Functional Stylistics


Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

The subject of stylistics has so far not been definitely outlined. This is due to a number of reasons. First of all there is confusion between the terms style and stylistics. The first concept is so broad that it is hardly possible to regard it as a term.



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Лекционный комплекс

Функциональная Стилистика

(английский язык)


Алматы, 2012

Lecture #1

THEME: Stylistics. The subject of Stylistics. Links with other branches.

An Outline

  1.  Stylistics as a branch of linguistics, its aims and tasks.
  2.  Types of stylistic research and branches of stylistics.
  3.  Stylistics and its Subdivisions.
  4.  Expressive Means (EM) and Stylistic Devices (SD).

Stylistics as a branch of linguistics, its aims and tasks.

The origin of the term Style and Stylistics: Lat – stylus – a stick made of material for writing/ stylistics comes from French “Stylistique” – instrument for writing.

The subject of stylistics has so far not been definitely outlined. This is due to a number of reasons. First of all there is confusion between the terms style and stylistics. The first concept is so broad that it is hardly possible to regard it as a term. We speak of style in architecture, literature, behavior, linguistics, dress and other fields of human activity.

Even in linguistics the word style is used so widely that it needs interpretation. The majority of linguists who deal with the subject of style agree that the term applies to the following fields of investigation:

  1.  The aesthetic function of language;
  2.  Expressive means in language;
  3.  Synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea;
  4.  Emotional colouring of language;
  5.  A system of special devices called stylistic devices;
  6.  The splitting of the literary language into separate subsystems called stylistic devices;
  7.  The interrelation between language and thought;
  8.  The individual manner of an author is making use of language

The course of Stylistics is to supplement other course. It aims at introducing the students to the stylistic system of the English language, its functions, principles and methods of stylistic analysis. Finally, it leads to the better understanding of the literary legacy of the target language by means of the stylistic interpretation of separate pieces and whole literary works.

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.

Functional styles (in their development and current state).

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

Literary stylistics is focused on:

The composition of a work of art.

Various literary genres.

The writer’s outlook.

Comparative stylistics

Comparative stylistics is connected with the constructive study of more than one language. It analyses the stylistic resources nit 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.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.

If 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. But if we try to treat the same text form the reader’s angle of view we shall have to disregard this background knowledge and get the maximum information from the text itself (its vocabulary, composition, sentence arrangement, etc.). The first approach manifests the prevalence of the literary analysis. The  second is based almost exclusively on the linguistic analysis. Decoding stylistics is an attempt the 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-stylistic 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).

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.).

Stylistic and its Subdivisions

I.R.Galperin: Stylistics is a branch of general linguistics, with deals with the following two interdependent tasks:

a) Studies the totality of special linguistic means (stylistic devices and expressive means) with secure the desirable effect of the utterance;

b) Studies certain types of text “discourse” which due to the choice and arrangement of the language are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of communication (functional styles).

Depending on the school of thought there are:

  1.  Linguo-stylistics;
  2.  Literary stylistics (encoding stylistics);
  3.  Decoding stylistics (of the reader);

1)Linguo – stylistics is the study of literary discourse from a linguistic orientation. The linguistics is connected with the language codes themselves and particular messages of interest and so far as to exemplify how the codes are constructed.

2)Literary stylistics: is to explicate the message, to interpret and evaluate literary writings as the works of art.

3)Decoding stylistics can be presented in the following way:

Sender – message – receiver; speaker – book – reader.

 Lecture # 2 

The notion of style. Meaning from a stylistic point of view.


      The  term is applied to the realm of linguistics and literary science which studies peculiarities of a writer individual manner of using language means to achieve his goals of  influencing the reader.

   The term “STYLE” originated from the Latin “stilus” which means a pen used by the Romans for writing on wax, tablets. In the course of time it developed several meanings, each one applied to a specific study of language elements and their use in speech.

Prof. Galperin defines INDIVIDUAL STYLE as a unique combination of language units, expressive means and stylistic peculiar to a given writer, which makes that writer’s works or even utterances easily recognizable.

Saussure’s disciple Charles Bally modeled his ideas of style on a structural conception of language and started that branch of general linguistics which is sometimes called linguostylistics.

  Meaning is what is intended to be or actually is expressed or indicated.

A crucial issue for stylistic studies is the ability of a word to be polysemantic, i.e. to comprise several lexical meanings. Stylistics takes for granted that a word has an almost unlimited potentiality of acquiring new meanings.  Stylistics is more subjective in the perception of meaning in words unlike other branches of linguistics.

  Contextual meaning is born in the context and disappear if the context is altered.  There is also the notion of the dictionary meaning which is materialized in the context.  

