Concluding Formulas of Audience Address in Serbo-Croatian Oral Epic
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"As a special feature of Serbo-Croatian oral poems, audience address is formulaic to a great extent, so that one can posit a stock of traditional formulas and formulaic expressions. From the standpoint of theme, this stock is independent of the narrative structure of the poem, and, because it gives expression to general and generally accepted ideas (blessing, praise, prayer), it is easily adapted to the circumstances of the individual performance. The stability of these formulas and formulaic expressions is also manifested by the existence of the same or of similar forms in poems originating and recorded in various places and times. The groups of formulas and formulaic lines used in addressing the audience have a relatively narrow thematic scope. Dominant are expressions of good wishes in the form of a blessing, praise, or prayer; there is a high frequency of such words as hale/ health, merry/mirth, brother/brothers/ sworn brother, group/company, glory/honor, integrity, poem, glass, and God-all of which signify positive life principles. Stating that the poem is being recited in someone's honor, or as a blessing of the living and the dead, or as praise has particular implications for the poem and its performance: the poem is recited with honorable intentions. The highly formulaic nature of this poetic device indicates that it too, like others, is traditional, even in the absence of a traditional plot."--Taken from final paragraph.
Oral Tradition, 6/2-3 (1991): 266-278.
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