Secondary Orality



Oral Culture

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about the definition of Secondary Orality.

But before I get to the definition of Secondary Orality I’m going to be talking about Oral Cultures and Orality. You see Oral Cultures are relevant to these definitions because they’re connected.

In this book it states that in Oral Cultures knowledge once acquired had to be constantly repeated or it would be lost.

So in older times since there was no easy way to send out information all at once people had to tell each other information through word of mouth.

To put in my two cents, an oral culture is flawed.

This is because humans are imperfect people and a message is going to get misunderstood.

Then that message is going to morph and change into something else unless there are a lot of precautions taken.


Next, we have the definition of Orality itself.

Orality is described as a word used to characterize speech.

But I’m going to talk about Primary Orality and then Secondary. Primary Orality describes the way people spoke heard and thought before the age of literacy. So, like the previous example of Oral culture.

Finally, we have Secondary which describes ” the speaking and listening skills of people influenced by their literary background “.

Now what does this mean, an example given is someone who was exposed to text with long and complex sentences is someone who will speak in longer sentences.

So, one could assume that the same would be for shorter, simpler sentences. Based off of this definition I think it’s safe to say that Secondary is much more passive.

There are way more examples of Secondary Orality that I could use also. I believe that this could also work for things like accents regional Dialects or some type of Rhetoric.

Say someone who was born in England and all their life they learn to speak English the way people over there speak English.

Not only are they going to pick up an accent, they’re probably going to pick up several different slang terms as well.

I think Secondary Orality is an interesting concept because once you learn what it is you can see it everywhere you look.

Everyone’s been affected by it.


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