Hardcover speech

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Bound speech or bound language is language that is subject to explicit rules. In particular, it is understood to mean metrically regulated language, for example language structured according to stanzas and verses , with specific rules applying to rhythm ( meter ) and sound ( rhyme ). In principle, however, the language rules can be of any kind, for example in literary forms of play such as leipograms .

The term was first used by Quintilian (Latin oratio vincta ). He was referring to the partially regulated language of rhetoric , especially with clauses at the end of a sentence , initially to (art) prose. In his orator, Cicero previously described the poet as more strongly bound by the meter than the speaker ( versu sit astrictior ) and the language regulated by the meter as bound by this ( numeris astricta ), hence the term oratio astricta for the bound speech which from the Renaissance onwards was transferred to poetry as the highest form of rhetoric and finally limited to this. From the Baroque onwards , the “bound speech”, known as oratio ligata ( Johann Heinrich Alsted ) since 1630, is synonymous with metrically regulated, especially rhyming language. With this meaning, the term is still used today as an upscale replacement for versed texts.

The opposite of “bound speech” is “unbound speech” ( oratio soluta ).


  • Bernhard Asmuth : bound / unbound speech. In: Historical dictionary of rhetoric, ed. v. Gert Ueding. Volume 3. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-484-68103-9 , Sp. 605-629,.
  • Ludwig Fischer: bound speech. Poetry and Rhetoric in the Literary Theory of the Baroque in Germany. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1968.
  • Dieter Burdorf , Christoph Fasbender, Burkhard Moennighoff (ed.): Metzler Lexicon Literature. Terms and definitions. Metzler, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 , p. 265.
  • Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature. 8th edition Kröner, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-520-84601-3 , p. 294.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Quintilian Institutio oratoria IX, 4, 19
  2. Cicero Orator 67
  3. Cicero Orator 187