Synizesis (/ˌsɪnəˈzsɪs/) is a sound change (metaplasm) in which two originally syllabic vowels are pronounced as a single syllable without change in writing.[1] In Latin and Greek, the reason was often to preserve meter, but similar changes can occur naturally.

A tie may be used to represent this pronunciation: dē͡hinc (i.e., deinc).



Homer (Iliad 1.1–2):

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδε͡ω Ἀχιλῆος
Mênin áeide theā̀ Pēlēïáde͡ō Akhilêos


Vergil's Aeneid:

1.41ūnĭus ob noxam et furiās Aiācis Oīlē͡ī?
1.131Eurum ad sē Zephyrumque vocat, dē͡hinc tālia fātur
6.412dēturbat laxatque forōs; simul accipit alve͡ō


Synizesis comes from the Greek συνίζησις "a sitting together" from σύν "with" and ἵζω "I sit".

See also


  1. Greenough, J. B. (2001) [1903], Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar (Focus ed.), Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing, p. 392 (§603 c. n.), ISBN 1-58510-042-0; Smyth, Herbert Weir (1984) [1920], Greek Grammar, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 19–20 (§60–61), ISBN 0-674-36250-0

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