Participant Reference in Three Balochi Dialects: Male and Female Narrations of Folktales and Biographical Tales

  • Datum: 30 mars, kl. 14.15
  • Plats: Ihresalen, 21-0011, Engelska Parken, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Nourzaei, Maryam
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för lingvistik och filologi
  • Kontaktperson: Nourzaei, Maryam
  • Disputation

The aim of the present study is to investigate how men and women in three Iranian Balochi dialects, Coastal Balochi, Koroshi Balochi and Sistani Balochi, refer to 3rd person participants in oral narratives of two genres: folktales and biographical tales.

The stories that are analysed were recorded during several field trips to Iran and the approach used is that of Levinsohn (1994, 2015).

The first part of the dissertation begins with an overview of the Balochi language and its dialects, including a brief presentation of its phonology, and then reviews previous studies of Balochi, before introducing the case system and types of alignment in the three dialects. Chapter 2 introduces the reader to the status of orality in the three dialects, before giving details about the corpus of texts that were analysed. Of particular note is the fact that each story in the corpus was told by both a man and a woman. Chapter 3 examines different approaches to the analysis of participant reference, before comparing those of Gundel et al. and Levinsohn in greater detail.

The second part of the dissertation applies Levinsohn’s approach to texts in each of the three dialects in turn. Chapters 4–6 identify and analyse the different ways in which the participants in the stories are referred to when the subject remains the same and in three specific situations when the subject changes. This enables default encoding values to be established for each of the four situations. Motivations for over-encoding and, in some situations, under-encoding, are then identified. Chapters 7–9 investigate whether the gender of the storyteller (male versus female) and/or the genre of the story (folktale versus biographical tale) influence the way that the participants are referred to. This leads in chapter 10 to a gender- and genre-based comparison of participant reference across the present dialects.

Conclusions are presented in chapter 11. In general, the participant reference strategy used was the same in all three dialects, regardless of the gender or the genre. The main exception involved reported conversations in Koroshi Balochi, where the additive enclitic ham was attached to the reference to a subject who responded in line with the contents of the speech reported in the previous sentence. Other variations appeared to depend on the degree to which the storyteller was proficient in his or her art.

The dissertation concludes with four Appendices. Appendix A presents six texts that were interlinearised using the FLEx programme, while Appendix B consists of participant reference charts of the same texts following Levinsohn’s approach. Appendix C presents details of the case system and alignment for each of the three dialects. Finally, the chart in Appendix D compares the approaches of Levinsohn and of Gundel et al. to participant reference in a specific text. A CD with audio files of the six texts and some photos taken during fieldwork is also available.