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The Foundations And Nature Of Verse

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MessagePosté le: Sam 1 Juil - 04:42 (2017)    Sujet du message: The Foundations And Nature Of Verse Répondre en citant

The Foundations and Nature of Verse
by Cary F. Jacob
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After summarizing the state of our knowledge regarding the physical and psychological factors of verse in a series of competent chapters on pitch, intensity, time, rhythm, duration, accent, etc., Dr. Jacob outlines his own theory of verse structure and scansion. 'Any theory of English poetry which assumes for the syllables either equality of time-length or the existence among them of any degree of simple proportion is without foundation in fact' (p. 117). 'Usually the marking off of the measures is by mere increase of loudness; but this means of accentuation is not at all obligatory. Provided a feeling of a fairly definite time-length has once been established, the ear will seize upon any phenomenon at hand that will assist in maintaining the periodicity of occurrence' (p. 124). He accepts Scripture and Wallin's 'centroid syllable.' 'The latter has undoubtedly come to a correct understanding of the case in thinking of accent as produced by length, pitch, and intensity singly or in combination, when centered in some syllable made emphatic by their presence' (p. 12fi). 'The centroid sounds occur at time intervals which are felt, when not too closely inspected, to be of equal length' (p. 193). 'When due allowance has been made for the inaccuracies of time-judgments, the time-lengths of the syllables do approach the time-lengths of notes, not as written but as played' (p. 194). Jacob finds no 'essential difference between the various kinds of feet' (pace Mr Bayfield!) (p. 178). 'They represent merely the perceiver's method of grouping the syllables' (p. 216). There is not necessarily an equal number of centroids to each line of any particular type of verse: 'it is the tendency of corresponding phrases toward equality of time-length that makes possible their division by an approximately equal number of centroid syllables' (p. 196). 'The arrangement of verse into lines of fixed length is a purely arbitrary matter' (p. 216).

To Dr. Jacob, then, pause is an integral factor of rhythm. 'Centroid syllables...and pauses are the phenomena which mark for the senses the time divisions of verse' (p. 215).

The so-called spondee is, according to Jacob, made up of two intervals (or feet). 'It is arbitrary and unwarranted to include two centroid intervals in one interval' (p. 136). The so-called pyrrhic Jacob dismisses: 'I have never been able to find...a single case in which one of three things does not take place. In the first, one of the unaccented syllables is given a subjective accent to make it conform to the general scheme of periodicity of accent. In the second, a pause is introduced in order that the subjective accent may be felt during the pause. In the third, the unaccented syllables belong with either the preceding or the succeeding syllable ' (p. 137).

—The Modern Language Review, Volume 15 [1920]

price: $10.99
bound: 244 pages
publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 22, 2015)
lang: English
isbn: 1511405805, 978-1511405805,
weight: 15.2 ounces (

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