In grammar, parallelism, also known as parallel structure or parallel construction, is a balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure.

“In poetry, in a parallel couplet, (as opposed to a continuous couplet), words in the first line are complemented with corresponding second line words that have similar syntactic function but contrasting meaning. Each line is independent, yet tied to the other through a series of equivalences.”

Parallelism is a feature of regulated verse. The parallelism requirement means that the two parallel lines must match each word in each line with the word which is in the same position in the other line, the match can be in terms of grammatical function, comparison or contrast, phonology, among other considerations: the degree of parallelism can vary and the type of parallelism is crucial to the meaning of a well-written regulated verse poem. Phonological parallelism can include various considerations, including tonality. Grammatical function parallelism examples include matching colors, actions, numeric quantities and so on. In the eight-line lushi form, which is composed of four couplets, the middle two couplets have internal parallelism; that is, the third and fourth line are parallel with each other and the fifth and sixth lines are parallel with each other. The jueju is more flexible in terms of required parallelism, although it may be present. The pailurequires parallelism for all couplets except for the first and last pair.”

[to be further developed, stay tuned]


Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly, The Elements of Technical Writing, pg. 71. New York: Macmillan Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0020130856


Charles Egan, A Critical Study of the Origins of Chueh-chu Poetry, pg, 85.

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