Voices of sorrow: laments, epics and melodised speech among the Yezidis in Armenia

Event type
Paris Ouest University
EASA conference

In the Yezidi community of Armenia, melodized speech is the preferred way to express sad feelings and talk about traumatic events. This paper analyzes the pragmatic features of this specific vocal register, showing the way they construct a sonic space where emotions are shared.

Presentation in the panel "Saying the unspeakable: the uses of voice in the narration of traumatic events" which I convened with Alexandra Pillen (UCL).

This panel focuses on the sonic specificities of the narration of traumatic events, analysing their pragmatic features (intonation, rhythm, timbre...), their status in the local typologies of enunciation (in relation to speech, song, cry...) and their agency in the acoustic space of the performance.

Research project
Yezidi laments
On vocality and the narration of loss amongst the Yezidis in Armenia, 2006 - 2014