The Metre of Old Saxon Poetry: The Remaking of Alliterative Tradition is a comprehensive study of Old Saxon metre both on its synchronic and diachronic dimensions, with emphasis on the metre of the Heliand – an alliterative epic of the Gospel story and the most extensive work of Old Germanic poetry with nearly six thousand lines. Following my monograph on the metre of Beowulf (Suzuki 1996a), this volume constitutes the second part of my on-going project on Old Germanic metre. As with my previous book, this one is grounded on the premise that the metre constitutes an open-ended system of rules and representations, constructed largely on a prototype basis of categorisation, and invariably susceptible to restructuring and reconfiguration due to its inherent structural ambiguity, imperfection, and indeterminacy, particularly on the periphery of the system. For more on general theoretical underpinnings and metatheoretical orientations, the reader may profit from referring to Preface and Chapter 1 of my previous work.
Following the overviews offered in Chapter 1 on the literary, metrical, linguistic, and practical bases for this study, the next three central chapters provide an in-depth, comprehensive, and explanatory account of the Heliand metre in the remaking, examined from complementary perspectives in unity – synchronic and diachronic, formal and functional, descriptive and interpretive, extrapersonal from the outside and intrapersonal from the inside. Chapter 2 is concerned with the fundamental issues of Old Saxon metre, namely, those of identifying a set of metrical types, characterising their internal structures and realisation variants, determining their distributional constraints, and exploring their paradigmatic and syntagmatic organisation in the system.