Atotputérnic - secondary stress in "tot"?

metaphrastes

Senior Member
Portuguese - Portugal
Sănătate!

Let us say that, by reasons of prosody, one needs a secondary stress within or close to the word "Atotputernic"; and this secondary stress would imply also in having the syllable considerably lengthened in duration, as a silabă lungă (as well the main or single stressed syllable "-tér-", that would be stressed and lengthened, too).

Where would be the most natural syllable to put this secondary stress? I tend to the second syllable "-tot-", in that it would be stressed too if the prefix "atot" were by itself, as a single word.

Now, the other option to bear this secondary stress would be the precedent word. The sentence ends so: "ca un Atotputernic". However, "un" as an article does not bear too much meaning or semantic worth in order to be so emphasized through stressing and lengthening. Then, IF this sounds natural at all in Romanian prosody, I still tend to think the better place would be "tot".

Summing up, what would be the better choice and most natural to Romanian ears?

1. ... ca un Atótputérnic

2. ... ca ún Atotputérnic

Mulțumesc!
 
  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Let's say you're dealing with a litany in which one has to recite sing-songy "ca un Atotputernic", I'd have ca un rather flat, followed by a lengthy Aaa and then the tot rather shorter but accented/stressed and the the pu-ter-nic.

    The ter is softer than the tot though.
     

    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Let's say you're dealing with a litany in which one has to recite sing-songy "ca un Atotputernic", I'd have ca un rather flat, followed by a lengthy Aaa and then the tot rather shorter but accented/stressed and the the pu-ter-nic.

    The ter is softer than the tot though.

    Thank you very much for your detailed answer, mulțumesc!

    Now, do you think it would work the same way in a metric choral hymn (not one so free in rhythm as a "soloist" recitative), where a long syllable is meant to have the double length of a short one? For such effect I might hear a recording of the hymn (even if the tone is not the same, it is often very helpful on matters of metric and prosody) - but now, I could not find any recording of this one, in special.

    And then, it arises another broader question: do you still have, in Romanian, a clear-cut and well defined distinction between long and short vowels, as one would have in Classical Greek or Latin? My impression is that in spoken Romanian (as well in spoken modern Greek) such distinction is no more present. However, when singing, the very music demands at least a basic distinction between long and short syllable.

    What is actually puzzling for me, yet, is that in my native language, the only natural syllables to be long, in musical prosody, are the stressed syllables - or in some contexts a final syllable of a verse. Then, if the music asks for another stress, one will search one syllable where a secondary stress sounds well - but actually, there is no option of having a long unstressed syllable by the side of a short stressed syllable. That is, at least in hymnody, where the musical rhythm and stresses should conform and be "tailored" to the words' rhythm and stresses and not the other way around.

    I hope the questions make any sense, thank you again.
     

    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    I'm afraid I can't contribute much on the prosody side :)

    Here is a bit of info on the short vowels in Romanian - see full text here:

    "...Semivocala, în schimb, este o vocală scurtă, care însoțește întotdeauna o vocală (în diftongi sau în triftongi), fără a se putea rosti singură, și nu se poate prelungi.

    Din cele 7 vocale ale limbii române, doar 4 (și anume: e, i, o, u) pot fi, după împrejurări, vocale întregi sau semivocale (...). Dacă sunetele e, i, o, u apar pe lângă consoane, ele sunt cu siguranță vocale și nu semivocale!"

    Let me know (PM) if you need a translation in English.
     

    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Thank you very much, farscape, for your kind answer - and yes, I could read the article with no special trouble. Actually, writing in Romanian is always harder than anything else, such as reading aloud or silently.

    Now, thankfully, the issue of full vowels and semivowels is not hard for me, as they are part too of my native language and they mostly work in the same way - then, most of the time, it is not hard to get intuitively where is the full vowel and where it is the semivowel.

    I was actually asking about something forgotten in most languages, today, so far I know. In spoken Homeric or Classical Greek, for example, there were two kinds of syllables: long or short, being that the long syllable would have twice the length of the short one. Then a long vowel, such as omega (great, long o) or eta (a long "e") would form a long syllable. But two short vowels together, forming a diphthong, would make up a long syllable, too. A short vowel (as epsilon) would form a short syllable, but it was not a semivowel in that it would still be the core of a distinct syllable.

    It is hard to know how exactly this sounded, since modern Greek wholly lost this distinction between long and short syllables - and, in speech, having double length is a huge distinction. But now, Classical poetry instead of being based on a regular number of syllables ending by a rhyme, was based on regular patterns of alternation between long and short syllables - called feet. It was like, say, Morse code: long short short, or long long short, short long, &c. A given sequence of feet would make out a pattern to a verse, as Dactilic Hexameter and others, well known to experts.

    From what I know, English still has some distinction between long and short syllables - though in speech never so clearly distinct - so that some poets ventured to write English poetry following Classical metric.

    Classical Latin too had this distinction between long and short syllables, that are an essential element of Classical prosody and poetry.

    I was simply wondering if Romanian inherited some of this distinction between long and short syllables, at least in contexts where it is sung in traditional chants or intonation.
     
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