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Syncope

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Syncope

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Syncope is the omission of letters from the middle of a word.

Example

The ship's fo'c'sle (forecastle).

She's ta'en away me precious heart!

Will I be gi'ing ye me f'tune? Not li'ley?

Discussion

Letters are often missed from the middle of words during speech to speed up talking. It can also be used to change the sound of the word for poetry or stylized prose. Removal can be complete syllables or single letters (typically consonants).

Syncope often appears rustic in style, and is thus used as a device to characterize 'simple, country folk'.

Some languages and dialects make more use of syncope than others (eg. Scottish).

Classification: Distortion, Omission

See also

Aphaeresis, Apcope, Synaloepha

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