Styles or functional styles (функциональные стили)

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Part 1 On the Notions of 'Style' and 'Stylistics'

In different situations of communication people use different manners of expressing their thoughts, which, in the Russian linguistic tradition, are usually called styles or functional styles (функциональные стили), and in the linguistic tradition abroad — registers of speech (регистры речи). Stylistics is a branch of linguistics that studies the various functional styles of speech and also the various expressive means and devices (эк­спрессивные средства и приемы) of language. Apart from that, some linguists apply the term 'stylistics' to the study of various stylistic peculiarities of the language of works of fiction (сти­листика художественной речи).

The distinction between a lofty style and a low style of speech (высокий и низкий стили) was put forward as far back as in the 18,h century by Michail Lomonosov. However, stylistics as a special branch of linguistics was singled out only towards the middle of the 20"' century. Academician V.V. Vinogradov was among the first linguists to describe the different styles of speech in respect to their functions (= aims). He distinguished, in particular:


  1. the colloquial style, which has the function of commu­nicating (функция общения);

  2. the official and scientific styles, which have the function of informing (
    функция сообщения);

  3. the publicist (
    публицистический) and belle-lettres (худо­жественно-беллетристический) styles, which have the function of producing an emotional impact (функция эмо­ционального воздействия) on the listeners.

This classification undoubtedly reflects certain differences between speech styles, although its criteria for the opposition of functions are rather confusing. Thus, for example, the functions of informing and communicating are present in any

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style (colloquial, official, scientific, publicist, belles-lettres), as speech always contains some information and is used for communicating. Therefore it would probably be more precise to say that the colloquial style is characteristic of the situation of direct communication (when the listener/interlocutor is present during speech), while the other, more bookish styles (official, scientific, publicist) are used in situations of indirect communication (without any listener/interlocutor present during speech).

Moreover, production of emotional impact on the listener/ reader is not so much the aim of a special style of speech, but rather the aim of publicist or fiction (belles-lettres) works, which represent particular literary genres (жанры). It goes without saying that such works (texts) have also the function of informing. One more point to mention here is that the study of the language of various works of fiction constitutes a special branch in both linguistics and also in literature theory (лите­ратуроведение), and that fiction works themselves generally comprise samples (образцы) of both colloquial style (the speech of the characters) and of bookish style (the speech of the author).

Two Types of Stylistic Information

Every style of speech brings about with it some additional information about the conditions and peculiarities of communication. The choice of style may depend 1) on particular relations between the participants of communication (interlocutors) and 2) on a particular attitude of the speaker to what he says. These two types of stylistic information will be used below as the basis for the classification of styles.

From this point of view, functional styles express the first type of information, i.e. the relations between the interlocutors. In some situations these relations may be unrestrained (непри­нужденные), friendly, easy-going or intimate, and in that case the speaker chooses the so called informal style of speech, viz.

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the colloquial style, which is a lower ' (сниженный) style of speech, characteristic of oral communication. In other situations the relations between the interlocutors may be restrained (сдержанные), strictly official, etc., and then the interlocutors try to be deliberately polite (подчеркнуто веж­ливыми), and they choose the so called formal style (the lofty, bookish style), which is generally characteristic of written language. The formal style is used in the genres of official or business documents, of scientific or publicist works. These genres, in their turn, may be further subdivided into more particular varieties of genres; for example, official documents may represent an order, instruction, resolution, proceedings of a meeting (протокол заседания), report, application (заявле­ние), etc.


It is natural for speakers to try to avoid any confusion of formal and informal styles within one text, as such a confusion might give the wrong idea of the relations between the interlocutors: e.g. a letter to a person of higher authority cannot begin with words like 'Hi, how are you doing?', which would bear a sense of familiarity. But at the same time it is well worth mentioning that there may be samples of speech (oral or written) which are not clearly marked by features of any particular style, and which can therefore be regarded as a "neutral" style, suitable for any communicative situations.

