Polysémie et jeu de mot dans la littérature tamoule ancienne : mode d'mploi préliminaire

Název: Polysémie et jeu de mot dans la littérature tamoule ancienne : mode d'mploi préliminaire
Zdrojový dokument: Études romanes de Brno. 2014, roč. 35, č. 2, s. [167]-181
  • ISSN
    1803-7399 (print)
    2336-4416 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence

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In what we have of ancient Tamil literature (and notably its sizeable devotional component) a pervasive feature is the repetition of some sequences of phones and this results in the highly visible alliterative quality of that literature, the most frequently seen device being the second syllable rhyme which is called /etukai/ (Skt. /dvitīya-anuprāsa/). Repetitions of word-size sequences of phones are also seen, although much less frequently (not to talk about the exceptional repetition of line-size sequences) and a striking example is seen in four hymns composed by Campantar, one of the three /Tēvāram/ authors, who probably lived in the 7th century. Those four hymns were called "/yamaka/" by posterity, and every line in them follows an AZBZ pattern, where the Z sequences correspond either to two homophonous words or to two distinct meanings of a polysemic word, another possibility being punning, in which case one of the Zs is not a full word, but a proper substring of a word, formally identical with the other Z, a full word. As an illustration of this literary device, this article contains a detailed examination of the manner in which word-play is performed in one stanza taken from Tēvāram 3–113, gradually translated here, by progressive steps, so as to preserve the didactic (or initiatic, or hypnotic) effect, which the stanza may have had on the śaiva devotees who exercised themselves in singing it. This is followed by an outline of the /kōśa/-s "thesauri", which were probably composed slightly later in Tamil Nadu, originally in order to help the students of ancient Tamil literature in overcoming the difficulties inherent in the intensive use of polysemy and quasi-synonymy. Those /kōśa/-s could also provide weapons to aspirant poets, desirous of displaying their virtuosity in word-play.