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Style in painting is the same as in writing, a power over materials, whether words or colours, by which conceptions or sentiments are conveyed.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The deeper you go into the text, the more sophisticated you are, the greater the number of levels of understanding,
the deeper the penetration into different dimensions.

O.S. Akhmanova

In the European philological tradition there have always existed phenomena regarded as linguostylistic concepts proper. They are: tropes which are based on the transfer of meaning, when a word (or a combination of words) is used to denote an object which is not normally correlated with this word, and figures of speech whose stylistic effect is achieved due to the unusual arrangement of linguistic units, unusual construction or extension of utterance.

There is a considerable number of terms which can serve to denote different tropes and figures of speech. Most of these terms go back to ancient rhetoric where all the stylistic devices were thoroughly investigated and provided with names and definitions. In the course of time some terms used in Greek and Roman philology have disappeared whereas new ones were introduced. The meanings of some terms have changed. Thus, the Greek metaphora was used by Aristotle in a very broad sense, close to the modern meaning of the term trope, that is, it embraced metonymy, synechdoche, hyperbole and simile.

Theoretically speaking, the division into tropes and figures, which can be traced back to classical philology, is characteristic not only of Russian but also of English and American philological traditions. A Russian anglicist, however, is bound to be faced with certain metalinguistic difficulties. The fact is that the English term figure of speech is often indiscriminately used to denote any stylistic device, including metaphor (this is how metaphor is defined, for instance, in one of the dictionaries of literary terms published in the U.S.A.: a metaphor is a figure of speech in which one object is likened to another by speaking of it as if it were that other (Standard College Dictionary. N.-Y., 1963). The term trope, which was widely employed in the XVIII century in almost the same meaning as the Russian , has practically fallen out of use.

Nevertheless we are convinced that the distinction between tropes and figures is not only a question of metalanguage. It concerns the ontology of linguostylistic phenomena, their essential features. We regard tropes and figures of speech as basic linguostylistic categories whose study should be based on their numerous realisations in speech.

Figurative Language is used to express a particular feeling or encourage imagination by a well-developed means of creating images, its purpose being to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of both written and oral communication. Figurative language has developed alongside rhetoric, both rooted as far back in history as the times of such classical rhetoricians as Aristotle, Quintillion, and Cicero.

Rhetoric is usually defined as the art of persuasion. Aristotle and Quintillion developed a system of methods and tools of persuasion claiming that a rhetorical discourse should consist of:

invention (developing arguments);

disposition (organizing one's subject);

style (the means of persuasion).

In the modern era style and disposition (as well as invention, though) are still very important form-making categories. They are known as stylistic language means.

Expressive means of a language are those forms and properties that have the potential to make the utterance emphatic or expressive. They dont change the semantic structure. They only add some degree of emotive force to the utterance structure. These can be found on all the levels phonetic, phonographical, morphological, lexical or syntactical.

The table to follow gives a few examples of expressive means, which are grouped in accordance with the levels of language.


Levels of Language Expressive Means
Phonetics pitch melody stress pausation drawling drawling out certain syllables whispering a sing-song manner of speech
Morphology grammar means (e.g. shifts in tenses, the usage of obsolete forms as in He hath brethren) word-building means (e.g. the usage of diminutive suffixes to add some emotional colouring to words as -y (i.e.) in birdie, and -let in streamlet, piglet)
Vocabulary words with emotive meaning only, like interjections words with both referential and emotive meaning, like some of the qualitative adjectives words with twofold meaning, denotative and connotative words belonging to different strata of English set expressions, idioms, proverbs and sayings
Syntax constructions containing emphatic elements of different kinds (e.g. constructions of dummy subjects)

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

All stylistic devices belong to expressive means, but not all expressive means are stylistic devices. Thus, phonetic phenomena, such as pitch, stress, pausation, tempo are all expressive means without being stylistic devices: I do know you. Im really angry with that dog of yours (Intensifiers). According to I.R. Galperin a stylistic device is such a generative model which through frequent use in language is transformed into a stylistic device (e.g. metaphor). Its like an algorithm used for an expressive purpose. This arbitrary division of stylistic means into expressive means and stylistic devices does not necessarily mean that these groups cannot overlap. On the contrary, the striking effect of many a stylistic device is based on the logical or emotional emphasis contained in the corresponding expressive means and vice versa: a formerly genuine stylistic device can become an expressive means (idioms at large).