Besides the formal and informal functional styles mentioned above (which reflect the relations between interlocutors), there are also stylistic characteristics of speech that reflect the attitude of the speaker to the content of his speech. This second type of stylistic information concerns the emotional character of speech, viz. the presence or absence of emotional or evaluative (оценочный) elements. In this respect we can distinguish:



  1. an emotionally coloured style of speech

  2. a deliberately unemotional (подчеркнуто безэмоциональ­ный), or "cold" style of speech

  3. a neutral style of speech

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hmotionally coloured speech maybe characterized, on the one hand, by a lofty emotional colouring (приподнятая эмо­циональная окраска), such as solemn (торжественная), passionate (патетическая), ironic, wrathful (гневная), sarcastic (саркастическая), etc., or, on the other hand, by a lower colouring (сниженная окраска), such as jocular/humo­rous (шутливая), derogatory (уничижительная), rude (гру­бая), disapproving (неодобрительная), endearing (ласкатель­ная), etc.

The lofty emotional colouring is characteristic of the publicist/oratory style, while the lower emotional colouring is typical of colloquial style. The deliberately unemotional character of speech is typical of the formal ('cold') styles, such as scientific, official or business speech, where the speaker tends to make his speech impersonal and avoid any emotional or evaluating elements.

Apart from the two directly opposed styles — the emotionally coloured and the deliberately unemotional — there may also be intermediate, stylistically neutral speech, which is neither emotionally coloured nor deliberately devoid of emotion. Thus, there may be samples of speech that are neutral both with respect to the relations between the interlocutors and with respect to the speaker's attitude toward what he says.

Stylistic differences of any kind can be expressed by various language means: phonetic, lexical or grammatical. One of the most vivid means is, naturally, the choice of vocabulary.

Stylistic Characteristics of English Vocabulary

With respect to the functional styles, vocabulary can be subdivided into bookish (literary), which is typical of formal styles (scientific, official, business, publicist), and colloquial vocabulary which is typical of the lower style (colloquial). In addition, there is always present in the language a stylistically neutral vocabulary, which can be used in all kinds of style. Cf.:

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child (neutral) — kid (colloq.) — infant (e.g. infant schools —

official, bookish) — offspring (also bookish, used in scientific

works); father (nt\A.) daddy (coll.) — male parent/ancestor (formal); leave/go away (neut.) — be off/get out/get away/get lost (coll.,

or familiar- colloquial) — retire/withdraw (bookish); continue (neutr.) — go on, carry on (coll.) — proceed (bookish,

formal); begin/start (neutr.) — get going/get started/Come on! (coll.) —


commence (formal);

Stylistically neutral words usually constitute the main member in a group of synonyms, the so-called synonymic dominant (синонимическая доминанта): they can be used in any style, they are not emotionally coloured and have no additional evaluating elements; such are the words child, father, begin, leave/go away, continue in the examples above.

Unlike neutral words (synonymic dominants), which only denote (обозначают) a certain notion and thus have only a denotational meaning (денотативное значение, обозначение некоторого понятия), their stylistic synonyms usually contain some connotations (коннотации), i.e. additional components of meaning which express some emotional colouring or evaluation (оценка) of the object named; these additional components may also be simply signs of a particular functional style of speech. Observe, for example, the following connotations:

an endearing connotation (ласкат.) — e.g. in the words kid, daddy, mummy (as different from the neutral words child, father, mother); derogatory (презрит. — уничижит.) con­notation — e.g. in rot, trash, stuff (as different from the neutral 'something worthless or silly'); jocular/humourous — e.g. in comestibles (=food), beak (= nose), to kick the bucket (= to die); rude or vulgar, e.g. in shut up/shut your trap; ironical or sarcastic — brain-wash (= промывка мозгов), a pretty kettle offish (= an embarrassing situation), notorious (= пресловутый; his notorious jokes; he is notorious for his bad behaviour — "сла-

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вится", т.е. "печально известен"); approving evaluation {одобрительная оценка) — e.g. in the word renowned (a renowned poet = прославленный; Edison is renowned for his great inventions): on the other hand, its synonyms like well-known, famous are neutral in this respect (have no connotations).

It should be noted that we do not include into the stylistically coloured vocabulary words that directly express some positive or negative evaluation of an object — хороший, плохой, краси­вый, некрасивый, прекрасный, уродливый; good, bad, pretty, ugly. Here the evaluation expressed makes up their denotational meaning proper (it represents the notion expressed by the word), but not an additional connotation. Also, it is easy to notice that words like ugly, awful, beautiful, wonderful, superb denote a high degree of quality (negative or positive), but this component of degree (of intensity) is again part of their denotational meaning, not a connotation (which is understood as an additional element accompanying the denotational meaning of a word).

