Van Oostendorp (2017) – The head in poetic metrics

The head in poetic metrics
Marc Van Oostendorp
January 2017
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Terms such as ‘foot’, ‘iamb’ and ‘trochee’ have been adapted from poetic metrics to phonological analysis and further extended. Within formal (generative) analyses of poetry it is usually assumed that this means that there is some matching between poetic feet and phonological feet, but that these two have the same formal structure. This paper argues that this assumption is mistaken. Poetic feet are constituents, and they can be aligned to stress positions, but they have no heads. It is claimed that the reason for this is that poetic feet from a phonological point of view behave more like morphosyntactic constituents, such as words, than as phonological feet.

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Reference: lingbuzz/003287
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: phonology, poetry, metrics, headedness, phonology