from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As Anakoluth ( the younger and the ; of ancient Greek ἀνακολουθία anakolouthía , German , lack of context ' , especially for grammarians a phrase, the end of which grammatically is not the beginning'; Latin anacoluthon , German set break even Anakoluthon , Anakoluthie ) refers to a break in the sentence structure or a break in a sentence that has already started. You start a sentence, think again and continue in a way that does not correspond to the sentence you started, or you break it off. For example, the grammatical relationship between the parts of the sentence may be disturbed, or a new thought may disturb the consistency of the sentence; often it is simply rescheduled.

The anacoluth occurs particularly in oral utterances, but can also be used as a stylistic device ( rhetorical figure ).

to form

There are three types:

  • The " exit " ( aposiopesis ): Well, I don't know ... (exit from a sentence that has already started = break off)
  • The “ retraction ”: he owes her a lot ... everything. In this case "some" is corrected by "everything" after its utterance, so there is a small step backwards / retreat of the speaker from the already uttered word when uttering the sentence (= retraction).
  • The “ switch ” from one sentence structure that has already been started to another: When someone has a birthday, they are sometimes given a watch.


An anacoluth is characteristic of the oral style of everyday speech . In the written expression, it is considered faulty if it is not used as a stylistic device.

As a rhetorical figure, the anacoluth in literature gives liveliness and authenticity to the reproduced speech and shows, for example, the excited mood or the (low) social position of the speaker. Ernst Bloch paid a lot of attention to the figure and certified that it depicts the fragmentation of the world better than the usually unbroken written language: “What is clear in itself can also be clear in the representation. […] The fermenting, the gesticulating, the still in swing […] is different. In language it corresponds to the moving, the opaque, the new use, the anacoluth. Such a language of the 'incomplete' [...] does not run the risk of simulating perfection where there is none, while a smooth language, by its own smoothness, conceals what is to be said. "

Anacoluthe are common stylistic devices in cabaret . Piet Klocke , for example, and Dieter Hildebrandt and Werner Finck are known for their consistent application .


"Korf invents a lunchtime newspaper / which, when you've read it, / you're full."

(The phrase "which ... are you fed up" is an anacoluth - the sentence structure is wrong at this point.)

"She strikes, tearing the armor from his body,
the tooth she knocks into his white chest."

- Heinrich von Kleist , Penthesilea , 22nd appearance

"It is more expensive and it is small."

(The "although" is not resolved by a "but ..." or "for ...".)


  • Duden. The grammar. 6th, revised edition, Dudenverlag, Mannheim / Leipzig / Vienna / Zurich 1998, pp. 713–714 contains a separate section “Sentence breaks” (= Anakoluthe), ISBN 3-411-04047-5 .
  • Ludger Hoffmann : Anacoluth and linguistic knowledge. (PDF; 252 kB) In: German language. Journal for Theory, Practice, Documentation 19 (1991), pp. 97–119.
  • Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 231). 3rd, improved and enlarged edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1961, DNB 455687846 , pp. 12-13.
  • Gisela Zifonun, Ludger Hoffmann, Bruno Strecker et al .: Grammar of the German language . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1997, pp. 444-466, ISBN 3-110-14752-1 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Anakoluth  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: broken sentences  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wilhelm Pape , Max Sengebusch (arrangement): Concise dictionary of the Greek language . 3rd edition, 6th impression. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig 1914 ( [accessed on March 6, 2019]).
  2. Zifonun / Hoffmann / Strecker 1997: p. 443 ff.
  3. Ernst Bloch: Spoken and written syntax. The anacoluth. In: ders .: Literary essays. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 560-567.
  4. ^ Michael Landmann : Conversation with Ernst Bloch (Tübingen, December 22, 1967). In: Bloch-Almanach 4 (1984), pp. 15-40, here pp. 20f. Quoted here from Achim Keßler: Ernst Bloch's Aesthetics. Fragment, montage, metaphor. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2006, p. 142 .
  5. Piet Klocke: Can I finish a thing here ?! Heyne-Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3453601628 .