As connotation proper (a special colouring), negative evaluation is present e.g. in the word scary (a scary girl — cf. the Russian страшненкая; both words have an ironic or derogatory colouring) or pretty — when it is used in phrases like a pretty boy/man (humorous, ironical or derogatory connotations; cf. also the Russian красавчик, красотка), or a pretty state (It's a pretty state of affairs when I can't afford the price of a pint of beer any morel). That's a pretty kettle offish (= ну и дела!); there is ironical connotation in the word cox-comb (literally "петушиный хохолок"), like in the corresponding Russian word щеголь, or in a cock of the walk (зазнайка).

There is a derogatory connotation in the words to fabricate, to concoct (сфабриковать, выдумать), as different from the neutral phrase 'to create a false story' (which expresses the negative evaluation by the denotational meanings of the words): there is a negative evaluative connotation in to slander (клеве­тать) — as different from emotionally neutral expressions like to distort facts (искажать факты), which again express the

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idea of 'falsification' directly. In the sentence Don't read this bad hook the negative evaluation is expressed directly (by the denotational meaning of the adjective bad), whereas in Don't read this trash the evaluation is expressed by the derogatory colouring of the noun trash — in other words, it is present here only as a connotation; thus, words like trash, rot, stuff (= "something worthless, bad") are stylistically marked (стилис­тически маркированы, т.е. обладают определенной стили­стической окраской), while the word bad is stylistically unmarked (стилистически немаркировано, нейтрально).


Apart from that, as was already mentioned above, the stylistic connotation of a word may be just a sign of a certain functional style to which the word belongs, without carrying any emotional or evaluative element. Thus, sentences like She is cute (= pretty), It is cute (= very good), It's cool (Это круто) contain not only a high positive evaluation (in the same way as the stylistically neutral variants She is pretty/good-looking or It is very good), but also a stylistic connotation which shows that they belong to the familiar-colloquial style (фамильярно-раз­говорный стиль), or even to slang. Colloquial connotations are also present in the phrases to fix a watch (neutral — to repair a watch), to fix an appointment for seven o'clock (= to arrange), to fix breakfast (American — to cook breakfast). On the other hand, a bookish connotation, or colouring (as a feature of official or scientific style of speech) is present in expressions like to cause/to inflict bodily injuries (neutral — to hit/to beat/to hurt), to cause/to inflict damage (neutr. to harm/to do harm), to impose a tax/a fine (neutr. to tax/to fine), an impoverished person (neutr. a poor person), highly improbable (neutr. very unlikely), etc.

A rude (vulgar) connotation is present in vulgarisms, or (aboo words, which are not to be used in the speech of educated people and are therefore often replaced by euphemisms (эв­фемизмы) — the more 'gentle' names of the object. Thus, the word 'devil' is, for many people, unacceptable in speech and

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intervocal position (belter, letter, closer); a slight nasalisation of vowels before or after nasal consonants (can't, stand).

There are also differences in vocabulary, e.g. fall (British — autumn), guess (= think), baggage (= luggage), drug (== medicine), store ( = shop), can ( = tin), elevator ( = lift), hardware ( = ironmongery), grades (= marks), mail( =post), bill (= banknote), to pay a check ( = to pay a bill), gas (=petrol), hog(=pig), to line (= to queue up), movies (= pictures, cinema film), stocks ( = shares), information desk (= enquiry-office), sidewalk ( = pavement), carousal [karu'sel] ( = merry-go-round), vacation ( = holiday), class (= form; the boy is now in his first class at school), closet (= cupboard), candy (= sweets), sick (= ill), ten minutes after five ( = past five), etc. As for grammar forms, American English uses gotten instead of got, and the future auxiliary will with all the persons. It also prefers simplified variants of spelling: color(=colour), favorite (= favourite), theater( = theatre), center (=centre), telegram (= telegramme), etc.

b) English Vocabulary in the Aspect of Time

Besides the vocabulary that is in current (present-day) use, we also find archaic or obsolete (устарелые) words, which belong to some previous stage of language development but can still be found in works of fiction (especially in the works of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Swift or other classical authors). Cf. the archaic words Behold! (= Look!), Hark! (= Listen!), methinks ( = I think), Nay( = no), Wither are you going? (= Where are you going to ?), hither and thither (— here and there), thou/to thee (= you/to you), whilst (= while), awhile (=for some time), yon (= this, that), yonder (= there), etc.

