Sendinginvloed op die Sepediversvorm – die heffingsvers

  • Pieter S. Groenewald

Abstract

Om die Bybel te vertaal en liedere in Sepedi te skryf, het die sendelinge van die Berlyns Lutherse Sendinggenootskap uiteraard van  moedertaalsprekendes gebruik gemaak. Wat hulle nie besef het nie, was dat (a) die vers in Sepedi ʼn woordgroepvers is, en (b) rym op linguistiese gronde nie doeltreffend as verstegniek aangewend kan word nie. Die kerkliedere is daarom as heffingsverse gekonsipieer. Noord-Sotho digters sou later na aanleiding hiervan ook kinderrympies hiervolgens saamstel. Dit is egter (EKK) Matlala en Matsepe wat die eksperiment met die skrywe van heffingsverse die verste gevoer het. Matlala skryf o.a. Shakespeareaanse sonnette volgens die rymskema van ababcdcdefefgg. Sy gedigte is egter sintakties sodanig gestruktureer dat hulle eerder as prysdigte gewaardeer kan word. Matsepe se bydrae tot die Sepediletterkunde is ontsaglik. Die heffingsverse wat hy skryf, kan as die bevredigendste voorbeelde van dié verssoort in Sepedi beskou word. Hy besef ewenwel dat rym nie ʼn doeltreffende middel is om versvorm te definieer nie, en gebruik derhalwe ook woordherhaling by tye as plaasvervanger van rym. Sy vindingrykheid ten opsigte van die rymskema ken haas geen perke nie. Ook hy skryf sonnette. Die sonnet in Sepedi het egter nie jambiese versvoete nie, en rym is problematies.

English Title: Missionary influence on Sepedi verse form – the isochronic verse

In their task to translate the Bible and to write hymns in Sepedi, mother tongue speakers were asked to assist the missionaries of the Berlin Lutheran Mission Society in doing so. What the missionaries did not realise was that (a) the system of versification in Sepedi is based on the word group, and (b) rhyming is linguistically not an effective way of defining the metrical structure of a poem. The hymns were, therefore, structured along the lines of the isochronic system of versification. Afterwards, they were followed by the first Northern Sotho poets writing rhymes for primary school children. The great innovaters, however, are (EKK) Matlala and Matsepe. Matlala composed Shakespearean sonnets using the rhyme scheme of ababcdcdefefgg. But there are too many syntactical indications in his sonnets that remind the reader of the praise poem. Matsepe’s contribution to the literature in Sepedi is a huge one. His isochronic verses are the most successful poems, being structured according to this system of versification. He also realises that the rhyming of verse lines is not an effective way of defining metrical structure in Sepedi. He, therefore, uses the repetition of words instead of rhyming. But his imaginative power comes to light in his nearly boundless number of rhyming schemes. At the same time, we have to define anew the sonnet in Sepedi, because there are no iambic feet, and rhyming is problematic.

Published
2020-09-29
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117