Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

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With the particular syllable used, ‘ta,’ the beginning of curve form was usually square and abrupt (4), and not gradual (5), although a few of the latter type are found (’spindle’).

One syllable form has an especial interest, because of its bearing on the problem of ‘finality’ feeling at the close of the verse.  At the close of each verse, whether with or without rhyme, the syllable form is always a ‘cone’ (6) (cf.  Fig. 8).  Of about 600 verses measured not more than 15 are exceptions to this rule.  Of these 15 exceptions 10 are under special conditions and confirm the hypothesis that this form is related to the finality process.  The form very rarely occurs within the verse, and when it does it is usually before some caesura, or under unusual conditions.

This ‘cone’ form of the closing syllable of the verse indicates a falling of the intensity of the voice.  It is often, though not always, associated with a fall in the pitch, showing relaxation of the vocal cords.  It seems to be an indication of the dying out of the intensity factor, a sinking of the tension, at the close of the verse.  In the case of unrhymed verses, with long verse pause, the cone is often very much elongated, and it is quite impossible to say where the sound ceases.

Special accentuation of the long syllable of the foot increases the length of the sonant, of the accented element, and of the entire foot.  There is probably a slight increase of the total length of an accented verse as compared with the similar unaccented, but no calculations were made to show that point.  This is quite in accord with other results (Meumann, Ebhardt).  This special accentuation is connected with an increased mean variation of the time values, as noted above.  It is in that sense a ‘disturbing factor.’

TABLE IX.

VERSE PAUSES (INCLUDING FINAL SONANT) TOGETHER WITH THE AVERAGE OF THE
CORRESPONDING ELEMENT WITHIN THE VERSE.

Average long Verse pause Verse pause Verse pause
element of of 1st verse of 2d verse of 3d verse
first 3 feet. of stanza. of stanza. of stanza. 
End Rhymes. 
Mc. 26 34 104a 35
45 45a 80b 80a
31 33 64a 36
41 52a 51b 75a
Ha. 41 44a 44 45a
43 47a 43b 46a
39 41a 49b 46a
43 46a 45b 45a
36 44 41a 53
35 44a 58a 38b
33 40 73a x30
Hu. 28 x25a 50 28a

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