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The Metrical Grammar of Beowulf : Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England - Calvin B. Kendall

The Metrical Grammar of Beowulf

Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England

Hardcover

Published: 28th June 1991
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This book argues that the formal art of the Old English epic Beowulf is shaped and determined by the poetic language that the poet inherited from the traditional, oral culture of Anglo-Saxon England. The patterns of meter and alliteration exhibited in the poem were not imposed by the poet on his language, but were part of the language that he spoke, the rules of which constituted his metrical grammar. Professor Kendall investigates the constraints of syntax, meter and alliteration that govern the formal art of Beowulf. He shows how the half-lines of the poem, which are the basic units of composition, are marked by the metrical grammar for placement in the verse clause; he also establishes conditions for the presence or absence of alliteration, which enable him to say whether in any given instance the alliterative device is a mandatory function of the rules of the metrical grammar or an option exercised by the poet.

Preface
List of abbreviations
List of changes from Klaeber's text
The Beowulf-poet and his metrical grammar
The alliterative and metrical principles of Beowulf: Kuhn's 'laws' and the transformational rule
The three kinds of half-lines: extra-metrical alliteration and type A3
Displacement
Stressed proclitic adjectives: X-positions and the insertion rule
Problems with the identification of clause-non-initial half-lines: the proclitic onset
Half-lines with internal clause divisions: the transformational rule (revised)
The alliterative requirement of unstressed prefixes and the copulative conjunctions
The alliterative requirement of prepositions and the proclitic adverbs and instrumentals
The alliterative requirement of proclitic adjectives and pronouns: the alliterative rule of proclitics
Displaced and detached proclitics
The three classes of compounds: the alliterative requirement of class I compounds
The alliterative behaviour of class II compounds
The alliterative behaviour of class III compounds and simplexes
Metrical typology and the metrical grammar
Conclusions
Appendix
Glossary of technical terms
Bibliography
Index of alliteration, scansion and metrical clause structure
Index of verses specially discussed
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521393256
ISBN-10: 0521393256
Series: Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 28th June 1991
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.66