   Grammatical meaning refers our mind to relations between words or to some forms of words or constructions bearing upon their structural functions in the language-as-a-system. There are no words deprived of grammatical meaning since all words belong to some system and consequently have their place in the system and function in speech. 

   Lexical meaning is a means by which a word-form is made to express a definite concept.  Lexical meaning refers the mind to some concrete concept, phenomenon, or thing of objective reality, whether real or imaginary.

  Lexical meaning of any word presents a very complicated unity consisting of connotative and denotative meanings. Denotative (logical) meaning is connected with the extra linguistic reality. It is the precise naming of a feature of the idea, phenomenon, or object, the name by which we recognize the whole of the concept.  

   Connotative meaning is connected with the conditions and participants of communication. Connotation comprises four components: emotive, appraising, expressive and stylistic. If denotation is obligatory in any word, connotation is optional

THEME: Expressive Means (EM) and Stylistic Devices (SD).

Stylistics and its Subdivisions.

Stylistics can be defined as a branch of modern linguistics devoted to the detailed analysis of literary style, or of the linguistic choices made by speakers and writers in non-literary contexts. (Chris Baldic Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms, 1996)

According to I.R. Galperin, stylistics is a branch of general linguistics, which deals with the investigation of two independent tasks:

  1.  Stylistics studies the special media of language which are called stylistic devices and expressive means.

Expressive means are stylistic devices from three large groups of phonetic, lexical, syntactical means and devices. Each group is further subdivided according to the principle, purpose and function of a mean or a device in an utterance.

  1.  Stylistics studied the types of texts which are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of the communication and are called functional styles of language.

  Expressive means of a language are those phonetic, morphological, word-building, lexical, phraseological and syntactical forms which exist in language-as-a-system for the purpose of logical and/or emotional intensification of the utterance. (Galperin, 27).

  The intensifying forms have special functions in making the utterances emphatic.

A stylistic device is a conscious and international intensification of some typical structural and/or semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive) promoted to a generalized status and thus becoming a generative model. (Galperin, 3) A stylistic device is an abstract pattern, a mould into which any content can be  poured.

   A fiunctional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. (Galperin, 33) A functional style should be regarded as the product of a certain concrete task set by the sender of a message. Functional styles appear mainly in the literary standard of a language. These represent varieties of the abstract invariant and can be deviate from the invariant and can deviate from the invariant, even breaking away with it.

The EM of a language are those phonetic, morphological, word-building, lexical, phraseological and syntactical forms which exist in language as a system for the purpose of logical and/or emotional structure:

  1.  phonetic EMs: pitch, melody, stress, pausation, drawing our certain syllables, whispering, a sing-song manner & other ways.
  2.  Morphological EMs:
  3.  The Historical Present.
  4.  The use of “shall” in the 2nd and 3rd person.
  5.  The use of some demonstrative pronouns with an emphatic meaning (those, them)
  6.  Word-building means: diminutive suffixes –y(-ie): “sonny”, “auntie”; -let: “streamlet”.
  7.  Neologisms & nonce-words formed with non-productive suffixes or with Greek roots: cinerame, showmanship, cinemactress (cinema + actress).

3) Lexical level: interjections (words with emotive meaning only), epithets; words like love, hate, sympathy; slang & vulgar words, poetic or archaic words;

Set phrases, catch words, proverbs, sayings.

4)syntactical level: various constructions (detached, parallel), repetition, enumeration and meny others, which reveal a certain degree of logical/emotional emphasis.

Ems are concrete facts of the language.

What is an SD? It is a conscious & international intensification of some typical stylistic & or semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive)

Promrted to a generalized status & thus becoming a generative model. SD an abstract pattern (metaphor, metonymies).

III. A FS of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definitive aim in communication.

In the English literary standard there are distinguished the following major FS-s:

  1.  The belles-letters style which is a generic term for the three subjects: 1) language style of poetry (verse); 2) emotive prose (fiction); 3) the language of drama.
    1.  The publicistic FS which comprises the following subjects: 1) language style of oratory; 2) the language style of essays; 3) the  language newspaper & journalistic articles.
    2.  Newspaper style which is falls into:
  2.  the language style of brief news items & communiqués;
  3.  the language style of newspaper headings;
  4.  the language style of notices & advertisements.
  5.  The scientific prose style also has 3 divisions:
  6.  the style of humanitarian sciences;
  7.  the style of “exact” sciences;
  8.  the style of popular scientific prose;
    1.  The language of scientific prose.
    2.  The style of Official Documents or “officialese” can be divided into 4 varieties:
  9.  the language style of diplomatic documents;
  10.  the language style of business documents;
  11.  the language style of legal documents;
  12.  the language style of military documents.
  13.  I.R.Galperin distinguishes five major functional styles in the English literary standards.
  14.  The language of official documents.

