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Scansion and Elision.

d. To divide the verse into its appropriate measures, according to the rules of quantity and versification, is called scanning or scansion (scánsió, a climbing or advance by steps, from scandó).

NOTE: In reading verse rhythmically, care should be taken to preserve the measure or time of the syllables, but at the same time not to destroy or confuse the words themselves, as is often done in scanning.

e. In scanning, a vowel or diphthong at the end of a word (unless an interjection) is partially suppressed when the next word begins with a vowel or with h. This is called Elision (bruising).[1][The practice of Elision is followed in Italian and French poetry, and is sometimes adopted in English, particularly in the older poets: - *beginverseT' inveigle and invite th' unwary sense. - Comus 538.*endverse In early Latin poetry a final syllable ending in s often loses this letter even before a consonant (cf. § 15. 7): - *beginverseseni=o c=onfectus qui=escit. - Enn. (Cat. M. 14).*endverse]

In reading it is usual entirely to suppress elided syllables. Strictly, however, they should be sounded lightly.

NOTE: Elision is sometimes called by the Greek name Synaloepha (smearing). Rarely a syllable is elided at the end of a verse when the next verse begins with a vowel: this is called Synapheia (binding).

f. A final m, with the preceding vowel, is suppressed in like manner when the next word begins with a vowel or h: this is called Ecthlipsis (squeezing out): -

g. Elision is sometimes omitted when a word ending in a vowel has a special emphasis, or is succeeded by a pause. This omission is called Hiatus (gaping).

NOTE: The final vowel is sometimes shortened in such cases.



A verse receives its name from its dominant or fundamental foot: as, Dactylic, Iambic, Trochaic, Anapoestic; and from the number of measures (single or double) which it contains: as, Hexameter, Tetrameter, Trimeter, Dimeter.

NOTE: Trochaic, Iambic, and Anapaestic verses are measured not by single feet, but by pairs (dipodia), so that six Iambi make a Trimeter.