The Oral Art of Soqoṭra

A Collection of Island Voices


In the bilingual English-Arabic work, The Oral Art of Soqoṭra: A Collection of Island Voices, Miranda Morris and Ṭānuf Sālim Di-Kišin, in collaboration with Soqoṭrans from all parts of the island, present over a thousand examples of poems and songs, prayers, lullabies, work-chants, messages in code, riddles, examples of community wisdom encapsulated in poetic couplets, and stories centred on a short poem or exchange of poems. These were documented by oral transmission directly to the authors, or through recordings collected by them. They are presented in Soqoṭri (transcribed phonetically in Roman and in Arabic script), and in English and Arabic translation.

في هذا الكتاب، الفن الشفاهي من سقطرى: مجموعة من أصوات الجزيرة، باللغتين الانجليزية والعربية، يقدم المؤلفان ميراندا موريس وطانف سالم دكشن أكثر من ألف قصيدة وأنشودة ودعاء وتهليل وأغنية عمل ورسالة مشفرة ولغز ومثل من الحكمة الاجتماعية مغلفة في أبيات شعرية وقصة متمحورة حول قصيدة قصيرة أو تبادل قصائد. تم توثيق هذا الرصيد من خلال النقل الشفاهي المباشر إلى المؤلفين أو عن طريق تسجيلات صوتية تم جمعها من قبلهما. هذا الكتاب يعرض هذا الفن الشفاهي باللغة السقطرية (وتم تدوينه بالأحرف اللاتينية والعربية طبق قواعد علم الصوتيات)، إلى جانب ترجمة انجليزية وعربية.

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Miranda J. Morris, Ph.D. (1979), S.O.A.S., University of London, is an independent researcher who has published books and articles on the languages, ethnobotany and ethnography of the people of southern Arabia, most recently A Comparative Cultural Glossary across the Modern South Arabian Languages (JSS, Supplement 43, OUP, 2019).
"This impressive contribution to Semitic philology is a titanic work almost without precedent in the study of Semitic-speaking oral literature. The author uses their uniquely deep first-hand knowledge to create a fully-fledged presentation of the Western dialect of Soqotri. This is an exceedingly rich and varied collection of phonological, morphological and lexical evidence on Western Soqotri. The importance of the book for MSA and general Semitic etymology and historical lexicography is paramount, and the specialists in these fields will be very much in debt to the author for this rich and reliable source of information. Its impact on the future of Soqotri studies cannot be overstated: years, if not decades of intensive linguistic and philological work will be needed to properly assess the riches generously shared with us by the author." ~ Leonid Kogan, HSE University, Russia
Arabic- and English-speaking linguists, poets, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and those interested in unwritten languages and oral tradition and literature.
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