This article examines rhyme in poetic traditions of Southeast Asia: Burmese, Thai, Vietnamese and Chamic, which have been studied not exhaustively. This research is based on the most famous examples of these poetic traditions. From the Burmese poetry, there are analyzed “Dhammata” by Anandhaturiya, “The song of the chastened” by U Poun Nya, fragments from “Maniket” by Padeythayaza, “Rama Yagan” by U Tou. As for the Thai tradition, it is represented here by fragments from “Lilit Phra Lo” by an anonymous author. In total, we consider 240 lines of Burmese texts and 140 of Thai. This study shows that in Burmese poetry the rhyme is never regulated by strict rules, which corresponds to the fact that the syllabic structure of Burmese metrics usually is not rigid. However, it might be classified as unrigid syllabic rather than unrhymed (free verse). Also, of interest is a hitherto undescribed Burmese meter, where two 4-syllabic lines alternate with one 5-syllabic line, in which end-rhymes prevail. As for the Thai metrics, specifically in ‘ray’ meter, the last syllable of one line is usually rhymed with a middle (the 2nd or the 3rd) syllable of the next line, which is reminiscent of the main Burmese meter. In ‘khlong’ meter, the pattern of rhymes is usually rigid. Also, it is important to note that for both Burmese and Thai poetic traditions, as well as for Vietnamese and Chamic ones, the internal rhymes are more common than the end-rhymes.
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