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Journal of Sociolinguistics 15/5, 2011: 707–720

Commentary: Foundations in performance
Richard Bauman
Indiana University
In this article, I outline the principal conceptions of performance that have guided language-oriented work on performance, where they come from, and how they relate to or diverge from one another. I consider first the undeveloped potential for performance-oriented work in variationist sociolinguistics, and then turn to performance as virtuosic display, as developed principally in linguistic anthropology, performance as theatricality, with special attention to the analysis of the interaction order, and cultural performance as a marked, heightened event that affords a richly reflexive vantage point on culture. I conclude with a discussion of mediated performance and the productiveness of the concept of remediation in bridging the gap between co-present performance and mediated performance.

KEYWORDS: Interaction order, performance, remediation, theatricality, virtuosic display
The expansion of performance as an analytical focus in sociolinguistics has been gaining momentum in recent years, but this special issue of the field’s flagship journal would seem to mark a full breakthrough into performance, and it is a very welcome development indeed. As sociolinguists turn to performance, they encounter a conceptual field of considerable complexity. The term ‘performance’ and its grammatical variants and compound forms cover a lot of ground, and the terrain is far from clearly marked. Understandably, then, a number of the sociolinguistic pioneers who have ventured out into the territory have devoted some effort to mapping its contours and charting the landmarks posted by earlier explorers from adjacent disciplines (Bell and Gibson this issue; Coupland 2007: 146–176; Thornborrow and Coates 2005; Threadgold 2005). At this stage, some of the principal points of reference are relatively easily recognizable, others less so. As a career-long sojourner in the field, perhaps I can help to clarify what are the principal conceptions of performance that have guided languageoriented work on performance, where they come from, and how they relate to or diverge from one another (see also Bauman 1987; Bauman and Briggs 1990). I should state at the outset, though, that none of these approaches are mutually incompatible and, in the hands of various practitioners, they often combine quite freely.
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is often heralded as a critical corrective to dominant tendencies in the field that would exclude on principled grounds the highly crafted. Rose B. reflexive speech is by its very nature compromised for productive linguistic analysis. where no attention is directed to language’ (Labov 1966: 100. see also Labov 1984). selfconscious. ‘one of the most gifted story tellers and naturally C Blackwell Publishing Ltd.’ also acceptable for linguistic purposes. Labov 1966: 107–109). argue that ‘Performed language provides a window on the world of the creative and the self-conscious.. Labov identifies the vernacular style to which he accords pride of place for linguistic theory as ‘casual speech. which are certainly vehicles for the display of verbal virtuosity. commenting on one of the texts in his foundational study of narrative structure: ‘This is one of three fight stories told by Larry which match in verbal skill his outstanding performance in argument. in a narrow sense.’ as ‘the every-day speech used in informal situations. subject to evaluation for the skill and efficacy with which they are performed (Labov 1966: 105–107). The problem. emotionally charged speech when the constraints [i. 2011 . In its focus on ‘verbal skill. Allan Bell and Andy Gibson.’ speech ‘found under casual conditions in every-day life. ‘Spontaneous speech.e. in these pages as elsewhere. in their introduction to this issue (p. the self-consciousness] of a formal situation are overridden’ (Labov 1966: 100). such as jump-rope rhymes and counting out rhymes. 553).’ in which ‘the minimum attention is paid to speech’ (Labov 1972b: 112–113. ritual insults. and reflexive ways of speaking that are at the forefront in the study of performance. Here is William Labov. lies in the widely accepted principle that ‘the data most important for linguistic theory’ derive from the style that Labov identifies as ‘the vernacular. Explicitly included in Labov’s corpus of data for his study of the social stratification of English in New York City are the ways of speaking that occur in situational contexts of children’s play (Labov’s context A 4 ). unselfconscious speech”’ (see also Coupland 2007: 4–5. I would suggest.’ Labov’s evaluation of Larry’s ‘performance’ highlights precisely that quality of virtuosity that lies at the center of one of the productive conceptions of performance in linguistic anthropology. But wait.’ characterizing it also as ‘spontaneous and free. the kind of language excluded from sociolinguistic work which targets “natural.’ He defines ‘casual speech. italics in the original). The implication is that self-conscious. 25. Interestingly.708 BAUMAN PERFORMANCE AND VARIATIONIST SOCIOLINGUISTICS It is significant that the turn to performance in sociolinguistics. the potential for what is now cast as a critical breakaway toward performance was present from the beginning in the very work that seems to preclude it. Here is Labov’s description of Mrs. ‘refers to a pattern used in excited. the godfather of variationist sociolinguistics and the authority most often cited for the insistence on ‘natural’ or ‘unselfconscious’ speech. and other speech events of the black vernacular culture’ (Labov 1972a: 356). Schilling-Estes 1998: 53–54). Included also are stories told in contexts in which the narrator is recounting an experience in which he or she was in ‘danger of death’ (Labov’s context A 5.

