The hiatus is the collision of the final vowel of a word with the initial vowel of the following word. In addition, the succession of two vowels (a, e, i, o, u) or diphthongs (double vowels from vowels: ei, au, eu, ui) belonging to different syllables of the word is called in the word. Some poets use the hiatus as a clear means of design, which is why it can be described as stylistic means.

The term hiatus can be derived from the Latin and means roughly a gap, opening or gap. Thus, the translation gives us first clues as to what is at issue here: the gap between two syllables [bounded on both sides by vowels]. Let us look at an example.

“What things should the contract contain?”
The word include is separated as follows: Include. This syllable separation becomes clear when we pronounce the word slowly and distinctly; after the color markings we take a break.

It is noteworthy that the first syllable of the word be ends with a vowel, namely the E. The following syllable, thus in, begins again with a vowel, an I. Thus, two vowels follow each other which belong to different syllables. This is precisely what we call Hiatus.

O decorate you, you green leafy roof,
Thou shalt receive the graceful radiance,
Their branches, builds a shadowy chamber,
With good night to secretly embrace her […]
This example shows four verses of the fourth stanza of the work The Expectation from the Feather of the Poet Friedrich Schiller. Here we can perceive the Hiatus between the words Grace and the Hiatus, two of which immediately follow each other, forming the final vowel of the one word (graceful) and the initial vowel of the other.

The two countries entered into a cooperation.
Those who cooperate with one another work together and work together. The two syllables Ko and ope of the word are not together, the first of which ends with a vowel, the O, and the second with a vowel, also the O. Thus we find here also a hiatus in the word mind.

Note: We have seen three examples of the hiatus, and it is clear that either consecutive vowels at syllable boundaries in the word mind (first and third examples), but also successive vowels at the end and beginning of two words (second example).

Hiatus in foreign languages ​​and hiatus avoidance
In some foreign languages, mainly Romance languages ​​(French, Italian, etc.), the hiatus is consciously used, since successive vowels between certain words are not desired. In this case one speaks of a Hiatvermeidung.

In most cases, the term ends is omitted in order to avoid a hiatus. If, for example, the indeterminate singular (de la ~ feminine) in French refers to a word with a vocal ante, it changes into de l ‘. The A disappears and is replaced by an apostrophe (,).

J’ai besoin de l’affection.
I need attention.
Such a hiatus avoidance usually has the purpose of simplifying articulation, that is, pronunciation. However, the reasoning can also be the colloquial language, which can also be observed in French. In doing so, mainly unstressed vowels fall under the linguistic table.

But also in German there is the Hiatvermeidung, whereby often additional consonants endeavor and put between the respective vowel. Such inserts are called Hiat-Tilgers or Hiattrenner, since they separate the individual vowels and eradicate the Hiatus.

I love watching American movies.
Usually such adjectives concerning a particular country are formed with the syllable. If you like movies from Finland, prefer Finnish films and who loves the cuisine of Spain, you are very fond of eating Spanish dishes. Now we can find in the example sentence an explanation for the N between isch and america: it is a Hiatvermeidung to simplify the pronunciation.

Further examples of a hiatus avoidance affecting a country would be Chinese or Congolese as well as the inserted T in the word Tokyo, a resident of the capital of Japan.

The Hiatus as a rhetorical stylistic device
In poetry a hiatus is often avoided in order to promote the dynamics of speech or the linguistic sound. However, some poets have also made him a stylistic feature (for example, Droste-Hülshoff). Sometimes there is a hiatus avoidance to maintain a metrum.

The hiatus is usually avoided by an elision, whereby a word which ends on a vowel, when a vowel-like initial word follows it, is marked with an apostrophe, which can be dispensed with. We find an example in the penultimate verse of Goethe’s sorcerer’s apprentice, with an E at the end of the word being omitted. This is crucial for the rhythm.

Which I called, the spirits,
I will not go now.
The most important thing about the hiatus at a glance
The hiatus means the succession of two vowels in different syllables or successive words. This can sometimes be a hindrance in the debate.
Consequently, in the respective languages ​​there are means of hiatus avoidance in order to promote the articulation of the individual words. This avoidance is also used in the literature.
In poetry the avoidance of a hiatus is used to promote the linguistic dynamics as well as the sound or to maintain a certain measure. The figures of elision, apharesis or apocope are usually used.

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