This attitude towards "performance" has infiltrated the world of literary prosodists, too: John Hollander, for example, is extremely contemptuous of "performative system[s] of scansion," which, he claims, are incapable of describing "the true poem" .
Consequently, a few prosodists, unburdened by a vested interest in proving the invariability of alternating structures, have offered insights into the conditions governing "level stress," or the spondee.
A connection between stress and meaning has been recognized by several other literary prosodists, too, including Harvey Gross (12), D.
His letters and critical writings present merely anecdotal references to prosodic matters, and his view of contemporary prosodists
was rather dismissive.
If its qualities as identified by nineteenth-century prosodists
are immediately juxtaposed to those of blank verse, the ballad emerges as at once a kindred foundation of English literary greatness and a disruptive jogtrot rhythm that refuses to settle down.
49) This approach was adopted by many turn-of-the-century acoustical prosodists, including Edward Wheeler Scripture and Warner Brown.
54) Here Scripture hypothesizes a possible bridge between the accentual and temporal theories of meter that had been so assiduously debated by earlier generations of prosodists.
In the case of iambic pentameter, for instance, the Gil-Shoshani theory assumes twelve positions instead of ten; in most instances, one or two metrical positions are left empty, enabling the prosodist
to manipulate the mappings so as to achieve maximum harmony between the two dimensions of rhythm.
A similar approach characterizes the prosodic theory of Coventry Patmore, one of the most influential prosodists
of the mid-century.
Some prosodists maintain, quite reasonably, that when the stricter alternating verse changes into a verse that tolerates and even enjoys the variations made possible by the analysis of the line into feet - notably, the trochaic "inversion" (/?
To make good his claims that we can all hear this meter easily, too, he subscribes to dogmas (again, as the generative metrists and other prosodists do) about which kinds of words or syllables in metrical lines must receive stress.
Browning's mottoes, as I will attempt to show, are grounded in his prosody, which is to be understood in two ways, one familiar, one largely ignored by prosodists
of our own day (though not by Browning's contemporaries).