Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper



First Advisor

Douglas M. Dalton, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to translate a cluster of three related nursery rhymes from the Taiwanese oral tradition for the immigrant community and a greater Western audience. The study will incorporate tools in American English poetics as well as anthropology to interpret the symbols that would make this genre accessible and meaningful .

This thesis will begin with a concise overview of Taiwanese as a language variant of Southern Min Chinese insofar as how these linguistic traits affect a credible translation .This report will outline relevant aspects of the language's oral tradition as well as the written systems that have been created to record it.

Once this is established the first major part of this thesis will comprise of a cluster of three nursery rhyme translations.The latter two rhymes will be employed to help interpret the characters and meanings of the first.

This latter part of the thesis carries an anthropological argument: food in the Taiwanese oral tradition operates as cultural symbols. As the first part of the thesis concerns translation and the importance of interpreting the symbols of Taiwanese cultural characteristics, this anthropological argument establishes food as having unique value in the genre.



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