2015 Between Speech and Song: Liminal utterances of sadness in Anatolia and the Caucasus

Between speech and song — Click to open the presentationMultimedia presentation at the colloquium ICTM colloquium Liminal utterances — Between speech and song.

See here for more details about this colloquium, which I coordinate: http://crem-cnrs.fr/liminal-utterances

This presentation explores the practice of melodized speech in the Caucasus and Anatolia. Taking as a case study the Yezidi Kurds in Armenia, it explains why this practice, linked to the narration of sad events, stands at the border between speech and song in the local typology of vocal production. On a wider area, the comparison of three case studies from fieldwork conducted in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia shows how elderly women integrate melodized speech in daily conversations. Beyond religious, national and linguistic differences, the similarity of these practices suggests a shared social-vocal nexus in Anatolia and the Caucasus.