Catalexis(redirected from catalectic)
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(1) The type of verse meter at the rhythmic end of a line (clausula), that is, at the last stressed syllable and any unstressed syllables following it. The number of unstressed syllables can vary; in Russian verse there are usually from none to two (rarely three or more).
(2) In the narrow sense of the word: in discussing feet in old prosody, catalexis described a line ending a foot shorter than other lines by one or two unstressed syllables; for example, “Mútno nébo, nóch, mutná” (—⌣/—⌣/—⌣/—). The ear distinguishes the clausula irrespective of the character of the foot, so that contemporary Russian poetics tends not to classify lines of verse as catalectic (with a shortened foot at the end), acatalectic (full), or hypercatalectic (extended).