“commitment” in American marriage: a cultural analysis


Journal Article

On the basis of syntax, metaphorical usages, formulaic language, and the senses of utterances, it is argued that American interviewees use the key word “commitment” in the context of marriage both in a general, superordinate sense and in three subordinate polysemous senses, of PROMISE, DEDICATION, and ATTACHMENT. These three polysemous senses are related in a culturally shared scenario for American marriage—the story of the speech act that initiates it, and the entailments of this act: a state of intentionality, and an emotional relationship to another person. [American marriage, knowledge structures, scenario word, polysemy, cultural knowledge, goals] 1982 American Anthropological Association

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • QUINN, N

Published Date

  • January 1, 1982

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 775 - 798

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1548-1425

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-0496

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1525/ae.1982.9.4.02a00100

Citation Source

  • Scopus