Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Pictorial Talking: the Figural Rendering of Speech Acts in Aztec Mexico

November 16th, 2012
4:00pm

Location
Dinwiddie Hall, Rm 103

Join us for a colloquium given by Dr. Elizabeth Boone of Tulane University, sponsored by the Anthropology Department.

In Aztec Mexico before the Spanish conquest a single sign form, the image, supported by the line and the field, bore the documentary responsibility of scripts elsewhere. Images carried semantic meanings by symbolizing or representing (in an abstractly conventional mimesis) that which they indexed, and a spatial syntax organized these images into specific messages. The goal of Mexican pictography was to record meaning rather than sound and language. Only in appellatives (personal, ethnic, and place names) did the images occasionally refer specifically to the sounds of spoken words when identification could not otherwise be achieved.

Despite its relative independence from spoken language, however, pictography was still able to signify “speech” as a nominal act and to accommodate the contents of speech acts. But doing so pushed the edge of the pictographic canon. Although most examples date from the early colonial period when pictography came under the influence of alphabetic writing and opened up more fully to the possibility of word writing, the few examples from before the conquest are suggestive of pictography’s greater abilities. This presentation will first explore the function and nature of speech scrolls as adjectival, nominal, and verbal signs. It will then focus on the content of speech acts, and finally on sequential streams of iteration. We will move from the simplest graphic indication of speech to the longest and most complex: from prehispanic Mexican pictography to its transformation in the early colonial period into a script capable of recording Catholic doctrinal orations with subtlety and nuance.

LATEST SITE UPDATES

NEWS

RESOURCES

EVENTS

All Events

Upcoming Events

K-14 Summer Educator Institute in Cuba

View Full Event Description

Havana, Cuba | June 17 – July 1, 2017

The Application Deadline has Passed
$3,500.00 for 15 days

This two-week program through the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Cuban and Caribbean Studies, and in collaboration with Primary Source provides the unique opportunity to work on developing lesson plans while exploring the sights and sounds of a nation and country that remain obscured behind political rhetoric and misinformation. Recent economic changes on the island have provoked a series of social and cultural transformations that have left Cubans and the entire world wondering what could be next for the island and the Revolution. Don’t miss the chance to witness some of these challenges and triumphs firsthand and get the opportunity to bring your experience back to your students in the classroom.

Tulane’s summer program is locally sponsored and supported by the National Union of Writers and Artists. Participants will stay within walking distance of the Malecón, the university, and several cultural venues. In addition to field trips in Havana, there will also be group excursions to the historic cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, the Che Guevara monument in Santa Clara, Playa Girón, and Viñales.

For more information and for the institute application, please visit the institute webpage.

Summer Reading at the Pebbles Center Algiers

View Full Event Description

Celebrate and learn about Latin America with your kids through the Stone Center’s Pebble Center at the Algiers Regional branch of the New Orleans Public Library for bilingual story time.

Our summer story hour will take place in June, July, and August on the second Tuesday of every month at 10:30 AM. All books are read in English and Spanish and readings are followed by an activity based on the book. Past books include Counting Ovejas, Drum Dream Girl, and Mango, Abuela, and Me. Readings are free and open to the public. Recommended ages 0 – 5 and parents!

Story Hour Dates/Themes

June 13
TBA

July 11
TBA

August 8
TBA