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MorphAdorner Northwestern
Syllable Counter

MorphAdorner includes a facility for counting the number of syllables in an English word. This is useful as part of a scansion analysis.

THe printed versions of many early modern English plays were not written down by the original authors, and existed only in ephemeral scripts for use by actors. While some authors such as Ben Jonson took care to produce "official" versions of their plays for publication, many others did not, and the original scripts were lost. The printed versions were instead reconstructed by asking actors who had performed the plays to recite their parts from memory -- often years after their last performance. Surprisingly these actors were often very good at recalling the lines of their own parts. They were less accurate at recalling the lines spoken by others.

Since many of the plays were originally written in verse, usually in iambic pentameter, the quality of the reconstructions can often be assessed by simply counting the number of syllables in words in each line. Sections of the plays where the number of syllables do not match the required metrical format typically indicate misremembered lines.

You can try MorphAdorner's syllable counter online.

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