Words

Difference Between Alliteration and Assonance

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Main Difference

The main difference between Alliteration and Assonance is that Alliteration is the repetition of initial sounds, whereas Assonance is the repetition of a sound in any other part of the word.

Alliteration vs. Assonance

The word alliteration is a noun. It used for the words that start with the same phonetic sound or consonant sounds. Assonance is also a noun. It is the repetitive sounds, especially vowels, at any point in the word. The words are placed together in a row in alliteration. The repetition at the beginning of close or nearby words is assonance.

There are a Verb, adjective, and adverb forms of the noun alliteration. These forms are alliterate (verb), alliterative (adjective), and alliterative (adverb). The verb and adjective form of the noun assonance are assonant or assonantal. Alliteration employed by the repetition of initial sounds. Assonance employed by the repetition of a sound in any other part of the word.

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Alliteration is marked when there is a quick succession of consonants at the beginning of words occurring together. Assonance is marked when there is the repetition of vowels in quick succession. The purpose of alliteration is to add a mood and rhythm in a literary piece. The purpose of assonance is to create a rhyming effect and to change the mood in a written piece.

The feature of alliteration is to make the poem more interesting. The feature of assonance is to add a rhyming effect within the lines and to change the mood. The use of alliteration is common in both prose and verse. It also used in tongue-twisters, whereas the use of assonance commonly seen in verse.

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Comparison Chart

AlliterationAssonance
The repetition of initial consonant soundsThe repetition of a sound in any other part of the word
Kind of Words Repeated
ConsonantsVowels
Parts of Speech
NounNoun
Function
To make the poem more interestingTo change the mood and stance
Purpose
To create an atmosphere and rhythm in a literary pieceTo create a rhyming effect and to improve the atmosphere in a written piece
Common Use
In both prose and verse/ also used in tongue-twistersIn verse

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is a literary device used to create certain effects in a piece of writing. Alliteration is marked when there is the repetition of vowels in quick succession. It creates mood and rhythm in a literary piece. It is the repetition of initial sounds. The words are placed together in a row or quick succession when we are talking about alliteration. There are a verb, adjective, and adverb forms of the noun alliteration. These forms are alliterate (verb), alliterative (adjective), and alliterative (adverb).

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The purpose of alliteration is to make the poem more interesting and auditory appealing. The use of assonance is common in verse. Alliteration is the repetition at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables of any phrase. This literary device is also commonly seen in tongue twisters. Alliteration engages the auditory skills of the reader or listener.

The origin of the word alliteration traces back to the Latin word ‘littera,’ which means “letter of the alphabet.” Alliteration also directs the use of consonants that are different but have similar sounds, e.g., z with s. Alliteration is also known as head rhyme or initial rhyme because it links the words. The poets mainly use the device of alliteration.

There is a specific form of alliteration, which is known as Symmetrical Alliteration. In symmetrical Alliteration, the phrase must have a pair of end words that start with the same sound and moves closer to the center progressively. Alliteration contains any other devices in it, such as parallelism or chiasmus.

Examples

  • “Paul picked the pecks of pickled peppers on a paper.”
  • “I made my way to the lake.”
  • “A good cook can cook cookies.”

What is Assonance?

Assonance is a stylistic literary device that refers to the repetition of a sound in any other part of the word. Assonance is a noun. It is the repetitive sounds, especially vowels, at any point in the word. The repetition at the beginning of close or nearby words is assonance. The purpose of assonance is to create a rhyming effect and to change the mood in a written piece.

The verb and adjective form of the noun assonance are ‘assonate,’ ‘assonant,’ or ‘assonantal.’ Assonance adds a rhyming effect to a literary piece. Assonance is also applied to create a particular mood and connotations. By creating a pleasing effect, it increases the pleasure of the reader while reading that articular writing piece. The use of assonance is common in verse.

The repetition of consonants in assonance implies different moods, e.g., the consonants’ can imply danger or slyness by sounding like snake-like quality. Assonance is also known as vowel rhythm. The sound of a long vowel decreases the energy and makes the mood serious at that point in time where it used. A sound of a higher vowel lightens the mood.

Examples

  • “Try to light the fire.
  • The machine beats as it sweeps and cleans.”
  • “Wear the dress here, there, and everywhere.”

Key Differences

  1. Alliteration is employed by the repetition of initial sounds; conversely, assonance is employed by the repetition of a sound in any other part of the word.
  2. Alliteration is employed when there is the quick succession of consonants at the beginning of words occurring together; on the contrary, assonance marked when there is the repetition of vowels in quick succession.
  3. The purpose of alliteration is to add a mood and rhythm in a literary piece on the converse; the purpose of assonance is to create a rhyming effect and to change the mood in a written piece.
  4. The use of alliteration is common in both prose and verse. It is also used in tongue-twisters, while the use of assonance is common in verse.
  5. The words placed together in a row are known to be alliteration; inversely, the repetition at the beginning of close or nearby words is assonance.

Conclusion

Alliteration and Assonance are two literary devices that commonly used. Both create beauty, rhythm, and music in the text, but both are different from each other based on the difference of the letters and sound They repeat and the placement of these letters or sounds as well.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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