On the Problem of Asemantic Texts of Svan Songs

Nana Mzhavanadze, Madona Chamgeliani


In this paper we illustrate the nature and significance of asemantic texts (vocables) within Svan songs. An interdisciplinary approach helped us interpret asemantic texts of so-called “wordless” songs and observe consistent verbal-musical formulae within a genre.

Our study of the verbal texture of the Svan singing repertoire has revealed different distinct types and varieties of vocables. We identify both dialectic and interdialectic groups of vocables and outline the correlations between ethnological context and vocable groups. We further identify the peculiarities of some vocabelic groups and describe the rules, regulations and systems which govern their use in Svan songs.


Ritual, Song, Svan, Text, Vocables

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