Contents Preface 7 Chapter The Object of Stylistics 9

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Preface 7

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics 9

  1. Problems of stylistic research 9

  2. Stylistics of language and speech 14

  3. Types of stylistic research and branches of stylistics 16

  4. Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines 19

  5. Stylistic neutrality and stylistic colouring 20

  6. Stylistic function notion 24

Practice Section 28

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language 33

  1. Expressive means and stylistic devices 34

  2. Different classifications of expressive means .... 37

  1. Hellenistic Roman rhetoric system 39

  2. Stylistic theory and classification of expresssive means by G. Leech 45

  1. I. R. Galperin's classification of expressive means and stylistic devices 50

  2. Classification of expressive means and

stylistic devices by Y. M. Skrebnev 57

Practice Section

Chapter 3. Stylistic Grammar 87

  1. The theory of grammatical gradation. Marked, semi-marked and unmarked structures 87

  2. Grammatical metaphor and types of grammatical transposition 89

  3. Morphological stylistics. Stylistic potential of the

parts of speech 92

  1. The noun and its stylistic potential 92

  2. The article and its stylistic potential 95

  3. The stylistic power of the pronoun 97

  4. The adjective and its stylistic functions ... 101

  5. The verb and its stylistic properties 103

  6. Affixation and its expressiveness 107

3.4. Stylistic syntax 110

Practice Section 116


Chapter 4. The Theory of Functional Styles 122

  1. The notion of style in functional stylistics 122

  2. Correlation of style, norm and function in the language 124

  3. Language varieties: regional, social, occupational . 128

  4. An overview of functional style systems 133
  5. Distinctive linguistic features of the major functional styles of English 145

  1. Literary colloquial style 145

  2. Familiar colloquial style 148

  3. Publicist (media) style 150

  4. The style of official documents 153

  5. Scientific/academic style 155

Practice Section 159

Chapter 5. Decoding Stylistics and Its Fundamental Notions . 162

  1. Stylistics of the author and of the reader. The notions of encoding and decoding 163

  2. Essential concepts of decoding stylistic analysis

and types of foregrounding 166

  1. Convergence 169

  2. Defeated expectancy 171


  1. Coupling 173

  2. Semantic field 176

  3. Semi-marked structures 179

Practice Section 181

Glossary for the Course of Stylistics 190

Sources 202

Dictionaries 204

List of Authors and Publications Quoted 205


The book suggests the fundamentals of stylistic theory that outline such basic areas of research as expressive resources of the language, stylistic differentiation of vocabulary, varieties of the national language and sociolinguistic and pragmatic factors that determine functional styles.

The second chapter will take a student of English to the beginnings of stylistics in Greek and Roman schools of rhetoric and show how-much modern terminology and classifications of expressive means owe to rhetoric.

An important part of the book is devoted to the new tendencies and schools of stylistics that assimilated advancements in the linguistic science in such trends of the 20"1 century as functional, decoding and grammatical stylistics.

The material on the wealth of expressive means of English will help a student of philology, a would-be teacher and a reader of literature not only to receive orientation in how to fully decode the message of the work of art and therefore enjoy it all the more but also to improve their own style of expression.

he chapter on functional styles highlights the importance of «time

a" place» m language usage. It tells how the same language differs

len used for different purposes on different occasions in communi-

ation with different people. It explains why we adopt different uses of


language as we go through our day. A selection of distinctive features of each functional style will help to identify and use it correctly whether you deal with producing or analysing a text of a certain functional type.

Chapters on grammar stylistics and decoding stylistics are intended to introduce the student to the secrets of how a stylistic device works. Modern linguistics may help to identify the nature and algorithm of stylistic effect by showing what kind of semantic change, grammatical transposition or lexical deviation results in various stylistic outcomes.

This book combines theoretical study and practice. Each chapter is supplied with a special section that enables the student and the teacher to revise and process the theoretical part by drawing conclusions and parallels, doing comparison and critical analysis. Another type of prac­tice involves creative tasks on stylistic analysis and interpretation, such as identifying devices in literary texts, explaining their function and the principle of performance, decoding the implications they create.

The knowledge of the theoretical background of stylistic research and the experience of integrating it into one's analytical reading skills will enhance the competence and proficiency of a future teacher of English. Working with literary texts on this level also helps to develop one's cultural scope and aesthetic taste. It will also enrich the student's linguistic and stylistic thesaurus.

The author owes acknowledgements for the kindly assistance in reading and stylistic editing of this work to a colleague from the Shimer College of Chicago, a lecturer in English and American literature S. Sklar.

Chapter 1 The Object of Stylistics

Problems of stylistic research. Stylistics of language and speech. Types of stylistic research and branches of stylistics. Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines. Stylistic neutrality and stylistic coloring. Stylistic function notion.

1.1. Problems of stylistic research

Units of language on different levels are studied by traditional branches of linguistics such as phonetics that deals with speech sounds and intonation; lexicology that treats words, their mean­ing and vocabulary structure, grammar that analyses forms of words and their function in a sentence which is studied by syn­tax. These areas of linguistic study are rather clearly defined and ave a long-term tradition of regarding language phenomena from a leve,-oriented point of view. Thus the subject matter and the material under study of these linguistic disciplines are more or less clear-cut.