The classification suggested by I.R. Galperin is simply and logically organized. His classification based on the level-oriented approach includes the following subdivision of expressive means and stylistic devices:

1. Phonetic expressive means and stylistic devices.

2. Lexical expressive means and stylistic devices.

3. Syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices.

A convergence of expressive means and stylistic devices is the accumulation of several expressive means and stylistic devices of the same or different levels of language, promoting the same idea or emotion in the same context. Stylistic function is not the property and purpose of expressive means of the language as such. Any type of expressive means will make sense stylistically when treated as a part of a bigger unit, the context, or the whole text. It means that there is no immediate dependence between a certain stylistic device and a definite stylistic function.

A stylistic device is not strictly attached to promote this or that stylistic effect. Thus, hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration of a quality or quantity), for instance, may provide any of the following effects: tragic, comical, pathetic or grotesque. Stylistic inversion may give the narration a highly elevated tone or a tone of an ironic mock.

This chameleon quality of expressive means and stylistic devices enables the author to apply different means and devices for the same purpose. The use of more than one type of expressive means in close succession is a powerful technique to support the idea that carries paramount importance in the authors view. Such redundancy ensures the delivery of the message to the reader.



Seminar 1

When we judge language, we often bear in mind its written representation. It can be however very subjective and at the same time completely misleading because language exists in 2 forms: oral and written. Of the 2 forms (oral and written) oral is primary.

The stylistic approach to the utterance is not confined to its structure and meaning. There is another thing to be taken into account which, in a certain type of communication, e.g. belles letters or advertisements, plays an important role. This is the way a word, a phrase or a sentence sounds.

As it is clear from the title of this section, the stylistic use of phonemes and their graphical representation will be viewed here. Dealing with various cases of phonemic and graphemic foregrounding we should not forget the unilateral nature of a phoneme: this language unit helps to differentiate meaningful lexemes but has no meaning of its own.

Essential Terms:

graphon intentional violation of the graphical shape of a word (or word combination) used to reflect its authentic pronunciation. It represents blurred, incoherent, careless pronunciation caused by young age, intoxication, ignorance of the discussed theme or social, territorial, educational status: 1) De old Foolosopher, like Hickey calls yuh, ain't yuh? 2) I had a coach with a little seat in fwont with an iwon wail for the dwiver (Ch. Dickens) (.: ); 3) You dont mean to thay that thith ith your firth time (D. Cusack).

ONOMATOPOEIA (SOUND SYMBOLISM) the use of words whose sounds imitate those of the signified object or action. It occurs when there is a correspondence between the sound of a word and the sound or sense denoted by the word i.e. when the word actually imitates or echoes the sound or sense it stands for: 1) buzz, murmur, clatter, whisper, cuckoo bubble, splash, rustle, purr, flop, babble, giggle, whistle; 2) where white horses and black horses and brown horses and white and black horses and brown and white horses trotted tap-tap-tap tap-tap-tappety-tap over cobble stones... (S. OCasey).

paronomasia a figure which consists in the deliberate (often humorous) use of the partial phonetic similarity of words different in meaning: 1) A young man married is a man that's marred (W. Shakespeare); 2) Gentlemen wanted their bankers prudent but not prudish.

spoonerism a figure based on an interchange of initial sounds or syllables of successive words, often designed for comic effect (called after Rev. Dr. W.A. Spooner, a Professor of Oxford University, a noted perpetrator of spoonerisms): 1) youve hissed my mystery lessons, youve tasted the worm and youll have to leave by the town drain (missed ... history, wasted ... term, down train); 2) Three cheers for our queer old dean! (dear old queen, referring to Queen Victoria); 3) Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride? (customary to kiss); 4) The Lord is a shoving leopard (a loving shepherd); 5) A blushing crow (crushing blow); 6) A well-boiled icicle (well-oiled bicycle); 7) You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle (lighting a fire); 8) Is the bean dizzy? (dean busy); 9) Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet (occupying my pew ... show me to another seat).

