A synalepha or synaloepha // is the merging of two syllables into one, especially when it causes two words to be pronounced as one.
|Sound change and alternation|
The original meaning in Ancient Greek is more general than modern usage and includes coalescence of vowels within a word. Similarly, synalepha most often refers to elision (as in English contraction), but it can also refer to coalescence by other metaplasms: synizesis, synaeresis or crasis.
- Los cabellos que al oro oscurecían.
- The hair that endarkened the gold.
The words que and al form one syllable when counting them because of the synalepha. The same thing happens with -ro and os-, so that the line has eleven syllables (syllable boundaries shown by a period):