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By Geoffrey Russom

ISBN-10: 0521593409

ISBN-13: 9780521593403

This can be a transparent and available account of early Germanic alliterative verse that explains how such verse was once handled by means of the Beowulf poet. There are transformations of poetic kind among Beowulf and the another way comparable verse of old Scandinavia and continental Europe. Such differences have intrigued students for over a century, yet Russom is the 1st to supply a scientific clarification of outdated English, outdated Norse, outdated Saxon and previous excessive German alliterative meters. Russom's effects may still curiosity students of outdated English and similar Germanic languages, in addition to linguists and people desirous about poetic meter.

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Extra resources for Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre

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As with other deviations from the norm, employment of extrametrical syllables must not make it impossibly difficult to recover the underlying two-word pattern of the verse. 51 The following example illustrates employment of an extrametrical word in verse-medial position: ( 1 0) Heioi I (hana) hero52 (Vsp 2 2/ 1 ) {Sx/(xx)Sx} Here the inflectional -i, as part of the stressed word Heioi, occupies an x position in the first foot. The unstressed pronoun hana stands outside the foot, however. No Sxxx foot pattern can exist in Eddie metres because no Old Norse words have this pattern.

Kiparsky sometimes employs a notation in which foot brackets are replaced by branching foot nodes, but I reserve this style for patterns of compound stress and alliteration (discussed in eh. 6). 37 'Rhythmic Structure', pp. 20 1 - 1 1 . 19 on Mon Sep 02 17:37:18 WEST 2013. 003 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2013 The foot interpret such verses in a straightforward way, however. Consider the following S/Sxs variants: (3) (4) (5) Haraldr I hilditQnn38 6c I Ooins sonr39 bruor I oro um qvao40 (Hdl 28/ 1 ) (Prk 2 117) (Grt 24/2) No problem arises in example (3), a direct expression of the underlying two-word pattern.

Loss of word-final -m in fra 'from', for example, was compensated in stressed usage by lengthening of the vowel, but in unstressed usage the shortening went through to completion. Vowels also underwent shortening in function words that became enclitic to a stressed word. Thus the final vowel in ON pu 'thou' lost its length (and distinctive height) in vi/do 'thou wilt'. The initial consonant of pu was affected by enclisis as well, becoming d by the usual word-level rule for the sequence Ip. 23 In forms like vantattu 'you did not hinder', word­ final pu assimilated to the precedi ng negative enclitic form -at-.

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Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre by Geoffrey Russom


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