prosody

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prosody:

see versificationversification,
principles of metrical practice in poetry. In different literatures poetic form is achieved in various ways; usually, however, a definite and predictable pattern is evident in the language.
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Prosody

 

(1) The branch of metrics that classifies metrically significant sound elements of language. In metric versification, prosody divides syllables into long and short according to their character and position. In syllabic versification, it defines which vowels form syllables and which do not (in diphthongs and at word boundaries). In syllabotonic versification, prosody defines which words are considered stressed and which unstressed, as, for example, among autonomous and connective monosyllabic words.

(2) In the broad sense, a term sometimes used to denote metrics as a whole.


Prosody

 

(in Russian, stikhovedenie; also called metrics), the study of the sound patterns of literary works. Prosody deals chiefly with poetry, the type of language that is most highly organized with regard to sound. However, the study of such sound patterns of prose as rhythm and alliteration is also usually included within the scope of prosody.

Prosody is divided into phonics, the study of sound combinations; metrics as such, the study of the structure of verse; and strophics, the study of combinations of lines. Within each of these divisions, the static nature of the significant sound elements and the dynamic principles of combining them may be identified. For example, metrics consists of two components: prosody in its meaning as the classification of syllables into long and short, stressed and unstressed, and the theory of lines—the laws governing the combining of these syllables into lines. However, in actual practice the scope and divisions of prosody vary in different literary traditions. Individual elements of prosody are sometimes lost; in classical prosody, for example, phonics was lacking. Alien elements are sometimes added, as in Arabic prosody, which includes the study of stylistic devices.

Some aspects of prosody are on the border line between prosody and other areas of literary study. For example, enjambment is on the border line between prosody and the stylistics of poetic syntax, and such fixed verse forms as the sonnet or rondeau are on the borderline between prosody and composition. The important prosodic concept of intonation is related to declamation (rising intonation), stylistics (singing intonation), and subject matter (religious and didactic intonation).

Prosody as a field of study probably emerged with the development of written poetry, which became separated from music and the immediate aural perception of the line’s sound structure provided by music. A new poetic culture often made use of a classical system of verse in seeking to clarify its own system of verse. For example, Latin prosody was guided by the concepts of Greek prosody, and modern European prosody by the concepts of Latin prosody. Accordingly, prosody was initially a normative system of rules and exceptions that taught how poems should be written. Only in the 19th century did prosody become a subject of research investigating how poetry was and is written.

In eliciting facts, prosody often uses statistical methods, which are the most accurate means for isolating sound phenomena. Such phenomena may be essential, dominant, or merely prevalent attributes of poetry—its constants, dominants, and tendencies. In summarizing facts, prosody uses mainly the comparative method. Indexes of the usage of different verse forms may be compared during various periods of literary history, in literatures written in various languages, and in the poetry and natural rhythm or natural phonics of a given language. The ultimate goals of prosody are to define the role of sound structure within a work’s overall structure and to establish the connections of sound structure with structures of language and imagery.

Russian prosody developed in close connection with the development of Russian versification. The first treatises on prosody, written in the 18th century by V. K. Trediakovskii, A. D. Kantemir, and M. V. Lomonosov, dealt with the assimilation of syllabotonic versification. In the early 19th century, A. Kh. Vostokov and other theorists studied the assimilation of imitations of classical and folk meters. From 1910 through the 1920’s, A. Belyi, B. V. Tomashevskii, V. M. Zhirmunskii, and R. Jakobson wrote studies devoted to the assimilation of tonic versification. A new stage in the development of Russian prosody, which began in the 1960’s, is utilizing the achievements of modern linguistics, semiotics, and information theory.

M. L. GASPAROV

prosody

1. the study of poetic metre and of the art of versification, including rhyme, stanzaic forms, and the quantity and stress of syllables
2. a system of versification
References in periodicals archive ?
From the figure, we found that naturalness and similarity of the baseline system is not satisfactory when the amount of the target speaker is very limited and the speech is prosodically rich.
505) Valeria uses 'che' to attract everybody's attention, and although her utterance is related to the situation--they have finished the main course and the host offers something for dessert--the speaker seems to feel that there is a fracture in topic development, and marks this prosodically with High Key.
Mallarme, like Satie, was a master of the art of composing words to point away from words; and like Satie, in this composition, he found the rules of French prosody, particularly the prosodically supernumerary 'e muet', to be peculiarly useful tools.
Several contributions to the present issue consider words in crosslinguistic perspective, e.g., Hyman (with a family-internal survey), Inkelas (with evidence for the formal distinction between phonological duplication and morphological doubling via the crosslinguistic properties of reduplications), and Hall and Hildebrandt (with an observation of prosodically noncohering suffixes and compounds as one phonological word in Kyirong Tibetan, properties assumed to be crosslinguistically infrequent).
Whereas utterances ending with rising pitch (e.g., questions) can be used to implicate various kinds of uncertainty (Ward and Hirschberg), Monica's utterance in line 53 suggests both prosodically and lexically that she is committed to the truthfulness of her own account in contrast with the grandmother's.
In other instances ya seems to be prosodically integrated into the word it appends to:
Generation of synthetic speech with a prosodically appropriate temporal structure is never easy as speech prosody is subject to the influence of many factors, often with complex joint effects.
The data are prosodically annotated by a group of linguists to explore the validity and explanatory power of different accent categories for contrastive and non-contrastive themes in German.
The blinded judge's scores, reported as percentage of prosodically correct responses, were the data used in all statistical analyses.
That is, make the words "Take me" into a completely unaccented upbeat, or pickup, and then proceed with the entire lyric based on "out" as the first downbeat (the following downbeats can be strophed in a variety of ways, but will more than likely include such prosodically undesirable words as "the," "me," and ends of words).
In one sense, this is entirely justified as they are indeed linguistically, aesthetically, prosodically, culturally, and politically separate.
Those are the only two words to be so treated in all of Eliot's contemporaneous quatrain poems: by this tactic, decline and the Jew are prosodically fused in the fundamental poetic texture.