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quantitative verse


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Verse in which the metre is based on the principle of quantity (i.e. the duration of a syllable's sound), and in which the basic metrical unit, the foot, is composed of syllables classified either as ‘long’ or as ‘short’. This metrical system is found in Greek and Latin, as well as in Arabic and some other languages, but does not apply to English verse, which uses patterns of stress rather than quantitatively measured syllables and feet. Some unfruitful attempts were, however, made in the 16th and 17th centuries to write quantitative verse in English.

Subjects: Literature.


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