Twin Constellations: Parallelism and Stance in Stand-Up Comedy

This paper addresses the interrelations between poetic parallelism and interactional stance-taking in stand-up comedy by examining commercially edited recordings of stand-up routines performed by two contemporary comics. Methodologically, the article suggests a heuristic distinction between 1) an approach to parallelism as a textual and rhetorical device based on sequential repetition of units of expression, and […]

Parallelism in Arandic Song-Poetry

The ceremonial song-poetry performed by Arandic people of central Australia is characterized by parallelism of sound, form and meaning in both auditory and visual modalities. Parallelism, in all its manifestations, operates at multiple levels of the hierarchically structured poetic form. In the period Arandic people call the Altyerre, “Dreaming,” ancestral spirit-beings created the land and […]

Prayers for the Community: Parallelism and Performance in San Juan Quiahije Eastern Chatino

La42 qin4 kchin4 or ‘Prayers for the Community’ are supplications spoken by elders, traditional authorities, and virtuoso Chatino speakers from Oaxaca, Mexico. Chatino prayers are composed of varied, and complex forms of parallelism, repetition, and formulaic expressions. Units of meaning in these prayers are developed and presented in semantically and syntactically related stanzas consisting of […]

Parallelism in Karelian Laments

Karelian laments are performed by women during a ritual – funerals, weddings, and recruiting ceremonies – and were once commonly used in other contexts of everyday life. Laments are works of a special kind of improvisation. They were created during the performance process in relation to a concrete situation, drawing upon traditional language, stylistic means […]

Parallelism and Orders of Signification (Parallelism Dynamics I)

This essay sets out an approach to parallelism in verbal art as a semiotic phenomenon that can operate at multiple orders (or levels) of signification. It examines parallelism in the sounds through which words are communicated, in language communicated by those sounds, in symbols or minimal units of narration communicated through language, and then in […]

“Said a Word, Uttered Thus”: Structures and Functions of Parallelism in Arhippa Perttunen’s Poems

Verse parallelism is one of the most distinctive features of a Finnic tradition of oral poetry, which is called “kalevalaic poetry” in Finland or “regilaul” in Estonia. This essay presents grammatical and semantic principles and patterns according to which parallel verses are composed, and introduces a statistical analysis of parallelism in the repertoire of one […]

Parallelism in the Hanvueng: A Zhuang Verse Epic from West-Central Guangxi in Southern China

Zhuang is a Tai-Kadai language spoken in southern China. Parallelism is ubiquitous in Zhuang poetry and song,in ritual texts, and in a range of oral genres. Curiously, this salient fact has generally escaped the notice of scholars writing on the subject of Zhuang poetics. This article looks specifically at the phenomenon of parallelism in one […]

Parallelism and Musical Structures in Ingrian and Karelian Oral Poetry

Listening to historical oral poetry usually means listening to archival sound recordings with no possibility to ask questions or compare performances by one singer in different performance arenas. Yet, when a greater number of recordings from different singers and by different collectors is available, the comparison of these performances has the potential to reveal some […]

Parallelism and the Composition of Oral Narratives in Banda Eli

While parallelism is easily recognizable as the source for various literary tropes, it is also important as a resource for the speakers’ dialogic engagement with the patterns of interaction and experience: they embody part of their linguistic habitus. This article explores the forms of parallelism found in a variety of speech and narrative genres in […]