A periodic sentence is incomplete until its end. This sentence structure is often complex and considered bad grammar in prose, but is quite common in classical literature. The syntax is 'suspended', and the sense of the sentence is withheld until completion. In terms of expression, periodic sentences are often used in rhetoric, dramatic speeches and poetry.
Examples of Periodic sentences:
|Shakespeare: Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? (Meaning regarding Romeo's name at the end of the sentence.)|
Coleridge: In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree. (Action descriptor describes complete meaning.)
Traditional: In vino, veritas. ('veritas' is the qualifier.)