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

It gets more complicated when we talk, about stylistics. Some scholars claim that this is a comparatively new branch of linguistics, which has only a few decades of intense linguistic interest behind it. The term stylistics really came into existence not too long ago. In point of fact the scope of problems and the object of stylistic study go as far back as ancient schools of rhetoric and poetics.

The problem that makes the definition of stylistics a curious one deals both with the object and the material of studies. When we speak of the stylistic value of a text we cannot proceed from the level-biased approach that is so logically described through the hierarchical system of sounds, words and clauses. Not only may each of these linguistic units be charged with a certain stylistic meaning but the interaction of these elements, as well as the structure and composition of the whole text are stylistically pertinent.

Another problem has to do with a whole set of special linguistic means that create what we call «style». Style may be belles-letters or scientific or neutral or low colloquial or archaic or pompous, or a combination of those. Style may also be typical of a certain writer-Shakespearean style, Dickensian style, etc. There is the style of the j press, the style of official documents, the style of social etiquette and even an individual style of a speaker or writer—his idiolect.

Stylistics deals with styles. Different scholars have defined style differently at different times. Out of this variety we shall quote the most representative ones that scan the period from the 50ies to the 90ies of the 20<л century.

In 1955 the Academician V.V.Vinogradov defined style as «socially recognized and functionally conditioned internally united totality of the ways of using, selecting and combining the means of lingual

1.1. Problems of stylistic research

ourse in the sphere of one national language or another...» /о 73) In 1971 Prof- J- R- Galperin offered his definition of style s a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication.» (36, p. 18).

According to Prof. Y. M. Skrebnev, whose book on stylistics was published in 1994, «style is what differentiates a group of homogeneous texts (an individual text) from all other groups (other texts)... Style can be roughly defined as the peculiarity, the set of specific features of a text type or of a specific text.» (47, p. 9).

All these definitions point out the systematic and functionally deter­mined character of the notion of style.

The authors of handbooks on German (E. Riesel, M. P. Bran-des), French (Y. S. Stepanov, R. G. Piotrovsky, K. A. Dolinin), En­glish (I. R. Galperin, I. V. Arnold, Y. M. Skrebnev, V. A. Maltsev, V. A. Kukharenko, A. N. Morokhovsky and others) and Russian (M. N. Kozhina, I. B. Golub) stylistics published in our country over the recent decades propose more or less analogous systems of styles based on a broad subdivision of all styles into two classes: literary and colloquial and their varieties. These generally include from three to five functional styles.

Since functional styles will be further specially discussed in a separate chapter at this stage we shall limit ourselves to only three popular viewpoints in English language style classifications.

rof' LR-Galperin distinguishes 5 groups of functional styles for the written variety of language while Prof. I.V.Amold suggests only two ajor types of styles - colloquial and literary bookish — with their «пег division into substyles (see chapter 4.4).

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

Prof. Y. M. Skrebnev suggests a most unconventional viewpoint on the number of styles. He maintains that the number of sublanguages and styles is infinite (if we include individual styles, styles mentioned in linguistic literature such as telegraphic, oratorical, reference book, Shakespearean, short story, or the style of literature on electronics, computer language, etc.).

Of course the problem of style definition is not the only one stylistic research deals with.

Stylistics is that branch of linguistics, which studies the principles, and effect of choice and usage of different language elements in rendering thought and emotion under different conditions of communication. Therefore it is concerned with such issues as

  1. the aesthetic function of language;

  2. expressive means in language;

  3. synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea;

  4. emotional colouring in language;

  5. a system of special devices called stylistic devices;

  6. the splitting of the literary language into separate systems called style;

  7. the interrelation between language and thought;

  8. the individual manner of an author in making use of the language (47, p. 5).

These issues cover the overall scope of stylistic research and can only be representative of stylistics as a discipline of linguistic study taken as a whole. So it should be noted that each of them is concerned with only a limited area of research:


1.1. Problems of stylistic research

The aesthetic function of language is an immanent part of works of art—poetry and imaginative prose but it leaves out works of science, diplomatic or commercial correspondence, technical instructions and many other types of texts.

2 Expressive means of language are mostly employed in types of speech that aim to affect the reader or listener: poetry, fiction, oratory, and informal intercourse but rarely in technical texts or business language.

  1. It is due to the possibility of choice, the possibility of using synonymous ways of rendering ideas that styles are formed. With the change of wording a change in meaning (however slight it might be) takes place inevitably.

  2. The emotional colouring of words and sentences creates a certain stylistic effect and makes a text either a highly lyrical piece of description or a satirical derision with a different stylistic value. However not all texts eligible for stylistic study are necessarily marked by this quality.

  3. No work of art, no text or speech consists of a system of stylistic devices but there's no doubt about the fact that the style of anything is formed by the combination of features peculiar to it, that whatever we say or write, hear or read is not style by itself but has style, it demonstrates stylistic features.

Any national language contains a number of*sublanguages» or microlanguages or varieties of language with their own specific eatures, their own styles. Besides these functional styles that are oted in the norm of the language there exist the so-called «sub­standard» types of speech such as slang, barbarisms, vulgarisms, taboo and so on.