‘Command’ implies nothing less than attention to language. interviews. Performances thus have an emergent quality. and systematic observation.’s command is very good – an evaluative acknowledgment of her virtuosity as a performer.g. performance first claimed a significant role as a conceptual organizing principle in the ethnography of speaking. is not so much poetics. 2011 . ritual insults. however. structured by the situated and creative exercise of competence’ (Bauman and Sherzer 1989[1974]: 7). within the context of particular situations. reflexive language. Labov 1972a: 297– 396). Moreover. The problem is that as the variationist paradigm became more routinized and restricted in its aims and methods. in dismissing self-conscious. but what he sees as the irregularly organized speech (but cf. on the stratified repertoire of linguistic varieties – including standard – that index groups or collectivities of speakers and that carry especially salient ideological valences. personal experience narratives. performance – in which the reflexive focus is the formal organization of the entextualized act of expression rather than the word or sentence – was tainted by its own order of reflexive attention to speech and drawn off the board. The framing of this programmatic formulation reflects what was then a core concern of the ethnography of speaking: to provide a critical corrective to the conception of performance then current in transformational-generative linguistics. Joel Sherzer and I identified performance as the unifying thread that tied together the contributions to the work: ‘We conceive of performance in terms of the interplay between resources and individual competence. In its most general sense. What Labov has chiefly in mind. the reflexive manipulation of the formal features of the act of expression in such a way that they call attention to themselves – in other words. PERFORMANCE AS VIRTUOSIC DISPLAY In the various lines of inquiry devoted to language in society that began to coalesce in the 1960s. what is of concern to Labov. in which performance was essentially marginalized as the inevitably imperfect realization C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. notwithstanding his early explorations of genre (e. such as elicitation sessions. Schilling-Estes 1998: 59–64) that speakers produce in ‘formal’ contexts. Rose B. happily. it is back – and welcome. performance was a cover term for discursive practice. is most centrally the phonological and grammatical features and patterns of these dialects. And ‘gifted’ indicates that Mrs.’1 an agent-centered perspective on the situated use of linguistic means in the conduct of social life. as to other variationist sociolinguists. or what Harold Garfinkel termed ‘speaking praxis. poetics. in which the direct focus of attention is on social and regional dialect. that is. volume and tempo for expressive purposes’ (1966: 108).FOUNDATIONS IN PERFORMANCE 709 expressive speakers in the sample’ (Labov 1966: 108): ‘The many examples of spontaneous narrations which she provided show a remarkable command of pitch. But now. In the Introduction to Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking.

