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Ganga: Etymology of the Polyphonic Singing in Dalmatian Zagora

Srećko Lorger orcid id

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 445 Kb

str. 501-539

preuzimanja: 1.563



Ganga is most typical of the central part of the Dinara region and is commonly described as “crude, primitive, non-standard, untempered” polyphonic singing of closely-knit intervals. Relevant literature offers a number of theories concerning the etymology of the word. Attempts to derive ganga from the Slav lexical pool carry little conviction despite a series of formal and semantic analogies (e.g. verb ganati in the meaning: song, speech, story, joke, fortune telling, riddle etc.). Some authors argue that it derives from the German word Gesang, or even from the Latin verb form canto. According to the recent widely accepted assumption, the word ganga came from the Albanian language as an Illyrian residue. In the coastal vernaculars ganga is most often described as “celebration, party, entertainment, bacchanals, revels etc.”, most likely borrowed from the Trieste idiom (It. ganga < Eng. gang, or jargon forms ghega, ghenga). The distich from the Dalmatian Zagora can hardly be correlated with an etymon of the harbour provenance. The author concludes that this folklore idiom is of onomatopoeic origin and incorporates the sound imitating the gusle, and that the word is motivated by the accompanying syllable 'gan' or its variants with alternating vowel.

Ključne riječi

ganga, polyphonic singing, Dalmatian Zagora, etymology, folklore

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