Word-internal sound repetition?

Is there a name for a kind of quasi-rhyme where a sound or syllable is repeated, but not in as organized a way as it is in rhyme?

As you may know, two words rhyme if all the sounds from the final accented vowel to the end of the word are the same. (For details, see column R.)

There are other terms for various kinds of sound repetition, such as alliteration (repeating the initial sounds of words), assonance (repeating vowel sounds), and consonance (repeating consonant sounds). The kind of thing that I’m thinking of is kind of a generalization of assonance and consonance, but not limited to only vowels or only consonants.

Here’s an example (made up by me):

Yes, I guess I’m stressed, Princess, but less stressed than I was after yesterday’s fortress-rescue mess by the estuary.

That repeated ess sound combines a vowel sound with a consonant sound, so I guess it’s a combination of assonance and consonance. But is there a single term that applies here?

My dictionary seems to indicate that assonance can be used more generally than only to apply to repeated vowel sounds, so maybe the answer is that this is assonance. But I welcome further thoughts and discussion about this.

3 Responses to “Word-internal sound repetition?”

    • Jed

      I think that the phrase internal rhyme usually means words that rhyme with each other, within a line of verse. Whereas I’m talking about a sound that repeats without necessarily involving rhyming words as such.

      • Fred Bush

        You’re right that assonance covers more ground than just repeated vowel sounds, so that is the other term I might choose.


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