Rhythm and Language

A modest symposium on a large subject

The aim of this symposium is to give EnGeRomic consideration to the rhythms of our various languages and the ways in which those rhythms may manifest themselves, in poetry and song, and in the patterns of colloquial speech and their distortions for purposes varying from the comic to the military. Both accents and dialects can involve rhythmic shifts and mutations; these can be heard synchronically, and can sometimes be traced diachronically. And what part does rhythm play in the act and art of translation?

The two main speakers will be

Timothy Steele, Professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles; author of  All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing (1999)


Clive Wilmer, Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; poet, translator (from, inter alia, Hungarian) and critic.

Colleagues are invited to make contributions. The length may vary from five to fifteen minutes. These are not supposed to require any extensive research, but rather to be a sharing of what we might have noticed, or taken for granted, in the course of our research (or, to some, résearch). The broad topic involves linguistic, literary and historical knowledge, and the more expertise we can bring together, the more we can advance the understanding of languages and cultures, by taking advantage of our institutional identity and our diversely learnéd colleagues.

The language of the symposium will be that in which of all our languages -- with the possible exception of Dutch -- opera has been least successful.

Modest proposals for brief presentations will be welcomed by the undersigned,

Charles Lock (lock@hum.ku.dk)