errors. takes up a particular reflexive position. for the relative skill and effectiveness of the performer’s display of competence. . shifts of attention and interest. incorporating also Goffman’s (1974) notion of framing: Performance involves on the part of the performer an assumption of accountability to an audience for the way in which communication is carried out.’ (Bauman 1975) and later incorporated in a more extended version of the earlier essay (Bauman 1977). 2011 . to his or her act of expression. From the point of view of the audience. Performance thus calls forth special attention to and heightened awareness of the act of expression and gives license to the audience to regard the act of expression and the performer with special intensity. realized. whether under the rubric of ‘oral literature.’ originally published in a collection of essays exploring the fruitfulness of performance-oriented perspectives in folklore. the assumption of responsibility for a display of communicative C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. memory restrictions. My own contribution to this effort. For those folklorists motivated by the long-standing interest within their field in oral poetics. even transcendent of the ordinary course of events’ (Hymes 1975: 13). see also Briggs 1988). Hymes insists that ‘The concern is with performance. The counterargument from linguistic anthropology received its fullest expression in a series of vigorous critiques by Dell Hymes (1971. affecting power. 1973. Hymes’s proposal adumbrates a second. encumbered by such ‘grammatically irrelevant’ factors as distractions. virtuosity.710 BAUMAN of competence in ‘natural speech. performance is an act of stance-taking (Jaffe 2009).’ ‘folk literature. achieved. artful way of speaking. That is. In one succinct formulation. first published in the same year as Hymes’ ‘Breakthrough . not as something mechanical or inferior.’ seen as deviant. continues to build on the reconceptualization of the competence-performance dyad within the ethnography of speaking.’ ‘verbal art. and the intensification and enhancement of experience. the act of expression on the part of the performer is . the performer. as in some linguistic discussion. but with performance as something creative.’ or any other. . and the like (Chomsky 1965: 3–4). marked as subject to evaluation for the way it is done. through the present enjoyment of the intrinsic qualities of the act of expression itself. and indexes the prominence of folklorists in the development of this line of inquiry in the ethnography of speaking more generally. above and beyond its referential content. . 1972. Additionally. or alignment. Accordingly. . ‘Breakthrough Into Performance. more marked sense of performance that began to coalesce in linguistic anthropology concurrently with the broad notion of performance as practice. part of the attraction of performance as a concept lay in its implication of artfulness. (Bauman 1975: 293) In the parlance of more contemporary sociolinguistics. by invoking the performance frame. some folklorists who were energized by the intellectual program of the ethnography of speaking turned their efforts toward articulating a conception of verbal performance as a special. The quotation just above is taken from Hymes’ foundational essay. In its emphasis on performance as creative achievement. it is marked as available for the enhancement of experience.

I’m on! I invite you to watch and listen closely and I will impress you. move you. such as mimetic gestures or the management of gaze. This line of inquiry has maintained a dual thrust. From at least the time of the Brothers Grimm. and so on. practitioners seek to discover and analyze the poetics of performance – principally performed narrative – with special attention to units of measure and their organization in texts by such means as initial particles. A second major offshoot of the attentiveness to form in performance is ethnopoetics (Blommaert 2006. Genre. textuality. The first is genre.’ The specific inventories of communicative means that may serve as keys to performance in a given community are to be discovered ethnographically. syntactic structures. I invite you as well to judge just how skillful. The poetic organization of performance sets up patterns of expectation and fulfillment in an audience that serves as a powerful means of eliciting their C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. of course. not assumed a priori.FOUNDATIONS IN PERFORMANCE 711 skill and efficacy. breath pauses. Silverstein and Urban 1996). formulaic speech. timbre. the production. On the one hand. was another point of convergence between folklorists and linguistic anthropologists engaged in the development of the ethnography of speaking (Hymes 1972). ‘This is performance. both in the service of analysis and the aesthetic enhancement of literary experience. Hanks 1987. in fact. intonation contours. A further. grammatical parallelism. metrical patterns. effective. that is. reception. allied concern of ethnopoetics is to translate and transcribe oral performances in such a way as to make their poetic organization apparent on the printed page. and the like – the very means that figure so prominently among the world’s cultures as keys to performance. initial particles. and moving a display I can accomplish. it is the formal constituents and patterns of textual organization. intonation contours. and circulation of particular orders of texts and for the production of intertextuality. This last motivation. the notion of genre played a central – if under-theorized – role as a classificatory principle in philologically oriented folkloristics. Tedlock 1983). but it emerged as a key concept in the ethnography of speaking as a vantage point on style. including special registers. The investigation of the formal organization of performance has stimulated a number of related lines of inquiry of which three are worthy of mention here. that have drawn the preponderance of attention as metapragmatic indices of performance in linguistic anthropology and folklore. is dependent on the capacity of performance itself for the intensification of experience through the manipulation of significant form. Sherzer and Woodbury 1987. Hymes 1981. While keys to performance may include non-linguistic means. entertain you. 2011 . Briggs and Bauman 1992. and culturally founded ways of speaking more generally. genre has come to be understood in linguistic anthropology as a metapragmatic orienting schema for entextualization (Bauman and Briggs 1990. direct discourse. With a further stimulus from the work of the Bakhtin Circle. performance. Each community will have its own metapragmatic orienting frameworks by which an individual may signal to an audience. breath pauses.

