In the borderland between song and speech

Vocal expressions in oral cultures

Håkan Lundström
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Jan-Olof Svantesson
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This book focuses on vocal expressions in the borderland between song and speech. It spans across several linguistic and musical milieus in societies where oral transmission of culture dominates. ‘Vocal expression’ is an alternative word for ‘song’ which is free from bias based on cultural and research-related traditions. The borderland between song and speech is a segment of the larger continuum that extends from speech to song. These vocal expressions are endangered to the same degree as the languages they represent. Perspectives derived from ethnomusicology, prosody, syntax, and semantics are combined in the research, in which performance templates serve as an analytical tool. The focus is on the techniques that make performance possible and on the transmission of these techniques. The performance templates serve to organize the vocal expression of words by combining musical and linguistic conventions. It is shown that all the cultures studied have principles for organizing these parameters; but each does this in its own unique way while meeting a number of basic needs on the part of human society, particularly communal interaction and interaction with the spirit world. A working method is developed that makes it possible to gain qualitative knowledge from a large body of material within a comparatively limited period of time.




01 Rice narrative Examples 5, 8
02 Lɔ̀ɔŋ ŋɔ̀ɔr Examples 14–15
03 Ɔ̀ɔc Examples 22–23
04 Nàaŋ mɛ̀ɛn, hrlɨ̀ɨ Examples 26–27
05 Nàaŋ mɛ̀ɛn, hrwə̀ Examples 32, 35
06 Nàaŋ mɛ̀ɛn, húuwə̀ Example 36
07 Nàaŋ mɛ̀ɛn, yàam Examples 42–43
08 Yùun tìiŋ Example 45
09 Nàaŋ mɛ̀ɛn, tə́əm Example 49
10 Pàh mòŋ, B1a Example 52
11 Táa píc, Last phrase Example 60
12 Krùu ɔ̀ɔy róoy Example 61
13 Krùu ptú róoy rwàay ɔ̀ɔk, C–D Example 63 C–D
14 Raven song Examples 70, 135–139, 141
15 Caribou song, Neal Example 72
16 Dolo-k'adi Example 74
17 Segoya, Bettis Example 77
18 Caribou, v1 1st phrase a and b Example 87 a–b
19 Caribou, v2 1st phrase Example 87 c
20 Caribou people v2 2nd phrase Example 88
21 Obio Example 98
22 Working in the fields Example 99
23 Sjhá-gàw 166:6 Example 100, 106
24 Sjhá-gàw 166:8 Example 101 a
25 Sjhá-gàw 167:8a Example 101 b
26 Sjhá-gàw 166:7 Example 107
27 Sjhá-gàw 169:6 Example 108
28 Waka Naniwazu 1 Example 117
29 Ryûka Unnamachi Example 130
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