Archaic words are frequently used in poetry and thus belong also to poetic vocabulary (potic diction): cf. quoth ( — said), woe (= sorrow), swain (= shepherd), foe (= enemy), steed/charger (= horse), realm (= kingdom), nought/naught (= nothing), ere (= before), albeit (= although); here also belong certain shortened variants of the currently used words, e.g. oft ( = often), eve (= evening), morn (= morning), etc.

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The vocabulary that has gone out of use also includes the so called 'historisms' (историзмы) — words which reflect some phenomena belonging to the past limes, e.g. knight (рыцарь), yeomen (йомены, independent peasants in old England), archer (лучник), sling (праща), ram (таран); cf. also Russian historisms like городничий, городовой, бояре.


On the other hand, we can also find in English vocabulary the so-called 'neologisms', i.e. words that have recently come into the language and are still felt as rather new: allergy, computer, astronaut, isotope, quasar, laser, aliens, supermarket, chain-stores, bikini, mini/maxi/midi (of clothes), paperbacks, etc.

Comparatively new borrowings from other languages, which are not yet completely assimilated in the language (phonetically or grammatically), are stylistically marked as 'foreign' words (sometimes, as barbarisms); they usually belong to a lofty (bookish) style: e.g. protege, a propos, bonjour, idee fixe, chic (= of very good taste, fashionable), alter ego (= one's second self), de facto (= in point of fact), status quo (= the existing state of things), ibid/ibidem (= by the same author), etc., viz. (= videlicet) (namely).



Part 2

Functional Styles of Speech in Greater Detail

The Colloquial Style

This is the style of informal, friendly oral communication. The vocabulary of colloquial style is usually lower than that of the formal or neutral styles, it is often emotionally coloured and characterized by connotations (cf. the endearing connotation in the words daddy, kid or the evaluating components in 'trash', etc. in the examples of connotations above).

Colloquial speech is characterized by the frequent use of words with a broad meaning (широкозпачные слова): speakers

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tend to use a small group of words in quite different meanings, whereas in a formal style (official, business, scientific) every word is to be used in a specific and clear meaning. Compare the different uses of the verb "get", which frequently replaces in oral colloquial speech its more specific synonyms:

/ got (= received) a letter today; Wliere did you get (= buy) those shoes?; We don'tget (= have) much rain here in summer, I got (= caught) flu' last month; We got (= took) the six-o 'clock train from London; I got into (=entered) the house easily; Where has my pen got to (= disappeared) ?; We got (= arrived) home late; Get (=put) your hat on!; I can 'tget (=fit) into my old jeans; Get (= throw) the cat out of the house.'; I'll get ( = punish) you, just you wait.'; We got (= passed) through the customs without any checking; I've got up to (= reached) the last chapter of the book; I 'II get (=fetch) the children from school; ft's getting (= becoming) dark; He got (= was) robbed in the street at night; I got (= caused) him to help me with the work; I got the radio working at last( = brought it to the state of working); Will you get (= give, bring) the children their supper tonight?; Ididn 'tget( = hear) what you said; You got (= understood) my answer wrong; I wanted to speak to the director, but only got (= managed to speak) to his secretary; Will you get (= answer) the phone?; Can you get (= tune in) to London on your radio ?

There are phrases and constructions typical of colloquial type: What's up?(= What has happened); so-so (=not especially good); nothing much/nothing to write home about (= nothing of importance); How are you doing? (= How are things with you?); Sorry? Pardon ?( = Please, repeat, Ididn't hear you); Not to worry! (= there is nothing to worry about); No problem!(= This can easily be done); See you ( = Good-bye); Me too/neither (= So/neither do I), etc.

In grammar there may be: a) the use of shortened variants of word-forms, e.g. isn't, can't; there's ; I'd say ; he'd 've done ( = would have done); Yaa ( = Yes); b) the use of elliptical (incomplete) sentences — / did; (Where's he?) — At home; Like it? (= Do you/Did you like it?) — Not too much (= I don 't like it

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too much); (Shall I open it'?) Don 't.'; May I?(= May I ask a question/do this?).

