That's Raven Talk : Holophrastic Readings of Contemporary Indigeus Literatures is the first comprehensive study of North American Indigeus language as the basis of textualized orality in Indigeus literatures in English. Drawing on a signficant Indigeus language structure--the holophrase (one-word sentence)--Neuhaus proposes holophrastic reading as a culturally specific reading strategy for orality in Indigeus writing. In readings of works by Ishmal Alunik (Inuvialuit), Alootook Ipellie (Inuit), Richard Van Camp (Dogrib), Thomas King (Cherokee), and Louise Bernice Halfe (Cree), she demonstrates that (para)holophrases--the various transformations of holophrases into English-language discourse--textualize orality in Indigeus literatures by grounding it in Indigeus linguistic traditions. Neuhaus's discussion points to the paraholophrase, the functional equivalent of the holophrase, as a central discourse device in Indigeus writing and as a figure of speech in its own right. Building on interdisciplinary research, this groundbreaking study t only links oral strategies in Indigeus writing to Indigeus rhetorical sovereignty, but also points to ancestral language influences and Indigeus rhetoric more generally as areas for future research.
Mareike Neuhaus, author of That's Raven Talk and The Decolonizing Poetics of Indigenous Literatures, is an independent scholar specializing in North American Indigenous literatures and Canadian literature.