Information about the author: Head of the Computer linguistics Laboratory of the Institute of Philology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Title: Classical and Non-Classical Verse: Terminological Aspects
Rubric: Terminology of Linguistic and Related Sciences
Abstract: The paper deals with the expediency of using the terms classical verse and non-classical verse in Ukrainian versification studies. They are borrowed from Russian scientific discourse. The article shows the semantics of these terms in Russian versification studies. The phrase classical verse in works on poetry has wide semantics and means different types of poetry for different literatures: syllabic, quantitative, etc. In the first half of the 20th century Borys Tomashevsky began to use the phrase “Russian classical verse” to refer to the syllabic-tonic verse along with the accent verse. In 1959, he narrowed the semantics of this phrase and used it for syllabic-tonic verse only. Such a decision was motivated by the fact that in the “golden time of Russian literature” (19th century) syllabic-tonic verse was the prevailing system of versification, unlike the syllabic verse that could be rarely found in the Russian literature, and the tonic verse that was starting to develop during Tomashevsky’s time. Thus, in the studies of Russian poetry, the phrase classical verse became the term (acquired termhood) with the meaning of “syllabic-tonic verse”. In 1974, Mikhail Gasparov created the antonymic term “non-classical verse”, which marked other types of Russian verse: syllabic, tonic. Both terms became widespread in Russian poetry.
Ideological as well as political and cultural conditions for the development of the Ukrainian science in the 20th century promoted uncritical replication of evaluative judgments expressed by Russian scholars in the Ukrainian poetry. The terms classical verse (as syllabic-tonic) and non-classical verse (as non-syllabic-tonic) having the component of estimating semantics faced the abovementioned situation. They were borrowed and applied in the Ukrainian poetry with the same meaning as in the Russian ones. Halyna Sydorenko, Natalia Kostenko, Olena Kytsan and others used these terms in their works. However, the history of the Ukrainian verse differed from the history of the Russian verse. The syllabic verse occupies a significant place therein, whereas the tradition of using it extends to the first half of the 20th century. The greatest Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko and many of his followers wrote syllabic-verse poems. Pavlo Tychyna used the syllabic verse in the 20th century. Therefore, the exclusion of syllabic verse from the notion of “classical verse” in relation to the Ukrainian literature is unjustified. These terms in Ukrainian verification studies have false motivation. They are used incorrectly in Ukrainian versification sources. This terminological situation needs adjustment.
Keywords: prosody system, term, terminological system, syllabic verse, syllabic-tonic verse, meter, accent verse, tonic verse.