The Structure and Changing Functions of Oral Traditions
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The transmission of knowledge by means of oral literary forms, so strongly attacked by Plato in the fourth century B.C., has not disappeared completely. Throughout the many centuries of supremacy of the written word over non-written communication, many non-literate communities have retained literary traditions that rely on being memorized and orally transmitted by members of that community. Oral traditions that have been able to adapt themselves to the changes in their environment have been able to survive to our day in coexistence with forms of literate origin, although mostly relegated to marginal social groups.
Oral Tradition, 2/2-3 (1987): 645-66.