ALLITERATION a figure of speech which consists in the repetition of the same (esp. initial) consonant sound in words in close succession (usually in the stressed syllables): 1) The fair breeze blew, / the white foam flew, / The furrow followed free; // We were the first that ever burst / Into that silent sea // (S.T. Coleridge); 2) A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning (Disraeli); 3) Doom is dark and deeper than any sea dingle (W. Auden).

assonance a figure of speech based on the coincidence of vowels (r diphthongs) without regard to consonants, a kind of vowel-rhyme: 1) How sad and bad and mad it was (R. Browning); 2) ... the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore / Nameless here for evermore (E.A. Poe).

RHYMEis the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations of words (or the repetition of the same vowel in two or more stressed syllables). Identity and particularly similarity of sound combinations may be relative. We distinguish between full rhymes and incomplete rhymes. The full rhyme presupposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable (might right; heedless needless). Incomplete rhymes can be divided into two main groups: vowel rhymes and consonant rhymes. In vowel rhymes the vowels of the syllables in corresponding words are identical, but the consonants may be different (tale pain; flesh fresh guess press). Consonant rhymes, on the contrary, show concordance in consonants and disparity in vowels: tale-tool; treble-trouble.

STANZAS different patterns of rhyming:

couplet: a a when the last words of two successive lines are

triple rhymes: a a a;

cross-rhymes: a b a b;

framing rhyme / ring rhyme: a b b a.

Other stanzas typical of English poetry are the following: tercet (aba bcb); quatrain; the ballad stanza; the heroic couplet (aa bb cc ); the Spenserian stanza (abab bcb cc); ottava rhyme (ab ab ab cc); the sonnet (three quatrains and a concluding couplet abab cdcd, efef, gg), etc.

RHYTHM The measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose. In verse measured alternation of accented and unaccented syllables, in prose the alternation of similar syntactical patterns.

I. Speak on the following:

Paradigmatic level:

1) graphon as a phonographical stylistic device;

2) onomatopoeia as a phonostylistic device;

3) paronomasia as a phonostylistic device;

4) spoonerism as a phonostylistic device.



Syntagmatic level:

1) alliteration and assonance as rhythm forming figures of speech;

2) rhythm and rhyme.

II. In your books of either home reading or individual reading find the above mentioned expressive means and stylistic devices and comment upon their structure and stylistic function.

III. Do the following exercises:

Exercise I. Indicate the causes and effects of the following cases of alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia:

1. He swallowed the hint with a gulp and a gasp and a grin.

2. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free (S.C.).

3. The Italian trio tut-tutted their tongues at me (..).

4. You, lean, long, lanky lam of a lousy bastard! (O'C.).

5. Luscious, languid and lustful, isn't she? Those are not the correct epithets. She is-or rather was surly, lustrous and sadistic (E.W.).

6. Sh-sh. But I am whispering. This continual shushing annoyed him (A.H.).

7. Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky (Ch.R.).

8. Dreadful young creatures-squealing and squawking (C.).

9. The quick crackling of dry wood aflame cut through the night (St.H.).

Exercise II. Think of the causes originating graphon (young age, a physical defect of speech, lack of education, the influence of dialectal norms, affectation, intoxication, carelessness in speech, etc.):

1. He began to render the famous tune I lost my heart in an English garden, Just where the roses of England grow with much feeling: Ah-ee last mah-ee hawrt een ahn Angleesh gawrden, Jost whahr thah rawzaz ahv Angland graw (H.C.).

2. She mimicked a lisp: I dont weally know wevver Im a good girl. The last thing hell do would be to be mixed with a howwid woman (J.Br.)

3. All the village dogs are no-'count mongrels, Papa says. Fish-gut eaters and no class a-tall; this here dog, he got insteek (..).

4. My daddy's coming tomorrow on a nairplane (S.).

5. After a hum a beautiful Negress sings Without a song, the dahay would nehever end (U.).

6. Oh, well, then, you just trot over to the table and make your little mommy a gweat big dwink (E.A.).

7. I allus remember me man sayin' to me when I passed me scholarship 'You break one o'my winders an' I'll skin ye alive' (St.B.).

