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Narrative Structure of Wakhi Oral Stories
(Iranian languages)
2017 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Wakhi people live in the remote areas of the high Pamir mountains. Their original homeland is situated in the Wakhan Corridor in the Badakhshan region, and is divided by the border between southeast Tajikistan and nordeast Afghanistan. They also inhabit the mountainous areas in northern Pakistan and western China. The Wakhi language belongs to the Pamir sub-group of Eastern Iranian languages and is spoken by about 58,000 people in the above-mentioned four countries.

The discourse of Wakhi as spoken in Tajikistan has not yet been the subject of analysis. This study is an attempt to identify the features of the fundamental narrative structure of Wakhi oral stories. The analysis of narrative genres recorded in the Wakhan valley in Tajikistan is based on Labov & Waletzky’s (1967) and Labov’s (1972 and 1997) models.

The first part examines the properties of temporal sequence and narrative clauses, and concludes that two sets of narrative tense-aspect forms are found throughout Wakhi oral narratives: simple past tense for eyewitness accounts, and non-past alternating with perfect for non-eyewitness narratives.

In the second part, the overall structure of the Wakhi oral narrative is examined, to define the properties of each of the narrative stages (abstract, orientation, complicating action, evaluation, resolution, and coda) and of the transitions between them. A separate chapter is dedicated to evaluation, which may be present explicitly, as a comment made by the narrator by stepping out of the narrative frame, or as part of the narrative frame, either embedded in direct speech or expressed implicitly using a range of internal evaluative devices.

The final part starts a discussion on further aspects of narrative as presented by Labov (1997), namely reportability, credibility, causality, the assignment of praise and blame, and objectivity, that can direct possible future research beyond the narrative frame and into areas of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.

The study is complemented by a corpus of twenty-one transcribed, glossed, and translated Wakhi stories, representing various narratives genres described in the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017.
Series
Studia Iranica Upsaliensia, ISSN 1100-326X ; 32
Keyword [en]
Wakhi, discourse, oral narratives, Pamir languages, text corpus
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Iranian Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-331361ISBN: 978-91-513-0150-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-331361DiVA, id: diva2:1149054
Available from: 2017-10-13 Created: 2017-10-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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