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Reviews351 Iglesias Recuero, Silvia. Oralidad, diálogo y contexto en la lírica tradicional. Madrid: Visor Libros, 2002. 220 pages. ISBN: 84-7522-856-9 This most recent study of the villancico opens with an affirmation of the author's position regarding the still-lively debates surrounding the poems' populism by way of an extensive acknowledgment of the great traditionalists , including Paul Zumthor, Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Dámaso Alonso, Margit Frenk, and above all, Antonio Sánchez Romeralo, whose comprehensive study of the villancico, described herein as "magistral" (196), thoroughly informs this book's perspective. While such an introduction may surprise the reader who expects a more typical, if now familiar state-of-thequestion essay, it also provides the first glimpse of the author's propensity to bring her subject into immediate focus, so that her argument may be summarized quite economically: the oral nature of the villancico'% transmission and performance -the author takes care to leave open the question of oral composition- is perceivable in the conversational quality of its text. In no sense, however, does this study present yet another round of reformulated "orality vs. textuality" arguments like those that plague another famous corpus of traditional poetry, the kharja; although certain stylistic similarities shared by the villancico and the kharja are occasionally noted, they are done so briefly and in parenthesis. Iglesias Recuero seeks a new approximation to the villancico in which orality and textuality interact, and she does so through selecting conversational analysis, a branch of pragmatic sociolinguistics, as her theoretical guide. Iglesias Recuerojustifies her adoption of twenty-first century sociolinguistic theory in the study of fifteenth-century texts by bringing together the poems ' estilo tradicional, this elusive, subjective trait commented so often in traditionalist studies, and the long-held practice of characterizing the villancico as dialogic expression. Conversational analysis becomes a useful tool in understanding how the dialogic villancico achieves suspense, openness and immediacy, all elements considered typical of traditional style. In its refusal to engage the long-held polarity of orality/textuality, Iglesias Recuero's approach becomes strikingly modern, and points to a future in which scholars will cease to argue whether a poem is oral or textual in order to articulate critiques which embrace both at a cost to neither. The study is organized according to conversational strategies evident in the villancicos themselves: petitions (chapter 1), questions (chapter 2), exclamations (chapter 3) and dialogue (chapter 4), each category further subdivided according to structure, so that villancicos of the type "aserción + La corónica 31.2 (Spring, 2003): 351-54 352ReviewsLa corónica 31.2, 2003 petición" are distinguished from those of the type "aserción + y + petición". An example of the first type includes: Marido tenééis hermoso:[aserción] queredle bien, que es celoso.[petición] (p. 47) whereas the second category encompasses villancicos such as Por vos mal me viene,[aserción] niña, y atendedme.["y" petición] (p. 48) According to Iglesias Recuero, the structure "assertion + petition" is most common in oral communication. As a communicative strategy, the assertion serves to justify the speaker's petition; on a poetic level, it provides a brief descriptive context for the petition itself. The appearance of the conjunction "y", moreover, underscores this relationship; the petition now becomes a consequence of the statement, which in turn acquires a more reproachful tone. Such attention to detail continues in a careful examination of the grammatical structure of each text included for study, so that the estilo tradicional receives an analysis which discovers the linguistic mechanisms responsible for its expressive effect. Although some observations seem more platitudinous than insightful, such as, "la pregunta, como intervención iniciativa del intercambio, crea la expectativa y la obligación de una respuesta" (75), for the most part, they explain the impact ?? villancico structure . For example, causal questions, such as the one posed in "¿Qué razón me podéys tener / para no me querer?", function as a "vehículo de la expresión de la critica del destinarlo sin que eso suponga que pierdan totalmente su valor de petición de información" (68). It is the speaker's conversational strategy which permits us to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 351-354
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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