Hyperbaton

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Hyperbaton (pronounced /haɪˈpɜrbətɒn/) is a figure of speech in which words that naturally belong together are separated from each other for emphasis or effect. This kind of unnatural or rhetorical separation is possible to a much greater degree in highly inflected languages, where sentence meaning does not depend closely on word order. In Latin and Ancient Greek, the effect of hyperbaton is usually to emphasize the first word. It has been called "perhaps the most distinctively alien feature of Latin word order."[1]

Contents

Etymology

"Hyperbaton" is a word borrowed from the Greek hyperbaton (ὑπέρβατον), meaning "transposition," which is derived from hyper ("over") and bainein ("to step"), with the -tos verbal adjective suffix.

Varieties of hyperbaton

The term may be used in general for figures of disorder (deliberate and dramatic departures from standard word order). Donatus, in his work On tropes, thus includes under hyperbaton five species: hysterologia, anastrophe (for which the term hyperbaton is sometimes used loosely as a synonym), parenthesis, tmesis, and synchysis. Apposition might also be included.

Examples

Hyperbaton in English

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