Jarai formulaic sayings: Hook rhyme & the nature of binarity in folk verse

Joshua M Jensen


Formulaic sayings in Jarai (Austronesian; Vietnam) are a folk poetic form with lines joined by hook rhymes. The first member of each hook-rhyme pair is line-final, and the second member is line-initial, as in this poem excerpt: t?u? p?a ra / ?ia p?a nao / plao p?a do? 'different mountains / walking along different waters / living on different islets.' By means of hook rhyme, each line except the first and last is a member of two couplets. This overlapping couplet structure--a binary organizing principle--often results in a poem with an odd number of lines.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.503