Alliteration refers to the repetition of initial consonant sounds in two or neighbouring words. It is the repeating of the same consonant sounds at the beginning of words. This means that alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals.
In other words, alliteration is:
- the repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or nearby words.
- the repetition of the same consonant sounds at the beginning of words.
- the repetitive use of the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words on the same line.
– I see some seagulls flying.
– God made a man, man made money and money made man a mad.
– Gorgeous girls are dancing.
– Don’t live a lonely life.
– Kelly didn’t come to Kigali.
– Change the charging charger.
– Multimedia messaging service.
Example 2: Betty Botter
Betty Botter bought
some butter but, she said, the butter’s
bitter; if I put it in my batter,
it will make my batter bitter.
But, a bit of better butter
will make my batter better. So, she
bought a bit of butter better
than her bitter butter, and she
put it in her batter and
the batter was not bitter. So, ’twas
better Betty Botter bought a
bit of better butter.
On his watch
Bleeds black blood
Brothers broken backs
Creature craving for crunches
Farewell for fools
Plain plan pronounced
Sincere since seventh sabbath
Sweet smell of success
Bigger and better.
From the west
Clouds come hurrying with the wind.
The wind whistles by
Whilst trees bend to let it pass.
(From “An African Thunderstorm” by David Rubadiri)
Alliteration is used both in prose and poetry. Writers use it in creating emphasis, adding beauty to the writing style, and establishing mood and rhythm in a literary work. Alliteration creates a musical effect in the text and enhances the pleasure of reading the work. True alliteration has three words beginning with the same consonant sound.