This paper focuses on the Catholic rituals of death in southern Italy, analysing religious rites and social practices from a socio-pragmatic perspective. The paper is divided into two parts. The first centres on the description of funerary rites (both their religious and social aspects) among southern Italian Catholics; the second is an analysis of the funeral homily. The study draws on Mey’s Pragmatic Act Theory (PAT) (Pragmatics: an introduction. Blackwell, Oxford, 2001, Pragmatic acts. In: Brown K (ed) Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, Elsevier, London, pp 5–11, 2006) and the “applied perspective” of Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) (Giles H, Coupland N, Coupland J, Accommodation theory: communication, context, and consequence. In: Context of accommodation: developments in applied sociolinguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–68, 1991; Giles H, Ogay T, Communication accommodation theory. In: Whaley BB, Samter W (eds) Explaining communication: contemporary theories and exemplars. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 293–310, 2007). The data presented consists of a semi-structured interview with a priest working in a key parish in southern Italy (Catania – Sicily) (Here, I feel it is only right to express my deepest gratitude to G. Resca, parish priest of the Chiesa Cattolica Parrocchiale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo in Catania, for his help and his sensitivity towards this research.); a corpus of funeral homilies gathered using the ethnographic method of participant observation, and other information from anthropological studies on grief management in southern Italy. The analysis will provide further evidence that funerary rites are pragmatic acts within the “pragmeme of accommodation” as defined by Capone (La Linguistique 46: 3–21, 2010a: 6). In addition, the paper will show that funerary pragmemes (and funerary practs) are subject to diachronic mutability and synchronic variation processes.

Catholic Rituals of Death and Funeral Homily: A Socio-pragmatic Survey in Southern Italy

Elvira Assenza
2017

Abstract

This paper focuses on the Catholic rituals of death in southern Italy, analysing religious rites and social practices from a socio-pragmatic perspective. The paper is divided into two parts. The first centres on the description of funerary rites (both their religious and social aspects) among southern Italian Catholics; the second is an analysis of the funeral homily. The study draws on Mey’s Pragmatic Act Theory (PAT) (Pragmatics: an introduction. Blackwell, Oxford, 2001, Pragmatic acts. In: Brown K (ed) Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, Elsevier, London, pp 5–11, 2006) and the “applied perspective” of Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) (Giles H, Coupland N, Coupland J, Accommodation theory: communication, context, and consequence. In: Context of accommodation: developments in applied sociolinguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–68, 1991; Giles H, Ogay T, Communication accommodation theory. In: Whaley BB, Samter W (eds) Explaining communication: contemporary theories and exemplars. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 293–310, 2007). The data presented consists of a semi-structured interview with a priest working in a key parish in southern Italy (Catania – Sicily) (Here, I feel it is only right to express my deepest gratitude to G. Resca, parish priest of the Chiesa Cattolica Parrocchiale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo in Catania, for his help and his sensitivity towards this research.); a corpus of funeral homilies gathered using the ethnographic method of participant observation, and other information from anthropological studies on grief management in southern Italy. The analysis will provide further evidence that funerary rites are pragmatic acts within the “pragmeme of accommodation” as defined by Capone (La Linguistique 46: 3–21, 2010a: 6). In addition, the paper will show that funerary pragmemes (and funerary practs) are subject to diachronic mutability and synchronic variation processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3121476
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