Sherzer 1983: 18–20). produced and reproduced for presentation. person to person. sociology. because performance is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon. relayed. in full view. encouragement. I refer to his enormously influential work on the social construction of the self as a presentational process akin to the construction and enactment of a theatrical role (Goffman 1959). or implicit (e. life as theater has many possible grounds. he argues against essentialist or innatist conceptions of identity.712 BAUMAN participatory involvement (Burke 1968 [1931]: 124. of course. it makes positioning all but obligatory. Most importantly. the C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. As the audience is caught up in the formal regimentation of the performance. or summarized as opposed to performed (Bauman 2004: 128–158. and ratification before an audience. Insofar as Goffman’s approach to the situated fashioning of identity in interaction had a shaping influence on the analysis of social interaction more generally. Like all root metaphors. They may be explicit (‘That’s a good one!’). the performer inevitably invokes the complementary stance of audience member. demonstrated. Like any other frame. his contribution to a complementary perspective on performance was still more central. 2011 . translated. but from the venerable and widespread root metaphor of life as theater. insisting instead that social identity is a collaboratively crafted construction. PERFORMANCE AND THE INTERACTION ORDER While Erving Goffman had a significant influence on conceptions of performance in the ethnography of speaking. as it were. If virtuosic performance turns a reflexive eye – and ear – to the intrinsic qualities of the act of expression. before it is enacted frontstage. The standards and terms of evaluation will vary from community to community. Hymes 1975. The engagement of an audience. I say ‘in its fullest sense’ and ‘all but obligatory. Performance is in this respect heavily stance-saturated: in its fullest manifestations. It is worth recognizing in this light. commentary. performance is labile. alternatively reported. gets into the groove. in common with all who employ the trope. is selective in the grounds on which he builds. and Goffman. though. responsive laughter) in the responses of audience members. reminds us that stancetaking is a reciprocal process. with part of the production process conducted backstage. 140–141). in what amounts to co-construction of the performance (Duranti and Brenneis 1986). susceptible to being re-keyed.’ though. situation to situation. quoted. inviting co-participants to assume an alignment to the performance that demands an evaluative response and perhaps more. that Goffman’s performanceoriented framework derives not from any of the language disciplines. By entering into performance. he is acknowledged as a key figure in the development of multiple lines of inquiry into language in social interaction in anthropology. Goffman 1974: 40–82. and linguistics. such as verbal acknowledgment. rehearsed. or ratification. the affecting power of the performance is heightened and the experience of engagement is enriched.g. imitated. as it were. recognition.

