A Multidimensional Approach to Oral Literature

A Proposal

by H. Jason

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A framework for a descriptive analysis of oral literature at the multidimensional level. The item of oral literature is made the center of interest, and the innate laws and outer forces that shape an oral literature and its interrelations with its context are investigated. Two units are considered: (1) The term "item of oral literature" is used to refer to the text and its performance. (2) The "repertoire of the oral literature of one society" is considered an organized unit. It is assumed that a multidimensional network of coordinates designated determinants underlies oral literature. Each item of oral literature can be measured by every determinant, i.e., it will have a "value" in terms of this determinant. Thirteen determinants that have been established are discussed.

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