An Introduction to Episynaloephe

Episynaloephe (etymologically from Greek “synaleiphein,” literally means “a joining together”) is a kind of MetaplasmOpens in new window which joins into one syllableOpens in new window the sound of two vowels that ought to be pronounced separately.

This figure is the opposite of DiæresisOpens in new window — the pronunciation of two successive vowelsOpens in new window as separate sounds.

Rather than separating one of two neighboring vowels, as in the case of synaloephaOpens in new window, episynaloephe merely blend the pronunciation of two vowels in one syllable.

Episynaloephe may also be attributed the joint pronunciation of many vowels coming together which in prose would be pronounced into two syllables, being disjoined by the accentOpens in new window.

Practical Example
  • Fixerit æripedem [instead of aëripedem] cervam — (Vergil, Georgics)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae: EpisynaloepheOpens in new window