To return to Goffman. Austin’s (1962) speech act theory of performativity. nuanced analyses of the use of linguistic – especially phonological – features in the reflexive exploration and creative manipulation of the indexical relationships between language and social identity. Chapter 5 of Frame Analysis marks the shift explicitly. one that promises to enhance the study of language in performance more generally. genre and register (in the sense of speech styles that index recurrent situations of use). Virtually all of the articles in the issue offer detailed. Noting that ‘the language of the theater has become deeply embedded in the sociology from which this study derives. 2004b. has gained ground in recent years as a vantage point on the situated and emergent fashioning of identity in interaction. is especially well suited to the study of performance. Ethnographers of speaking have tended to focus their attention on other orders of speech style. see also Pagliai and Farr 2000). Schilling-Estes’s analysis of the performative display of Ocracoke English by a local fisherman is a case in point (SchillingEstes 1998. region. While Goffman’s dramaturgical approach continues to be cited widely as perhaps the most influential treatment in the social disciplines of identity as crafted in performance. Bucholtz and Hall also integrate into their broadly synthetic approach J. while Goffman resorted again and again to metaphors built upon formalized symbolic enactments – including ritual and game as well as theater – he didn’t get around to analyzing actual performances and the role of talk within them until relatively late in his career. In addition to drawing on concepts from the literature on virtuosic verbal performance. in Frame Analysis (1974) and Forms of Talk (1981). occupation. a contributor to this issue. though. etc. namely. in which identity is the creative and emergent product of discursive practice. the contributions to this issue suggest that the investigation of performance and identity is an especially fruitful area of sociolinguistic inquiry. 2011 .’ Goffman suggests that it would be useful to examine C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. subculture. virtuosic display.FOUNDATIONS IN PERFORMANCE 713 performative construction of identity foregrounds the reflexive capacity of the self to treat itself as an object. and Kira Hall (Bucholtz and Hall 2004a. which is not about display or theatricality. but sociolinguists have taken the lead in investigating linguistic varieties that index social categories: gender. class. it is noteworthy that his dramaturgical approach to the performed self was explicitly metaphorical. but more closely allied to conceptions of performance as situated practice. and that he takes down the scaffolding of the theater at the end of the work in which he is at greatest pains to construct it (Goffman 1959: 254–255). L. it is worth remarking that the notion of performance as artful. 2005). ethnicity. In my view. age. Strikingly. This line of inquiry has also become a component of a number of theoretical articles of impressive scope and sophistication by Mary Bucholtz. The sociolinguistic turn from style to stylization. discussed in the preceding section.

Levinson 1988) and critical refinement (e. by persons in an ‘audience’ role. (Goffman 1974: 124) Additionally. 2011 . then. in his sense of the term. Performance. the latter.g. there is a spatial separation between the staging area and the area occupied by the audience.714 BAUMAN the stage directly. C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and organizationally more complex events. 1981: 124–157).g. Recognizing that dyadic speaker-hearer or performeraudience models are grossly inadequate to the task of sorting out how participants are aligned to communicative events. whereas for Goffman. in his ‘restricted sense. is still stage-oriented: A performance. is that arrangement which transforms an individual into a stage performer. author. the locus of attention begins in focused encounters (and what the editors of this issue call ‘everyday performance’) and extends outward in scale to platform events and celebrative social occasions. such as those recognized as ‘traditional.’ is very much a part of his extended effort to elucidate the interaction order more generally. subject to evaluation (Goffman 1974: 124 n. The definition of performance that Goffman puts forward. we might say that for Hymes. for whom the notion is not restricted to the stage.’ that involve iterations and relays of earlier utterances (whether or not they are performances) and expectations of future ones (Bauman 2004: 128–158). temporally. Goffman’s parsing of the production format of an utterance into principal. being an object that can be looked at in the round and at length without offense. Indeed. has provided a very useful heuristic for performance. and animator. eavesdropper. in turn. and of reception frameworks into ratified and unratified participants on the one hand. overhearer. In focusing thus on staged performance. In terms of Goffman’s own framework for the comprehension of what he termed the ‘interaction order. in the restricted sense in which I shall now use the term.’ the domain of co-presence. Irvine 1996). as for the majority of linguistic anthropologists who address performance. the dramaturgical metaphor covers focused encounters and real performance only becomes relevant in platform events and beyond (Goffman 1983). Although Goffman’s approach has been subjected to further elaboration (e. Goffman’s turn to performance.). his basic insights have been especially productive in the analysis of performance forms and practices. but extends to any communicative behavior for which an individual assumes responsibility to others. further decomposed into addressed recipient. More on this in a moment. the most significant contribution of Goffman’s later works to the analysis of performance in the language-oriented disciplines is his decompostional approach to production and reception in the participation frameworks of face-to-face interaction (Goffman 1974: 516– 540. Goffman acknowledges that his perspective differs from that of Hymes. bystander on the other. In addition to the concept of framing. and looked to for engaging behavior. moves him beyond the more elementary forms of the interaction order – contact and focused encounters – to spatially.