Lecture 3


In accordance with the division of language, we may represent the whole of the word stock of the English language as being divided into 3 main layers: the literary layer, the neutral layer and the colloquial layer.

The literary layer of words consists of groups accepted as legitimate members of the English vocabulary.

Stylistic functions of the literary layer of the vocabulary:

1. to characterize the speech of the bygone epoch and to reproduce atmosphere of antiquity.

2. to introduce the atmosphere or professional activity.

3. to create romantic atmosphere, the general colouring of elevation (in poetry).

4. to introduce the atmosphere or solemnity (in official speech) or the local colouring of the country described.

They have no local or dialect character. The literary vocabulary consists of the following groups of words:

  1.  common literary;
    1.  terms and learned words;
      1.  poetic words;
      2.  archaic word;
      3.  barbarisms and foreign words;
      4.  literary coinages including nonce-words.

The aspect of the neutral layer is its universal character. That means it is unrestricted in its use. It can be employed in all styles and in all spheres of human activity. It is this that makes the layer the most stable of all.

The colloquial layer of words as qualified in most English or American dictionaries is not infrequently limited to a definite language community of confined to a special locality where it circulates. The colloquial vocabulary falls into the following groups:

  1.  common colloquial words;
  2.  slang;
  3.  jargonisms;
  4.  professional words
  5.  dialect words;
  6.   vulgar words;
  7.  colloquial coinages ( создание новых слов и выражений).

The common literary, neutral and common colloquial words are grouped under the term standard English vocabulary. Other groups in the literary layer are regarded as special literary vocabulary and those in the colloquial layer are regarded as special colloquial (non-literary) vocabulary.

Neutral, common literary and common colloquial vocabulary.

Neutral words, which from the bulk of the English vocabulary, are used in both literary and colloquial language. Neutral words are the main source of synonymy and polysemy. It is the neutral stock of words that is so far prolific in the production of new meanings.

Common literary words are chiefly used in writing and in polished speech.

Common colloquial vocabulary overlaps into the standard English vocabulary and is therefore to be considered part of it. It borders both on the neutral vocabulary and on the special colloquial vocabulary, which falls out of the the standard English altogether.

The stylistic function of the different strata of the English vocabulary depends not so much on the inner qualities of each of the groups, as on their interaction when they are opposed to one together.

Specific literary vocabulary

  1.  Terms

Terms are generally associated with a definite branch of science and therefore with a series of other terms belonging to that particular branch of science. They know no isolation; they always come in clusters group, either in a text on the subject to which they belong, or in special dictionaries which, unlike general dictionaries, make a careful selection of terms. All these clusters of terms from the nomenclature, or system of manes, for the object of study of any particular branch of science.

Terms (special literary words) are words denoting objects, processes, phenomena of science, humanities, technique: drill adapter, bank-administered trust fund, curve analyzer, laser, diode, and ripple.

Terms are characterized by a tendency to be monosemantic and therefore easily call forth the required concept. Terms may appear in scientific style, newspaper style, publicistic style, the belles-letters style, etc. terms no longer fulfill their basic function, that of bearing an exact reference to a given notion or concept. The their function is either to indicate the technical peculiarities of the subject dealt with, or to make some references to the occupation of a character whose language would naturally contain special words and expressions. A term as a stylistic function when it is used to create an atmosphere or to characterize a person.

  1.  Poetic and highly literary words

First of all poetic words belong to a definite style of language and perform in it their direct function. If encountered in another style of speech, they assume a new function, mainly satirical, for the two notions, poetry and prose, have been opposed to each other from time immemorial.

Poetic language has special means of communication, i.e. rhythmical arrangement, some syntactical peculiarities and certain number of special words. The specific poetic vocabulary has a marked tendency to detach itself from the common literary word stock and assume a special significance. Poetic words claim to be, a it were, of  higher rank.

Poetic words (diction) denote a set of words traditionally used in poetry: behold, deem, three, quoth, aught, foe, ere, woe, nigh, oft, anon, morn, visage.

They are mostly used in poetry in the 17-19 cc.: e.g. “steed” – horse, “quoth” – said, “woe” – sorrow, “eftsoons” – again, soon after, “rondure” – roundness.

Poetic words and set expressions make the utterance understandable only to a limited number of  readers. It is mainly due to poeticisms that poetical language is sometimes called poetical jargon.

