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Continuous modelling of verse lengths in Welsh and Gaelic metrical psalmody

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Abstract

Twenty 17th century metrical psalms (ten in Welsh and ten in Scottish Gaelic) were used to investigate the suitability of the Zipf-Alekseev function for modelling verse lengths in these Celtic languages. Good fits were obtained for both languages; however, the parameter c was always negligible, hence future work might consider using the simple power function, if this proves to be the case more generally. Future work needs to look at a broader sample of authors, dates, genres, etc. in order to arrive at a full synergetic model for verse lengths in Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.