Ananda is a short song by Vinsent Nandi in This Language and in Zhezhong Yuyan. The lyrics of the version below are the same as the (revised) text of the first stanza of To Ananda, A Poem of Millenniums, of which the last two lines are repeated:

your name is the name of a person,
regardless of gender or sex,
regardless of age or descent,
from the North or from the South,
from the East or from the West,
a native of this world
that the Norm has awoken.
text proper



[LISTEN TO THE SONG (fast version)] SUNG (SLOW)

[LISTEN TO THE SONG (slow version)]

The use of the name Ananda for the person addressed by the speaker or singer is one of numerous allusions in the poem to a legend several thousand years old from the eastern part of the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. Aside from its historical or mythological significance, it is a nearly perfect neutral name in aural symbolism: if it were not for the |d|, the name would belong to the N-A-series of neutralistic morphemes based on the consonant |N| and the vowel |AH|. In the present language Ananda is more likely to be pronounced as |a-NAHN.d.a| than as |ah-NAHN.d.ah|, but the schwa (|a|) may be considered a weakened variant of |AH|. In either case this name and these sounds constitute the aural imagery of the poem and song.

The first version of the poem appeared in the Book of Symbols in This Language. It described Ananda as someone 'from the East' first, and then continued to make 'im (him/her) a person from any part of the world. In the above version, however, Ananda is called someone 'from the North' first for reasons having to do with the alliterative structure of the text, as will be explained shortly.

Moreover, in the original version Ananda is 'a person open to the Norm', that is, the new 'dharma' or doctrine of neutral-inclusivity based on the primacy of norms and values. Ananda is now said to be a native who has been waked up by the Norm personally and/or a native of a world which has been waked up by the Norm collectively, a description of a much wider range. Instead of waked or woken up the literary form awoken is used, which contains the same vowels and ends with the same syllable as open.

Before we will be able to consider the many instances of the repetition of sounds in Ananda with the ensuing aural effects (such as alliteration), we must know what sounds are or can be involved. For that purpose we shall use the double-case phonemic transcription system as introduced in the Vocabulary of Alliteration. Not only does this transcription stick to standard letters, it also has the great advantage of clearly showing, by means of capitals, the position of |STREST| syllables in words and phrases:

jar NEIM az/NEIM+Z dha NEIM av a PAR.s.an
ri-GAHRD-las av DZHEN.d.ar ar SEKS
ri-GAHRD-las av EIDZH/a-V+EIDZH ar di-SENT
a NEI.t.iv AV dhis WARLD
DHAET dha NAWRM (h)az/NAWRM+Z a-WOH.k.an

phonemic transcription

A disadvantage of a phonemic, and even more so of a phonetic, transcription is that the same word is supposed to be shown in different ways, if and when it is pronounced differently. For example, many native speakers more or less consistently replace |O| with |AH|, saying, for instance, |FRAHM| instead of |FROM|, which is a question of dialect. But words may not only be pronounced differently in different dialects; also within one dialect there are words which have a weak and a strong form. Thus, while the strong form of is is |IZ|, its weak form is |az|, |s| or |z|, or |S| or |Z|, if it becomes part of a preceding stressed syllable.

Whatever the pronunciational variants or differences of pronunciation may be, they will only be relevant here, if they cause different aural effects as created by the repetition of sounds. Where there is no poetic reason to choose the one pronunciation instead of the other, preference is given to the variant from which it is possible to derive the other variant(s). Therefore, the |r| is always shown, because there is a rule for |r|-deletion in certain dialects (namely, that the r is not pronounced unless followed by a vowel), whereas we cannot delete the |r| and then refer to some dialectal rule for |r|-insertion. Similarly, |o| is shown even at a place where many native speakers actually utter an |ah|, because the rule is that then every o is pronounced as |ah|, while there is not such an alternative rule substituting |o| for every |ah|.

With the above transcription as our basis we can now draw up a scheme that shows the aural imagery, and the places where words or phrases are repeated in their entirety (in boldface) or where a repetition of single sounds creates assonance or consonance:

___ NEIM az dha NEIM __ _ ___.s.an
ri-GAHRD-las av ___E_._.__ ar SE__
ri-GAHRD-las av _____ ar __-SENT
FROM dh__ __ST ar FROM dha WEST
a NEI._.__ __ dh__ W____
DH___ dha NAWRM a_ a-W__._.an

aural imagery and effects

It may be argued that rhythm is also a kind of 'aural effect', but if so, then of an entirely different nature than assonance and consonance. The rhythm of Ananda lies in the order to be found in the distribution of stressed and unstressed syllables. This is shown in the following table, in which a capital X represents a stressed syllable and a small c an unstressed syllable:

 c  X  c
 c  X  c  c  X  c  c  X  c
 c  X  c  c  X  c  c  X
 c  X  c  c  X  c  c  X
 X  c  X  c  X  c  X
 X  c  X  c  X  c  X
 c  X  c  X  c  X
 X  c  X  c  c  X  c

stress-based rhythm

As so many sounds are repeated in one way or another in this lyric, it will be worthwhile to show the main alliterative structure of the complete song separately, that is, with the repetition of the last two lines. In the following scheme this structure has been highlighted, while superimposed on the stress pattern:

 c N__ c
 c NEI c  c NEI c  c  X  c
 c  X  c  c  X  c  c  X
 c  X  c  c  X  c  c  X
 X  c NAW c  X  c  X
 X  c  X  c  X  c W__
 c NEI c  X  c WAR
 X  c NAW c  c WOH c
 c NEI c  X  c WAR
 X  c NAW c  c WOH c

main alliterative structure

The words |a-NAHN.d.a|, |NEIM|, |NAWRTH|, |NEI.t.iv| and |NAWRM| clearly alliterate with one another at the beginning and on the left of the song throughout its ten lines, while the words |WEST|, |WARLD| and |a-WOH.k.an| alliterate with one another on the right of the song throughout the last five lines. Furthermore, there is a pattern of dovetailed assonance between |NEIM| and |NEI.t| and between |NAWRTH| and |NAWRM| on the left. This should explain why Ananda is portrayed here as 'a person from the North' first and as 'a person from the East' later, rather than the other way around.

The pictures at the top and bottom of this page are the top and bottom halves of the graphic display of the song Ananda as shown in a music editor, when sung in This Language.

Non-Computer-Generated Poetry
Poems with Annotations