Latin syllabification and sense pauses

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Latin syllabification and sense pauses

Post by cclaudian »

Just a quick query on 'syllabification' in Latin and sense pauses:

From what I understand (and please correct me on all of this if I err) syllables in latin verse (and in general) are long if they contain a long vowel and short if they contain a short vowel. Similarly, syllables are light if they are 'open' (i.e. there are no consonants at the end) and heavy if they are 'closed' (i.e. there is at least one consonant at the end of said syllable).

So a line like 'nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva' (Verg. Ec. 1.3) can be syllabified as 'nos patri|ae fi|ne set| dulcia |linquimu| sarva', and would have naturally been read: 'nos patriae fine set dulcia linquimu sarva' (to render it crudely). As an aside, it is the lack of consonant clusters between words which gives such lines their melifluous bucolic charm (e.g. Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi has only '-s s-' and '-b t-' clashing together, whereas a line like, 'vix possum vestris iussis textare poesin.' ('I can hardly write a poem at your instruction' or something) is cacophonous because of the meeting of consonants everywhere.

My question then is: according to these rules, does the need to assign the word-final consonant of a dactylic word to the following syllable prevent the possibility of an actual sense pause after said dactyl? Because any dactyl must end in a short/light/open syllable, a final consonant must therefore (surely) be said as though it belongs to the following word. So a line like

'non equidem inuideo, miror magis; undique totis...' (Ec.1.11)

in order to scan must have been said

'non equidem inuideo, miror magi sundique totis...'

If this is the case, then do you think a Roman would have actually stopped to pause 'mid-word', so to speak, at magi, before resuming at 'sundique' (thus 'magi; sundique')? Or would our Latin rhapsode have continued the line in one breath, as though there never were a pause there at all?

Am I completely misinterpreting the rules of syllabification?

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