8. He spoke with the flat ugly a and withered r of Boston Irish, and Levi looked up at him and mimicked All right, I'll give the caaads a break and staaat playing (N.M.).

9. Whereja get all these pictures? he said. Meetcha at the corner. Wuddaya think she's doing out there? (S.).

10. Lookat him go. D'javer see him walk home from school? You're French Canadian, aintcha? (J.K.).

Exercise III. State the functions and the type of the following graphical expressive means:

1. Piglet, sitting in the running Kanga's pocket, substituting the kidnapped Roo, thinks:

  this       shall     take      
If   is   I   never     to    
      flying       really     It (M.).

2. Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo
We haven't enough to do-oo-oo (R.K.).

3. Hey, he said, is it a goddamn cardroom? or a latrine? Attensh HUT! Da-ress right! DHRESS! (J.).

4. When Will's ma was down here keeping house for him she used to run in to see me, real often (S.L.).

5. He missed our father very much. He was s-1-a-i-n in North Africa (S.).

6. His voice began on a medium key, and climbed steadily up till it reached a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word, and then plunged down as if from a spring board:

Shall                     of ease,


Whilst                   seas? (M.T.).

7. We'll teach the children to look at things. Don't let the world pass you by, I shall tell them. For the sun, I shall say, open your eyes for that laaaarge sun (A.W.)

8. Now listen, Ed, stop that, now. I'm desperate. I am desperate, Ed, do you hear? (Dr.)

9. Adieu you, old man, grey. I pity you, and I de-spise you (D.).

10. ALL our troubles are over, old girl, he said fondly. We can put a bit by now for a rainy day (S.M.).

Exercise IV. State the function of graphon in captions, posters, advertisements, etc. repeatedly used in American press, T.V.:

1. Weather forecast for today: Hi 59, Lo 32, Wind lite.

2. We recommend a Sixty seconds meal: Steak-Umm.

3. Best jeans for this Jeaneretion.

4. Dolls and Dollars.

5. Follow our advice: Drinka Pinta Milka Day.

6. Terrys Floor Fashions: We make em you walk on em. Our offer is $ 15.00 WK.

7. Thanx for the purchase.

8. Everybody uses our wunnerful Rackfeed Drills.

Exercise V. Analyse the cases of spoonerisms:

1. Three cheers for our queer old dean!

2. Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?

3. The Lord is a shoving leopard.

4. A blushing crow.

5. A well-boiled icicle.

6. You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle.

7. Is the bean dizzy?

8. Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet. You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain.

Reference list:

1. Galperin I.R. Stylistics. Part III. P. 123135; Part VI. P. 252264.

2. A .. . . V. C. 275296; . VI. . 296316.

3. Kukharenko V.A. A Book of Practice in Stylistics. P. 1322.




Seminar 2

There are three big subdivisions in this class of devices and they all deal with the semantic nature of a word or phrase. However the criteria of selection of means for each subdivision are different and manifest different semantic processes.

1. In the first subdivision the principle of classification is based on the interaction of different types of a words meanings: dictionary, contextual, derivative, nominal, and emotive. The stylistic effect of the lexical means is achieved through the binary opposition of dictionary and contextual or logical and emotive or primary meaning and derivative meanings of a word.

2. The principle for distinguishing the second big subdivision according to I.R.Galperin is entirely different from the first one and is based on the interaction between two lexical meanings simultaneously materialized in the context. This kind of interaction helps to call special attention to a certain feature of the object described.

3. The third subdivision comprises stable word combinations and their interaction with the context.

Essential Terms:

metaphoris a trope which consists in the use of words (word combinations) in transferred meanings by way of similarity or analogy. Metaphor is the application of a name or a descriptive term to an object to which it is not literally applicable. This is an implied comparison. It is based on analogy or association: 1) Art is a jealous mistress (Emerson); 2) His voice was a dagger of corroded brass (S. Lewis); 3) They walked alone, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate (W.S.Gilbert); 4) From Settin in the Baltic to Trestie in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent (Winston Churchill).

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