• Transduction in religious discourse: Vocalization and sound reproduction in Mauritian Muslim devotional practices.

    Patrick Eisenlohr (see profile)
    Language and languages, Anthropological linguistics, Materialism, Sociology, Voice, Speech
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    islam, sound reproduction, Soundscapes, sound studies, transduction, Language, Linguistic anthropology, New materialism, Voice and speech
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    Drawing on ethnographic research on Muslim devotional practices in Mauritius, this chapter investigates material aspects of discourse circulation in religious settings, above all vocalization and transduction. I pay attention to the role Mauritian Muslims ascribe to sound reproduction technologies in safeguarding what they regard as the authentic replication of devotional poetry performances in ritual settings. In the particular context at hand, a certain aspect of the materiality of language, the qualities of vocalization, helps to minimize the gap between authoritative source and present performance. This process unfolds through transduction, which generates the sonic presence of the reciting voice in another setting through sound reproduction. The sonic presence thus generated becomes the occasion for beliefs on technology according to which the latter is able to faithfully “store” linguistic signs with their full spectrum of material qualities. In treating sound reproduction technologies accordingly, their users are guided by the assumption that sound reproduction, if working properly, is a medium that erases its own traces, despite the complex sequence of transductions it actually entails.
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    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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