Talking Straight: Dugri Speech in Israeli Sabra Culture

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


In modern Israel, the 'sabra', or native-born Israeli Jew, is held to be the mythic New Jew. A major symbolic vehicle for the affirmation of this identity is the use of 'dugri', or straight speech. Combining a sociolinguistic and a cultural-anthropological perspective, Tamar Katriel explores the 'dugri' idiom as a cultural form. She shows that while appeal to shared cultural meanings mitigates the blunt edge of 'dugri' speech for members of the culture, conversely outsiders often interpret the 'sabra's' directness as rudeness. She illustrates the meanings and forms associated with 'dugri' speech by discussing two public dramas which occurred in Israel in the early 1980s, revealing the potential effects of the use of conflicting speech styles. She also compares 'dugri' speech to directness and indirectness in other cultures and develops a preliminary framework for a typological analysis of direct and indirect speechways.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages160
ISBN (Print)‎ 9780521326308
StatePublished - 1986

Publication series

NameStudies in the social and cultural foundations of language
PublisherCambridge : Cambridge University Press


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