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138LANGUAGE, VOLUME 66, NUMBER I (1990) Rialland, Annie, and Mamadou Sangaré. 1989. Réanalyse des tons du bambara: Des tons du nom à l'organisation générale du système. Journal of African Studies 20:1. 1-27. URA 1027, CNRS[Received 30 August 1989.] Institut de Phonétique 19, rue des Bernardins 75005 Paris France Language and metre: Metrics and the metrical system of Finnish. By Pentti Leino. Transi, by Andrew Chesterman. (Studia Fennica. Review of Finnish Linguistics and Ethnology, 31.) Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 1986. Pp. 171. Reviewed by Ilse Lehiste, The Ohio State University The book presents a general theory ofmetrics and applies it to Finnish poetry. According to the note on the jacket, it was primarily written for a reader with no knowledge either of Finnish or of Finnish poetry; but having such knowledge certainly helps, since the abundant examples are not provided with glosses, and many of the fine points cannot be really appreciated without a fairly good knowledge of the language. But describing the metrics of Finnish is clearly not the only aim, or even the primary aim, of the author: the emphasis lies on the structure of the metrical system, its variations, possible changes, and the relationship between metre and language. Two brief introductory chapters sketch the phonological and grammatical features of Finnish that are most relevant for understanding the argument and the examples, and give a short overview of the development of Finnish poetry. Leino then describes the basic corpus that serves as the source of illustrations. The material consists of 4,000 lines taken from 100 iambic and iambic-anapaestic poems by 80 different authors. Additional examples are introduced in the text, including a large sample of prose. This corpus has been submitted to detailed analysis, which is presented in the following fifteen chapters, leading to the development of a metrical grammar. According to L, there are four metrical systems in Finnish poetry: the KaIevala system and the dynamic, durational (quantitative), and syllabic systems. An extremely interesting chapter is devoted to the Kalevala system, which would deserve a separate review. The durational and syllabic systems are more or less dismissed—in the durational system the placing of a syllable in a rising or falling position depends on its length, and the syllabic system lacks an opposition between rise and fall. Both are treated as borrowed systems, the quantitative system based on classical models and the syllabic system imitating foreign metres like the tanka or haiku. The main body of the book is devoted to the analysis of the dynamic system or, rather, one subpart of it: the iambic and iambic-anapaestic metres. In the dynamic system, the relevant linguistic opposition is the contrast between prominent and unprominent syllables. A prominent syllable occurs on a rise in the line, and an unprominent syllable on REVIEWS139 a fall. 'Rise' and 'fall' are not further defined, but prominence is treated extensively in three later chapters. The basic elements in L's metrical grammar are the syllable and the line. Notably absent is the notion of metric feet. The line is a string of rises and falls. Metres are characterized according to the type and number of syllables that may occur in a given position. According to L, only one syllable occurs on a rise; one or more syllables may occur on a fall, yielding seven different metre types. The metre requires a phonological pause after each line, which need not necessarily be audible in all performances of a poem. Pauses indicate the boundaries of syntactic constituents, and may also occur within the line. Metrical structure itself affects syntactic structure by strengthening or weakening the boundaries between linguistic units. When the pause occurs within a line, it may occupy one or more metrical positions. Metres make use of such (obligatorily or optionally) empty positions. This reviewer has a serious problem with the notion of obligatorily empty positions. If a line-initial fall may remain empty, what differentiates the iambic line from a trochaic line? This is especially problematic if the line-final rise must likewise be considered empty. Treating such a line as trochaic would eliminate the need for both rather ad-hoc attempts to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 138-142
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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