LITERARY, GRAMMATICAL AND RHETORICAL TERMS

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Agogic Accent
An accent caused by relative prolongation of the word to be emphasized. Common in French poetry.
Allegory
:
1. a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. 2. a symbolical narrative: the allegory of "Piers Plowman" or "The Pilgrim's Progress."
Alliteration
The repetition of the sound of an initial consonant or consonant cluster in stressed syllables close enough to each other for the ear to be affected. The term is also used for the repetition of an initial consonant in unstressed syllables.
Anadiplosis, plural anadiploses
Rhetorical repetition at the beginning of a phrase of the word or words with which the previous phrase ended; for example, "He is a man of loyalty-loyalty always firm." "Erhabener Geist, du gabst mir alles, alles worum ich bat." --Goethe
Anaphora
The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs; for example, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" Winston S. Churchill)
Anastrophe
Inversion of the normal syntactic order of words; for example, "Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear" (Alexander Pope).
Antithesis, plural antitheses
1. Direct contrast; opposition. 2. The direct or exact opposite: Hope is the antithesis of despair. 3. A figure of speech in which sharply contrasting ideas are juxtaposed in a balanced or parallel phrase or grammatical structure. 4. The second stage of the Hegelian dialectic process, representing the opposite of the thesis.
Apocope
The loss of one or more sounds from the end of a word, as in Modern English "sing" from Middle English "singen."
Apposition
Das Apposition ist ein substantivisches Attribut, das im gleichen Kasus steht wie das Substantiv oder Pronomon, zu dem es gehört .Die Apposition kann unmittlelbar bei einem Bezugswort stehen (vor- oder nachgestellt) oder aber nachgetragen sein--Duden Apposition is an explanatory noun or phrase normally placed after the noun explicated. In German it must be in the same case and set off with commas.
Apostrophe
The direct address of an absent or imaginary person or of a personified abstraction, especially as a digression in the course of a speech.
Assonance
1. Resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in words, as in: "that dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea" (William Butler Yeats). 2. The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, especially in stressed syllables, with changes in the intervening consonants, as in the phrase tilting at windmills.
Asyndeton
The omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used, as in "Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,/Shrunk to this little measure?"(Shakespeare).
Binnenreim
Reim innerhalb der Verszeile.
Climax
A series of statements or ideas in an ascending order of rhetorical force or intensity.
Dactyl
A metrical foot consisting of one long syllable followed by two short ones.
Diacope
Repetition with only a word or two between: “Villain, damned smiling villain."
Double entendre
A word or phrase having a double meaning, esp. when the second meaning is risqué.
Elegy
In the modern sense of the term, the elegy is a short poem, usually formal or ceremonious in tone or diction, occasioned by the death of a person. Rainer Maria Rilke's "Requiem" (1909) and ten Duineser Elegien (1912-1922) constitute an important extension of the genre in its more symbolic and speculative modes. Traditionally the functions of the elegy were three, to lament, praise and console.
Ellipsis, plural ellipses
1.a. The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction, but not necessary for understanding. 1b. An example of such omission. 2. A mark or series of marks: ( . . . ) for example, used in writing or printing to indicate an omission, especially of letters or words.
Enallage
The use of one grammatical form in some way incorrectly in place of another, as the plural for the singular in the editorial use of "we." The basic meaning is an exchange, which can also include using an adjective with the wrong noun as in "enttäuscht wie ein Postamt am Sonntag," where the visitors and not the post office are "disappointed." It can also be an enallage of mood where the passive is used for the active.
Epanalepsis
A repetition of a word or phrase with intervening words setting off the repetition, sometimes occuring with a phrase used both at the beginning and end of a sentence. "Only the poor really know what it is to suffer, only the poor."
Epanodos
The repetition of a group of words in reverse order.
Epanorthosis, pl. -ses
The rephrasing of an immediately preceding word or statement for the purpose of intensification, emphasis, or justification, as in "Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not 'seems.'"
Epenthesis
The insertion of a sound in the middle of a word, as in Middle English "thunder" from Old English "thunor."
Epizeuxis
Repetition with no words intervening.
Hyperbaton
A figure of speech, such as anastrophe or hysteron proteron, using deviation from normal or logical word order to produce an effect.
Hysteron Proteron
A specific type of hyberaton or syntactic dislocation: the figure in which the natural order of time events occur in is reversed, usually because the later event is considered more important than the former.
Iambic
In Latin poetry, an iamb was a metrical unit, a foot, consisting of a short syllable followed by a long. In modern verse iambic is overwhelmingly the most commen meter in prosodies such as German, Russian and English which are based on word-stress rather than phrase-stress.
Inclusio
An epanalepsis used to mark off a whole passage.
Indirekte Rede
The German form for indirectly reporting what someone said, Using the Konjunktiv I or the Konjunktiv II, when Konjunktiv I is the same as the Indikativ. In most cases, the same tense is used as in the direct statment.
Imperfekt
The German tense which corresponds in form to the English past tense, but in usage can be translated by both past and present perfect. See Perfekt. There is no Konjunktiv II form for weak verbs, but strong verbs use the Imperfekt plus special subjunctive endings and are normally umlauted. See Konjunktiv II.
