• Eduard Sievers’ Altgermanisch Metrik 125 years on

    Author(s):
    Nelson Goering (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Old English / Early Medieval England
    Subject(s):
    Old English, Old Norse, Germanic philology, Old Saxon
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Alliterative verse, Metre, Metrical theory, Beowulf, Edda
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/c1ah-ed47
    Abstract:
    Eduard Sievers’ Altgermanische Metrik remains a foundational work for Germanic metrical research, even 125 years after its publication in 1893. His impact on the field may be roughly divided into three broad approaches: 1) the impulse for the typological categorization and labelling of verses; 2) the four-position principle as the basis for alliterative metre; and 3) the focus on linguistic material in metre, especially his identification of the system of resolution. The typological impulse has waned in recent years, though Sievers’ labels for different verse patterns remain widely used. The four-position principle is currently the dominant paradigm for understanding Germanic metre, but there are reasons to doubt its correctness. Sievers’ most important legacy, and potentially his most enduring, may be his linguistic analysis of Germanic verse forms, including his identification of resolution. Even should the four-position theory, like the typological impulse before it, eventually decline in popularity and be supplanted by other metrical frameworks, it is likely that Sievers’ prosodic-descriptive contributions will endure, and will indeed continue to be the basis on which metrical theories are proposed and criticized.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 days ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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