical Memory: Theories and App...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 1.3 inPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195120329

ISBN - 13:9780195120325

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Representation of Themes in Memory3. Imagery4. Sound5. Combining Constraints6. The Transmission of Oral Traditions7. Basic Observations on Remembering8. A Theory of Remembering for Oral Traditions9. Epic and Formulaic Theory10. Counting-out Rhymes11. North Carolina Ballads12. Discussion

Editorial Reviews

"Rubin writes clearly and has organized a mass of material, presenting it both minutely and conceptually. Cognitive psychologists and those who work in relevant specialized areas will find the book of interest..." -- A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health