Konjunktiv I
The German subjuctive form built on the infinitive, dropping the "en" or "n" and adding the subjunctive endings: For "Gehen": "Ich gehe; du geh(e)st; er, es, sie gehe; wir gehen; ihr geh(e)t; sie gehen." As you see, some of the endings are the same as the indicative; when so, the Konjunktiv II form is used. The most common irregular form is "sei" for "sein." Konjunktiv I is used for indirekte Rede and for third person commands: "Es werde Licht." "Let there be light." What differentiates the Konjunktiv I from the "du-form" Imperative ("Befehlsform")is that in the indicative imperative the the "du" form has the "e" or no ending , while the "wir" and "ihr" forms are similar to the normal endings. In the Konjunktiv I form the normal "(e)st" form prevails. For the third person command, the Konjunktiv I form has the ending "e" placed on the infinitive minus the "en" or "n." Another difference is that the "Befehlsform" has the stem-vowell change of such verbs as "sehen-sieht" and "treten-tritt," but not that of "fahren-fährt" or "lassen-lässt." The Konjunktiv I has neither of these changes, but simply uses the infinitive, of course with the one exception of "sein" where the "e" is not used.
Konjunktiv II
The German subjunctive form built on the Imperfekt. For weak verbs there is no change; for strong verbs add the same subjective endings as for Konjunktiv I, and normally umlaut "a, o, u and au." There are several irregular verbs, such as "sein--wäre; stehen--stünde; verderben--verdürbe, werden--würde, etc., whose Imperfekt is based on an obsolete form. For example, the verb "sein": "ich wäre; du wärest; er,es,sie wäre; wir wären; ihr wäret; sie, Sie wären."
Metaphor
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, "a sea of troubles" or "All the world's a stage" (Shakespeare).
Nominalisierung
The creation of an abstract noun from any part of speech. In German, all that is needed is to capitalize the word, be it verb, adverb, pronoun, past or present participle or conjunjction, and add the requisite case endings, if any. All such constructions are in the neuter gender.
Oxymoron
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence or a mournful optimist.
Perfekt
The German conversational past tense which can express both the English simple past and the present perfect. The German language does not have the English concept of completed or uncompleted time. In English If you say "yesterday," you must use the past; if you say "today," you would normally use the present perfect. In speaking, Germans would say "Ich habe das gestern gemacht." and "Ich habe das heute gemacht." Where English speakers say: "I have been her for ten minutes," the Germans use the present tense and "seit." "Ich bin seit zehn Minuten hier." In writing the one word Imperfekt is preferred, except for when narrating direct conversation.
Personification
As a manner of speech endowing nonhuman objects, abstractions, or creatures with life and human characteristics.
Pleonastic
A superfluous word, phrase or letter.
Polysyndeton
The repetition of conjunctions, normally "and."
Polyptoton
The repetition of the same word or root in different grammatical functions or forms: “Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism." "He cures most in whom most have faith."
Scesis onamaton
Omission of the only verb of a sentence. Not to be confused with a zeugma where one verb controls two parallel clauses.
Simile
A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as," as in "How like the winter hath my absence been" or "So are you to my thoughts as food to life" (Shakespeare). Gottfried Benn considered Rilke to be one of the best "Wie Dichter."
Sperrdruck
Spaced type formerly used for Italics and found in the Elegien. In modern editions replaced with italics.
Syllepsis
A construction in which a word governs two or more other words but agrees in number, gender, or case with only one, or has a different meaning when applied to each of the words, as in "He lost his coat and his temper."
Synaesthesia
A sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color.
Synaloepha
Omission of a vowel to contract two words into one such as "don't," "it's."
Syncope
The shortening of a word by omission of a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word; for example, bos'n for boatswain.
Trochee
A metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by one short or unstressed syllable.
Vokativ
Pertaining to or designating a grammatical case used in Latin and certain other languages to indicate the person or thing being addressed. Duden states that it is the same as the nominative case in modern German. However, in more antiquated or elevated German, the weak adjective form is used in the plural. "Die veraltete und heute nur noch in altertümelnder Sprache gebrauchte Anrede in der Mehrzahl lieben Freunde (statt: liebe Freunde) oder lieben Brüder und Schwestern (statt: liebe Brüder und Schwestern) ist eine alte Vokativform."
Wunsch- und Begehrungssatz
A use of Konjunktiv I to express a wish or desire, normally in the third person as commands. They are found mainly in Biblical and poetic expressions such as "Der Herr segne dich und behüte dich!," "Es lebe hoch!," "Es lebe die Freiheit!," "Es werde Licht," "Es lebe die Freiheit," Es komme die bessere Zeit," etc. This form exists both in main sentences and in subordinate clauses after verbs of wishing, hoping, demanding, desiring, etc. According to Duden: "Unter dem Wunsch- und Begehrungssatz sind solche Sätze zu verstehen, die ein Geschehen oder Sein nennen, das [noch] nicht verwirklicht ist, dessen Verwirklichung jedoch gewünscht, gewollt, gefordert, erstrebt wird. Dabei ist zu unterscheiden zwischen Hauptsätzen und abhängigen Sätzen."
Zeugma
A construction in which a word is used to modify or govern two or more words, often so that its use is grammatically or logically correct with only one.



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Introduction
Elegie 1
Elegie 2
Elegie 3
Elegie 4
Elegie 5
Elegie 6
Elegie 7
Elegie 8
Elegie 9
Elegie 10
Terms