The Theory of Oral Composition

History and Methodology

by John Miles Foley

The Theory of Oral Composition presents the first history of the new field of oral-formulaic theory, which arose from the pioneering research of Milman Parry and Albert Lord on the Homeric poems. From their studies an interdisciplinary field of research and scholarship has emerged that draws on the methods of literary studies, folklore, anthropology, and linguistics. Foley examines the roots of oral-formulaic theory in nineteenth-century philology and anthropology, documents the contributions of Parry and Lord, measures the effect of Lord's comparative extensions through the impact of The Singer of Tales, and considers important recent contributions. A select bibliography of more than 700 items and a subject-author index enhance the scholarly usefulness of this study.


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    Indiana University Press
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    Bloomington, Indiana USA
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    Copyright ©Trustees of Indiana University
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    Indiana University Press
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