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

  1. Interrelation between thought and language can be described щ terms of an inseparable whole so when the form is changed a change in content takes place. The author's intent and the forms he uses to render it as well as the reader's interpretation of it is the subject of a special branch of stylistics—decoding stylistics.

  2. We can hardly object to the proposition that style is also above | other things the individual manner of expression of an author in

his use of the language. At the same time the individual manner can only appear out of a number of elements provided by the common background and employed and combined in a specific | manner.

Thus speaking of stylistics as a science we have to bear in mind that the object of its research is versatile and multi-dimensional and the study of any of the above-mentioned problems will be a fragmentary description. It's essential that we look at the object of stylistic study in its totality.

1.2. Stylistics of language and speech

One of the fundamental concepts of linguistics is the dichotomy of «language and speech» (langue—parole) introduced by F. de Saussure. According to it language is a system of elementary and complex signs-phonemes, morphemes, words, word combinations, utterances and combinations of utterances. Language as such a system exists m human minds only and linguistic forms or units can be systematise" into paradigms.

1.2. Stylistics of language and speech

language is a mentally organised system of linguistic units. An ъ0 .. aj speaker never uses it. When we use these units we mix

m in acts of speech. As distinct from language speech is not relv mental phenomenon, not a system but a process of combining these linguistic elements into linear linguistic units that are called syntagmatic.

The result of this process is the linear or syntagmatic combination of vowels and consonants into words, words into word-combinations and sentences and combination of sentences into texts. The word «syntagmatic» is a purely linguistic term meaning a coherent sequence of words (written, uttered or just remembered).

StyUstics is a branch of linguistics that deals with texts, not with the system of signs or process of speech production as such. But within these texts elements stylistically relevant are studied both syntagmatically and paradigmatically (loosely classifying all stylistic means paradigmatically into tropes and syntagmatically into figures of speech).

Eventually this brings us to the notions of stylistics of language and stylistics of speech. Their difference lies in the material studied. the stylistics of language analyses permanent or inherent stylistic roperties of language elements while the stylistics of speech studies stylistic properties, which appear in a context, and they are called adherent.

word'' WOrds 'ike толмач, штудировать, соизволять or English these prevaricate' comprehend, lass are bookish or archaic and of the^6 the'r inherent Properties. The unexpected use of any ProperT W°rdS '" 3 modem context wil> be an adherent stylistic

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

So stylistics of language describes and classifies the inherent stylistic colouring of language units. Stylistics of speech studies the compost, tion of the utterance—the arrangement, selection and distribution of different words, and their adherent qualities.

1.3. Types of stylistic research and branches of stylistics

Literary and linguistic stylistics

According to the type of stylistic research we can distinguish literary stylistics and lingua-stylistics. They have some meeting points or links in that they have common objects of research. Consequently they have certain areas of cross-reference. Both study the common ground of:

  1. the literary language from the point of view of its variability;

  2. the idiolect (individual speech) of a writer;

  3. poetic speech that has its own specific laws.

The points of difference proceed from the different points of analysis. While lingua-stylistics studies

  • Functional styles (in their development and current state).

  • The linguistic nature of the expressive means of the language, their systematic character and their functions.

Literary stylistics is focused on

• The composition of a work of art.

Types of stylistic research and branches of stylistics

. Various literary genres. , The writer's outlook.

Comparative stylistics

Comparative stylistics is connected with the contrastive study of more than one language.

It analyses the stylistic resources not inherent in a separate language but at the crossroads of two languages, or two literatures and is obviously linked to the theory of translation.

Decoding stylistics

A comparatively new branch of stylistics is the decoding stylistics, which can be traced back to the works of L. V. Shcherba, B. A. Larin, M. Riffaterre, R. Jackobson and other scholars of the Prague linguistic circle. A serious contribution into this branch of stylistic study was also made by Prof. I. V. Arnold (3, 4). Each act of speech has the performer, or sender of speech and the recipient. The former does the act of encoding and the latter the act of decoding the information.

Jf we analyse the text from the author's (encoding) point of view we should consider the epoch, the historical situation, the personal Political, social and aesthetic views of the author.

' we try to treat the same text from the reader's angle of view max" haVS t0 disre8ard ^s background knowledge and get the sitio mUm ltlformation from the text itself (its vocabulary, compo­se ' sen,ence arrangement, etc.). The first approach manifests -valence of the literary analysis. The second is based almost

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

exclusively on the linguistic analysis. Decoding stylistics is an attempt to harmoniously combine the two methods of stylistic research and enable the scholar to interpret a work of art with a minimum loss of its purport and message.

Functional stylistics

Special mention should be made of functional stylistics which is a branch of lingua-stylistics that investigates functional styles, that is special sublanguages or varieties of the national language such as scientific, colloquial, business, publicist and so on.

However many types of stylistics may exist or spring into existence they will all consider the same source material for stylistic analysis-sounds, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and texts. That's why any kind of stylistic research will be based on the level-forming branches that include:

Stylistic lexicology

Stylistic Lexicology studies the semantic structure of the word and the interrelation (or interplay) of the connotative and denotative meanings of the word, as well as the interrelation of the stylistic connotations of the word and the context.

