Alliteration In Poetic Speech (Based On The Poetry By H. Arif


The article describes characteristic features of stylistic peculiarities as well as artistic and aesthetic qualities created by the repetition of sounds. The basis for research consists of representative passages and language facts produced by the talent of a poet. They are used to explain alliteration and stylistic base for its active use in poetry as well as emotional and expressive nuances resulting from the repetition of consonants together with the use of sounds that create acoustic tones. This is where the relevance of this research comes from. The author analyses poetic factors that determine the level of alliteration activity in the unity of form and content. The novelty of this research lies in the detailed description of distinctive harmony, produced by repeating consonants in the context, and the role of this harmony in creating a poetic text. The article also studies aesthetic dimensions of poetic content in terms of verse creation and the richness of rhythm and intonations, formed by repeating consonants. The passages from H. Arif’s poetry show that alliteration is the most important artistic factor that plays a major role in the organization of the poetic text. The lyrical passages written by the poet rely heavily on alliterations as the latter contains a lot of emotional and lyrical elements. The alliterations used by H. Arif aim at creating real art and adhering to its principles. The research has practice relevance for stylistic linguistics and other researches in this dimension.

Keywords: Stylesoundphonemealliterationspeechrepetition


One attribute that draws attention to Arif (2004) poetry is its musical harmony. The works of the poet contain special consonance features, such as lyrical consonance, that are especially noticeable due to their colorful tones. The reasons for this reside in the principle of poetry creation itself and the ability to hear the melody of a language. The great achievement of H. Arif as a poet is that his unique poetic work corresponds to constant criteria of literary attainment. The independence, the pleasant harmony of sounds play a leading role in his creations. We won’t make a mistake if we say that the value of Arif poetry is its beautiful flow of sounds. The earliest verses by Arif (2011) already have a fine rhythm and magic melody. Looking at his valuable works we see true examples of musicality. The eloquent speech, the tenderness of its poetry flowing in a natural course acquire special aesthetic value. This is due to a special sense of rhythm and sound harmony that this prominent poet has.

The basis for the rhythmical structure of H. Arif’s poetry is alliterations. The repetitions of sounds in the text result in rhythmical models of poetry writing. They play a major role in regulating the quality and quantity of rhythm. The alliteration of consonants draws attention as a means to enhance the poetic effect. The use of one and the same consonant is studied within the system and expresses different artistic and aesthetic values. This is due to the internal relationship between an artistic depiction with means of expression and stylistic features with poetic formulae of alliteration (Pokatilova & Orosina, 2018).

Poetry is very diverse, and the style of each author has a peculiar character and poetic traits that make it a central piece of attention for different researchers. From this point of view, our research topic possesses great relevance.

Problem Statement

In this research, we will use passages from Arif (2004) poetry in Azerbaijani language to analyze the alliteration with respect to the stylistics of the poet. The alliteration in poetry has stylistic value depending on the attitude in the piece of work. The position of consonants in lines gives value to pauses, rhythm, and harmony.

Research Questions

The research will analyze the alliteration of vowel and consonant sounds in the poetry of Arif (2004). The article will also study aesthetic dimensions of poetic content in terms of verse creation and the richness of rhythm and intonations, formed by repeating consonants.

Purpose of the Study

The study aims at finding emotional moments expressed by lyrical elements, comparing sound alliterations and determine the frequency of vowel and consonant alliterations in Arif (2011) poetry. As a result, we can find the position of alliteration and repetitions in poetry written in the Azerbaijani language.

Research Methods

The research uses descriptive and comparative methods.


Alliteration as a result of the poet’s mastery as well as the structure of poetic text formed by this mastery reflects the nature of verse and becomes the source of aesthetic pleasure. “The correspondence of alliteration to the language units of a verse increases its ability to serve as the element of a formula. As a result, a reader feels new vivid and emotional tints of artistic speech” (Ulanova, 2017, p. 4). The content becomes a concise representation of lyrical excitement and impression:

[a] – Çiçəklər qaynaşır naxışlarında, (The drawings of flowers glow)

[g] – Şehlə sırğalanan güllər görürəm. (The flowers that wear the dew like earrings I see)

[b] – Buluda bulanan baxışlarında, (Clouds drowned in eyes,)

[ə] – Şəfəqlə durulan səhər görürəm (Arif, 2004) (And I can see the dawn of morning in them)

[b] – Buynuzlar kəllədə qoldan yoğundur, (The horns on the head are thicker than hands,)

[g] – Görüb tufanları, görüb selləri. (We saw both gales and floods.)

