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Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

There is a variety of forms possible to the unrhymed verse, but that with the climax at the close is decidedly the most frequent.  When the rhyme is introduced the climax goes with it, and the verse flows down as it were to the end.  When the rhyme is put in the very first of the verse, however, a secondary or even a primary accent may be developed at the close of the verse.  The natural place for the climax of the verse movement is apparently at the close, and the fact that not only is the earlier part of the verse more vague, but also that the end is the natural, climactic position, makes the synthesizing and delimiting factor, rhyme, preferable at the close.

The records of the next table were obtained by asking the subjects to repeat the series with prescribed accents, until they decided whether or not the rhyme could be felt under the conditions.

TABLE IV.

Rhymes under prescribed accentual conditions:  iambic tetrameter.  Heavy accent marked acute (’).  Slight accent marked grave (`).  Rhyme indicated by brace.

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta do)
go)
do
do
Hu.  Rhymes imperfectly. 
Mc.  Rhymes imperfectly. 
G. Rhymes imperfectly. 
Ha.  Rhymes imperfectly. 
Hy.  Rhymes fairly well.

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta do)
go)
do
do
Hu.  Cannot get rhyme. 
Mc.  Rhymes imperfectly.  ‘Produced by some sort of tension.’ 
G. Rhymes imperfectly.

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta do)
go)
do
do
Hu.  Rhymes well. 
Mc.  Rhymes well. 
G. Rhymes well.

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta do
go)
do)
do)
Hu.  Cannot get rhyme. 
Hy.  Cannot get rhyme.  ‘Accent spoils it.’ 
G. Cannot get rhyme.  ‘Accent breaks it all up.’ 
Mc.  Rhymes imperfectly.

The table shows that rhymes of syllables which have accents of strikingly different degrees are difficult to feel.  In the last case, of the rhyming verses separated by a verse having a heavy end accent, it was practically impossible to hear the rhyme across the break made by the heavy accent.  Somehow the particular condition of the organism which constitutes the expectation of a rhyme is broken up by a heavy accent.

The material for the records of Table V. was read to the subjects, the tones were in every case those of the speaking voice, and intervals having a definite speech character were chosen.  The fifth is the interval of the rising inflection of the question, the fourth is the interval of the rising inflection of indifference or negation, and the single falling slide used is a descending interval of a third or fourth at the close of the sentence.  The fifth appears in the table as 5/, the fourth as 4/, and the single descending interval of finality as the period (.).  Each verse was read on approximately the first tone of the interval, the rhyming syllable only had the second tone of the interval.

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