Prosody and its classification

The term prosody is rooted in the Greek word prosodia which means a song sung to music. Gopal Mallik Thakur argues that it deals with the process of the constitution of the verses used in a poem. He furthers his idea about prosody saying that its main concerns are rhythm, metre, rhyme, and the formation of the stanza. moreover, prosody determines the lines of a poem. On the other hand, Cuddon opines that prosody is the “study or science of versification and every aspect of it” (751). There is always a shift in the literal meaning and the meanings offered by metre, rhyme, and rhythm. Prosody plays a very important role in attributing meanings to the verses. For this reason, it has other names such as metrics and versification.

Classification of prosody

Prosody can be divided into two parts which include ortheopy and versifictiaon. This classification is done considering how it works with the external physical characteristics of a poem and the internal meaning system.


It refers to the correct pronunciation of any word. Its root also lies in Greek othos and epos which mean “correct” and “speech” respectively. Its antonym is cacoepy which means bad pronunciation. In the prosodic field, it has a larger meaning. According to Mallik, it “deals with the quantity and accent of syllables, emphasis, pauses, and tone” (218).


In writing poetry, there is no alternative to follow some rules of application of metres in verses. Versification determines the metrical laws necessary for writing a verse. Mallik opines that it is the “arrangement of words following some regular patterns of accented and unaccented syllables” (218). It aims at the process of making a verse. It also narrates what the phonetic structure of a verse will be. So, it can be said that versification refers to the art of producing verses following the metrical system of the words.


Abdur Rahim
Abdur Rahim

Assistant Professor, and Member of the Proctorial Body
Department of English Language and Literature (DELL), Premier University, Chattogram,
& Doctoral Fellow, English Department, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka.

Phone: +8801715638298


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