Stylistic Phonetics (or Phonostylistics) is engaged in the study of style-forming phonetic features of the text. It describes the prosodic features of prose and poetry and variants of pronunciation in different types of speech (colloquial or oratory or recital).

1.4. Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines

Stylistic grammar

Stylistic Morphology is interested in the stylistic potentials of specific grammatical forms and categories, such as the number of the noun, or the peculiar use of tense forms of the verb, etc.

Stylistic Syntax is one of the oldest branches of stylistic studies that grew out of classical rhetoric. The material in question lends itself readily to analysis and description. Stylistic syntax has to do with the expressive order of words, types of syntactic links (asyndeton, polysyndeton), figures of speech (antithesis, chiasmus, etc.). It also deals with bigger units from paragraph onwards.

1.4. Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines

As is obvious from the names of the branches or types of stylistic studies this science is very closely linked to the linguistic disci­plines philology students are familiar with: phonetics, lexicology and grammar due to the common study source.

Stylistics interacts with such theoretical discipline as semasiology. This is a branch of linguistics whose area of study is a most complicated and enormous sphere—that of meaning. The term semantics is also widely used in linguistics in relation to verbal meanings. Semasiology in its turn is often related to the theory of signs in general and deals with visual as well as verbal meanings.

Meaning is not attached to the level of the word only, or for that matter to one level at all but correlates with all of them—morphemes, words, phrases or texts. This is one of the most challenging areas of

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

research since practically all stylistic effects are based on the interplay between different kinds of meaning on different levels. Suffice it to say that there are numerous types of linguistic meanings attached to linguistic units, such as grammatical, lexical, logical, denotative, connotative, emotive, evaluative, expressive and stylistic.

Onomasiology (or onomatology) is the theory of naming dealing with the choice of words when naming or assessing some object or phenomenon. In stylistic analysis we often have to do with a transfer of nominal meaning in a text (antonomasia, metaphor, metonymy, etc.)

The theory of functional styles investigates the structure of the national linguistic space—what constitutes the literary language, the sublanguages and dialects mentioned more than once already.

Literary stylistics will inevitably overlap with areas of literary studies such as the theory of imagery, literary genres, the art of composition, etc.

Decoding stylistics in many ways borders culture studies in the broad sense of that word including the history of art, aesthetic trends and even information theory.

1.5. Stylistic neutrality and stylistic colouring

Speaking of the notion of style and stylistic colouring we cannot avoid the problem of the norm and neutrality and stylistic colouring in contrast to it.

1.5. Stylistic neutrality and stylistic colouring

Most scholars abroad and in this country giving definitions of style come to the conclusion that style may be defined as deviation from the lingual norm. It means that what is stylistically conspicuous, stylistically relevant or stylistically coloured is a departure from the norm of a given national language. (G. Leech, M. Riffaterre, M. Halliday, R.Jacobson and others).

There are authors who object to the use of the word «norm» for various reasons. Thus Y. M. Skrebnev argues that since we acknowledge the existence of a variety of sublanguages within a national language we should also acknowledge that each of them has a norm of its own. So the sentence «I haven't ever done anything» (or «I don't know anything») as juxtaposed to the sentence «I ain't never done nothing» («I don't know nothing») is not the norm itself but merely conforms to the literary norm.

The second sentence («I ain't never done nothing») most certainly deviates from the literary norm (from standard English) but if fully conforms to the requirements of the uncultivated part of the English speaking population who merely have their own conception of the norm. So Skrebnev claims there are as many norms as there are sublanguages. Each language is subject to its own norm. To reject this would mean admitting abnormality of everything that is not neutral. Only ABC-books and texts for foreigners would be considered «normal». Everything that has style, everything that demonstrates peculiarities of whatever kind would be considered abnormal, including works by Dickens, Twain, O'Henry, Galsworthy and so on (47, pp. 21-22).

For all its challenging and defiant character this argument seems to contain a grain of truth and it does stand to reason that what we

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

often call «the norm» in terms of stylistics would be more appropriate to call «neutrality».

Since style is the specificity of a sublanguage it is self-evident that non-specific units of it do not participate in the formation of its style; units belonging to all the sublanguages are stylistically neutral. Thus we observe an opposition of stylistically coloured specific elements to stylistically neutral non-specific elements.

The stylistic colouring is nothing but the knowledge where, in what particular type of communication, the unit in question is current. On hearing for instance the above-cited utterance «I don't know nothing» («I ain't never done nothing») we compare it with what we know about standard and non-standard forms of English and this will permit us to pass judgement on what we have heard or read.

Professor Howard M. Mims of Cleveland State University did an accurate study of grammatical deviations found in American English that he terms vernacular (non-standard) variants (44). He made a list of 20 grammatical forms which he calls relatively common and some of them are so frequent in every-day speech that you hardly register them as deviations from the norm, e. g. They ready to go instead of They are ready to go; Joyce has fifty cent in her bank account instead of Joyce has fifty cents in her bank account; My brother, he's a doctor instead of My brother is a doctor, He don't know nothing instead of He doesn't know anything.

