The long line of the Middle English alliterative revival : rhythmically coherent, metrically strict, phonologically English


The long line of the Middle English alliterative revival : rhythmically coherent, metrically strict, phonologically English

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dc.contributor.advisor Cable, Thomas, 1942-
dc.creator Psonak, Kevin Damien 2012-07-10T20:13:41Z 2012-07-10T20:13:41Z 2012-05 2012-07-10 May 2012
dc.description.abstract This study contributes to the search for metrical order in the 90,000 extant long lines of the late fourteenth-century Middle English Alliterative Revival. Using the 'Gawain'-poet's 'Patience' and 'Cleanness', it refutes nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars who mistook rhythmic liveliness for metrical disorganization and additionally corrects troubling missteps that scholars have taken over the last five years. 'Chapter One: Tame the "Gabble of Weaker Syllables"' rehearses the traditional, but mistaken view that long lines are barely patterned at all. It explains the widely-accepted methods for determining which syllables are metrically stressed and which are not: Give metrical stress to the syllables that in everyday Middle English were probably accented. 'Chapter Two: An Environment for Demotion in the B-Verse' introduces the relatively stringent metrical template of the b-verse as a foil for the different kind of meter at work in the a-verse. 'Chapter Three: Rhythmic Consistency in the Middle English Alliterative Long Line' examines the structure of the a-verse and considers the viability of verses with more than the normal two beats. An empirical investigation considers whether rhythmic consistency in the long line depends on three-beat a-verses. 'Chapter Four: Dynamic "Unmetre" and the Proscription against Three Sequential Iambs' posits an explanation for the unusual distributions of metrically unstressed syllables in the long line and finds that the 'Gawain'-poet's rhythms avoid the even alternation of beats and offbeats with uncanny precision. 'Chapter Five: Metrical Promotion, Linguistic Promotion, and False Extra-Long Dips' takes the rest of the dissertation as a foundation for explaining rhythmically puzzling a-verses. A-verses that seem to have excessively long sequences of offbeats and other a-verses that infringe on b-verse meter prove amenable to adjustment through metrical promotion. 'Conclusion: Metrical Regions in the Long Line' synthesizes the findings of the previous chapters in a survey of metrical tension in the long line. It additionally articulates the key theme of the dissertation: Contrary to traditional assumptions, Middle English alliterative long lines have variable, instead of consistent, numbers of beats and highly regulated, instead of liberally variable, arrangements of metrically unstressed syllables.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Linguistics
dc.subject Language
dc.subject Phonology
dc.subject Phonological
dc.subject English
dc.subject Accent
dc.subject Rhythm
dc.subject Medieval
dc.subject Middle English
dc.subject Alliteration
dc.subject Poetry
dc.subject Philology
dc.subject Metrical
dc.subject Poetics
dc.subject Prosody
dc.subject Metrical stress
dc.subject Beat
dc.subject Gawain
dc.subject Chaucer
dc.subject Verse
dc.subject Promotion
dc.subject Demotion
dc.subject Tension
dc.subject Pause
dc.subject Iambic pentameter
dc.subject Patience
dc.subject Cleanness
dc.subject Yakovlev
dc.subject Cable
dc.subject Chomsky
dc.subject Minkova
dc.subject Brogan
dc.subject Saintsbury
dc.subject Wimsatt
dc.subject Beardsley
dc.subject Pearl
dc.subject Duggan
dc.subject Shakespeare
dc.subject Beowulf
dc.title The long line of the Middle English alliterative revival : rhythmically coherent, metrically strict, phonologically English 2012-07-10T20:13:53Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2012-05-5044
dc.contributor.committeeMember Henkel, Jacqueline M.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Hinrichs, Lars
dc.contributor.committeeMember Lesser, Wayne
dc.contributor.committeeMember King, Robert D.
dc.description.department English
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text English English University of Texas at Austin Doctoral Doctor of Philosophy

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