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Stylistics: An Introduction

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“Stylistics” an Introduction

Contents

1. Stylistics as a linguistic discipline

2. The notion of style

3. Stylistic markedness (SM)

4. Expressiveness, imagery, emotiveness, intensity.

5. Variation.

6. Expressive means (EM) and stylistic devices (SD)

7. Spoken and written English.

8. The notion of stylistic function

9. Metaphor as a stylistic device.

10. Metonymy as a stylistic device

11. Epithet as a stylistic device.

12. Stylistic devices of zeugma and pun.

13. Antonomasia and oxymoron as stylistic devices.

14. Stylistic devices of simile and hyperbole.

15. Periphrasis and euphemism

16. Allusion and decompozition of set phrase.

17. Inversion and chiasmus

18. Repetition


19. Detached structures, climax.

20. Ellipsis, aposiopesis, question-in-the-narrative.

21. Asyndeton, polysyndeton, gap-sentance link.

22. Litotes and rhetorical questions

23. Represented Speech as a Stylistic Device

24. Onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance.

25, 26. Stylistic differentiation of the English vocabulary

27. The notion of functional style.

28. Literary English language

29. Literary prose

30, 31. Poetry. Rhyme, meter and rhythm

32. Lexical and syntactical features of poetry

33. The style of scientific prose of the English language.

34. The style of official documents.

35. The Newspaper style (NPS) of the English Language

36. Headlines in British NPs

37. The publicist style of the English language.

38. SD of Irony

39. Suspense and antithesis as stylistic devices.


1. Stylistics as a linguistic discipline

The name of Stylistics is given to many linguistic and literary studies and is loosely applied to various fields of theoretical studies and practicalities. Stylistics – no universally accepted and stable referent.

Two major approaches:

 In Britain, USA and some other countries – stylistics is the study of styles in literary (fictional, belles-letters) texts - художественные тексты. (M. Short, M.Toolan, H. Widdowson etc.)

M.Short, “Stylistics is an approach to the analysis of literary texts using linguistic description”.

In Russian tradition: the other approach – the study of styles of any language use from poetry to documents: st-cs is concerned with all types of texts (not only literary).

I. Galperin – “the investigation of the inventory of special language media, which by their ontological features secure the desirable effect of the utterance and certain types of texts”.

Over the last few years this approach has been gaining round even among Western linguists who analysed literary and non-literary texts from a stylistic PoV.

D.Crystal – “stylistics is the study of systematic variations in language use (style)”.

It’d be better to differentiate b-n ling. styl. (Гальперин: linguo-styl. analysis) & lit. styl. (Western ling. – литературоведение: analyses characters, exposition…)

(What is common: both focus on the research of expressive means and stylistic devices (EM & SD), which previously were studied in Rhetoric.) Stylistics is a subdomain of linguistics which concerns stylistic resources of the language and functional styles.

Styl. is a discipline of ling. and it intersects other areas of linguistics and other disciplines:

- sociolinguistics – St-cs is part of sociolinguistics as it doesn’t exist without a social situation; social l-ge varieties

- cognitive linguistics - appeared quite recently– relates linguistic units to our mind, relates stylistic factors in any lang. to the patterns and structures which exist in our mind, at the mental level

- rhetoric – the study of effective speaking and writing (persuasion)

- pragmatics –studies the factors which influence a person’s choice of l-ge means and any choice is made for purely pragmatic purposes; styl. is part of pragmatics; styl. overlaps with pragmatics in its study of relationships which exist b-n the writer & the reader & how the context can constrain/affect the choice of ling. units .....[read full text]

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3. Stylistic markedness (SM)

- prominence of language units either in the language as a system or in the context. A language unit is stylistically marked if it is characterized by stylistic connotations paradigmatically or syntagmatically.

Paradigmatic stylistic markedness (thin-skinny) – different connotations – registered in dictionaries.

Syntagmatic stylistic markedness -  is acquired by a neutral w. in a context

________

                                               soaked                 in        water

A man who had been           smothered           in        mud    

                                                    lamed                  by       stones

                                                    cut                       by       flints

                                                    stung                   by       nettles

                                                    torn                     by       briars

__________

                                                                                                  C.Dickens

            In literary texts syntagmatic stylistic markedness = foregrounding (linguistic unit becomes stylistically marked in a context) - the term is borrowed from art criticism where it stands for psychological effect.

SM includes expressiveness, imagery (образность), emotiveness, intensity.

[St m and foregrounding are two of basic concepts of stylistics.

St m. Language elements can be marked stylistically in a language as a system and in a context, that is paradigmatically and syntagmatically. ( Далее необъяснимый поток слов: Broader covered foreign elements as well as elements stylistically charged in language system)

~ Thin-skinny-tiny-slim -> skinny is stylistically marked in a language as a system – that is paradigmatic stylistic markedness!!!

Syntagmatic one:  ~ Power spoils absolutely everyone. Absolute power spoils absolutely. – The use of repetitions intensifies, makes expression more emotional, 2 words acquire stylistic markedness. And this syntagmatic st markedness ( кульминация!!) coincides with the notion Foregrounding – language unit becomes stylistically marked in a context.

Гальперин решил ничего не говорить по этой теме, добавляю тока то, что в шпорах:

Parad. – different connotations – registered in dictionaries. Synt – connotation is acquired by a neutral w. in a context. Syntagmatically = foregrounding (linguistic unit becomes stylistically marked in a context)]

4. Expressiveness, imagery, emotiveness, intensity.

            Expressiveness. Addressing the issue of expr. we can make a distinction b-n 2 major approaches. One group of linguists understanding it quite broadly equate it with emotiveness. Rather a huge number of ling. view expr. through the notion of the l-ge expressive functions, it’s related to the repre.....

