Kristin Hanson


My principal research interest is poetic meter.  I've worked on developing a general theory of meter as a stylization of the phonology of rhythm in natural language, with a special interest in how such a theory can illuminate formal, historical and aesthetic properties of modern English meters.  From a similar perspective I've also explored rhyme and alliteration; rhythmic aspects of setting words to music; and occasional related characteristics of dance.  These inquiries all bear on broader questions of how art forms relate to natural human perceptual faculties, and why aesthetic qualities of our environment and experience matter.

Current Research: 

I am writing a book called "An Art that Nature Makes":  A Linguistic Perspective on Meter in English.


Kristin Hanson; Sharon Inkelas
Edited volume, 2008

Selected Publications


Hanson, Kristin.  2012.  Linguistics and poetics.  Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th ed., ed. by Roland Greene and Stephen Cushman, Princeton:  Princeton University Press, pp. 803-809.

 Hanson, Kristin.  2011.  Generative metrics:  the state of the art.  Current trends in metrical analysis,  ed. by Christoph Küper, Frankfurt:  Peter Lang, pp. 45-62. 

Hanson, Kristin.  2009.  Metrical alignment. Towards a typology of poetic forms, Jean-Louis Aroui and Andy Arleo (eds.), Amsterdam:  John  Benjamins, pp. 267-286.  

Hanson, Kristin.  2009.  Nonlexical word stress in the English iambic pentameter:  a study of John Donne. The nature of the  word: studies in honor of Paul Kiparsky ed. by Kristin Hanson and Sharon Inkelas, Cambridge:  MIT Press, pp. 21-61.

Hanson, Kristin.  2008.  Review article of Language and literary structure by Nigel Fabb.  Language  84:  370-386.

Hanson, Kristin.  2008.  Some phonology of the novel.  Phantom sentences:  essays in linguistic and literature presented to Ann Banfield ed. by Robert Kawashima, Gilles Philippe and Thelma Sowley, Bern:  Peter Lang, pp. 329-350.

Hanson, Kristin.  2007.   Review of Alliteration and sound change in early English (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 101) by Donka Minkova.  Journal of Linguistics 43: 463-472.

Hanson, Kristin.  2006.  Shakespeare's lyric and dramatic metrical styles. Formal Approaches to Poetry:   Recent Developments in Metrics ed. by B. Elan Dresher and Nila Friedberg. Berlin:  Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 111-133.  

Hanson, Kristin.  2005.  Meter. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed. ed. by Keith Brown. Oxford:  Elsevier, vol. 8, pp. 99-109.

Hanson, Kristin.  2005.  Rhyme. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed., ed. by Keith Brown, Oxford:  Elsevier, vol. 10, pp. 605-616.

Hanson, Kristin.  2003.  Formal variation in the rhymes of Robert Pinsky's The Inferno of  Dante.  Language and Literature 12.4:  309-337.  

Hanson, Kristin.  2002.  Vowel variation in English rhyme.  Studies in the History of  English:  a Millennial Perspective, ed. by Donka Minkova and Robert  Stockwell, The Hague:  Mouton, 207-229.

Hanson, Kristin.  2001.  Language and poetic structure. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences ed. Neil J. by In Smelser and Paul B. Baltes,  Oxford:  Pergamon, 8303-8308.

Hanson, Kristin.  2001.  Quantitative meter in English:  the lesson of Sir Philip Sidney.  English Language and Linguistics 5.1:  41-91.

Hanson, Kristin.  1997.  From Dante to Pinsky:  a theoretical perspective on the history of the modern English iambic pentameter.  Rivista di Linguistica 9.1:  53-97.  

Hanson, Kristin and Paul Kiparsky.  1997.  The nature of verse and its consequences for the mixed form. Prosimetrum:  cross-cultural perspectives on narrative in verse and prose ed. by Karl Reichl and Joseph Harris, Cambridge:  D.S. Brewer, 17-44.

Hanson, Kristin and Paul Kiparsky.  1996. A parametric theory of poetic meter.  Language 72:   287-335.   

Hanson, Kristin.  1996.  Une théorie phonologique du mètre et ses conséquences pour le  pentamètre iambique anglais.  Bulletin de la société stylistique anglaise 17:  57-72.

Hanson, Kristin.  1995.  Prosodic constituents in poetic meter.  WCCFL  13: 62-77.

Hanson, Kristin.  1993.  Resolution:  evidence from modern English metrics.  NELS 23:  159-173.  

Hanson, Kristin.  1987.  On subjectivity and the history of epistemic expressions in  English. CLS  23:  133-147.

Hanson, Kristin.  1987.  Topic constructions in spoken French: some comparisons with Chichewa. BLS 13: 105-116.

Contributions to dictionaries

Hanson, Kristin  (contributing editor for usage).  1992.  American Heritage Dictionary of  the English Language, Third Edition  Boston:  Houghton-Mifflin Co.


Hanson, Kristin.  1992.  Resolution in modern meters. Stanford:  Stanford University Ph.D. dissertation, 224 pp.  (Principal advisor:  Paul Kiparsky)

Selected recent presentations

Formal variation in the alliteration of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf:  A New Verse Translation.  Alliterativa Causa, Warburg Institute, London, January 18-19, 2013.

Catalexis and ternary rhythms in the stress system of Garifuna.  Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Boston, January 3-6, 2013.

Formalizing nothing:  conditions on empty positions in music and verse in Wyatt's translations of Petrarch's sonnets.   Metrics, Music and Mind (formerly Sung Verse), La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy, February 23-25, 2012. 

 Represented consciousness in lyrics of the Flatlanders.  Products of Slow Thought and a Love of Language:  A Conference in Honor of Ann Banfield, UC Berkeley, May 2011; revised version of Lubbock lyrics,  Pioneering Romanticisms:  International Conference on Romanticism, Texas Tech, Lubbock,  November 12-15, 2010. 

 Death and catalexis.  Metrics and poetics fest, Stanford University, April 10, 2010.

 Metrical tension revisited.   Symposium: A Comparison of Models for Meter, Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Baltimore, January 7-10, 2010. 

Generative metrics:  the state of the art.   International Conference on Meter, Vechta, Germany, July 20-23, 2009. 

 What's elision for?  Aesthetic implications of the meter of Shakespeare's sonnets. Linguistics Department Colloquium, University of California, Berkeley, April 6, 2009.

Metrical feet and dancing feet.  CUNY Conference on the Foot, New York, January 15-17, 2009. 

True and duplicitous triple rhythms:  observations from musical settings of English texts.  Music, Language and the Mind, Tufts University, July 10-13, 2008.

Metrical markedness.  The Prague School and Theories of Structure.  Prague, October 17-20, 2007.


426 Wheeler

Office Hours

Tu 3:00-5:00 p.m., starting Sept. 11