Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Researches on the rhythm of speech. 
troidal syllables followed by one centroidal. This interval appears to be 
generally the opening interval of a sequence. No names have been 
applied to these two modes ; (3) one centroidal, two non-centroidal, fol¬ 
lowed by one centroidal syllable, (the choriamb, - - ■—, in ancient pros¬ 
ody). This mode is spurious, if the centroidal syllables are genuine 
Bearing on the conceptions and nomenclature of prosody.—Our treatment 
of the centroid and centroid interval suggests two general lines of criticism. 
First, as long ago pointed out by Shelley,1 the distinction between 
“measured” and “unmeasured” speech is unscientific. Both prose 
and poetry contain centroids and centroid intervals, following the same 
laws of composition and distribution. It is inadmissible to restrict the 
application of “measure” or “foot” to poetry alone. Centroid 
intervals pervade all uttered language. 
Second, as pointed out by Gurney, the terms “foot,” “measure” 
or “bar’’are inapt. “The arrangement of the foot is a mere matter 
of the eye. Nothing can prevent ictus from being ictus.” 2 The funda¬ 
mental concept of the centroid interval in speech is that of a unitary 
whole, juxtaposed to, and coalescent with, other similar wholes, requir¬ 
ing a portion of time for the voice to pass over its sounds. These 
intervals between force centers may be called centroid-intervals, bars, 
feet, or measures. But, unless interrupted by pauses, no divisions or 
“ bars ’ ’ exist between them. Nor are centroid-intervals to be conceived 
as a succession of bars of invariable length, nor as ‘ ‘ feet ’ ’ of similar 
length, nor as successive quanta of time conforming to an invariable 
“ measure. ’ ’ Moreover, these terms, besides being customarily restricted 
to poetry, are applied with different meanings to classical and modern 
poetry.3 “ In English poetry-----the names of feet denote groups of 
accented and non-accented syllables, without reference to quantity” 
(Abbott and Seeley). On the whole, the term centroid interval seems 
Third, a convenient nomenclature for the different modes of distribu¬ 
tion of the centroidal and non-centroidal syllables of the intervals is desira¬ 
ble. The old terminology of prosody is perhaps associated with mis¬ 
conceptions, as already indicated with reference to the spondee and 
Fourth, there is no physical distinction between the several types of 
lhe different modes of distribution. There may be a mental, or felt, 
'Shelley, A Defense of Poetry, Works, VII 6, London 1880. 
2 Gurney, The Power of Sound, 426, London 18S0. 
3 Ellis, The Quantitative Pronunciation of Latin, 5, London 1874.


Sehr geehrte Benutzer,

aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Webtechnologie, die im Goobi viewer verwendet wird, unterstützt die Software den von Ihnen verwendeten Browser nicht mehr.

Bitte benutzen Sie einen der folgenden Browser, um diese Seite korrekt darstellen zu können.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.