The Metre of Beowulf: A Constraint-Based Approach by Michael Getty
By Michael Getty
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Additional resources for The Metre of Beowulf: A Constraint-Based Approach
The main point of Kuhn's theory consists in the formulation of two "laws" for the placement of sentence particles relative to stressed words. These laws are set against a backdrop of assumptions about changes in sentence stress and accent between Proto-IndoEuropean and Proto-Germanic, the details of which need not concern us here (cf. Momma 1997: 42-46 for an insightful summary). What counts is Kuhn's assumption that by the time of the early Germanic languages, sentence particles, as a result of the shift to predictable stem-initial word stress, had gone from being enclitically to proclitically attached to neighbouring stressed words: a.
I χ ) cepeling manig From a theoretical standpoint, this represents a considerable complication of the theory. Bliss's tertiary stress deepens the divide between the phonological features of words within the line and their consistent treatment within the metre. A more serious problem, however, lies in the fact that Bliss accepts, without much comment, 40 Introduction Kuhn's division of the Germanic lexicon into sentence particles, constituent-level clitics, and stressed words (Bliss 1958: 6): Particles [Kuhn's sentence particles, MG] normally stand either before or after the first stressed element (that is, in the first thesis of the verse-clause), and in this position they are unstressed; if they are displaced from this position, they acquire a positional stress, and are treated in all respects like stressed elements: they include finite verbs, certain adverbs, certain pronouns, and conjunctions.
10 below; capital letters denote the main types from Fig. 8, while the numerals following them represent subtypes. 30 Introduction a. b. c. d. e. Type Scansion Al /χ :/χ Example cfnan wolde make-even-Inf. 3Sg. ' ... [he] wanted to make even ... Sg. 3Pl. ' ... [they] bore [the] ring-mail... Sg. Pl ' ... [the] protecting fort of men ... Sg. Sg. '... Sg. Sg. ' ... [a] cruel thought... ' (B 1719a) A2al 3 A2ak A2b A2ab ne leof neither-Conj. Adj. ne lad nor-Conj. Adj. ' ... neither dear nor hostile ...