[b], [u] – Buynuzlar necə də buğum-buğumdur, (What wide-branching horns are these)

Buğumlar kəllədə ömrün illəri (Arif, 2011) (The branches of the horns are the years of life.)

Based on impressions created by the alliteration of particular sounds it is possible to say that “a particular speech structure of verses is a constant companion of poetry” (Vishnevskiy, 1979, p. 45) and stylistic figures stand out in the works of every poet due to particular nuances. Indeed, the traditional position of similar sounds in verse lines, the traditional organization of poetic passages doesn’t impede the novelty of content. The traditional alliterative position of sounds in the poetry of such poets as H. Arif, who have their original style, looks fresh and doesn’t simplify the author’s views on the object of description or praise. The external features of verse suppose the relationship of verse and poetic value. Interlinear alliterations in an exemplary verse connect not only the external form but the general stylistic and emotional context. Thus, the repetition of particular sounds against the background of other sounds is represented in the combination of proximity and contrast of articulation that provides “the richness of the sound palette of the verse” (Fridlender, 1973, p. 82). This style of poetry writing means that the depth of artistic content is given special attention. The unity of spirit and content transmitted by the subject of description is elevated to a new level of artistic discovery.

The linguistic poetics unambiguously confirms the fact that the repetitions of sounds in a verse “create both dramatic and psychological strain as well as dramatize and help to create the stage-like tension” (Sadikh, 1973; Yusefi & Giti, 2019, p. 477). The readers get strong and rich impressions from the use of alliterations in his works that match the content and spirit of a verse. It is interesting to note that the attitude created by homogeneous sounds gives us colorful manifestations of the poet’s perceptions and provides a beautiful flow of sounds that represents the spirit of the verse. The poetic experience of Arif (2011) shows that he uses alliteration to broaden the area of artistic impact of the verse and facilitate the communication with a reader.

The alliteration is inseparable from the general spirit and motives of lyrical verses. Bringing the thoughts and feelings they also become the main condition to diversify forms, genres, and styles. The alliteration in lyrics creates different tints of analytical and psychological style, enriching the ideas of poetry. In terms of intonation and attitude, the verse also acquires various qualities. The repetition of sounds stays in memory as a vivid expression of sensual traits of images in H. Arif poetry, increases the scope of thoughts and feelings, draws attention to the lyrical content of lines:

[d] – Birdən təbiətin dönəndə üzü (When nature will change in colors)

[ç] – Üstünə çən, çiskin çökür dünyanın (Arif, 2011) (The whole sadness of the world will pour on you)

[g], [ç] – Göy geyinib göy çəmənə çıxanda, (Dressed in green you will go to a green meadow)

[y], [ç] – Yar çəmənə, çəmən yara yaraşsın (Arif, 2004) (So that a darling and the meadow match each other).

[d], [ü] – Bəd ayaqda dönməz üzü Gülgülün, (Gülgülün bird won’t change its expression in no trouble)

[s] – Sinəsində çoxlu sözü Gülgülün, (Gülgülün bird has many words on its mind)

[g] – Dan güləndə gülən gözü Gülgülün, (The eyes of Gülgülün bird are laughing at dawn,)

[a] – Ürkək maral baxışımı qazaxda (Arif, 2004) (they hide as eyes of a timid fallow deer)

Being a matter of a sound image, alliteration acquires its stylistic weight in the unity of form and content. The phonetic form of text, the will to create the melody and rhythm make the laws of language surrender to the laws of poetry. This interrelationship aims at forming the poetic and aesthetic attitude of a poetic text and intensively characterize the process of poetic understanding. The perception of the sound system of a language from this point of view and its conversion into the art factor are considered as the most important means of creativity. The melodic base of a language acquires specific breadth and dynamics in the process of alliteration.