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Imagery, expressiveness and emotiveness are related to emotional evaluation:

Large woman – fat woman

Nonsense – rubbish (conventionalised imagery – as it’s already found in dictionaries) – knickers

Economical – thrifty

Evaluation can be +/-, logical & emotional, qualitative/quantative

 ~this person is economical (logical)

~she is thrifty (emotional)

Expressiveness usually relies on imagery. Imagery - the mental picture that is created in our mind by figurative use of language. Imagery –.figurative use of language units. It is the ability of language sign to yield extralinguistic information about some people, objects, phenomena and their emotional evaluation with the help of a figurative expression.

It facilitates the recall of any text or any speech because they produce many associations. Reading is more difficult, but remembrance is longer. Visual imagery – represented by a picture, by some figure or affective/emotional imagery represented by ling. units.

Niagara of tears

-          How about your Russian after the holiday?

-          Got rusty.

Imagery automatically calls up expressiveness.


Intensity – making greater in amount strength or degree, the intention to emphasize a certain part of the text or message:

a wave o.....

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- Substandard – general(slang), special (professional slang, argo, vulgarisms)

2.) Geographical factor

according to the region: national subvar (Br, Amer, Austral), dialects (Welsh, Scottish, Irish)

3.) Social factor

social background - according to education, birth, background: middle class/upper middle; educated/uneducated

gender difference – sociolects

4.) Mode/medium principle

written or spoken

Spoken- short ws, function words, pauses, contracted forms, elliptical sent, repetitions, colloquial words; spontaneous (monologue, dialogue) non-spontaneous (lecture)

Wrtitten-higher density(number of content words)

5.) Attitude/relations

Language: formal, neutral, informal Formal: mainly in writing ( classical tradit grammar), impersonal patterns, passive voice, abstract ws   Neutral (consultative)- used bw people who don’t know each other well/ in official situations; emphasis on message, not emotions.

Common core ws, foreign ws are avoided + phrasal vs  Informal- casual (people know each other well, mainly English ws are used, no terms, no passive voice), intimate (between members of a closely knit social group or family, ws ununderstandable to others, inverted ws, gestures)

6.) Functional factor

Scholars differentiate registers (kind of lang typical of a certain situation), genres and types .....

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SD (acc.to Galperin) is a conscious and intentional intensification of some of some typical structural and/or  semantic property of a language unit promoted to a generalized status and thus becoming a generative model. Generative model – sth. which generates some other expressions according to the same pattern. ‘Model’ here is sth. which is universal (a universal pattern).

(E.g. ‘My surgeon is a butcher’ - мясник = he is not a professional)

SDs are not only linguistic models, but also cultural.

SDs re divided into groups according to the language levels: phonetic, lexical, syntactical.

Difference between EM and SD


EM are stylistically marked within the same language level.

Stylistic value is conditioned by paradigmatic relations of the elements belonging to one and the same language level.

EM have a greater degree of predictability.

SD present a combination of language units of lower level into language units of higher levels.

SD are conditioned by syntagmatic relations.

SD may appear in a context completely alien and therefore be only slightly or not at all predictable.

SD carry a greater amount of additional information.

The border line between EMs and SDs is not rigid (жесткий). Sometimes SDs after a period of time get registered, come into usage and become EMs. (e.g. ‘Niagara of tears’ is now registered, though previously it was a SD – metaphor).

7. Spoken and written English. Their major linguistic characteristics.

  • Лекция:

Spoken/Spontaneous English

- Sp E is not rehearsed. There are many hesitations, pauses, repetitions.

- Traditional grammar is not observed, simple tense forms are preferable.

- There are many short sentences, exclamations, interjections.

- Mind the difference between dialoguing and monologuing.

Written English

- More formal

- Full forms

- The norm is observed, except e-mail letters.

  • Гальперин:

- Two varieties of the language – spoken and written English. Diachronically the spoken is primary and the written is secondary. The spoken has an advantage over the written: it presupposes the presence of the interlocutor and also there are all kinds of gestures which together with intonation give additional information.

- The spoken language by its very nature is spontane.....

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1. Sense. 2. Feeling. 3. Tone. 4. Intention

M. Halliday distinguishes 3 major functions which he unites with different language levels:

- Ideational which is connected with the semantic level of the language;- Interpersonal which is connected with the syntactical language level; - Textual which is connected with graphological language level.

Actually the functions which have been mentioned are concerned with how the language as a system is used for communicative purposes.

Stylistic function or poetic is different from language functions because communication is given structure by the 5 directional functions introduced by Jackobson, such as metalingual, phatic, conative, cognitive, referential. The intensity of the communication is regulated by the reproducibility of the language units or derivation of the norm.

Speaking about stylistic function and its peculiarities we should take it to account following aspects:

a) The contents of the giving discourse, as compared to its neutral equivalent referring to the same unit of reality.

b) Communicative factors which determine the stylistic variety of discourse and may be manifested both in its form and contents.

c) The way of foregrounding the units of discourse.

I. V. Arnold points out the following properties of stylistic function:

1. The tendency of stylistic function to accumulate one and the same idea, feeling or mood by several language means. This accumulation results in a purposeful redundancy (Избыточность). 2. Stylistic function may be achieved by connotations of different word forms and syntactical patterns , expressed verbally or implicit. (скрыты). 3. Irradiation from the point of view of stylistic irradiation is one of 2 high-flown words in the neutral back-ground (context) may spread their colouring to the whole of discourse.

The same may happen with .....

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