Paromoiosis

An Introduction to Paromoiosis

Paromoiosis (derives from Greek combination para, “beside” and homoiosis, “likeness”), refers to the parallelismOpens in new window in sound produced when each clauseOpens in new window shares similar sound in the final syllablesOpens in new window of words. This must be either at the beginning, or at the end where it is equivalent to homoioteleutonOpens in new window.

At the beginning, the similarity almost always occurs between whole words as thus:

  • “swayed by gifts, waylaid by words”;

whereas at the end, it may be in the final syllables of words, or inflexions of the same word, or in the repetition of the same word, as:

  • “What city have they ever taken, to equal their own which they have forsaken?”

Apart from producing a harmonic metricOpens in new window, it also produces rhymeOpens in new window among elements. Paromoiosis is regarded as a stronger variety of ParisosisOpens in new window.

Notable Examples of Paromoiosis
    With paromoiosis, words are similar and also comes in similar syllables in which most of the letters are the same:
  • In numbers deficient, in might sufficient.
    Note the rhythm, balance, and rhyme of the following examples as presented by Aristotle (Rhet. 3.9.9) — courtesy of: Charles W. Hedrick in his “Parables as Poetic Fictions: The Creative Voice of Jesus.”
  • For he received land,
    Untilled land from him.
  • They were ready to accept gifts
    and to be persuaded by words.
  • “From Athens I was driven to Stagira by the great king, from Stagira to Athens by the great storm.”
  • Aristole

The last example is also presented by Aristotle; looking closely, you might notice the charming effect occasioned by the impression of paromoiosis on the clauses. By ending both clauses with the same word he attains a certain level of charm. However, if we leave out the word “great” in the second clause, we risk losing hold of this charm.

Further Readings:
Charles W. Hedrick | Parables as Poetic Fictions: Paromoiosis (pg. 60)Opens in new window
Silva Rhetoricae | ParomoiosisOpens in new window
Wikipedia | ParomoiosisOpens in new window