American Anthropologist

The Pragmatics of Proverb Performances in New Mexican Spanish



Performances of proverbs by Mexicanos in northern New Mexico are characterized by seven features in addition to the proverb text. These are examined with respect for the role they play in connecting basic cultural and linguistic patterns with the minute details of an ongoing social interaction. The processes of presupposition and contextualization are identified as crucial determinants of the way each feature will be realized in a given performance.