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ca 1300 __ Stored words in stomach
Comment : In the northern part of Ancient Greece two tales started a migration through twenty centuries: the myth of Orpheus' singing Lyre that resounds by itself repeating the songs Orpheus has played on it, and the tall tale of Antiphanes that tells of words freezing solid in winter and thawing again in spring. Ovid and Plutarch (1st cent. A.D.) became the media through which both tales were transmitted to Central Europe. While the myth of the singing lyre does not show any significant variations, the tall tale of the frozen words soon leaves its original geographical environment and extends to grotesque phenomena of popular imagination and psychological reflection. Important steps of the transmogrification of the frozen words are related by: Mandeville (England, 1356), Calcagnini and Castiglione (Italy, 1520), Rabelais (France, 1552), Abraham a Sancta Clara and Stranitzky (Austria, 1700), Addison (England, 1711), Münchhausen (Germany, 1781; England, 1786), Jean Paul (Germany, 1800), Balzac (France, 1830). When in Europe the vigor of the story seems to be exhausted, the idea of frozen words turns into an inexhaustible supply of grotesque cold weather stories at the frontiers of the New World reaching even Texas, Canada and Alaska. In Japan the idea of storing up words and sounds shows three different traditions. The most recent source is Münchhausen whose frozen words were adopted to rakugo stories of the Meiji period. Rakugo stories of a singing shamisen can be traced back to ancient Buddhist sermon stories coming from India, the bridge between Ancient Greece and the Far East. The archetype of stories according to which words are stored in the stomach of an old man and reproduced as melodious farts is preserved in stories of the fourteenth century, showing traces of a much older Asian tradition. (Heinz Morioka and Miyoko Sasaki)
Source : Morioka, Heinz and Sasaki, Miyoko (1981), “"Frozen Words" : Migration and Transformation of a Popular Tale — 「凍った言葉」:ある諸民話の移動と変貌", Sophia Linguistica, Working Papers in Linguistics Tokyo , 1981, No.8, pp. 249-274, Sophia University Tokyo.
Urls : http://pweb.sophia.ac.jp/linstic/sophialinguistica/08-09_1981/24Morioka-Sasaki.html (last visited )

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