OLAC Record

Title:Helter Skelter and ñugl ñagl: English and Kalam rhyming jingles and the psychic unity of mankind

Kalam, a Trans New Guinea (TNG) language of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, has at least 60 “rhyming jingles,” expressions similar to English higgledy piggledy and dilly dally. A rhyming jingle consists of two phonological words, the base and the rhyme, which differ in the form of first syllable, and together form a single grammatical word. Kalam rhyming jingles fall into several phonological types, chiefly those where, in the rhyme, (1) only the first consonant changes, e.g., gadal badal, jnow bnow, slom dlom, (2) only the first vowel changes, e.g., gtiŋ gtoŋ, ñugl ñagl, nugsum nagsum, and (3) the first CV changes, e.g., gogeb mageb, kosi masi, ñugog pagog. Such expressions are widespread among TNG languages as well as occurring in many other languages around the world. After examining the phonology, semantics and grammar of the Kalam expressions, I will try to place them in comparative perspective, asking what the occurrence of such similar patterns in unrelated languages tells us about the psychic unity of Mankind?

Contributor (author):Pawley, Andrew
Date (W3CDTF):2010
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/9282
Extent:pages 273-293
Identifier (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/9282
Is Part Of:SIL e-Books 19
Language (ISO639):eng
Publisher:SIL International
Subject:English language
Kalam language
Phonology; Comparison; Universals
Subject (ISO639):eng
Type (DCMI):Text


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:9282
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Pawley, Andrew. 2010. SIL e-Books 19.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG dcmi_Text iso639_eng iso639_kmh

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 6:04:34 EDT 2015