The majority of the words are neutral. Stylistically coloured words-bookish, solemn, poetic, official or colloquial, rustic, dialectal, vulgar—have each a kind of label on them showing where the unit was «manufactured», where it generally belongs.

1.5. Stylistic neutrality and stylistic colouring

Within the stylistically coloured words there is another opposition between formal vocabulary and informal vocabulary.

These terms have many synonyms offered by different authors. Roman Jacobson described this opposition as casual and non-casual, other terminologies name them as bookish and colloquial or formal and informal, correct and common.

Stylistically coloured words are limited to specific conditions of communication. If you isolate a stylistically coloured word it will still preserve its label or «trade-mark» and have the flavour of poetic or artistic colouring.

You're sure to recognise words like decease, attire, decline (a proposal) as bookish and distinguish die, clothes, refuse as neutral while such units as snuff it, rags (togs), turn down will immediately strike you as colloquial or informal.

In surveying the units commonly called neutral can we assert that they only denote without connoting? That is not completely true.

If we take stylistically neutral words separately, we may call them neutral without doubt. But occasionally in a certain context, in a specific distribution one of many implicit meanings of a word we normally consider neutral may prevail. Specific distribution may also create unexpected additional colouring of a generally neutral word. Such stylistic connotation is called occasional.

Stylistic connotations may be inherent or adherent. Stylistically coloured words possess inherent stylistic connotations. Stylistically neutral words will have only adherent (occasional) stylistic connota­tions acquired in a certain context.

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

A luxury hotel for dogs is to be opened at Lima, Peru a city of 30.000 dogs. The furry guests will have separate hygienic kennels, top medical care and high standard cuisine, including the best bones. (Mailer)

Two examples from this passage demonstrate how both stylistically marked and neutral words may change their colouring due to the context:

cuisine -»inherently formal (bookish, high-flown);

-» adherent connotation in the context—lowered/humorous; bones -» stylistically neutral;

-4 adherent connotation in the context—elevated/humorous.

1.6. Stylistic function notion

Like other linguistic disciplines stylistics deals with the lexical, grammatical, phonetic and phraseological data of the language. However there is a distinctive difference between stylistics and the other linguistic subjects. Stylistics does not study or describe separate linguistic units like phonemes or words or clauses as such. It studies their stylistic/unction. Stylistics is interested in the expressive potential of these units and their interaction in a text.

Stylistics focuses on the expressive properties of linguistic units, their functioning and interaction in conveying ideas and emotions in a certain text or communicative context.

Stylistics interprets the opposition or clash between the contextual meaning of a word and its denotative meaning.

1.6. Stylistic function notion

Accordingly stylistics is first and foremost engaged in the study of connotative meanings.

In brief the semantic structure (or the meaning) of a word roughly consists of its grammatical meaning (noun, verb, adjective) and its lexical meaning. Lexical meaning can further on be subdivided into denotative (linked to the logical or nominative meaning) and connotative meanings. Connotative meaning is only connected with extra-linguistic circumstances such as the situation of communication and the participants of communication. Connotative meaning consists of four components:

  1. emotive;

  2. evaluative;

  3. expressive;

  4. stylistic.

A word is always characterised by its denotative meaning but not necessarily by connotation. The four components may be all present at once, or in different combinations or they may not be found in the word at all.

1. Emotive connotations express various feelings or emotions. Emo­tions differ from feelings. Emotions like ./ay, disappointment, pleasure, anger, worry, surprise are more short-lived. Feelings imply a more stable state, or attitude, such as love, hatred, respect, pride, dignity, etc. The emotive component of meaning may be occasional or usual (i.e. inherent and adherent).

It is important to distinguish words with emotive connotations from words, describing or naming emotions and feelings like anger or

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

fear, because the latter are a special vocabulary subgroup whose denotative meanings are emotions. They do not connote the speak­er's state of mind or his emotional attitude to the subject of speech.

Thus if a psychiatrist were to say You should be able to control feelings of anger, impatience and disappointment dealing with a child as a piece of advice to young parents the sentence would have no emotive power. It may be considered stylistically neutral.

On the other hand an apparently neutral word like big will become charged with emotive connotation in a mother's proud description of her baby: He is a BIG boy already!

2. The evaluative component charges the word with negative, positive,

ironic or other types of connotation conveying the speaker's attitude

in relation to the object of speech. Very often this component is a part
of the denotative meaning, which comes to the fore in a specific

The verb to sneak means «to move silently and secretly, usu. for a bad purpose» (8). This dictionary definition makes the evaluative component bad quite explicit. Two derivatives a sneak and sneaky have both preserved a derogatory evaluative connotation. But the negative component disappears though in still another derivative sneakers (shoes with a soft sole). It shows that even words of the same root may either have or lack an evaluative component in their inner form.

3. Expressive connotation either increases or decreases the expres­
siveness of the message. Many scholars hold that emotive and

expressive components cannot be distinguished but Prof. I.A.Arnold

1.6. Stylistic function notion

maintains that emotive connotation always entails expressiveness but not vice versa. To prove her point she comments on the example by A. Hornby and R. Fowler with the word «thing» applied to a girl (4, p. ПЗ).

