Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pre-Islamic Poetry and Speech Act Theory: Al-A`shá, Bishr ibn Abī Khāzim, and al-Hujayjah
by Alajmi, Hamad, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 244; 3506287
Abstract (Summary)

In my dissertation, I study poems by three poets from the Jāhilīyah, or pre-Islamic, period. Within my analysis, I attempt to understand the role of each poem within its social and historical context by using the speech act theory as the general framework. In addition, I examine other theoretical concepts, including the ritual of gift exchange and rite of passage. I choose to study al-A`shá, Bishr ibn Abī Khāzim al-Asadī and Safiyah bint Tha`labah al-Shaybānīyah, also known as al-Hujayjah, because they are considered to be from the Jāhilīyah period. However, the poets differ in several ways, especially in regard to their roles in their communities and the metaphorical levels of their poetry (i.e., from the straight forward to the highly figurative).

Scholars have not directly applied speech act theory to pre-Islamic poetry, which is an essential approach by which to better understand the genuine function of classical Arabic poetry. The pre-Islamic qasīdah , or ode, especially the tripartite poem, was the type of poem that poets in later periods attempted to imitate; therefore, my study contributes to how scholars understand the role of poetic conventions within pre-Islamic poetry, which will better allow them to understand classical Arabic qasīdah from the Umayyad or Abbasid periods.

Scholars also have directly applied speech act theory to Abbasid and Andalusian panegyric odes in order to understand the role of the poet and the effect of the poem in regard to the obligation on the part of the patron to respond with a profound gift, but they have not shown the role of other poetic genres. Therefore, in this study, beside the role of the madīh , I explore the role of the pre-Islamic hijā’ , or invective and the tahrīd or incitement poetry as speech acts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stetkevych, Suzanne
Commitee: El-Shamy, Hasan, Losensky, Paul, Walbridge, John
School: Indiana University
Department: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern literature, Middle Eastern Studies
Keywords: A'sha, Maymun ibn Qays, Al-Hujayjah, Ibn Abi Khazim, Bishr, Jahiliyah, Pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, Speech act theory
Publication Number: 3506287
ISBN: 978-1-267-31686-8
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