When we are to talk about initial alliteration, it’s neccessary to begin with beginning rhymes. But first , let’s look at a poem from a book of Bookstart for babies:
In a bath, on a bus, or a bed
In a shower, in a shop, or a shed
On a potty, or a pram, in the park
At the dawn of the day, or the dark
On a train, or the trunk of a tree
In a street, or the sand by the sea
In a car, or a cot, or a chair
Sit and look at a book anywhere!
It’s not difficult to find that every line except for the last line has three words with the same initial consonant sound(s). b in bath, bus and bed; sh in shower, shop and shed; d in dawn, day and dark; tr in train, trunk and tree; s in street, sand and sea; c in car, cot and chair. This is called alliteration.
Now let’s begin with beginning rhymes， and we will discuss such terms as initial alliteration, initial assonance, internal or hidden alliteration, double alliteration, and first syllable rhyme as well.
Beginning rhymes, such as in physics/fizzle, is a kind of rhymes which occurs at the beginning of words instead of the end of words. Words with beginning rhyme have the same initial consonant sound(s), the same first vowel sound, or words with first syllable rhyme. So we have three clarifications of beginning rhymes: initial alliteration, which is the repetition of initial consonant sounds; initial assonance, which is the repetition of initial vowel sounds, and front rhyme, which is the succession of beginning sounds of words, such as the first syllable.
Alliteration is a mainly poetic device, although it is occasionally used in prose. Initial alliteration occurs at the beginning of words, Most alliteration occurs on stressed syllables. Its two main purposes are to please the ear and to emphasize certain words. Anglo-Saxon poetry was greatly influenced by alliteration, and often contained three or four examples on one line. Initial alliteration has three clarifications: inital, internal or hidden, double initial.
For example, in this line:
She sells seashells at the seashore
Here four s’ are at the beginning of different words respectively, which is called inital alliteration; Two s’ in the middle (i.e.,seaShells and seaShore), which is hidden within words, When it occurs within words, it is called internal or hidden alliteration. There is another s at the end of the word seashellS which strenthened the effect of initial alliteration.
Another example of initial alliteration, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”:
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion.
Here four m’s occurs at the beginning of four words.
More examples of phrases of several words with internal alliteration are past compare (PAST com-PARE), cut your coat according to your cloth (CUT your COAT a-CCORding to your CLOTH).
Sometimes there is double alliteration, as in the phrase no guts, no glory (NO GUTS, NO GLO·r·y).
It seems that see have less occasion of initial assonance, just because we have less vowels and even less vowels at the beginning of a word.
The ready-made example of assonance is the ‘a’ sound at the start of ‘alliteration’ and of ‘assonance’.
Another example is Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.
First syllable rhymes
Words with first syllable rhyme have the same sounds preceding the first syllable break. For example, carrot and caring has the same ca at the beginning, the word plantation has the same initial consonant sounds of pla, as in wordsplan, plaque, plaster, and plateau. excavate, exhale, expert, and extra has the first same syllable ex.