What Is Prosody?


Prosody today means both the study of versification and the study of pronunciation. In literary studies, prosody is often interchanged for versification or meter, though in fact each of these terms have complicated and contested histories. Historically, Prosody was a subsection of Grammar, appearing at the end of the traditional grammar book after Orthometry, Etymology, and Syntax. Within Prosody, Versification appeared after punctuation, utterance, and pronunciation.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines prosody as such: 1. The theory and practice of versification; (in technical use) the branch of knowledge which deals with the forms of metrical composition, and formerly also with the pronunciation of words, esp. as this relates to versification; (more generally) the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry. As a count noun: a metrical form or scheme; †a treatise on metrical composition (obs.).Prosody was formerly regarded as a branch of grammar), and taken to include the study of phonology and phonetics.