Re: Native Grammatical terms
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 19, 2003, 2:02|
Costentin Cornomorus scripsit:
> > As the phonology changes, so does their
> > pronounciation of the words in the poetic
> > corpus, so they are not aware of
> > the change and there is no record of it.
> But what about when a change happens that utterly
> changes the metrics or rhyme schemes or whatever
> is important in their poetry?
Well, it's not unknown for sound changes to be perfectly "smooth",
as in Old Norse > Icelandic.
It's more typical, of course, for old poetry not to quite fit modern
phonology, as in all those Shakespearean lines ending in -ation (three
syllables). Consider how Chaucer's General Prologue would sound in
pure Modern English phonology (as represented by current orthography):
When that April with his showers sweet
The drought of March hath pierced to the root,
And bathed every vein in such liquor
Of which virtue engendered is the flower;
When Zephyrus eke with his sweet breath
Inspired hath in every holt and heath
The tender crops, and the young sun
Hath in the Ram his half course a-run;
And small fowls maken melody
Who sleepen all the night with open eye
So pricketh 'em Nature in her courages
Then longen folk to go-en on pilgrimages.
It's pretty clear that *something* has changed, unless we were to believe
that Chaucer was an incompetent versifier.
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