dependency of meter on dialect
#1
I'm curious to know how much meter can vary between two people growing up with different dialects of english.

How can I be sure that what I write will sound correct to another person's ear? Or is it impossible to ensure a universal reading?

Mikey.
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#2
probably very different, the language in the uk has many dialects, geordi, and and cornish being prety diverse, then you have the lilt of the welsh accent. then you have auz and the usa to name two more where the english is as diverse as the uk's. while it can be different, i think in general it's more or less consistent enough so that we can see or know that a stress isn't the same and rad it accordingly.
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#3
I have met speakers of High German who seriously struggle to understand the dialects of small Swiss towns and such. To my knowledge, there isn't quite so much diversity in English. Though who knows, someday I may find myself reading a yank's poem and accidentally read the word aluminum as aloo-min-ium (as we do here in Australia) instead of aloo-minum and I'll have ruined the whole poem for myself.

I'd never considered this before, thanks for the thought
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#4
I do that all the time, Lewis. Can't convince them that grass rhymes with arse Big Grin
It could be worse
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#5
(04-01-2013, 02:48 PM)NakedBear Wrote:  I'm curious to know how much meter can vary between two people growing up with different dialects of english.

How can I be sure that what I write will sound correct to another person's ear? Or is it impossible to ensure a universal reading?

Mikey.

I may be totally wrong here but I have posted poems here where critique has said it does not scan, problem with meter but when I read it myself it scans ok so I'm guessing it is not so much a dialect thing as a persons own speech pattern or the poet knowing which sylables to stress on . Sticking to nine or ten sylables per line works for me most of the time. I think the rythym is in the words not the accent. My thoughts ,usually wrong Huh
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#6
The better you get with meter, the more easily you'll be able to smooth out any ambiguities that are caused by accent or the writer's own personal system of emphasis. By the way, except in the most basic sense, meter is not driven by the number of syllables. A line of eight syllables might have four feet, three or even two. It is feet that matter, and feet are determined by stresses -- so it IS important that you understand how other people will place the stresses in a line. Once it's posted, you are not the only reader anymore.
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#7
I have also come across this problem, although I didn't realise that it was a problem until I started writing Haiku that strictly adhered to the correct syllable count. I am Geordie and found that a lot of words pronounced in my dialect have an extra syllable in them; such as "film" which Geordie's pronounce as "filum". Apart from Haiku I haven't written any other poetry which has meter or a syllable count, but I am hoping to soon, so I will no doubt be encountering this dilemma more frequently. So thanks for the helpful advice posted here.
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