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Title: The development of alliterative metre from Old to Middle English
Author: Yakovlev, Nicolay
ISNI:       0000 0000 7707 2302
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis deals with the history of the alliterative long line from Old English to both early and late Middle English, and demonstrates that the differences between the metrical systems of those periods are explicable in their entirety by the historical changes in the linguistic prosody rather than a discontinuity of the alliterative tradition. The first three chapters of the thesis examine the alliterative metre in Old English (primarily on the basis of Beowulf), early Middle English (primarily on the basis of Layamon's Brut), and late Middle English (primarily on the basis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Morte Arthure, and the Siege of Jerusalem). The discussions pay particular attention to those points that are subsequently used in the historical reconstruction presented in the final chapter. At the same time, each of the period chapters aims to provide a coherent systemic formulation of the particular metre. The chief method employed by the study is the standard procedure of matching the linguistic and metrical data, as described in the introduction. The historical reconstruction is based on the premise that in particular types of poetic environments certain changes in the linguistic prosody will automatically result in a restructuring of the metrical system. The premise leads to a new version of the history of English alliterative poetry based on the concrete evidence of the extant texts.
Supervisor: Hanna, Ralph Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available