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Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre : Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England - Geoffrey Russom

Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre

Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England

Hardcover Published: 13th April 1998
ISBN: 9780521593403
Number Of Pages: 248

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This is a clear and accessible account of early Germanic alliterative verse which explains how such verse was treated by the Beowulf poet. There are differences of poetic style between Beowulf and the otherwise similar verse of ancient Scandinavia and continental Europe. Such distinctions have intrigued scholars for over a century, but Russom is the first to provide a systematic explanation of Old English, Old Norse, Old Saxon, and Old High German alliterative metres. The system of alliterative rules described by Russom derives from ordinary language; the rules change with language over historical time, rather than persisting as arbitrary restrictions. Once the relations between language and metre are identified, it is possible to see how language change yielded the divergent metrical practices which gave each tradition its special character. Russom's results should interest scholars of Old English and related Germanic languages, as well as linguists and those concerned with poetic metre.

"...the fact that Russom...has made such significant empirical predictios from the relevant generalization is a striking result of what is a remarkable, erudite, and necessary book." C.B. McCully, Journal of Record for Theoretical Linguistics "...on special topics. I am convinced that this inspiring new theory will...benefit." Dirk Huth, The Medieval Review "Russom's book is a splendid contribution to our understanding of early Germanic metrical systems and the linguistic rationale for them. That he leaves some questions unanswered, and that he raises a wide range of new ones, is not the least of its virtues." Speculum

The foot
The verse
Light feet and extra-metrical words
Metrical archaisms
Metrical subordination within the foot
Word order and stress within the clause
Old Saxon alliterative verse
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521593403
ISBN-10: 0521593409
Series: Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 13th April 1998
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.54