Achieving the harmony of sounds is the main task for poetry. The major condition is that effective use of language facts in creative works and sound attractiveness used to convert lexical units into poetic words should provide aesthetic taste. To ensure the syntagmatic division of lines and transformation of text parts into rhythmic passages, the consonance of sounds based on the repetition should be manifested in vivid colors and broaden the limits of rhythm and intonation. Based on this property, alliteration characterizes the artistic taste and gives the consonant lines a particular rhythmic order. The text that conveys lyrical emotions acquires stylistic maturity.

All repetitions in the language of H. Arif are pleasant to hear as all materials are stylistically ordered. The maximum correspondence of phonological parallels to the environment of artistic speech gives them specific weight as stylistically valuable facts. H. Arif was able to find the right artistic environment as well as the moment and stylistic framework for alliterative figures which acquire a broad scope and variety. The style of poet once again shows that “repetitions are the basis for a verse” (Lotman, 1970) and its stylistic purpose is natural because it serves the artistic perception of the content. “Sounds, words, lines in the poetry of H. Arif combine not only for the form but for the beauty of the statement” (Sardzialy, 2014, p. 167). Alliterative lines identify understandable and varying artistic depictions. They also criss-cross both physical and moral associations by their emotional load as well as artistic and stylistic value.

The works of H. Arif have special attention to form. Alliteration figures require the use of words with corresponding intonation tints. As a result, there are parallels between the prevailing use of a particular sound and artistic melodies of the verses. The artistic respiration corresponding to the rhythm of a lyrical genre and intonation range takes the major place in expressing poetic pathos. Among the means used by H. Arif, alliteration stands out as both poetic and stylistic fact. The choice of particular sounds in the artistic environment creates a special invocatory poetic tone and particular attitude. Being a feature of artistic speech, alliteration serves as an important indicator of speech in the form of individual expression in the lyrical style of H. Arif.

Contributing to the speed of reading, alliteration enriches intonation by different timbres, and the created rhythm acquires a particular scope. The repetitive sound as a structural component is chosen in compliance with the line of thought in the verse. It also acquires a particular stylistic definition based on particular content. A passage with alliteration contains the combination of emotions and poetic thought, while corresponding flows of sounds give new aesthetic content to a verse. An artistic idea which is animated and described by means of alliteration acquires a particular flow of sounds; the stylistic material with different capabilities including sound repetitions, draw reader’s attention:

[t], [z] – Təmiz eşqim, təmiz dilim, (Pure love, pure language,)

Təzə qələm tutur əlim (I’ve started to write recently)

Tələsmə, ömür, tələsmə. (Arif, 2011) (Wait, life, wait.)

[ş], [b] – Qəlbi dağlar baş-başadır, (High mountains in front of each other,)

[ş] – O Şəkidir, bu Şuşadır, (Those are Şəkidir mountains, and these are Şuşadır mountains)

[d] – Doğrudan da tamaşadır, (Indeed, a beautiful picture)

[b], [ş] – Başdan-başa bizim dağlar (Arif, 2011) (Is represented by our mountains.)

In its famous work “L'Art poétique” Boileau (2006) recommended poets to be attentive to the advantages of consonance and pronunciation:

Create the appropriate match of consonant phrases so that the whole verse sounds fine; don’t forget that rude sounds and clumsy use of consonant sounds creates disgust. If your verse will express some ideas but lack the beauty of words and sounds will be unpleasant to hear, nobody will want to listen to or read such verses. (p. 73)

The special attention that H. Arif paid to the smooth flow of verse is based on the loyalty to eternal laws of poetry. The activity of sounds in building the ideal text is the main stimulating factor for the poetic language of H. Arif. The persistent use of words while considering the sound composition of the language, the sense of the language and the work of language take a major place in the poetry of H. Arif. It is obvious that the position of sounds and words in lines looks fresh only in the case of uniqueness from the point of view of style and maximum correspondence to the context. The uniqueness of a special poetic thought gave H. Arif an opportunity to build the foundation of artistic language using the beauty of expression. The harmony of sound which is one of the main features in H. Arif’s poetry is very important in terms of artistic text composition. The consonant repetition of sound is of outstanding value for speech expression in an elevated or downward tone. The abundance of details in the artistic pronunciation and intonations in the verses of H. Arif results from the repetitions of sounds, formed at the phonetic level of language, followed by the playfulness and dynamics. The works by H. Arif show that the repetition of sounds becomes the best poetic expression of imaginative thought, the original creativity:

[n], [d], [q] – Yenigün kəndində qol-qanad açdım, (I grew up in the Yenigün village,)

[y], [d] – Yeridim, yıxıldım, yüyürdüm, qaçdım (Arif, 2004) (I walked, stumbled, crawled, ran.)

