Isocolic Structures and Graphemic Features in the Croatian Church Slavic Regula Sancti Benedicti
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AbstractIsocolic Structures and Graphemic Features in the Croatian Church Slavic Regula Sancti Benedicti
The article discusses the presence of the isocolon in the Croatian Church Slavic translation of the Regula Sancti Benedicti in light of the graphemic features of the fourteenth century codex unicus. After a brief review of the scholarly literature on the use of the isocolon in medieval Slavic literature in general and medieval Croatian literature in particular, the article looks in detail at the visual appearance of the CrRSB on the manuscript pages. By examining selections of the CrRSB, the paper shows how the use of graphemic signs and markers, such as the page layout, the paragraph marker, the punctus and, most significantly, the “white space”, help indicate the rhythmical structure of the text. A thorough inspection of these passages indicates how graphemic features work in tandem with the rhetorical markers to indicate the textual isocola. The study concludes that the graphemic features of the CrRSB are completely consonant with the isocolic rhythmical patterns of the text and likely demonstrate that the manuscript’s scribes were not only aware of isocolic patterning, but used the graphical conventions of their day to indicate the proper way to read the text aloud.