When the word is used with an emotive adjective like «sweet» it becomes emotive itself: «She was a sweet little thing». But in other sentences like «She was a small thin delicate thing with spectacles», she argues, this is not true and the word «thing» is definitely expressive but not emotive.

Another group of words that help create this expressive effect are the so-called «intensifiers», words like «absolutely, frightfully, really, quite», etc.

4. Finally there is stylistic connotation. A word possesses stylistic connotation if it belongs to a certain functional style or a spe­cific layer of vocabulary (such as archaisms, barbarisms, slang, jargon, etc). Stylistic connotation is usually immediately recogni­zable.

Yonder, slumber, thence immediately connote poetic or elevated writing.

Words like price index or negotiate assets are indicative of business language.

This detailed and systematic description of the connotative meaning of a word is suggested by the Leningrad school in the works of Prof. I. V. Arnold, Z. Y. Turayeva, and others.

Galperin operates three types of lexical meaning that are stylistically relevant—logical, emotive and nominal. He describes the stylistic

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

colouring of words in terms of the interaction of these types of lexical meaning. Skrebnev maintains that connotations only show to what part of the national language a word belongs—one of the sub-languages (functional styles) or the neutral bulk. He only speaks about the stylistic component of the connotative meaning.

Practice Section

  1. Comment on the notions of style and sublanguages in the national language.

  2. What are the interdisciplinary links of stylistics and other lin­guistic subjects such as phonetics, lexicology, grammar, and semasiology? Provide examples.

How does stylistics differ from them in its subject-matter and fields of study?

  1. Give an outline of the stylistic differentiation of the national English vocabulary: neutral, literary, colloquial layers of words; areas of their overlapping. Describe literary and common collo­quial stratums of vocabulary, their stratification.

  2. How does stylistic colouring and stylistic neutrality relate to inherent and adherent stylistic connotation?

  3. Can you distinguish neutral, formal and informal among the following groups of words.

Practice Section


1. currency money dough

2. to talk to converse to chat

3. to chow down to eat to dine

  1. to start to commence to kick off

  2. insane nuts mentally ill

  3. spouse hubby husband

  4. to leave to withdraw to shoot off

  5. geezer senior citizen old man

9. veracious opens sincere
10. mushy emotional sentimental

6. What kind of adherent stylistic meaning appears in the otherwise

neutral word feeling?

I've got no feeling paying interest, provided that it's reasonable. (Shute) I've got no feeling against small town life. I rather like it. (Shute)

7. To what stratum of vocabulary do the words in bold type in

the following sentences belong stylistically? Provide neutral or
colloquial variants for them:

/ expect you've seen my hand often enough coming out with the grub. (Waugh)

She betrayed some embarrassment when she handed Paul the tickets, and a hauteur which subsequently made her feel very foolish. (Cather)

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

Practice Section

I must be off to my digs. (Waugh)

When the old boy popped off he left Philbrick everything, except a few books to Grade. (Waugh)

He looked her over and decided that she was not appropriately dressed and must be a fool to sit downstairs in such togs. (Cather)

It was broken at length by the arrival of Flossie, splendidly attired in magenta and green. (Waugh)

8. Consider the following utterances from the point of view of the

grammatical norm. What elements can be labelled as deviations
from standard English? How do they comply with the norms of
colloquial English according to Mims and Skrebnev?

Sita decided that she would lay down in the dark even if Mrs. Waldvogel came in and bit her. (Erdrich)

Always popular with the boys, he was, even when he was so full he couldn't hardly fight. (Waugh)

...he used to earn five pound a night... (Waugh)

/ wouldn't sell it not for a hundred quid, I wouldn't. (Waugh)

There was a rapping at the bedroom door. «I'll learn that Luden Sorrels to tomcat.» (Chappel)

9. How does the choice of words in each case contribute to the

stylistic character of the following passages? How would you
define their functional colouring in terms of technical, poetic,
bookish, commercial, dialectal, religious, elevated, colloquial,
legal or other style?

Make up lists of words that create this tenor in the texts given below.

Whilst humble pilgrims lodged in hospices, a travelling knight would normally stay with a merchant. (Rutherfurd)

Fo' what you go by dem, eh? W'y not keep to yo'self? Dey don' want you, dey don' care fo'you. H' ain'you got no sense? (Dunbar-Nelson)

They sent me down to the aerodrome next morning in a car. I made a check over the machine, cleaned filters, drained sumps, swept out the cabin, and refuelled. Finally I took off at about ten thirty for the short flight down to Batavia across the Sunda straits, and found the aerodrome and came on to the circuit behind the Constellation of K. L. M. (Shute)

We ask Thee, Lord, the old man cried, to look after this childt. Fa­therless he is. But what does the earthly father matter before Tliee? The childt is Thine, he is Thy childt, Lord, what father has a man but Thee? (Lawrence)

-We are the silver band the Lord bless and keep you, said the stationmaster in one breath, the band that no one could beat whatever but two indeed in the Eisteddfod that for all North Wales was look you.

I see, said the Doctor, I see. That's splendid. Well, will you please go into your tent, the little tent over there.

