Some formal characteristics of parallel speech in Kambera

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för lingvistik

Abstract: In all languages of the eastern Indonesian island of Sumba, parallel speech is used in ritual contexts. In this study, some characteristics of parallel speech in Kambera are investigated. In the analysis of the structural types of couplets, the units of parallel speech, all the couplets found in Kapita (1987), and some additional materials, even from other Sumbanese languages, are used. In the rest of the investigation, only a sample of 100 couplets, here loosely defined as parallel speech units, in Kapita (1987) of the most common type is used, and the investigation is limited to formal (non-semantic) features which connect the two lines. The features investigated are number of syllables, words, and stresses and syntactic structure. In the discussion part, the question if the existence of non-parallel lines incorporating parallel pairs should be recognized and other questions are discussed. The conclusion summarizes the results about the different varieties of couplets and the formal connection between the two lines in them.

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