Living Words: Language, Lexicography and the Knowledge by Tom McArthur

By Tom McArthur

During this choice of articles, the writer displays at the nature of language, the paintings of lexicography and the advancements in verbal exchange, the media and knowledge know-how within the overdue twentieth century. the 3 major topics checked out are: language at huge, and particulary English, the main primary language within the background of the realm; the artwork and examine of dictionaries and reference technology, embracing all earlier, current and capability reference fabrics - from the "OED" to the "Yellow Pages"; and the methods in which conversation, details and data has evoloved - from cave artwork to the non-public laptop.

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3 Rhythm The English word rhythm derives through Latin rhythmus from Greek rhuthmos, which means 'flow', and especially 'measured flow'. The basic concept, image, or metaphor/simile of sounds that flow as if they were water is very old, and has been used and understood in slightly different ways in such fields as acoustics, music, poetics, and phonetics, bringing in such further similes, metaphors, and models as 'sound is like a wave', 'sound has a beat', 'sounds are long or short', and 'voices move': • • • • in acoustics: rhythm is wave-like, with a steady beat and elements of longer and shorter duration in music: rhythm consists of beats and lengths of notes shown as bars (groups of beats), the first beat of each bar being stressed in poetics: rhythm is the arrangement of syllables in more or less regular sequences of two types of verse: in languages like Latin, these are usually sequences of syllables that contain longer or shorter vowels (quantitative metre); in languages like English, they are usually sequences of stressed and unstressed syllables (accentual metre) in phonetics: rhythm is vocal movement created by the stress, quantity, and timing of syllables.

But they too need help with relating what they know-and can do 'naturally'-to what they find on a printed page or a screen. In a serious sense, when they learn to read they have to learn to supply the rhythm that is there but cannot be seen. 4 Rhythm and rhyme The resemblance between the words rhythm and rhyme is not accidental. They come from the same etymological stable, as do frail and fragile, royal and regal, and other such doublets-paired words with similar histories, forms, and meanings.

5 17 LIVING WORDS Rhyme-l and rhyme-2 Rhythm is clearly a universal of language (and many other things), but the status of rhyme is not so clear: or at least not of rhyme as the tenn is generally understood at the present time in English. It may, however, be possible to borrow from, and in effect fonnalize, the medieval sense of rime, proposing as a result two senses of rhyme that we can bear in mind today, the first containing the second, as follows: • • Rhyme-1: a broader sense that can also be called sound play, covering all the echoes, chimes, and resonances of language.

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