Phonological and Metrical Variation across Genres

Arto Anttila, Ryan Heuser


In this study, we asked whether standard phonological and metrical constraints proposed by phonologists and metricists are useful in identifying arbitrary lines of text as metered verse vs. unmetered prose, focusing on five English-language and five Finnish-language authors. To analyze the dataset we used Prosodic (Heuser, Falk, and Anttila 2010), a software package that provides a phonological analysis and a metrical scansion for raw text. We discovered that phonologically prose and verse differ in the same way in both languages, suggesting that the phonology of genre is universal, whereas metrically the two languages turned out to differ in the expected ways.


English; Finnish; prosody; metrics; automatic scansion; Optimality Theory

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Copyright (c) 2016 Arto Anttila, Ryan Heuser

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