that is. 1983: 6–7) converges with another prominent line of performance-oriented analysis in the social disciplines. and management of face-to-face interaction. annual meetings of scholarly societies) characteristically involve a scheduled. Accordingly. participatory alignments. 2011 . For Goffman. what people do when they are co-present to each other. This approach is rooted in the Durkheimian tradition which looks to cultural performances as highly reflexive display events – cultural forms about culture – in which the deepest meanings and values of a culture are embodied.g. 1958). Recall that for Goffman.’ That is. and in honor of. with the production and coordination of the overall event in the hands of cultural specialists. organization. focused not primarily on language or social organization. the classification and characterization of platform events and celebrative social occasions is in the service of defining the boundaries of the interaction order. The overriding question is the ecology. holding the performer(s) as ‘the single focus of visual and cognitive attention.g. and placed on display before an audience. cultural performances. one or more bounded spaces of activity which allow both for a multiplicity of engagements and the drawing together of participants into more unified central or official activity. alas. an illuminating point of entry into how participants see themselves as they are and as they might be. afford the anthropologist. spectacles. but for experimentation. But. programmed phase structure. plays. 168. ‘The affair as a whole is looked forward to and back upon as a unitary reportable event’ (Goffman 1983: 7). sociologist. fairs. critique. enacted. Such occasions (e. the kind of events he included under those rubrics were the direct object of a complementary perspective.FOUNDATIONS IN PERFORMANCE 715 CULTURAL PERFORMANCES Goffman’s characterization of platform events and celebrative social occasions (Goffman 1981: 165. lectures.’ which maintains an essentially spectatorial stance. in this line of inquiry. Thus materialized and placed on view. The celebrative social occasion involves ‘the foregathering of individuals admitted on a controlled basis. but on culture. some jointly appreciated circumstances’ (Goffman 1983: 7). C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. namely. concerts) as performances is not histrionic behavior. what Goffman foregrounds in viewing platform events (e. perhaps a highlighted platform performance. these enactments allow not only for the contemplation of received and authoritative truths. in the last article he wrote. Goffman’s fullest outline of the full scope of the interaction order occurs. the platform format is that order of interaction ‘in which an activity is set before an audience. festivals. the study of what Milton Singer calls ‘cultural performances’ (Singer 1955. the whole occurring under the auspices of. only months before – and in full anticipation of – his premature death. or historian a privileged vantage point on culture. but the spatial ecology of the interaction and the management of gaze and attention. even subversion. coordinated. theologian. while Goffman never got around to full exploration of the complexities of platform events and celebrative social occasions.

