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  • 1.
    Cooper, Andrew
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    A unified account of the Old English metrical line2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study describes the verse design of Old English poetry in terms of modern phonological theory, developing an analysis which allows all OE verse lines to be described in terms of single metrical design.

    Old English poetry is typified by a single type of line of variable length, characterised by four metrical peaks. The variation evident in the lengths of OE metrical units has caused previous models to overgenerate acceptable verse forms or to develop complex typologies of dozens of acceptable forms. In this study, Metrical phonology and Optimality theory are used to highlight some aspects of the relationship between syntax, phonology and verse metrics in determining how sentences and phrases interact with the verse structure to create variation.

    The main part of the study is a metrical model based on the results of a corpus analysis. The corpus is centred on the OE poems Genesis and Andreas, complemented by selected shorter poems. A template of a prototypical line is described based on a verse foot which contains three vocalic moras, and which can vary between 2 and 4 vocalic moras distributed across 1 to 4 syllables. Each standard line is shown to consist of four of these verse feet, leading to a line length which can vary between 8 and 16 vocalic moras. It is shown that the limited variation within the length of the verse foot causes the greater variation in the length of lines. The rare, longer ‘hypermetric’ line is also accounted for with a modified analysis. The study disentangles the verse foot, which is an abstract metrical structure, from the prosodic word, which is a phonological object upon which the verse foot is based, and with which it is often congruent. Separate sets of constraints are elaborated for creating prosodic words in OE, and for fitting them into verse feet and lines. The metrical model developed as a result of this analysis is supported by three smaller focused studies.

    The constraints for creating prosodic words are defended with reference to compounds and derivational nouns, and are supported by a smaller study focusing on the metrical realisation of non-Germanic personal names in OE verse. Names of biblical origin are often longer than the OE prosodic word can accommodate. The supporting study on non-Germanic names demonstrates how long words with no obvious internal morphology in OE are adapted first to OE prosody and then to the verse structure. The solution for the metrical realisation of these names is shown to be patterned on derivational nouns.

    The supporting study on compound numerals describes how phrases longer than a verse are accommodated by the verse design. It is shown that compound numerals, which consist of two or more numeral words (e.g. 777 – seofonhund and seofon and hundseofontig) are habitually rearranged within the text to meet the requirements of verse length and alliteration.

    A further supporting study discusses the difference between the line length constraints controlling OE verse design and those for Old Norse and Old Saxon verse. Previous studies have often conflated these three closely related traditions into a single system. It is shown that despite their common characteristics, the verse design described in this study applies to all OE verse, but not to ON or OS.

  • 2.
    Cooper, Andrew
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Regular Word Order in The Wanderer2011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Grammars of Old English held at least until the 1960s that word orderin Anglo-Saxon texts was essentially “free”, that is, determined entirely or primarily by stylistic choice rather than syntactic rules.  Although prose word order has been shown to be regular in several models, the same cannot be said of poetry.  This study uses Nils-Lennart Johannesson’s Old English syntax model, operating within the Government and Binding framework, to establish whether the phrase structure of The Wanderer can fit into this model as it stands, and if not, whether a reasonably small number of additional parameters can be established in order to establish whether “free” word order is in evidence, or whether the word order of Old English poetry is regular in the same way as prose.

    Results: A full clause analysis showed that the majority of the clauses fit Johannesson’s model.  For those which did not, two modifications are recommended: non-compulsory movement of main verbs in main clauses from I to C; and the splitting and rightwards extraposition of the second part of coordinated NPs in which the first coordinated element is “light” and the second “heavy”.  This leaves a small number of clauses featuring constructions which do not occur frequently enough in the text to allow rules to be induced to explain them.  These must therefore be deemed irregular. 

    Conclusions:  While much of The Wanderer has been shown to be syntactically regular, some constructions could not be fitted into the existing model without the introduction of special parameters to excuse them.  This paper is intended as a pilot study for a larger project which will incorporate the other poems in the heroic tradition with the hope of inducing a complete syntax for them.  One part of that investigation will be to include these infrequent constructions in The Wanderer, to find comparable constructions in other poems and categorise them within the corpus.

  • 3.
    Soler, Josep
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Cooper, Andrew
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Unexpected emails to submit your work: Spam or legitimate offers? The implications for novice English L2 writers2019In: Publications, E-ISSN 2304-6775, Vol. 7, no 1, article id 7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes the discourse of what have been termed ‘predatory publishers’, with a corpus of emails sent to scholars by hitherto unknown publishers. Equipped with sociolinguistic and discourse analytic tools, we argue that the interpretation of these texts as spam or as legitimate messages may not be as straightforward an operation as one may initially believe. We suggest that English L2 scholars might potentially be more affected by publishers who engage in these email practices in several ways, which we identify and discuss. However, we argue that examining academic inequalities in scholarly publishing based exclusively on the native/non-native English speaker divide might not be sufficient, nor may it be enough to simply raise awareness about such publishers. Instead, we argue in favor of a more sociologically informed analysis of academic publishing, something that we see as a necessary first step if we wish to enhance more democratic means of access to key resources in publishing.

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