A Phono-Rhetorical Study of Oronyms in English


  • Siham Mohammed Hasan Alkawwaz Department of English, Faculty of Languages, University of Kufa, Iraq




oronyms, juncture, homophonic phrases, wordplay, ambiguity, pun


Oronym is a kind of wordplay where phrases that sound the same are comically used. This study investigates oronyms in English by analyzing their phonological aspects employed to make rhetorical effect, exploring their production mechanism, and constructing a phono-rhetorical model for analyzing them. Twelve examples of oronyms have been randomly taken from TV shows, songs, nursery rhymes, and books of jokes and fun with words. The main findings of the study have been: (1) Oronym is a rhetorical device that combines two ideas in a single sequence of words; (2) Oronyms are constructed on the basis of juncture by which the same sequence of sounds can form more than one morphemic structure; (3) juncture acts as a linguistic strategy consciously used to yield phonological ambiguity necessary for such type of wordplay; and (4) there are two main types of oronyms - Word-to-Phrase and Phrase-to-Phrase - that can be utilized vertically and horizontally. The significance of this study stems from its novelty and being an earnest endeavour to explore the linguistic features of oronyms comprehensively. It laid a theoretical foundation for promising future studies on oronyms even in other languages, especially in Arabic.


Received: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020/ Published: 5 March 2021


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How to Cite

Alkawwaz, S. M. H. . (2021). A Phono-Rhetorical Study of Oronyms in English. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 10(2), 129. https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2021-0044



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