Orality is the basis for writing and literature.
– Walter Ong
Ferdinand de Saussure, focused on the origination of oral speech, verbal communication, as well as the persistent way to think of writing as the basic form of language. He thought of writing as a kind of complement to oral speech, not as a transformer of verbalization (Saussure 1959, pp.23-24).
There are so many words and sound in the world that only around 3,909 of 7,097 living languages have been translated into writing to a sufficient amount of literature. Most languages have never been written at all, cultures like these are what Ong calls ‘primary’ orality. They have no experience with ‘secondary’ orality, which is technology that depends on writing and print.
Orality requires the technology of language, a structured approach to vocalizing abstract thought.
Voice is a technology that humans used before writing. We learned how to share ideas and communicate by using language, a social technology for cooperation.
“Wherever human beings exist they have a language, and in every instance a language that exist basically as spoken and heard, in the world of sound.” – Siertsema. Ong backs this up by saying that written texts all have to be related, to the world of sound, the natural habitat of language to yield their meanings. reading a text means converting it to sound, aloud or in the imagination.
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