Mammoth Memory


Language features to do with sound alliteration assonance consonance sibilance onomatopoeia repetition rhyme rhythm anaphor

Many language features or literary devices make use of sound to give a poetic effect, which also helps you to remember the words. For instance, alliteration is the repetition of the initial sound of words that are next to, or close to, each other, as in: “Betty Botter bought some butter, but, she said, the butter’s bitter”; onomatopoeia is the use of a word or words that sound like the thing being described, e.g.: The slip, slap, slop of sea on sand.

Here are the language features that go under the Sound heading:



  • Alliteration (repetition of initial sounds of words that are next to, or quite close to, each other.) Repetition of first letter SOUND.
  • Assonance (repetition of vowel sounds, or different vowel sounds combined with repeated consonant sounds.) Repetition of vowel SOUNDS.
  • Dissonance (discordant, or clashing, combinations of sound.) Clashing SOUNDS.
  • Consonance (recurrence of similar-sounding consonants in close proximity.) Repetition of consonant SOUNDS.
  • Sibilance (repetition of the “hissing” sound made by some consonants – for instance, s, sh and z.) Repetition of hissing SOUNDS.
  • Onomatopoeia (words that sound like the thing they describe, e.g. smash, slap). SOUNDS like it is.
  • Repetition (repetition of a word or phrase to emphasise or make memorable the point being made.) Repetition of word SOUNDS.
  • Rhyme (words that sound the same, used extensively in some poetry, but also used in texts to add impact and aid memory.) Repetition of same SOUND.
  • Rhythm (the “beat” of the piece, again used extensively in poetry, but also in advertising and other texts to make the words memorable.) Hear the rhythm SOUND.
  • Anaphor (repetition of a word or phrase at the start of successive clauses in a sentence.) Repetition of word SOUNDS.
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