I argue here that the medieval French Philomena, found exclusively within the Ovide moralisé, a fourteenth-century translation and adaptation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, adumbrates a theory of vocal repetition as an aesthetic that is shared by both birds and humans. Various common rhetorical devices that foreground acoustic reduplication appear in high density in the text, where they are often collocated with evocations of birdsong. After exploring the parallels between these devices and the structure of avian vocalization, I show the presence of several passages in the text that can be read simultaneously as onomatopoeic evocations of birdsong and as standard referential language. I also propose a solution to the mysterious label associated with the text's author, “Chrétien li gois” (“Chrétien the jay”).

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