Haiku-Like Aesthetic Sentence Composition Through the Narrative Process

Haiku-Like Aesthetic Sentence Composition Through the Narrative Process

Yoshihiko Nitta (Nihon University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4775-4.ch009


Aesthetic sentences often behave freely from ordinary grammatical constraints; nevertheless, they maintain rich message transmitting power. This is apparently a mysterious language phenomenon, which dexterously gives full play to its strong narrative power on the reader's soul. In this chapter, the author takes haiku, classical Japanese short poetic sentence, as a model of aesthetic sentence. By using the concept of functional grammar and season-word ontology, the author tries to approach the secret of taciturn beauty in poetic sentences. The beauty of haiku exists in ellipses, suggestions, and eloquent mutism of 5-7-5 syllable short sentences. In this chapter, the author introduces the functional grammar as a device for explaining the meaning and construction of haiku. The functional grammar claims that every sentence is composed of two categories: kernel sentence and meta-sentence. The author tries to reveal the secrets of the aesthetic beauty of the ultimately simple sentence, haiku.
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Aesthetic sentences often behave freely from grammatical constraints. Poetic sentences, such as Haiku, in particular are often far beyond grammatical completeness while bringing an incredibly attractive power to human being’s linguistic sensitivity.

Thus, the author can expect to obtain techniques for composing impressive sentences or delivering persuasive talks through a study on poetic sentence constructions. Though there are many genres or styles in poetic sentences, in this paper, the author takes haiku, classical Japanese short poetic sentence, as a typical example of a beautiful persuasive sentence. By using the functional grammar concept, the author tries to elucidate the secret of simple sentential beauty. The essence of the beauty of haiku often exists in ellipses, abbreviations, and suggestions: eloquent mutism. Various events and situations that tacitly suggest the deep emotions and feelings of writers are embedded in a very short and simple sentence, which is composed of 5-7-5 letters words or phrases.

Usually haiku never talks directly about the emotions or declarations of the writer’s mind; it only suggests them by using simple words that describe the weather, plants, animal, climate, or scenic beauty. Haiku is always expecting and inviting readers’ conjecture or imagination (Nitta, 2013).

Haiku is now moving out from the classical region of Japanese culture or literary arts and becoming an international model of sentential beauty. On these grounds, the author has taken haiku and its English translations as a poetic sentence corpus, which is using functional grammar to investigate the secret of beautiful and simple sentence constructions.

The main point of functional grammar is that it regards every sentence as composed of two types of sentences: kernel sentence and meta-sentence. Meta-sentences can be understood as a sentence structuring operator, while kernel sentences are simple structured, mono-predicate sentences. Kernel sentences have obvious translations of canonical forms, while meta-sentences represent the logical-semantic structure of sentences, which take kernel sentence(s) as their dominating variable(s). From meta-sentences, the author can draw a lot of useful semantic information.

The author shows typical examples of meta-sentences obtained from the haiku corpus. The author expects that through meta-sentences, the essence of the simple beauty of haiku can clearly extracted. This extracted essence will provide some hints for composing beautiful sentences together with fundamental language teaching methods.

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