To march about you would not like us? Suggested the stationmaster, we have a fine flaglook you that embroidered for us was in silks. (Waugh)

The evidence is perfectly clear. The deceased woman was unfaithful to her husband during his absence overseas and gave birth to a child out of wedlock.

Chapter 1. The Object of Stylistics

Her husband seemed to behave with commendable restraint and wrote nothing to her which would have led her to take her life... The deceased appears to have been the victim of her own conscience and as the time for the return of her husband drew near she became mentally upset. Fi find that the deceased committed suicide while the balance of her mind\ was temporarily deranged. (Shute)

/ say, I've met an awful good chap called Miles. Regular topper. You\ know, pally. That's what I like about a really decent party—you meet] such topping fellows. I mean some chaps it takes absolutely years tot know, but a chap like Miles I feel is a pal straight away. (Waugh)

She sang first of the birth of love in the hearts of a boy and a girl. And on the topmost spray of the Rose-tree there blossomed a marvellous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song. Pale was it, at first as the mist that hangs over the river—pale as the feet of the morning. (Wilde) ;

He went slowly about the corridors, through the writing—rooms, smoking- j rooms, reception-rooms, as though he were exploring the chambers of an enchanted palace, built and peopled for him alone.

When he reached the dining-room he sat down at a table near a window. \

The flowers, the white linen, the many-coloured wine-glasses, the gay \ toilettes of the women, the low popping of corks, the undulating repetitions i of the Blue Danube from the orchestra, all flooded Paul's dream with bewildering radiance. (Cather)

Chapter 2

Expressive Resources of the Language

Expressive means and stylistic devices. Different classifications of expressive means and stylistic devices from antique to modern times.

In my reading of modern French novels I had acquired the habit of underlining ex­pressions, which struck me as aberrant from general usage, and it often happened that the underlined passages taken together seemed to offer a certain consistency. I wondered if it would be possible to establish a common denominator for all or most of these devi­ations, could we find a common spiritual etymon or the psychological root of 'several' individual 'traits of style' in a writer.

Leo Spitzer. Linguistics and Literary History

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language

2.1. Expressive means and stylistic devices

2.1. Expressive means and stylistic devices

Expressive means

Expressive means of a language are those linguistic forms and properties that have the potential to make the utterance emphatic or expressive. These can be found on all levels—phonetic, graphical, morphological, lexical or syntactical.

Expressive means and stylistic devices have a lot in common but they are not completely synonymous. All stylistic devices belong to expressive means but not all expressive means are stylistic devices. Phonetic phenomena such as vocal pitch, pauses, logical stress, and drawling, or staccato pronunciation are all expressive without being stylistic devices

Morphological forms like diminutive suffixes may have an expres­sive effect: girlie, piggy, doggy, etc. An unexpected use of the author's nonce words like: He glasnosted his love affair with th: movie star (People) is another example of morphological expressive means.

Lexical expressive means may be illustrated by a special group о intensifiers—awfully, terribly, absolutely, etc. or words that retain thei logical meaning while being used emphatically: // was a very sped e vening/event/gift.

There are also special grammatical forms and syntactical patterns attributing expressiveness, such as: / do know you! I'm really angry with that dog of у ours! That you should deceive me! If only I could help you!

Stylistic devices

A stylistic device is a literary model in which semantic and structural features are blended so that it represents a generalised pattern.

Prof. I. R. Galperin calls a stylistic device a generative model when through frequent use a language fact is transformed into a stylistic device. Thus we may say that some expressive means have evolved into stylistic devices which represent a more abstract form or set of forms. A stylistic device combines some general semantic meaning with a cer­tain linguistic form resulting in stylistic effect. It is like an algorithm employed for an expressive purpose. For example, the interplay, in­teraction, or clash of the dictionary and contextual meanings of words will bring about such stylistic devices as metaphor, metonymy or irony.

The nature of the interaction may be affinity (likeness by nature), proximity (nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, relation) or contrast (opposition).

Respectively there is metaphor based on the principle of affinity, metonymy based on proximity and irony based on opposition.

The evolution of a stylistic device such as metaphor could be seen from four examples that demonstrate this linguistic mechanism (interplay of dictionary and contextual meaning based on the principle of affinity):

  1. My new dress is as pink as this flower: comparison (ground for comparison—the colour of the flower).

  2. Her cheeks were as red as a tulip: simile (ground for simile— colour/beauty/health/freshness)

  3. She is a real flower: metaphor (ground for metaphor—frail/ fragrant/tender/beautifu 1/helpless...).

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language

2.2. Different classifications of expressive means

My love is a red, red rose: metaphor (ground for metaphor— passionate/beautiful/strong...).

4. Ruby lips, hair of gold, snow-white skin: trite metaphors so frequently employed that they hardly have any stylistic power left because metaphor dies of overuse. Such metaphors are aiso called hackneyed or even dead.

A famous literary example of an author's defiance against immoderate \ use of trite metaphors is W. Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

The more unexpected, the less predictable is the ground for com­parison the more expressive is the metaphor which in this case got a special name of genuine or authentic metaphor. Associations sug­gested by the genuine metaphor are varied, not limited to any definite number and stimulated by the individual experience or imagination.

