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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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LING 2285 - [Linguistic Theory and Poetic Structure]

(crosslisted) ENGL 2960  
(LA-AS)      
Fall. Next offered 2018-2019. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Co-meets with ENGL 6785 /LING 6285 .

J. Bowers.

Poems are among the most highly structured linguistic objects that human beings produce. While some of the devices used in poetry are arbitrary and purely conventional, most are natural extensions of structural properties inherent in natural language itself. The aim of this course is to reveal the ways in which poetry is structured at every level, from rhyme to metaphor, and to show how certain results of modern linguistics can usefully be applied to the analysis and interpretation of poetry. After introducing some of the basic concepts of modern phonology, syntax and semantics, it will be shown how literary notions such as rhyme, meter, enjambment and metaphor can be formally defined in linguistic terms. These results will then be applied to the analysis of particular poems and shown to yield novel and interesting insights into both their structure and interpretation.



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