The Indigenization of Pali Meters in Thai Poetry: Mis Sea#87

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During the Ayutthaya period in Thailand (1350-1767), a group of meters based upon specific types and arrangements of syllables became a significant part of the Thai literary corpus. Known as chan in Thai literature, these meters, and the stanzas created from them, were adapted and transformed so that they corresponded in structure to other Thai verse forms. Although still used in compositions today, these meters reached their greatest popularity during the mid and late Ayutthaya period and the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.

This study of the Thai chan meters contends that Thai linguistic constraints and poetic principles determined the transformation of the Pali meters and stanzas into their Thai counterparts. Disproving the frequent claims that the old chan compositions ignored the sequencing of the particular syllable types required by the meters, the author determines why the meters became popular only during certain eras and just what the aesthetic conditions were that nurtured the use of the meters.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This meticulously executed book is a welcome addition to the relatively small, though growing, corpus of studies on the Thai language. The book appeals to a far wider audience than its title may suggest, because it discusses not only details of Thai poetry, for which Hudak is regarded as the foremost authority in North America, but also the culture, language, and people behind it.”

— Tadao Miyamoto, Language

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896801592
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 5/30/1990
  • Series: Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series, #87
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 247
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Chatper 1. Poetry in Thailand 1
Verse Types 4
Literary History 15
Chapter 2. The Aesthetics of Sound 25
Linguistic Techniques of phayr[characters not reproducible]? 28
Poetic Constraints 34
Chapter 3. The Transformation of the Pali Meters and Stanzas 45
The Influence of Pali 45
The Vuttodaya (Exposition of Meter) 48
The Syllable 50
Rhyme and the Stanza in Thai 51
The Transformation of the Pali Stanzas 58
The Stanzas Not Inscribed at Wat Chetuphon 91
Chapter 4. Poetic Conventions in the chan Meters 97
Phonological and Morphological Changes in the chan Meters 98
The Conventions in Context 115
Chapter 5. The New Thai chan Meters 147
The Meters of the Old Classics 150
The Meters of the Modern Classics 156
Chapter 6. Reaction to phayr[characters not reproducible]? and the Rejection of the chan Meters 173
A. Phonemic Transcription 179
B. Examples in Thai 181
C. Examples in Pali 205
D. The Pali and Thai chan Meters 209
E. Thai chan Compositions Consulted 223
Bibliography 227
Index 235
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