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Title: Tales from the past : a comparison of Japanese and Norwegian oral traditions
Authors: Ng, Eunice You Ni
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This paper examines the different types of mnemonic devices or oral-formulas used by Japanese and Norwegian oral traditions. A philological and stylistic study of two Japanese oral traditions; Saru Kani Gassen, The Monkey-Crab War and Momotarou, The Story of Peach-boy, and two Norwegian oral traditions; Lillekort (Little Short) and Østenfor Sol og vestenfor Maane (East of the Sun and West of the Moon), will be analysed on a lexical-syntactic level qualitatively. The study highlights the different stylistic devices and possible mnemonic devices found in each culture and attempts to explain the function of these formulaic features in each culture, highlighting their similarities and differences as well as how these mnemonic devices help formulate and develop oral traditions in each culture. The findings revealed that amongst all the stylistic devices found utilized, parallelism and repetition were found to be common mnemonic devices utilized. However, it is also noted that repetition is employed differently in both types of oral traditions. Some examples include the use of epithets, mesodiplosis, and epizeuxis. Other than parallelism and repetition, an interesting mnemonic device utilized only in Japanese oral traditions is rhymed couplets with a formulaic phonemic count. It was also found that formulas in oral traditions do not stand independent but instead sometimes used in combination with other mnemonic devices in order to act as a specific type of mnemonic formula on its own. The aim of using these stylistic devices and formulas is to help performers to memorize stories, add aesthetics to the narrative and aid in the performance of the narrative fluently when improvisation is required.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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