What is a dialefa? (with Examples)

Jonah Lester
What is a dialefa? (with Examples)

The dialeph It is a phonetic composition of a verse that allows the diphthong to be eliminated to form a hiatus. That is, it allows two contiguous vowels to be separated into different syllables, in order to satisfy the metric needs of the verse..

Some bibliographies define the dialect as a "poetic license" because it transgresses the laws of grammar..

The dialeph is compared to the "hiatus" because both have the concept of dividing two vowels into different syllables. However, the hiatus is grammatically correct because there are words in the Spanish language that have vowels separated into syllables.

But the dialeph, unlike the hiatus, separates the vowels when they are grammatically diphthongs, to be able to change their pronunciation in the verse.

The following is a list of the most significant vowel encounters that are converted into dialephs and their incidence rate (GUIL):

  • yy: 4.85%
  • áa: 1.38%
  • ae: 6.79%
  • air: 3.00%
  • ea: 8.73%
  • ee: 6.43%
  • ee: 3.26%
  • ee: 4.85%
  • eo: 2.03%
  • oa: 7.37%
  • oe: 9.12%
  • oe: 3.20%
  • oo: 0'20%

Examples of dialephs

A classic example where dialephs can be found is in the following verse by Pablo Neruda:

Of the wave, one wave and another wave,

sea ​​green, cold green, green branch,

I did not choose but a single wave:

the indivisible wave of your body.

In this verse different dialephs are obtained. For example, between the "the" and the "o" of (the wave); between "na" and "o" of (a wave), etc..

In these parts of the verse the vowels are separated into syllables so that there is metric and their pronunciation is harmonious. Rather, this would be pronounced with synalepha (see below) in everyday writing and speech.

Therefore, the pronunciation of the verse would be like this:

>> de-la-o-lau-na-o-la-yo-tra-o-la





It is inevitable to talk about dialeph without mentioning synalepha, because both are crucial tools in poetic meter. Synalepha, unlike dialepha, is the phonetic union of two contiguous vowels found in different words.

It is usually the last letter of a word that ends with a vowel and the first letter of the next word that begins with a vowel..

Synalephs are considered diphthongs, unlike dialephs that form hiatuses. It occurs with great spontaneity both in verses and in everyday speech

The opposite happens with dialephs, which are generally used as poetic tools..

Verses with dialephs and synalephs

It is important to bear in mind that although the sinalefa is used more frequently than the dialefa and that these have totally different effects, in the verse you can get both synalephs and dialephs.

Linguistic studies reveal that synalepha and dialepha mostly use the stressed syllable, so that two different verses with the same meaning can have different metric rules. Such is the case of the verses of Miramontes:

to what the wrath Justo was inciting her (dialeph)

those it incites la_iracunda Aleto (sinalefa)

Example of verses where there are dialephs and synalephs

Woman's body, river of gold<>) DIALEFA

Where, arms sunk, we receive

A blue lightning, a few clusters

Of light torn in a golden border. (<>) DIALEFA

Body of the woman sea of ​​gold<>) DIALEFA

Where, loving hands, we don't know

If the breasts are waves, if they are oars

The arms, if they are single wings of gold. (<>) SINALEFA



  2. Rhetorics: Examples of Dialephs. (November 11, 2014). Retrieved on August 11, 2017, from Rhetoric: rhetoric.com
  3. Torre, E. (2000). Comparative Spanish Metric . Seville: University of Seville.
  4. Vicente, M. V., Gallarí, C. G., & Solano, S. (1990). Akal Dictionary of Literary Terms. AKAL editions.
  5. Zuázola, J. d. (2006). Antarctic weapons. PUCP Editorial Fund.

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