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The Rhythm of Speech, Verse and Vocal Music: A New Theory

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Rosalia Rodriguez-Vasquez

This book represents a step forward into the development of text-setting studies from an Optimality Theory perspective, concentrating on the strong bond between the rhythm of spoken language and that of text set to music. It provides an overview of the prosodic characteristics of spoken English and Spanish (both synchronic and diachronic) as well as the evolution of their standard versification systems in order to explore the systematic application of a number of text-setting Optimality Theory constraints to a large corpus of English and Spanish folk and art songs. The theoretical and empirical analysis of the song corpus is developed to raise interest in the study of suprasegmental phonology from an interdisciplinary point of view, presenting vocal music as a firm locus for the study of prosody, as well as to determine the degree of accuracy of the OT-based theories argued for in the existing literature.
Contents: Text-setting – Metrics – Prosody – Stress – Stress-timed languages – Syllable-timed languages – Rhythm – Optimality Theory – Song.