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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The evolution of poetic language in Ethiopian drama
Author:Balashova, Galina
Periodical:Afrika und Übersee: Sprachen, Kulturen
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Abstract:This paper discusses some aspects that characterize the language used in Ethiopian drama, a genre that has developed since the 1920s. In the earliest stage of its development, dramatists in Ethiopia cared little about the formal demands of the genre. A play was not divided into acts and scenes, stage directions were neglected, a list of characters was often absent. On the whole a play hardly differed in its structure from an epic work. After the 1936-1941 war new literary genres, such as the short story and the novel, emerged, and within the dramatic genre, new techniques were developed. The main attention of playwrights was focused on the perfection of the monologue. From the 1960s onwards, the monologue was increasingly replaced by the dialogue. The most typical trait of the dramatic dialogue from the point of view of its linguistic and stylistic structure is the individualization of the characters' speech characteristics. Another development was the introduction of the remark in dramatic works, first as an integral part of the dialogue, later as a separate stylistic device. A final characteristic of Ethiopian plays is the language in which they are written - usually Ethiopian, but sometimes including fragments in Ge'ez. Ref.