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A hypothetical metrical unit sometimes invoked in traditional scansion: it consists of two unstressed syllables (or, in quantitative verse, two short syllables), and is rather questionably referred to as a foot. It has been called upon in many attempts to clear up problems of traditional scansion by feet, as a device of substitution. Some modern systems of scansion, however, have abolished it by considering pairs of unstressed syllables in terms of promotion and other concepts. See also metre.

Subjects: Literature.

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