Chapter published in:Advances in Iranian Linguistics
Edited by Richard K. Larson, Sedigheh Moradi and Vida Samiian
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 351] 2020
► pp. 237–255
Quantitative meter in Persian folk songs and pop lyrics
This chapter argues that, contrary to what most recent scholarly works assume, the metrical system used in Persian folk songs and pop lyrics is quantitative and follows the same general principles as Classical Persian metrics. I propose that the apparent differences between the two systems originate primarily from the availability of a process of optional vowel shortening in the scansion of lines that are composed in colloquial Persian. In fact, it is mainly the phonological differences between the colloquial and formal registers of Persian, rather than purely metrical differences, that result in the split observed between these two poetic traditions. In addition to optional vowel shortening, I describe several minor deviations in these songs from the requirements of Classical Persian metrics, showing that these deviations are also systematic and that studying them can help gain a deeper understanding of Persian metrics. Finally, I present corpus data to support these proposals.
Keywords: Persian meters, quantitative meter, folk songs, pop lyrics, vowel length, colloquial Persian, spoken Persian, vowel shortening
Published online: 22 July 2020
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Cited by 1 other publications
Mazdeh, Mohsen Mahdavi
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