2.2. Different classifications of expressive means

In spite of the belief that rhetoric is an outmoded discipline it is in rhetoric that we find most of the terms contemporary stylistics generally employs as its metalanguage. Rhetoric is the initial source of information about metaphor, metonymy, epithet, antithesis, chi­asmus, anaphora and many more. The classical rhetoric gave us still widely used terms of tropes and figures of speech.

That is why before looking into the new stylistic theories and findings it's good to look back and see what's been there for centuries. The problems of language in antique times became a concern of scholars because of the necessity to comment on literature and poetry. This necessity was caused by the fact that mythology and lyrical poetry was the study material on which the youth was brought up, taught to read and write and generally educated. Analysis of literary texts helped to transfer into the sphere of oratorical art the first philosophical notions and concepts.

The first linguistic theory called sophistry appeared in the fifth century В. С Oration played a paramount role in the social and political life of Greece so the art of rhetoric developed into a school.

Antique tradition ascribes some of the fundamental rhetorical no­tions to the Greek philosopher Gorgius (483-375 В. С). Togeth­er with another scholar named Trasimachus they created the first school of rhetoric whose principles were later developed by Aristotle (384-322 В. С.) in his books «Rhetoric» and «Poetics».

Aristotle differentiated literary language and colloquial language. This first theory of style included 3 subdivisions:

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language

2.2. Different classifications of expressive means

  • the choice of words;

  • word combinations;

  • figures.

  1. The choice of words included lexical expressive means such as foreign words, archaisms, neologisms, poetic words, nonce words and metaphor.

  2. Word combinations involved 3 things:

  1. order of words;

  2. word-combinations;

  3. rhythm and period (in rhetoric, a complete sentence).

3. Figures of speech. This part included only 3 devices used by the
antique authors always in the same order.

  1. antithesis;

  2. assonance of colons;

  3. equality of colons.

A colon in rhetoric means one of the sections of a rhythmical period in Greek chorus consisting of a sequence of 2 to 6 feet.

Later contributions by other authors were made into the art of speaking and writing so that the most complete and well developed antique system, that came down to us is called the Hellenistic Roman rhetoric system. It divided all expressive means into 3 large groups: Tropes, Rhythm (Figures of Speech) and Types of Speech.

A condensed description of this system gives one an idea how much we owe the antique tradition in modern stylistic studies.

2.2.1- Hellenistic Roman rhetoric system


1. Metaphor—the application of a word (phrase) to an object
(concept) it doesn't literally denote to suggest comparison with
another object or concept.

E. g. A mighty Fortress is our God.

  1. Puzzle (Riddle)—a statement that requires thinking over a con­fusing or difficult problem that needs to be solved.

  1. Synecdoche—the mention of a part for the whole.

E. g. A fleet of 50 sail, (ships)

4. Metonymy—substitution of one word for another on the basis

of real connection.

E.g. Crown for sovereign; Homer for Homer's poems; wealth for rich people.

5. Catachresis—misuse of a word due to the false folk etymology
or wrong application of a term in a sense that does not belong
to the word.

E. g. Alibi for excuse; mental for weak-minded; mutual for common; disinterested for uninterested.

A later term for it is malapropism that became current due to Mrs. Malaprop, a character from R. Sheridan's The Rivals (1775). This sort of misuse is mostly based on similarity in sound.

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language

2.2. Different classifications of expressive means

E. g. That young violinist is certainly a child progeny (instead of prodigy).

6. Epithet—a word or phrase used to describe someone or some-1

thing with a purpose to praise or blame.

E. g. ft was a lovely, summery evening.

7. Periphrasis—putting things in a round about way in order to]

bring out some important feature or explain more clearly the
idea or situation described.

E.g. Igot an Arab boy... and paid him twenty rupees a month, about thirty bob, at which he was highly delighted. (Shute)

8. Hyperbole—use of exaggerated terms for emphasis.

E. g. A 1000 apologies; to wait an eternity; he is stronger than a lion.

9. Antonomasia—use of a proper name to express a general idea
or conversely a common name for a proper one.

E. g. The fron Lady; a Solomon; Don Juan.

Figures of Speech that create Rhythm

These expressive means were divided into 4 large groups:

Figures that create rhythm by means of addition 1. Doubling (reduplication, repetition) of words and sounds.

E. g. Tip-top, helter-skelter, wishy-washy; oh, the dreary, dreary moorland.

2. Epenalepsis (polysyndeton) conjunctions: use of several con­

E. g. He thought, and thought, and thought; f hadn't realized until then how small the houses were, how small and mean the shops. (Shute)

3. Anaphora: repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two
or more clauses, sentences or verses.

E.g. No tree, no shrub, no blade of grass, not a bird or beast, not even a fish that was not owned!

4. Enjambment: running on of one thought into the next line,
couplet or stanza without breaking the syntactical pattern.

E.g. fn Ocean's wide domains Half buried in the sands Lie skeletons in chains With shackled feet and hands.


5. Asyndeton: omission of conjunction.

E.g. He provided the poor with jobs, with opportunity, with self-respect.

Chapter 2. Expressive Resources of the Language

Figures based on compression

1. Zeugma (syllepsis): a figure by which a verb, adjective or other

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