By Geoffrey Russom
This can be a transparent and available account of early Germanic alliterative verse that explains how such verse used to be handled by way of the Beowulf poet. There are transformations of poetic sort among Beowulf and the in a different way comparable verse of historical Scandinavia and continental Europe. Such differences have intrigued students for over a century, yet Russom is the 1st to supply a scientific rationalization of previous English, previous Norse, outdated Saxon and outdated excessive German alliterative meters. Russom's effects may still curiosity students of previous English and similar Germanic languages, in addition to linguists and people interested by poetic meter.
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Extra info for Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre
As in example (5), the root syllable of the finite verb has a subordinate phrasal stress that provides a good match for an s position. A light x foot also appears in the type B pattern x/Sxs. The Beowulf poet obtains many Sxs words for the second foot of type B by coining poetic compounds, but this technique is not employed systematically in fornyroislag, and the relative scarcity of Sxs compounds in Old Norse further restricts realization of the Sxs foot as a single word. The practice of skaldic poets makes it clear, however, that the Sxs compound was still perceived as the ideal occupant of the Sxs foot.
The S/Sxs scansion presupposes, with Sievers and Kuhn, that an alliterating main verb always occupies an arsis, though some metrists would disagree. I take up this issue in eh. 9. 2. ' 43 'and they made tools'. 42 'nor heaven above . ' . 19 on Mon Sep 02 17:37:18 WEST 2013. 44 Sievers's analysis of type C as an iamb followed by a trochee, on the other hand, seems particularly i nappropriate for Eddie metre, since it has no two-word manifestations. In (7), the word group to/ goroo conforms well to the Ssx foot pattern.
The following detail rules are presented in a generalized form applicable to native Eddie fornyroislag as well as Beowulf R4a A short foot is normally balanced by a long foot and vice versa. R4b A light foot is normally balanced by a heavy foot and vice versa. R4c Only one foot may be long. As we have seen, Norse poets impose especially strict constraints on labelling mismatches in verses that are abnormally short by the standard of R4a. TYPE A The standard pattern Sx/Sx has the highest frequency, comprising about 32 per cent of the verses in Beowulf and about 33 per cent of the verses in our Norse corpus.