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A Comparative Study of Old English Metre
     

A Comparative Study of Old English Metre

by Frank Whitman
 

Ancient Germanic, Celtic, and Italic verse seem to be related. Frank Whitman points out that not only is the language within these traditions stressed and very different from other ancient Indo-European languages, but also the metrical principles underlying the verse of these three stressed languages differ demonstrably from those found elsewhere.

Whitman begins

Overview

Ancient Germanic, Celtic, and Italic verse seem to be related. Frank Whitman points out that not only is the language within these traditions stressed and very different from other ancient Indo-European languages, but also the metrical principles underlying the verse of these three stressed languages differ demonstrably from those found elsewhere.

Whitman begins with an analysis of Italic verse because it is far older than that of German or Celtic traditions, and is therefore more likely to yield primitive metrical patterns common to all three. After analysing the dominant pattterns of the earliest accentual verse, he turns to Old English metre, and looks closely at the typical length of the halflines, the phenomenon of clashing stress, and the nature of light lines. In his conclusion he introduces a new paradigm for the description of Old English metre.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of English and Germanic Philology, April 2014 - Christopher M. Cain
‘Terasawa’s volume is a boon to students learning about Old English Metre for the first time… The book’s subject is vital to anyone who would achieve a sophisticated understanding of the language of Old English poetic texts.’
Notes & Queries; vol 59:03:2012 - Mark Griffith
‘Jun Terasawa is to be congratulated on having written an illuminating work, clear, succinct, and rational… I will happily recommend it to my students.’
Booknews
Based on a theory that ancient Italic poetry exhibited the same accentual meter that Germanic and Celtic poetry used in the Middle Ages, and that the rise of accentual poetry in early medieval Latin verse was a resurrection of the early form from beneath the ruins of classicism, uses those poems to illuminate some of the persistent obscurities in Old English meter. Posits a common Indo-European meter rather than recent borrowings. Assumes a knowledge of both Old English and Medieval Latin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802005403
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
02/07/1994
Series:
McMaster Old English Studies and Texts Series
Pages:
170
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.72(d)

Meet the Author

Frank Whitman is a professor in the Department of English, University of British Columbia.

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