Oral Poetics and Cognitive Science by Mihailo Antovic, Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas

By Mihailo Antovic, Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas

Oral Poetics has produced insights which are appropriate not just for the research of oral traditions, but in addition for our normal knowing of language and cognition. Cognitive technology has built theories with nice strength for study on poetics and oral functionality. This publication explores how connections among the 2 disciplines can result in a Cognitive Oral Poetics, a brand new box for the examine of oral poetry as a window to the brain.

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The correspondence of abstract with resolution tells us that the speaker has brought his or her tale to the conclusion we were led to expect. Likewise, the correspondence of exit talk with entrance talk indicates to the listener that the story has reached its end and that he or she is now being restored once more to the topic of conversation. These correspondences may be marked by verbal repetition. To my knowledge, the possibility that such correspondences may occur within this framework—and what they might tell us—has not been studied.

And at Iliad 24. 602‒619, when Achilles tells the story of Niobe and her children in order to persuade Priam to eat with him, he creates two rings of correspondence, each one marked by repetition: he introduces his tale at 602, saying, “[F]or even Niobe, she of the lovely tresses, remembered to eat” (καὶ γάρ τ᾽ ἠΰκομος Νιόβη ἐμνήσατο σίτου) and he concludes, at 613, with the words, “[B]ut she remembered to eat when she was worn out with weeping” (ἣ δ᾽ ἄρα σίτου μνήσατ᾽ , ἐπεὶ κάμε δάκρυ χέουσα).

The method of language is like that of oral poetry, substitution in the framework of the grammar. Without the metrical restrictions of the verse, language substitutes one subject for another in the nominative case, keeping the same verb; or keeping the same noun, it substitutes one verb for another. In studying the patterns and systems of oral narrative verse, we are in reality observing the “grammar” of the poetry, a grammar superimposed, as it were, on the grammar of the language concerned. Or, to alter the image, we find a special grammar within the grammar of the language, necessitated by the versification.

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