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Poetic forms in contacts

When languages come into contact with one another, this also frequently implies that the cultures who speak these languages have come into contact. This has a twofold effect on poetic traditions. In the “receiving culture,” the language can change, which causes certain poetic forms to be less suitable (e.g. word stress may shift, so that a certain type of meter becomes less effective), but the language users, under the influence of a different culture, may attempt other poetic forms. At the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth, this is how intensive contact with the Romance (French/Italian) world resulted in an entirely new poetic form in the Low Countries: the Dutch iambic hexameter (Alexandrine), which, with some degree of variation, has remained the standard meter. This change is sometimes attributed to the simultaneous adoption of numerous Romance loanwords. More recently, rappers have adopted meters from a different Germanic language (English), while at the same time, their lyrics are interspersed with words borrowed from a wide variety of, largely non-Germanic, languages. The research question is what happens when a language attempts to take on meters from a different language.

Researchers: Marc van Oostendorp, Mirella de Sisto