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Type: Thesis
Title: The relationship between sound and content in Latin poetry
Author: Williams, Matthew Llewellyn
Issue Date: 2004
School/Discipline: Humanities
Abstract: This dissertation examines the relationship between phonetic sound and content in Latin poetry, with a focus on Books 1-3 of Horace's Odes. The central argument is that a relationship exists between sound and content in poetry, that this can be analysed and described more thoroughly and systematically than is usually the case, and that the appreciation of poetry can be enhanced by doing so. Part 1 presents a scheme for describing the sound-content relationship, and argues that this accurately reflects the perceptions of poetic audiences and is psychologically valid. The scheme begins with the concept of the 'sonance', defined as any set of sounds that renders a passage sonically noteworthy. Sonances that relate to content are classified either as 'harmonic sonances', which relate to content due to the properties of the relevant sounds, or 'repetitive sonances', which relate to content purely due to the repetition (including patterning or contrasting) of sounds, regardless of their properties. Harmonic sonances, it is argued, may relate to content through four 'harmonies', depending on whether acoustic or articulatory properties are involved and whether the relationship is one of similarity between property and content or a more distant 'metaphor'. Repetitive sonances may relate to content by several different means, or 'modes of repetition'. Part 2 presents a simple method of numerical analysis which may be applied to the text by computer to extract passages that are relatively likely to contain a sonance, and briefly discusses the process of assessing these results, identifying further sonances by more natural means, and relating each sonance to the relevant content. As an essential preliminary to such matters, Latin phonetics and phonology are also discussed in detail. Parts 3 and 4 present the results of applying these resources of assessment and description to the text, to demonstrate the type of poetic appreciation which may thus be gained. Part 3 consists of two catalogues of harmonic and repetitive sonances taken from the whole of Odes 1-3. Part 4 is a specific examination of two entire odes in much greater detail.
Advisor: Clarke, Jacqueline
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Humanities, 2004.
Keywords: Latin, poetry, sound, sonic, articulatory, acoustic, repetition, repetitive, Horace, Horatius, Odes, Carmina, alliteration, assonance, euphony, onomatopoeia, synaesthesia, phonetics, Latin phonology
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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01front.pdf395.98 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02chapters1-2.pdf1.25 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
03chapters3-4.pdf1 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
04conclusion-append-bibliog.pdf278.02 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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