figures of interruption
figures of speech
groupings index

Figures describing various sorts of interruption are generally grammatical in character (see Figures of Grammar), as they disrupt normal grammatical arrangement for effect. As such, they are closely tied to the Figures of Order. Some of the figures of interruption are also aimed at disrupting the emotional flow of discourse (such as aposiopesis). The Latin figure interruptio is a synonym for aposiopesis, and does not embrace the varieties of interruption named by the following figures.


  • anacoluthon
    A grammatical interruption or lack of implied sequence within a sentence
  • aposiopesis
    Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion
  • appositio
    Addition of an adjacent, coordinate, explanatory or descriptive element.
  • correctio
    The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a futher specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not. This figure often occurs as an interruption.
  • hysterologia
    A form of hyperbaton or parenthesis in which one interposes a phrase between a preposition and its object.
  • parembole
    A figure of interruption closely related to parenthesis.
  • parenthesis
    Insertion of a verbal unit that interrupts normal syntactical flow.
  • tmesis
    Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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