The syntax of colloquial speech is also characterized by the preferable use of simple sentences or by asyndetic connection (= absence of conjunctions, бессоюзная связь) between the parts of composite sentences or between separate sentences. Complex constructions with non-finite forms are rarely used. Note the neutral style in the following extract:

When I saw him there, I asked him, 'Where are you going?', but he started running away from me. I followed him. When he turned round the corner, I also turned round it after him, but then noticed that he was not there. I could not imagine where he was...

and the possible more colloquial version of the same: / saw him there, I say 'Where'ye going?' He runs off, 1 run after him. He turns the comer, me too. He isn 't there. Where's he now?/can't think.... (note also the rather frequent change from the Past tense to the Present, in addition to the absence of conjunctions or other syntactic means of connection).

Familiar-Colloquial Style and Slang (фамильярно-разговорный стиль, жаргоны)

Besides the standard, literary-colloquial (нормативная литературно-разговорная) speech, there is also a non­standard (or substandard) style of speech, mostly represented by a special vocabulary. Such is the familiar-colloquial style (a 'lower' variant of colloquial style) used in very free, friendly, informal situations of communication (between close friends, members of one family, etc.). Here we find emotionally coloured words, low-colloquial vocabulary (просторечная лексика) and slang words. This style admits also of the use of rude and vulgar vocabulary, including expletives/obscene words/four-letter words/swearwords (бранная лексика).

See some examples of familiar-colloquial/low-colloquial words (also called 'slang'):

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Rot/trash/stuff ( = smth. bad); the cat's pyjamas (=just the right/suitable thing); bread-basket (= stomach); grass/pot (=* marijuana, narcotic drugs); tipsy/under the influence (affluence)/ under the table/has had a drop (=drunk); cute/great! (Am) (=very good); wet blanket (^uninteresting person); hot stuff! (smth. extremely good); You're damn right! (= quite right); Where are those darned/damned socks? What the hell do you want?

The term slang is used in a very broad and vague sense. Besides denoting low-colloquial (familiar-colloquial) words, it is also used to denote special social jargons/cants, i.e. words typically used by particular social groups to show that the speaker belongs to this group, as different from other people. Originally jargons were used to preserve secrecy within the social group, to make speech incomprehensible to others — such is the thieves' jargon/cant. There is also teenagers' slang/jargon, school slang, army slang, prison slang, etc. See examples of American army slang: to take felt (= to retire from the army, literally — put on a felt hat); fly boy (=pilot); coffin (= unreliable aeroplane); Molotov cocktail (= bottles with explosive materials);

But often words from a particular jargon spread outside its social group and become general slang. See examples of general British slang: crackers (= crazy), the year dot (= long ago), drip (= uninteresting person without a character), get the hump ( = get angry), mac (~ Scotsman), mug (=fool), nipper (= young child), ratted (= drunk), snout (= tobacco).

Some examples of general American slang: buddy (= fellow), buck (= dollar), cabbage ( = money), John (= lavatory), jerk ( = stupid person) Juice (= wine); joker (= man); glued (= arrested); give smb. wings (= teach to use drugs); stag party (= мальчиш­ник); top dog ( = boss); like a million dollars (-very good); to nip (=steal), smash (= a drink).

There is also professional slang/jargon, i.e. words which are used by people in their professional activity: tin-fish ( = submarine); block-buster (= a bomb- in military use, or a very successfitlfilm in show business); piper (= a specialist decorating


к.

cakes with cream and using a pipe); see also some professional slang words for a 'blow' in boxing: an outer (= a knock-out blow), a right-hander (=one made with the right hand); an uppercut (апперкот); a clinch (position of boxing very close, with body pressed to body).

The Formal (Lofty, Bookish) Style (высокий, книжный стиль)

A formal (lofty, bookish) style is required in situations of official or restrained relations between the interlocutors, who try to avoid any personal and emotional colouring or familiarity, and at the same time to achieve clarity of expression (to avoid any ambiguity and misunderstanding). This style is used in various genres of speech, such as in official (legal, diplomatic,

~? etc.) documents, scientific works, publicist works or public

\ speeches, etc.

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The Style of Official or Business Documents


Official (legal, diplomatic, etc.) and business documents are written in a formal, 'cold' or matter-of-fact style of speech, which requires the choice of a special kind of vocabulary, grammar forms and structures. Such documents often require the use of special formulas of politeness and cliches, e.g. I beg to inform you; I beg to move; I second the motion; the items on the agenda, the above-mentioned, hereinafter named; on behalf of; Dear Sir; We remain respectfully yours, etc. Official documents are frequently characterized by the use of abbreviations or conventional symbols. MP (Member of Parliament), Gvt (government), Ltd (company of limited liability), Co (company); ad (advertisement); AD (Anno Domini = since Christ's birth); ВС (before Christ's birth); USA; UK; $ (dollar); Lb. (pound), etc.

