Definition of orality in US English:



  • 1The quality of being spoken or verbally communicated.

    • ‘Harper's poem, wonderfully modulated in its orality, speaks to such an audience.’
    • ‘Its orality, its political intentions and ramifications, and its promise of unspoken truths about the African American experience all place it firmly in African American autobiographical traditions.’
    1. 1.1 Preference for or tendency to use spoken forms of language.
      • ‘It is in the culture of African Americans that orality reigns supreme, where the poets, the preachers, and other people of the word command respect and authority in the African American community, as did the orators of ancient Greece.’
      • ‘The problematic nature of this enterprise should be evident by now since it faces the conflicting demands of the visual aesthetic of Modernist poetry and the new orality of mass culture.’
      • ‘In contrast to orality, writing offers to tradition the apparent advantages of physical duration (still more vital where people are dispersed), precision, and detail.’
      • ‘His obsession with orality is a good case in point.’
      • ‘Literacy requires the infrastructure of printing, distribution, leisure, and wealth, whereas orality depends on village or other communal space and physical places where the recitor and audience can assemble together.’
      • ‘His latest volume, A Paradise of Poets, still manages to blur traditional lines between literacy and orality, the ‘strong’ author and tribal collaborator.’
      • ‘This work establishes the concept of freedom as the principal motif of his ensuing works and evokes questions regarding differences between writing and orality as racial and cultural markers.’
      • ‘My belief is that writing and language can best be taught by emphasizing the interrelationship between orality and literacy and by teaching respect for the home language and culture of others.’
      • ‘Cusick's use of nonstandard English keeps certain significant features of orality alive in the textualized version of the oral tradition.’
      • ‘They examined the role of literacy among the Vai people of Liberia, where they could compare orality with the effect of literacy in the indigenous Vai script and the effect of Western literacy schooling.’
      • ‘This shift in sensibility toward orality is not a single literary movement, as it has sometimes been misconstrued.’
      • ‘Literacy might thus be considered a central cultural marker of capitalist, metropolitan, colonial societies; orality, in contrast, seems tied to agricultural, peripheral, colonized societies.’
      • ‘It is in this chapter that the reader sees the natural culmination of orality, African literature in African languages, and African literature in European languages.’
      • ‘This alignment of memory with orality in opposition to literacy remains a contemporary problem that plagues rhetorical memory, as the emphasis on memorization implies.’
      • ‘Walter Ong talks about ‘secondary orality’, or the return of orality, after the long dominance of the potentials of literacy.’
      • ‘The most extreme response to the new orality is performance poetry.’
      • ‘Yet the study remains significant for its exploration of the interface between orality and literacy within a traditional society.’
      • ‘There seems to be this fascination with orality.’
      • ‘Her brief (and only briefly summarised) lecture on ‘the future of the novel’ is followed by her getting into an argument about orality, performance and the need to please an audience.’
      • ‘This discrepancy between writing and orality is not coincidental.’
  • 2Psychoanalysis
    The focusing of sexual energy and feeling on the mouth.

    • ‘Think also of the importance of the mouth and orality.’
    • ‘The spectator at the cinematic dream screen regresses to a similar state of orality as the masochist and also experiences a loss of ego-body boundary.’