a type of versification based on a fixed number of syllables in each line of verse. It was in use mainly in languages with a fixed stress, for example in French, which has end stress, and in Polish, which has penultimate stress.
The meter of syllabic verse is determined by the number of syllables in the line. Since the rhythm of polysyllabic meters is difficult to discern, long lines are generally divided into two hemistichs by a caesura, which helps form a rhythm. Lines with two caesuras are found in the syllabic verse of Turkic peoples and in Serbian folk poetry.
In Russian poetry, syllabic versification predominated from the mid-17th century to the 1730’s. The principal meters were the 13-syllable meter, with the caesura after the seventh syllable, and the 11-syllable meter, with the caesura after the fifth syllable. After the reform of Trediakovskii and Lomonosov, syllabic versification rapidly fell into disuse.
REFERENCESTimofeev, L. I. Ocherki teorii i istorii russkogo stikha. Moscow, 1958.
Akhmetov, Z. A. Kazakhskoestikhoslozhenie. Alma-Ata, 1964.
Teoriia stikha: Sb. statei. Leningrad, 1968.
Verrier, P. Le Vers français, vols. 1–3. Paris, 1931–32.
Sylabizm. Wroclaw, 1956.
V. E. KHOLSHEVNIKOV