Official or business documents may require special patterns; see the structure of a business letter below:

Domby and Co. 24 South Street Manchester 7th February, 1985 (the address of the sender) Mr. John Smith 19 Green Street London (the address of the party addressed)

Dear Sir, We beg to inform you of a plausible opportunity of concluding an agreement on the issue on the following terms ...

Respectfully yours,

Domby and Co. The syntax of official or business style is characterized by the frequent use of non-finite forms — gerund, participle, infinitive (Considering that...; in order to achieve cooperation in solving the problems), and complex structures with them, such as the Complex Object (We expect this to take place), Complex Subject (This is expected to take place), the Absolute Participial Construction (The conditions being violated, it appears necessary to state that...).

The vocabulary is characterized by the use of special terminology {memorandum; pact; the high contracting parties; to ratify an agreement; extra-territorial status; plenipotential representative; proceedings, protocol, the principles laid down in the document, etc.) and generally by the choice of lofty (bookish) words and phrases: plausible (= possible); to inform (= to tell); to assist (to help), to cooperate (=to work together), to be determined/resolved (= to wish); the succeeding clauses of the agreement (= нижеследующие статьи договора), to reaffirm faith in fundamental principles; to establish the required conditions; the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law; to promote (= to develop) and secure (= to make stable) social progress; with the following objectives/ends (=for these purposes).

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The Style of Scientific Works


The genre of scientific works exists for the most part within the bounds of the written form of language (scientific articles, monographs or textbooks), but it may also manifest itself in its oral form (in scientific reports, lectures, discussions at conferences, etc.); in the latter case this style already has some features of colloquial speech.

The aim of scientific speech is to present precise information, therefore it requires the use of special terminology which does not admit of polysemy or of figurative meanings, of emotional connotations (all of which is typical of colloquial and publicist styles). The author of scientific works tends to sound impersonal, hence the use of the pronoun "WE" instead of "I", of impersonal constructions, of the Passive Voice (which allows the author not to mention himself or any other subjective participants of the events described).

The syntax of scientific speech is characterized by the use of complete (non-elliptical) sentences (unlike the syntax of colloquial speech), the use of extended complex and compound sentences without omission of conjunctions, as these connectors enable the author to express the relations between the parts more precisely (as different from the asyndetic connection typical of colloquial speech); the use of bookish syntactic constructions, such as complexes with non-finite forms of the verb; the use of extended attributive phrases, often with a number of nouns used as attributes to the following head-noun (Noun + Noun construction). See some examples of grammar structures typical of scientific language:

Noun + Noun constructions:

the sea level; the time and space relativity theory; the World peace conference; a high level consensus; the greenhouse effect (парниковый); carbon dioxide emissions (эмиссия двуокиси уг­лерода): fossil fuel burning (сжигание ископаемых горючих веществ); deforestation problems (= problems related to the disappearance of forests on the earth).

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Passive Voice constructions:



Water is not the sole variety of substance from which oxygen can be obtained'. Methane is produced by leaks from gas pipelines.

Bookish syntactic structures:

The compound type of predicate: These gases are easy to control but they are persistent once emitted (= // is easy to control these gases, but it is hard to stop them when they come out)'. Deforestation is probably even harder to change (= It is even harder to change the situation when forests begin to disappear).

The use of abstract nouns, gerundial, participial or infinitive phrases and complexes instead of the much simpler clauses with conjunctions: Apart from this, controlling emissions of greenhouse gases would require huge increase in energy efficiency (= Besides, if we want to control the gases which come out when the air becomes warmer, we shall have to produce much more energy); Agreement to implement such huge projects would require overcoming differences between countries (= If we want to agree to carry out such big projects, we shall have to change the situation when every country is different from another); The measures suggested are worth considering/require careful consideration (= It is necessary to think about the measures that we have suggested); Our planet is known to have been hot once and to have grown cooler in the course of time (= We know that once it was hot and then grew cooler).

Special emphatic constructions to lay a logical stress on some part of the sentence: It is not solely from water that oxygen is to be obtained (= we can get oxygen not only from water). It is on these terms that the UN would be prepared to intervene into the conflict (= The UN will intervene only on these terms).

