Linguistics 251:  Metrics

Bruce Hayes
Department of Linguistics

Winter Quarter, 2008



Download the syllabus.


1. Scan a sonnet

2. Annotate a sonnet for stress and juncture

3. Evaluate metrical constraints with maxent  
    Zipped bundle of files needed
    Software needed

Course Readings

These are not all in place yet but I will add to them as the course progresses.

I. English Iambic Pentameter

Hayes, Bruce (1983) "A grid-based theory of English meter," Linguistic Inquiry 14, 357-393.   Searchable (20 meg); not searchable (3 meg).  

Kiparsky, Paul (1977) "The rhythmic structure of English verse," Linguistic Inquiry 8, pp. 189-247, 1977. [Searchable version, gulp, 37 meg][Not searchable, much smaller]

Hayes, Bruce (1989) "The Prosodic Hierarchy in meter" [scanned; 3 Mb] in Paul Kiparsky and Gilbert Youmans, eds., Rhythm and Meter, Academic Press, Orlando, FL, pp. 201-260 (1989).  Searchable version, 20 Mb.

II. Can Maximum Entropy put metrics on a more solid basis?

Hayes, Bruce and Colin Wilson (in press), "A maximum entropy model of phonotactics and phonotactic learning," to appear in Linguistic Inquiry.  

You can skip the Wargamay section if you're in a hurry.

III. Sprung Rhythm and the problem of Resolution

Kiparsky, Paul (1989) "Sprung rhythm," in Paul Kiparsky and Gilbert Youmans, eds., Rhythm and Meter.  Academic Press, San Diego.

IV. Sung and chanted verse

Hayes, Bruce and Abigail Kaun (1996) "The role of phonological phrasing in sung and chanted verse," The Linguistic Review 13, 243-303.

Hayes, Bruce and Margaret MacEachern (1998), "Quatrain form in English folk verse," Language 74, 473-507.

V. Typology

Kristin Hanson and Paul Kiparsky (1996) "A Parametric Theory of Poetic Meter,"  Language, 72: 287-335.

Dell, Francois and Mohamed Elmelaoui (2002), extracts from Syllables in Tashlhiyt Berber and in Moroccan Arabic, Kluwer, Dordrecht.  pp. 79-103, 335-344, 361.

Recommended readings

Anderson, Victoria (ms., 1992) "The Rap of Young M.C.:  A Case Study of Eurhythmic Textsetting".  Plus data appendices (text, scansion):  1, 2, 3, 4

Burling, Robbins (1966) "The Metrics of Children's Verse: A Cross-Linguistic Study," American Anthropologist 68, 1418-1441.

Halle, John and Fred Lerdahl (1993) "A Generative Textsetting Model," Current Musicology 55.

Halle, Morris, and S. Jay Keyser (1966) "Chaucer and the study of prosody," College English 28: 187-219.

Halle, Morris, and S. Jay Keyser (1971) English Stress:  Its Form, Its Growth, and Its Role in Verse.  New York:  Harper and Row.  Chapter 3, "A theory of meter".

Hanson, Kristin (1991) Resolution in Modern Meters.  Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University.

Hanson, Kristin (2002) "Quantitative meter in English: the lesson of Sir Philip Sidney," English Language and Linguistics 5.1: 41-91.

Hayes, Bruce and Tami Swiger (1995/2008) "Two Japanese children's songs", ms., 12 pages.

Hayes, Bruce (1979) "The rhythmic structure of Persian verse," Edebiyat 4, 193-242

Jespersen, Otto (1933) "Notes on metre."  Originally published in Danish as "Den psykologiske grund til nogle metriske faenomener" in Oversigt (1900), p. 487.  English version originally published in 1933 in Jespersen's Linguistica (Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard, 193).  This copy taken from Harvey Gross (ed., 1979) The Structure of Verse (2nd ed.).  New York:  Echo Press.

Kiparsky, Paul (1968) "Metrics and morphophonemics in the Kalevala," in Charles Gribble, (ed.), Studies Presented to Roman Jakobson by his Students.  Cambridge, MA: Slavica, 1967.

Kiparsky, Paul (1975) "Stress, Syntax, and Meter," Language 51, 576-616.

Kiparsky, Paul (2006) "A modular metrics for folk verse," in B. Elan Dresher and Nila Friedberg, Formal Approaches to Poetry:  Recent Developments in Metrics.

Kiparsky, Paul (2005) (but probably written after Kiparsky 2006) "Where Stochastic OT fails:  a discrete model of metrical variation," Berkeley Linguistics Society proceedings, 2005.

Swiger, Tami (1994) Japanese folk and children's songs. Ms., Department of Linguistics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.


The UCLA Phonotactic Learner (runs in Java, multiplatform)