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Re: Morae (was: Re: Lurkers, poetic forms)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 9, 2000, 6:00
At 11:30 pm -0500 7/5/00, Ed Heil wrote:
>Ray: > >In reading Latin verse I have noticed the 'contrapuntal effects' you >mention and find them fascinating. They're what makes the verse >interesting.
I agree - without this effect, the verses would become very mechanical. And with the little I investigated in Catullus suggested to me that the Roman authors were well aware of the efffect & exploited it. [snip]
> >I found the apparently random position of pitch-accents in the verses >to be extremely bizarre and disorienting, being used to the Latin >hexameters, where, as you say, the stress-accents tend to dance >cleverly in and out of the ictus.
I think part of the trouble for us with ancient Greek is that we are unused to pitch accent and probably concentrate too much when trying to reproduce it; this artificial effort is likely, I guess, 'disorientate' us & make us forget the verse rhythm. With the Greeks to whom pitch accent was, so to speak, seconf nature, there was not this problem.
>It was for that reason that I found Allen's idea about a "secondary >stress accent" which informed Greek poetry kind of convincing, though,
I have no problem with the concept of a "secondary stress accent" - indeed, I think the verse rhythms must have grown out of the rhythms of common speech. Where I part company with Allen is his theory that it was a secondary _word_ stress accent. I find that difficult to accept, especially as the word stress we now have in modern Greek was developed from the old pitch accent & shows no trace of Allen's secondary word stress. In my own mind, I'm sure the "secondary stress accent" was a phrasal phenomenon. It is something, I'd like to follow up if I had the time & resources to do the necessary research. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================