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I have read somewhere that it is typical of poems such as Nibelungenlied to use a figure of speech which in fact merges two phrases into one by the mean of a common word. An example could be the following:

And then I ate the apple was red as blood

A proper example of this can be found in Nibelungenlied (Adventure 20, 1184, 1-2), where we have

man sach

Ortwin von Mezze | ce Rvedgeren sprach

which means

one saw

Ortwin von Metz | to Rüdiger said

So, is there a name for this figure of speech? Is it a typical figure of other archaic poems such as Beowulf or am I confusing?

  • It''s not a common construction in English (it's ungrammatical), and will tend to just make the reader confused. Discussion of ancient German (or Old English) poems is, I think, outside the scope of this website. You could try literature.stackexchange.com – Max Williams Sep 29 '17 at 14:35
  • Yes, I know that is not proper English and I even think that it is an incorrect construction in almost every language. However I remember that the translation (I don't remember which, exactly) was in English and was faithful to the original and hence strange. A footnote was helping with the understanding. So you are probably right, I should ask at literature.stackexchange.com! – Alex Doe Sep 29 '17 at 14:42
  • Poetry is allowed to break all sorts of rules, so other than being a standard puzzle on Wheel Of Fortune (where they call it "before and after"), I doubt there's a specific name. – Carl Witthoft Sep 29 '17 at 15:26
  • Some definitions of anacoluthon are perhaps broad enough to include this. But I wouldn't use them. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 29 '17 at 16:06
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    You don't have the authority to change the lexis. 'Wendesatz' is not an English word. You'd need to say something like 'an ungrammatical construction such as [example], which in German is called a 'Wendesatz'. I'm not sure why there should be a specific term for such nonsense. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 29 '17 at 23:30

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