Iambic inversion in finnish

The modern study of versification is based on the hypothesis that language is rhythmically organized, that metrical patterns are defined by simple rhythmic schemata, and that the two are related by correspondence constraints. Some analyses of the phenomenon of “inversion” in iambic verse reject a central aspect of this hypothesis in positing more complex metrical schemata containing both trochaic and iambic feet. I present evidence against such “trochaic substitution” analyses and demonstrate the iambic character of inverted feet with statistical data from the metrical practice of thirtysix Finnish poets. As a latecomer to the use of statistical evidence in theoretical linguistics I gratefully dedicate this article to one of the pioneers of this method.
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