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South African Journal of African Languages

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Sendinginvloed op die Sepediversvorm – Die kerklied

P.S. Groenewald

Abstract


Die verskillende sendinggenootskappe het na Suid-Afrika gekom om die inheemse volke te kersten. Die sendelinge van die Berlyns Lutherse Kerk het hulle onder die Noord–Sotho kom vestig. Hulle belangrikste taak was om eers die Bybel in Sepedi te vertaal en kerkliedere vir die godsdiensoefening te skryf. Wat hulle nie besef het nie, was dat die vers in Sepedi ʼn woordgroepvers is en nie ʼn heffingsvers is soos in Duits nie. Elke taal bepaal immers die verssoort wat in die taal bestaan. Die woordgroepvers is as ‘a borderline case between Verse and Prose’ beskryf. Ook het die sendelinge nie hiermee rekening gehou dat rym in Sepedi nie ʼn doeltreffende middel is om versmaat te definieer nie. Hulle het die liedere gevolglik as heffingsverse saamgestel. Die ekwivalensie van die versreëls word daarom hoofsaaklik bepaal deur ʼn enerse lettergreeptal (want die lied moet op dieselfde wysie as dié van die Duitse eweknie gesing word) en in sommige gevalle deur ʼn enerse getal heffinge (lengtefoneme op die voorlaaste lettergreep van woorde) in die versreëls. Die versreëls word deur rym gemarkeer.

English Title: Missionary influence on Sepedi verse form – The church song

English Abstract

The missionaries came to South Africa to christianise the indigenous people. The members of the Berlin Missionary Society settled among the Northern Sotho. Their first task was to translate the Bible into Sepedi and to write hymns to be sung during their religious ceremonies. In writing these hymns they did not realise that the system of versification in Sepedi differs from that in German. The type of verse or poem is conditioned by the language in which it is written. In German there is a tonic or syllabi-tonic versification based on stress; in Sepedi the system of versification is based on the word group. The word group verse has been called ‘a borderline case between Verse and Prose’. A second problem the missionaries did not take cognisance of is that rhyme in Sepedi has no metrical relevance. The hymns are therefore structured according to the lines of the syllabo-tonic versification: The equivalence of the verse units is mainly determined by the same number of syllables (because the Sepedi hymn has to be sung to the same melody as its German counterpart) and in some hymns the same number of long (penultimate) syllables (of words) in the equivalent units. The verse boundary is consistently marked by a rhyming word.




http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02572117.2016.1186895
AJOL African Journals Online