Commonplace and Creativity: The Role of Formulaic Diction in Anglo-Scottish Traditional Balladry

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International Specialized Book Service Incorporated, Jan 1, 1985 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 404 pages
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As the first book of its kind Commonplace and Creativity offers a comprehensive study of the formulaic narrative technique in the traditional ballads of England and Scotland. It outlines a new concept of the ballad formula and presents a new assessment of how formulas function in context. The author analyses more than 2.000 formula lines and stanzas, and emphasizing the distinctly dramatic, 'supra-narrative' potential of the coventional ballad language he demonstrates that singers may use formulas discriminatingly to produce their 'own' versions of the ballads. Formulas can be characterized in terms of both stability and variation, and consequently they are an important vehicle for the traditional re-creativity and gradual re-interpretation which are so vital for the life of the ballad tradition.

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THE DEFINITION OF THE FORMULA 1 The OralFormulaic View and Its Application
Michael Nagler and Paul Kiparsky

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