Repetitions of lexical units may be juxtaposed, in strong positions, distant, and throughout the text.
Juxtaposed word repetitios. With each repetition the word or phrase changes its position on the syntagmatic plane and is in this respect equivalent to, but not identical with its preceding counterparts. The word or phrase thus repeated arrests the decoder's attention, grows in importance, it may convey the intensity of feeling, the painful progress or monotony of time, etc.
Consider the importance of such repetition in the following lines depicting the loneliness of a shipwrecked sailor at sea:
Alone, alone, all, all, alone,
Alone of a wide, wide sea. (Coleridge)
Word repetition in strong positions.
By strong positions the beginning and the end of a poetic line, stanza, utterance and paragraph are meant. It has been noticed that words in these positions are more emphatic than those in the middle. When words are repeated in the initial or final positions they acquire added emphasis, create oscillation (колебание), produce balance and aesthetic effect. The following rhetorical figures come under this heading: lexical anaphora, lexical epistrophe, lexical framing and lexical anadiplosis.
Lexical anaphora is the initial lexical identity of two or more successive lines, stanzas, utterances and paragraphs.
Lexical epistrophe is the final lexical identity of two or more successive lines, stanzas, utterances and paragraphs:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can… (Wasley)
Lexical framing consists in the repetition of words in the both strong positions, initial and final. Framing is usually used in lines and stanzas.
Symploce is the simultaneous use of anaphora and epistrophe, i.e. the beginning and the end of one segment are repeated in the next segment :
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men… (Eliot)
Anadiplosis is the repetition in the initial position of a word from the final position of the preceding line or utterance.
When this linking device is used several times, it is called chain-repetition.
Distant word repetitions.
The term distant word repetition, as opposed to juxtaposed word repetition, is used here to denote the recurrence of words and word-groups separated from each other by syntactically heterogeneous segments of varying length. The reiterated segments are structurally involved because each section of the text in between adds new semantic features to them. The distantly repeated words and word groups help the decoder to remember large portions of the preceding text and to penetrate deeper into the author's message. The reiterated lexical units usually belong to what is known as "key" or "thematic" words, i.e.,words whose meaning is essential for the understanding of the message and themes of a literary work.
Distant repetition throughout the text. A word or phrase can be repeated through the whole text of a large literary work or its considerable part. The segment thus repeated is of structural importance and usually serves as a key to the understanding of the main idea of the work, especially if the segment first appears in the title.
Syntactic repetitions (syntactic parallelism)
Syntactic repetitions can be treated from two viewpoints: as regards their structure, and as regards their logical-semantic aspects.