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TitlePolysyndeton: Many Conjunctions
Publication TypeIcon
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPinnock, Hugh W., and Fernando Vazquez

Polysyndeton is "a figure consisting in the use of several conjunctions in close succession; usually, the repetition of the same conjunction . . . to connect a number of coordinate words or clauses." It is among the easiest of repetitious forms to identify because it repeats "the word and at the beginning of successive clauses." As Parry explains, the literal translation of the Greek word polysyndeton is "’many, bound together’—referring to the many phrases [or items] bound together by the repetition of a conjunction. Polysyndeton is a special type of anaphora" (like sentence beginnings) that usually limits itself to and. Other conjunctions might also be used in such a pattern.

Polysyndeton somewhat resembles anaphora in that the word and is often repeated in both forms. The difference lies in the position and function of the repeated word. With anaphora, the repeated and will often begin consecutive clauses or sentences, whereas with polysyndeton, the repeated and can be in various positions in the sentence or phrase and is used to connect a series of items such as weapons, people, or animals.


An extract from Hugh W. Pinnock, Finding Biblical Hebrew and Other Ancient Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1999), 21-27.

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Citation Key1132