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05-16-2012 08:08 AM

on the shore of comparative merics
I hope this subject will help explain the concept of numerical prosody to those who do not speak Arabic.

This subject aims at clarifying the role that the numeric expression plays overcoming language and idiom barriers. Thus, it shows the resemblance, analogy, contrast or variation between poetry meters of different languages in a way that unspecialized people can understand.

It is not meant to discuss the principles and rules of meters, though I have mentioned a little of that.

The examples and links lead to more in this regard and generate questions. This is an aim in itself, because it encourages further study and elaboration on the subject.

Part 1

Meter is used as a measure both in many aspects starting with distance or length extending to electricity, sound, water flow, heat etc. though the units may differ between a system and another, The mere existence of a unit has the same implication to all people in all feilds, it means the the existence of a quantity composed of units For the pair of (Small,short, unaccentual, unstressed) and( Big, long,strong, accentual, stressed).

Here are some examples in Western, Arabic and other prosodies
Arabic : ( o - ) , (- o) , (o / ) (u /) (1 2)


Urdu : ( s L) , ( - = ) , (~ - )
Persian : ( u - )
Turkish : ( . - )
. Western : ( da DUM ) , (x / ) , ( u s )
Pi : ( 1 2 )


Indian -Sanskrita : ( 1 2 ), ( L H)

Their Grammatical And Metrical Literature - page 140

Unifying symbols by using 1 and 2 only would be a step to familiarize the poetry meter of a certain language to those who even do not speak that language and will facilitate the study of comperative prosody.
We should carry in mind in this regards that the same ( numerical) meter in two languages has one of two indications:
1- Resemblance when the two prosodies are of the same type.
Arabic ,Latin and Hindu prosodies are quantitative.Khabab in Arabic and French are syllabic

2-Analogy when tow prosodies are different . English is stress based , Latin is quantitative


English is a stress-timed language, French is syllable-timed. Poets in both languages made efforts to import the quantitative metres from classical Greek and Latin. In French these attempts failed in a very short time, and became mere historical curiosities. French poetry remained with the syllabic versification system, which is congenial to a syllable-timed language. English Renaissance poets thought they succeeded in the adaptation of the quantitative metre. But they were doing something that was very different from what they thought they were doing: working in a stress timed language, they based their metre on the more or less regular alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, and not as they thought, on the regular alternation of longer and shorter syllables. They used the same names and graphic notation for the various metres, but the system was utterly different, and well- suited to the nature of a stress-timed language.

Here are some examples of comparison:

1- Between Arabic and western prosodies
A line of trochaic heptameter consists of seven trochees in a row:
DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da
2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1

A line of trochaic hexameter consists of six trochees in a row:
DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da
2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1


The rest , editing and updating are on :


05-16-2012 10:37 AM


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05-16-2012 10:57 AM


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04:01 PM.

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