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Analyzing Language

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  1. Analyzing Language Dr. Peter Paolucci

  2. Poetry vs. Prose • Poetry • ictic regularity (meter), or rhyme, or both • Blank Verse • non-rhyming iambic pentameter • Prose • May approach poetry but no ictic regularity or rhyme

  3. Table of Contents Poetry Meter Classical, Syllabic, Accentual Metrical Variants Rhyme Rhyme patterns, Poetic License, Prose Schemes of construction, Sentences, Syntax, Thought, Speech

  4. Poetry Analyzing Poetic Language Meter & Rhyme

  5. Meter Analyzing Meter

  6. (i)“Classical” aka “Accentual-Syllabic” • Recurring patterns of stressed/unstressed • Duple • iamb (iambic) [ u / ] • trochee (trochaic) [ / u ] • spondee (spondaic) [ / / ] • pyrrhus (pyrrhic) [ u u ]

  7. ClassicalakaAccentual-Syllabic(Cont’d) • Triple • anapest (anapestic) [ u u / ] • dactyl (dactylic) [ / u u ] • Dimeter = 2 • Trimeter = 3 • Tetrameter = 4 • Pentameter = 5 • Hexameter (Alexandrine) = 6

  8. (ii) Syllabic • Count only the total number of syllables per line • Monosyllabic = 1 • Disyllabic = 2 • Trisyllabic = 3 • Tetrasyllabic = 4 • Pentasyllabic = 5 • Decasyllabic = 10 • Duidesasyllabic (dodecasyllabic) = 12

  9. (iii)“Accentual” aka “Sprung Rhythm” • Only count stressed syllables per line • Monosyllabic = 1 • Disyllabic = 2 • Trisyllabic = 3 • Tetrasyllabic = 4 • Pentasyllabic = 5 • Desyllabic = 10 • Duidesasyllabic = 12

  10. 3 Approaches to Meter • From George T. Wright, Shakespeare's Metrical Art (1988) • Counterpointers • Focus on the divergence between ictic regularity (metric norm) and metrical variants/stress displacements • Fourstressers • Hypothesize that in iambic pentameter there is always ONE of the 5 stresses that is weaker than the others • Phrasalists • No such thing as “lines;” only phrases (chunks) of combined rhythmical phrases

  11. (i) Metrical Variants • Caesura • Pause/natural break around mid line (usually breaks into 6/4) • Isocolon • x2 equal/balanced halves caused by a mid-point caesura • Epic Caesura • Extra syllable before mid-line caesura • Segmented Lines • More than 1 caesura per line

  12. (ii) Metrical Variants • Headless Line • Line of iambic pentameter with missing unstressed syllable before first syllable • Broken-Backed Line • Lacks unstressed syllable after midline pause • Straddling Trochee • Trochaic variant that straddles 2 phrases in the middle of an iambic line

  13. (iii) Metrical Variants • End-stopped (truncated) lines • One less syllable that usual • Tumbling (“mighty”) lines • One more syllable than usual (Marlowe)

  14. Other Kinds of Meter • Musical Meter • Regularly recurring caesura over 10+ lines; equivalent of a musical rest (for breathing) • Poetical Meter • Little opportunity for caesura

  15. Rhyme Analyzing Rhyme

  16. Rhyme Variants • Masculine = monosyllabic (shy/high) • Feminine = multi-syllabic (only/lonely) • Alliteration = same consonant sounds (top/ten) • Assonance = internal rhyming vowel sounds (vowel/owl) but not consonants • Consonance = harmony or congruity in different and final consonant sounds (call/pull)

  17. (i) Rhyme Patterns • Couplets(aa, bb)aka“Gemells” • Interlocking(abab cdcd)aka “Open Rhyme” or “Rima Alternata” • Closed Rhyme(abba)aka“Rima Chiusa”

  18. (ii) Rhyme Patterns • Reverse Rhyme • 1st syllable alliteration + 2nd syllable assonance (great-graze or kin-kind) • Interlaced Rhyme (cycles of 3 cde cde) • Para-rhyme • Beginning and end rhyme in consonants with different vowels in between (great-goat)

  19. (iii) Rhyme Patterns • Forced Rhyme • Maltreated pronunciation • Eye Rhymeeither • Words that used to rhyme (prove/love) • Visually rhyming (daughter/laughter)

  20. (i)Renaissance Poetic License • Range doublets • fancy/fantasy or posey/posy or courtesy/curtsey • Variable pronunciation • opin-yon or opin – eee -- yon • Exaggerated auxiliary verbs • He hides or He doth hide

  21. (ii)Renaissance Poetic License • Syntactical inversion • “He the damned traitor down doth strike” • Elision • Omitting a vowel (th’object) • Pronunciation of “ed” • belovED, learnED

  22. Prose Analyzing Prose (Stylistics)

  23. (i) Schemes of Construction • From Robert Cluett, Grossly Speaking (1977) • Anaphora • Begin successive clauses with same word • Epistrophe • End successive clauses with same word • Symploce • Anaphora + Epistrophe

  24. (ii) Schemes of Construction • Anadiplosis • repetition of the last word of one line or clause to begin the next" such as, "they looked, loved; loved, signed; signed, sought the reason, knew the reason" • Polyptoton • Repeated use of same lexeme as different parts of speech. You can run, but running won’t help you.

  25. (iii) Schemes of Construction • Seriation • 3 or more items in a parallel series • Parallelism • Like ideas in like form in a series of two or more • Amplification • Heaping up of examples or modifiers

  26. (iv) Schemes of Construction • Ellipsis • Omission of needed (understood) part of a clause • Minus Additioning • 1 subject to govern 2 or more predications • Zuegma • 1 verb to govern 2 or more complements

  27. Quality of Sentence • Weighty • He stinks • Distributed • He possesses and emits an effluvious aroma

  28. (i) Syntax • Anastrophe • Deviation from subject-verb-predicate order • Hypotaxis • Subordination (who,if when,which,that,since, etc) • Parataxis • Coordination (and, or)

  29. (ii) Syntax • Left branching • Late-completing sentence • Right branching • Early-completing sentence

  30. (iii) Syntax • Ciceronian style • Amplified, seriated, elaborate schemes, subordination (hypotactic ), repetition, long periods, distributed, sometimes left branching • Senecan (Attic) style • Terse, paratactic, incremental, ellipsis, minus-additioning, sometimes right branching

  31. (i) Figures of Thought • Metaphor • Implied comparison • Simile • Explicit comparison using like or as • Personification • Attribution of human qualities to non-humans • Reification • Attribution of inanimate qualities to a person

  32. (ii) Figures of Thought • Oxymoron • Inherent contradiction of logic or sense • Litotes • Understatement • Hyperbole • Overstatement

  33. (iv) Linkings • Doublets • Antithetic Doublet • Opposites (good and evil) • Range Doublet • Groupings (kings and queens) • Pleonastic Doublet • Overlapping meanings (dictionaries and lexicons)

  34. (iii) Figures of Speech • Antiphrasis • Using a word 1800 opposite its meaning (irony) • Euphemism • Pleasant term for unpleasant thing • Dysphemism • Unpleasant term for pleasant thing

  35. Finis