5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
This paper explores the narrative construction and ethnohistorical contextualization of “ontological discourse” in a contemporary (and recently published) Panoan narrative text concerning an intergenerational disagreement over the nature and identity of a group of mestizo rubber tappers whose enigmatic arrival in the Yavarí Valley of western Amazonia in the late nineteenth century is first contested and only later verified. Focusing, in particular, on an analysis of the narrative’s metricalization of grammaticalized and periphrastic markers of “tense” and “evidentiality” via their embedding in deeply nested speech quotation, the paper attempts to demonstrate how the narrator traces this particular disagreement to an intergenerational discrepancy of ontological assumptions, which is in turn framed as iconic of broader historical processes involving local practices of communicative transmission.
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