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1. Prosody another word for caesura
2. Music a continuation of a note or rest beyond its normal length.



an interruption in the flow of speech. A distinction is made between logical pauses, which are determined entirely by syntax, and rhythmic pauses, which depend not on syntax but on a rhythmic impulse. Logical pauses are encountered in all kinds of speech, and rhythmic pauses only in versified speech.

In quantitative versification (for example, the choral lyrics of the Greeks), a pause may be a structural element of a line of verse: it has a definite length and replaces a certain number of syllables of the same length. In tonic versification (for example, Russian verse), where the length of syllables is not regulated, a pause may be merely an element of demarcation in a line of verse. It denotes various obligatory word divisions (for example, at the end of a line or a caesura)—that is, it is associated not with versification but with declamation. Nonetheless, some prosodists (G. A. Shengeli, A. P. Kviatkovskii, and S. V. Shervinskii) consider it feasible to regard the pause as a structural element even in tonic verse, chiefly in the dol’nik (a Russian poetic meter).


Shengeli, G. Tekhnika stikha. Moscow, 1960.
Shervinskii, S. Khudozhestvennoe chtenie. Moscow, 1935.
Shervinskii, S. Ritm i smysl. Moscow, 1961.
Kviatkovskii, A. Poeticheskii slovar’. Moscow, 1976.


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Once might be a mistake, twice is suspect, three times certainly gives pause for thought.