Publicist (Oratory) Style

This is a style used in public speeches and printed publicist works, which are addressed to a broad audience and devoted to important social or political events, public problems of cultural or moral character. Such communication requires clarity in the presentation of ideas, its aim is to convince the readers/listeners

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of the truth of the ideas expressed, and at the same time to produce an emotional impact (impression) on the audience. Thus the main features of this style are clear logical argumentation and emotional appeal to the audience. In this way the publicist style has features in common not only with the style of official or scientific works, on the one hand, but also with some elements of emotionally coloured colloquial style, on the other hand. Indeed, in this case the author has no need to make his speech impersonal (as in scientific or official style) — on the contrary, he tries to approximate his text to lively communication, as though he were talking to people in direct contact. Accordingly, the publicist style is characterized by the use of logically connected syntactic structures in their full form, i.e. complete extended sentences connected by conjunctions clearly showing the relations expressed, but at the same time, an emotional impact is achieved by the use of emotionally coloured vocabulary, just as in belles-lettres style (the style of fiction works) and in colloquial style.


Publicist (oratory) style requires eloquence (красноречие), and such works are often ornamented with stylistic devices and figures of speech (see Part 3). Some authors of publicist works may prefer verbosity (многословие), others — brevity of expression, often resembling epigrams.

There are various genres in which the publicist style is employed, such as public speeches, essays, pamphlets, articles published in newspapers or magazines, radio and TV commentaries, etc.

The oral variant of publicist style — the oratory style proper (which is used in speeches and mass media commentaries), is especially close to spoken language in its emotional aspect. It is aimed at logical and emotional persuasion of the audience. As there is direct contact with the audience, it allows the speaker to combine effects of written and spoken varieties of language. For example, the author can use direct address (the pronoun of the second person "You"), and often begins his speech with special formulas of address to the audience: Ladies and

4-1115 21

Gentlemen! My Lords', (in the House of Lords); Mr. Chairman: Highly esteemed members of the conference.'; or. in a less formal situation — Dear Friends; or, with a more passionate colouring — My friends/

As the speaker/author attempts to reach closer contact with the audience, he may use such devices as asking the audience questions:



Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, he trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him ? (Th. Jefferson)

or making an appeal to the audience:


Let us then, with courage and confidence, pursue our own federal and republican principles! (ibid.).

On the other hand, as different from colloquial style, the vocabulary of speeches and printed publicist works is usually very elaborately chosen and remains mainly in the sphere of lofty (high-flown) style. See examples below:

a) Friends and Fellow Citizens:


Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow citizens which is here assembled, to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments which the greatness of the charge and the weakness of my powers so justly inspire (Th. Jefferson. First Inaugural Speech)

b) The method which Mr. Burke takes to prove that the people of


England had no such rights, and that such rights do not now
exist in the nation ...is of the same marvellous and monstrous
kind with what he has already said; for his arguments are,
that the persons, or the generations of persons, in whom they
did exist, are dead, and with them the right is dead also.
(Th. Paine. Rights of Man)

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Like colloquial style, the publicist style is usually characterized by emotional colouring and connotations, but there is a difference. The emotional colouring of publicist style is lofty: it may be solemn (as in example a) above), or it may be ironic/sarcastic (as in example b)), but it cannot have the "lower" connotations (jocular, endearing, rude or vulgar, slangy) found in colloquial/familiar colloquial speech.



The syntax of publicist style is often characterised by repetition of structures (syntactic parallelism) — a device used to rouse the audience emotionally:

'It is high time this people had recovered from the passions of war. It is high time that the people of the North and the South understood each other and adopted means to inspire confidence in each other (from a public speech made at the end of the Civil War in the USA).


What do we see on the horizon? What forces are at work? Wither are we drifting? Under what mist of clouds does the future stand obscured? (from Lord Byron's speech in Parliament)

Syntactic repetition may be combined with lexical repetition (periphrasis):



Robert Burns exalted our race and the Scottish tongue. Before his time we had for a long period been scarcely recognised; we had been falling out of the recollection of the world ... Scotland had lapsed into obscurity ... Her existence was almost forgotten (all those different phrases simply repeat the idea "nobody knew us, Scots, before").

