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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).


Zhirmunskii, V. M. Vvedenie v metriku. Leningrad, 1925. Pages 131–38.
References in periodicals archive ?
We capture this formally by noting that a catalectic meter intentionally violates FILL.
The formalism is to be read `a line is catalectic (C) if it violates the constraint FILL'.
Anapestic tetrameter catalectic is still rhythmically unmarked, but it now has two peculiarities in terms of length: it is twice as long as we would expect it to be (if it were a dimeter) and it has one less metrical position than we'd expect it to have (binary meters always have an even number of metrical positions).
The marked parts of anapestic tetrameter catalectic are thus just being catalectic, (35), and being a tetrameter, (37), which are enough to distinguish a catalectic tetrameter from the unmarked dimeter.
The distinctive violation of FILL in a catalectic meter occurs in the evaluation of full lines.
A catalectic line is supposed to have an unfilled metrical position and candidate (a) does not.
We turn now to iambic meters, which come in two common forms: a simple trimeter and a tetrameter catalectic (also called trochaic tetrameter).
First, trimeter has only 18-21 moras per line while hexameter has a full 24; second, the final line in dimeter systems is catalectic, further reducing the number of moras available for words.
The iambic tetrameter catalectic is thought to have been the original meter of tragic dialogue, later replaced by iambic trimeter (Raven 1962: 34).
This meter is often called trochaic tetrameter catalectic, and those who analyze it as such (e.
We will therefore refer to it henceforth as iambic tetrameter catalectic, since it has the same type of metron as the tragic trimeter, but with four metra rather than three.
FILL Acatalectic Catalectic C PARSE Metrical Extrametrical E