including a number of articles in this issue. lies mediated communication – the media. Coupland approaches performance in terms of communicative focusing. of course. based on his investigation of radio news. the reflexive foregrounding of form. audience. And as all of the foregoing should make clear. meaning. the doyen of the interaction order. a core consideration in the conception of performance identified with Bauman and Hymes. of immediacy. To be sure. C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. in the performance (he does use the term) of radio announcers. in which form focusing corresponds to Jakobson’s poetic function. and especially of incompetence. Interestingly. and relational focusing to conative function. and repertoire. Beyond the sphere of immediacy. that has been the predominant focus of performance-oriented scholars in the language disciplines. it is this domain of co-presence. Goffman touches in that essay on the evaluation of competence. and Allan Bell’s exploratory framework for the study of audiences and audience design. that is. component of the performance relationship (Bell 1984. Coupland’s achievement focusing adds the element of evaluation. Specifically. performer. extended his purview into mediated communication in his exploration of ‘Radio Talk’ (1981: 197– 327). thus rendering it more compatible than the anthropological notion of cultural performance with linguistic lines of analysis (Coupland 2007: 146–176. a focus that at least adumbrates the concerns of performanceoriented analysis. 2011 .716 BAUMAN It is this approach to cultural performance. mediated through my summary of its principal foci and concerns (Bauman 1992). cultural performances – Goffman’s celebrative social occasions – bring us to the limits of the interaction order. Coupland. Frank Hennessy. Goffman himself. for the analysis of a communicative event. this set of foci corresponds closely to key elements of Jakobson’s classic model (Jakobson 1960). situation. meaning focusing to referential function. while repertoire focusing alerts us both to the dynamic tension between the presupposed and emergent elements in performance and to the importance of intertexuality in the domain of performance. in the line of the Prague School. MEDIATED PERFORMANCE As suggested at various points in the foregoing discussion. 2001). Nikolas Coupland and his colleagues have reoriented what had been primarily a performancecentered vantage point on culture toward the analysis of performance as communication. A decade ago. several of the contributors to this issue lay a groundwork for performance-centered analysis in earlier work on language in media. performer focusing to conative function. as ‘performance’ (2001: 208–209). if otherwise underexamined. Likewise. Garrett and Williams 2005). was a pioneering effort toward that vital. achievement (both in terms of efficacy and skill). that provides the basis for the most comprehensive framework that has guided recent work on performance in sociolinguistics. Coupland identified the ‘stylistic creativity’ of the Cardiff radio personality.

Washington. intertextuality. the sociolinguistics of performance would seem especially well equipped to illuminate this ubiquitous and accelerating aspect of social life. NOTE 1. there is a lot more here as well. 1972. intertextuality. however. say. C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. the burgeoning of digital media technologies and protocols for web archiving make possible the construction of performance corpora that facilitate the detailed analysis of such processes as enregisterment. and bearing in mind the general strengths of the field.FOUNDATIONS IN PERFORMANCE 717 This theme issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics.C. the articles in this issue dealing with popular music with earlier sociolinguistic efforts. 2011 . represents a benchmark in the study of media performance. but as the guest editors point out in the introduction. As these methodologically innovative articles make clear. and every media technology will involve some remediation. Garfinkel employed the term in oral comments at the 23rd Annual Round Table Meeting on Linguistics and Language Studies. One potentially fruitful direction for future research. enregisterment. all of which point in highly productive directions for future research in the sociolinguistics of performance. Judging by the insights offered by the articles in this issue. investigating the continuities and transformations attendant upon the adaptation of performance forms that participants are accustomed to experiencing in copresent contexts to technologies of communicative mediation. as users learn what these tools can do and how to use them. affords especially illuminating insights into the process of remediation (Bauman 2010. I might suggest in closing. the non-verbal correlates of linguistic styles. D. Georgetown University. The advent of new communicative technologies. to recognize the greater sophistication and richness of current work that takes both into account.. with attention to genre. The phonological aspects of dialect still loom large in these pages. audiences. would be to bridge the gap between immediate and mediated performance by exploring what has come to be called remediation (Bolter and Grusin 1999). in which all the articles deal with mediated communication. One has only to compare. like Peter Trudgill’s often-cited study of British pop-song pronunciation (Trudgill 1983). and historical change in performance forms and styles. which manages to ignore both mediation and performance. Bauman and Feaster 2005). but the interaction order never goes away. the affordances of media technologies and more. as one might expect in the work of sociolinguists.

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