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Canons poétiques et poésies canoniques dans la culture maure

Abstract : Among the Arabic-speaking populations of Mauritania, poetry is composed in literary Arabic or in dialect. Poetry composed in Literary Arabic is more prestigious and conforms to the highly elaborate classical metrics. Although simpler, poetry composed in the ḥassāniyya dialect nevertheless obeys precise, more or less complex, metrical rules. The basic principles of this dialectal metrics are common to the two major traditional genres, ġnä and thäydîn. Ġnä is very well-liked. It is of the strophic type but the poems, that address various themes, can be reduced to a single strophe of four or six hemistichs. Thäydîn is a more hermetic type of poetry, that was once composed by « griots » to honour some chief warriors. The pattern of alternate rhymes (ab) is common to thäydîn and to women’s poetry (təbṛâˤ), but the former generally contains a large number of verses whereas təbṛâˤ is reduced to a couplet. In the third and last part, I analyze the case of poetic productions that completely or partially deviate from traditional poetic canons in regard to prosody, metrics, language and / or theme. These innovations are very marginal, and have not managed to break away from the dominant models so far.
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Contributor : Catherine Taine-Cheikh <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 24, 2020 - 12:11:14 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, January 10, 2021 - 3:18:59 AM


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Catherine Taine-Cheikh. Canons poétiques et poésies canoniques dans la culture maure. S. Bornand; J. Derive. Les canons du discours et la langue. Parler juste, Karthala, pp.141-168, 2018, 978-2-8111-2510-3. ⟨halshs-03087814⟩



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