Some Particular Genres of Publicist Style



The Essay

This genre in English literature dates from the 16"' century, and its name is taken from the short "Essays" (= experiments, attempts) by the French writer Montaigne, which contained his thoughts on various subjects. An essay is a literary composition of moderate length on philosophical, social or literary subjects, which preserves a clearly personal character and has no pretence to deep or strictly scientific treatment of

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the subject. It is rather a number of comments, without any definite conclusions. See an extract from Ben Johnson (16lh century):

Language most shows a man; speak, thai I may see thee. It springs of the most retired and in most parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true, as his speech, and, as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language. Some men are tall and big, so some language is high and great. Then the words are chosen, the sound ample, the composition full, all grace, sinewy (жилистый) and strong. Some are little and dwarfs; so of speech, it is humble and low; the words are poor and flat; the members are periods thin and weak, without knitting (связь) or number.

Nowadays an essay is usually a kind of feature article (те­матическая статья) in a magazine or newspaper. It is characterized by clarity and brevity of expression, by the use of the first person singular, by expanded use of connecting words (to express clearly all the logical relations in the development of thought), and abundant use of emotionally coloured words, of metaphors and other figures of speech.


Newspaper Speech

English newspaper writing dates from the 17"' century. First newspapers carried only news, without comments, as commenting was considered to be against the principles of journalism. By the 19lh century newspaper language was recognised as a particular variety of style, characterized by a specific communicative purpose and its own system of language means.

The content of newspaper material is fairly diverse, it comprises news and commentary on the news, press reports and articles, advertisements and official announcements, as well as short stories and poems, crossword puzzles and other such like material for entertainment of the reader.

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Newspaper style includes a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means serving the purpose of informing, instructing, and, in addition, of entertaining the reader. As a result of this diversity of purposes, newspapers contain not only strictly informational, but also evaluative material — comments and views of the news-writer (esecially characteristic of editorials and feature articles).


As the newspaper seeks to influence public opinion on various social, political or moral matters, its language frequently contains vocabulary with evaluative connotation, such as to allege (theperson who allegedly committed the crime), or to claim (the defendant claims to know nothing about it), which cast some doubt on what is stated further and make it clear to the reader that those are not yet affirmed facts. A similar idea is expressed by special grammar structures, e.g. The man is said to have taken part in the affair, or The chief of the police is quoted as saying... Evaluation can be included in the headlines of news items (Government going back on its own promises) and in the commentary on the news, in feature articles, in leading articles (editorials), where emotionally coloured vocabulary is widely employed. The characteristics mentioned are common to different genres of publicist style. Nevertheless, the informative content generally prevails in newspaper material as compared with purely publicist or oratory works.

On the whole we may single out the following features typical of newspaper style:


in vocabulary — the use of special political or economic terminology (constitutional, election, General Assembly of the UN, gross output, per capita production):

the use of lofty, bookish vocabulary, including certain cliches (population, public opinion, a nation-wide crisis, crucial/pressing problems, representative voting), which may be based on metaphors and thus emotionally coloured: war hysteria, escalation of war, overwhelming majority, stormy applause/a storm of applause, captains of industry, pillars of society (столпы), the bulwark of civilization (оплот; букв, бастион).

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frequent use of abbreviations — names of organizations, political movements, etc.: UN (United Nations Organization), NATO {North Atlantic Treaty Organization), EEC (European Economic Community), UK( The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), FO (Foreign Office), PM (Prime -minister), MP (member of Parliament), etc.



the use of neologisms, since newspapers quickly react to any new trends in the development of society, technology, science and so on: sputnik, a teach-in (the form of campaigning through heated political discussions), black Americans/Afro-Americans (= Negroes), Latin Americans (emigrants from South America), front-lash (a vigorous anti-racist movement), stop-go politics (= indecisive policies), a shock announcement, to work flat out(= to work very hard), a frosty reception.

in grammar — the use of complete simple sentences, of complex and compound sentences, often extended by a number of clauses:


The Secretary to the Treasury said he had been asked what was meant by the statement in the Speech that the position of war pensioners would be kept under close review.

On the other hand, in newspaper headlines we find elliptical sentences, with the finite verb omitted or replaced by a non-finite form, and the grammatical articles also often omitted:



Price rise expected (=A rise in prices is expected); Witnesses silent in court (= The witnesses are silent during the court trial); Prime Minister on new tax (= What the Prime Minister said about the new tax).




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