“The phonetic resources of Azerbaijani language make it one of the most suitable instruments for artistic expression. The big number of vowels, the abundance of intonation and stress means, as well as the law of vowel and consonant harmony are invaluable resources for the creation of beautiful literary works” (Akhundov, 1985, p. 34). The alliteration in the poetry by H. Arif is one of the most vivid phonetic capabilities of the language, reflecting the beauty of its poetic style. As can be seen from the examples above, the harmony of sounds in the works of H. Arif is one of the most important indicators of its writing style. The attempts to express deep thoughts and content in the original poetic form make alliterated repetition the first active instrument in the poet’s style. The importance paid to alliteration as a complete stylistic figure proceeds from the desire to make the artistic text more meaningful. Looking at alliterated lines more carefully, we clearly see that the chain of sounds with similar articulation in poetic works is perceived as one of the main tasks of the poet. We see the commitment of H. Arif to the harmony which originates in the sequence of sounds and the positions of lines in its lyrics. The alliteration used in the unique individual style of H. Arif is one of the details for creating a vivid style. The frequent use of phonetic and stylistic figures in his creative speech is in equilibrium with the depth of meaning. “Not only does alliteration create a poetic flow of sounds but reinforces the content of the text” (Tanryverdy, 2012, p. 28).

[b], [d] – Bir nəsil çiynimdə köçdü dünyadan, (The whole generation went to the other side on my shoulders,)

Bir zamanın dadı dodaqda qaldı. (The taste of youth remained on the lips)

[n] – Atanın, ananın şəkli gözümdə, (The photos of mother and father are in front of my eyes,)

[q], [a] – Babamın havası qulaqda qaldı (Arif, 2004) (The song of grandfather is in my ears.)

[k] -Könlümə köç külək əsir, (The flying wind blows in my soul,)

[s] – Çöldə soyuq dəyər sənə (Arif, 2011) (You will catch a cold in the street.)

The analysis of materials showed that “acoustic colors of verse result in particular sound quality and give a general sound tone to poetic speech” (Brik, 1917, p. 30).

Thus, “the repetition of sounds is the common-language event that doesn’t have aesthetic properties. However, it acquires poetic value when it enters the system of speech that draws attention to the sound” (Lotman, 1970, p. 83). From this point of view, the complete speech system of H. Arif’s verses, the stylistic activity of sounds and particular individual style that manifest themselves in the unity of thought and expression are the features of his literary works that deserve attention.


Thus, the quantitative benefit of the repetitions of sounds in poetic speech and conclusions based on the study of materials confirms the idea that even the smallest language elements can be activated at all the levels of language for the transition between form and content and vice versa. The study of rhythm and intonation as structural elements pays great attention to phonetic and stylistic figures.

When studying the peculiar features of poetry by H. Arif, the attention is drawn to the abundance of rhythms and intonations, the creation of alliterations. The great quality of sound flows in his poetic speech is due to the fact that it’s based on the indicated stylistic and phonetic principles, while poetry, especially the artistic and aesthetic tasks of a lyrical genre, are evaluated from the right poetic position. The lines representing the sense of language are far from content-richness. They are more interesting as artistic material causing emotions and feelings rather than representing thoughts or supporting/rejecting some facts. The major feature drawing attention is that both the sound and its form, being artistic matter, acquire aesthetic value in the unity of form and content. The sound flow comes together with feelings, experiences, artistic ideals which the author wants to transmit to readers.


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31 October 2020

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

Cite this article as:

Mirzayev, H. A. O. (2020). Alliteration In Poetic Speech (Based On The Poetry By H. Arif. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 738-744). European Publisher.