Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The juxtaposition of clauses or phrases without the use of coordinating or subordinating conjunctions, as It was cold; the snows came.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Speech or writing in which clauses or phrases are placed together without being separated by conjunctions, for example "I came; I saw; I conquered".
  • n. The juxtaposition of two images or fragments, usually starkly dissimilar, without a clear connection
  • n. In Greek political system: coalition, "partisan camp"

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The mere ranging of propositions one after another, without indicating their connection or interdependence; -- opposed to syntax.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In grammar, the ranging of propositions one after another without connectives, as the corresponding judgments present themselves to the mind without marking their dependence or relations on each other by way of consequence or the like. It is opposed to syntax and hypotaxis.

Etymologies

Greek, a placing side by side, from paratassein, to arrange side by side : para-, beside; see para-1 + tassein, tag-, to arrange.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek παράταξις (parátaxis, "placement side by side"), from παρα- + τάξις ("taxis"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Adorno's "parataxis" is one possibility, which (parataxis) is linked by

    Discontinuous Shifts: History Reading History

  • It's got what linguists call parataxis, where you run phrases together without smoothing out the transitions with conjunctions and such: "We go at Iraq and it says to countries ..." instead of "If we go at Iraq, then it says to countries ..." or the way the

    The New Republic - All Feed

  • Many of the traits Otto Jespersen wrote of as characteristic of female language without considering them innovative such as parataxis and lack of punctuation have since been associated with experimental writing.

    Gender and Ambition in Literature « Gender Across Borders

  • You can see the hyper-priming, free-associative effect at play when Doyle adds that "cannabis induces a parataxis wherein sentences resonate together and summon coherence in the bardos between one statement and other, rather than through explicit semantics."

    Jason Silva: On Creativity, Marijuana and "a Butterfly Effect in Thought"

  • Armantrout's short lines, use of rhetoric, aggressive lineation, disjunctions and juxtapositions, discursiveness, parataxis, and myriad condensatory techniques are all exemplary, but never overbearing.

    Seth Abramson: November 2011 Contemporary Poetry Reviews

  • Now it's not merely literary strategies that are picked apart and turned around through unreliable narrators, disordered chronologies, the blurring of fact and fiction, extreme parataxis, etc.

    Saying Something

  • As a poet I naturally transform any intimate details into otherness through character, metaphor and parataxis.

    Melissa Broder: No Alarms and No Surprises: Coming Out to Parents as a Writer (and a Human)

  • He was writing about the effect of the grammatical characteristic parataxis in medieval anecdotal accounts of incest.

    Starting from Scratch

  • Worst in my view are those editors who cut a text to length by apparently taking out half the words in each sentence, leaving some half-thing crippled by terminal parataxis.

    The right words in the right order (2)

  • Now still thinking out lout about the avant-lyric which must be lyric untethered, not relying on metaphor, making another kind of sense, and aware of the new sentence, of lyric modulations, of parataxis, collage...all the technologies of the past few decades.

    Archive 2008-04-01

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