  1.  Archaic words

The word stock of a language is in an increasing state of change. In every period in the development of a literary language one can find words which will show more or less apparent changes in their meaning or usage, from full vigor/energy, through a moribund state, to death,, i.e. complete disappearance of the unit from language. We’ll distinguish 3 stages in the aging process of words:

  1.  The beginning of aging process when the word becomes rarely used. Such words are called obsolescent, i.e. they are in the stage of gradually passing out of general use;
    1.  The second group of archaic words is those that have already gone completely out of use but are still recognized by the English speaking community. These words are called obsolete.
    2.  The third group, which may be called archaic proper, are words which are no longer recognized in modern English, words that were in use in Old English and which have either dropped out of the language entirely or have changed in their appearance so much that they have become unrecognizable.

There are is another class of words which is erroneously classed as archaic, historic words. Words of this type never disappear from the language.

Archaic words are used in historical novels, in official and diplomatic documents, in business letters, legal language etc. Archaic words, word-forms and word combinations are also used to create an elevated effect.

  1.  Barbarisms and foreign words

Barbarisms are words of foreign origin which have not entirely been assimilated into the English language. They bear the appearance of a borrowing and are felt as something alien to the native tongue. The great majority of the borrowed words now from part of the rank and file of the English vocabulary. There are some words which retain their foreign appearance to greater or lesser degree. These words, which are called barbarisms, are also considered to be on the outskirt of the literary language. Most of them have corresponding English synonyms. Barbarisms are not made conspicuous in the text unless they bear a special load of stylistic information.

  1.  Barbarisms are foreign words of phrases, words assimilated from foreign languages and sometimes perverted. They are:
  2.  fully assimilated (wine, street, helicopter);
  3.  partially assimilated (machine, police, garage);
  4.  Unassimilated: rendezvous, belles letters, alter ego, chic, bonmot, en passant, matador, marauder, Midi, boulangers, croissants.

Foreign words do not belong to the English vocabulary. In printed works foreign words and phrases are generally italicized to indicate their alien nature or their stylistic value. There are foreign words which fulfill a terminological function. Many foreign words phrases have little by little entered the class of words named barbarisms and many of these barbarisms have gradually lost their foreign peculiarities,  become more or less naturalized and have merged with the native English stock of words.

Both foreign words and barbarisms are widely used in various styles of language with various aims, aims which predetermine their typical functions. One of these functions is to supply local color. Barbarisms ana foreign words are used in various styles of writing, but are most often to be found in the style of belles-letters and the publicistic style.

  1.  literary coinages

Every period in the development of a language produces an enormous number of new words or new meanings of established words. Most of them do not live ling. They are coined for use at the moment of speech, and therefore possess a peculiar property – that of temporariness. The given word or meaning holds only in the given context and is meant only to “serve the occasion”. However, a word or a meaning once fixed in writing may become part and parcel of the general vocabulary irrespective of the quality of the word.

The coining of new words generally arises with the need to designate new concepts and also with the need to express nuances of meaning called forth by a deeper understanding of the nature of the phenomenon in question. There are 2 types of newly coined words:

  1.  those which designate new-born concepts, may be names terminological coinages or terminological neologisms;
  2.  words coined because their creators seek expressive utterance may be named stylistic coinages or stylistic neologisms.

Neologisms are mainly coined according to the productive models for word-building in the given languages. Most of the literary coinages are built by means of affixation and word compounding. Neologisms are new words or expression: e.g. Take-away, high-rise, hang-glider, wrist phone, cellular phone.


Theme: Special Colloquial Vocabulary

  1.  Slang
    1.  Jargonisms
    2.  Professionalisms. Journalese.
    3.  Dialectal words
    4.  Vulgar words
    5.  Colloquial Coinages

Literary words common (also called learned, bookish, high-flown) & special contribute to the massage the tone of solemnity, sophistication, seriousness, gravity, learnedness. They are used in official papers & documents, in scientific communication in high poetry, in authorial speech of creative prose.

Colloquial words, on the contrary, mark the massage as informal, non-official conversational. Apart from common colloquial words, widely used by all speakers of the language in their everyday communication (dad, kid, fan, folks) such special subgroups should be mentioned: slang. Jorgonisms, professionalisms, dialectal words vulgarisms & colloquial cointages.

Slang forms biggest subgroup. They are identified and distinguished by contrasting them to standard literary vocabulary. They are expressive, mostly ironical words, serving to create fresh names for some things that are frequent topics of discourse.


In the non-literary vocabulary of the English language there is a group of words that are called jargonisms. Jargon is a recognized term for a group of words that exists in almost every language & whose aim is to preserve secrecy withing one or another social group. Jargonisms are generally old words with entirely new meanings imposed on them. Most of the jargonisms are absolutely incomprehensible to those outside the social group which has invented them. Thus word grease means “money”, “loaf means head”, “a tiger hunter” – “a gambler”.


As the term itself signifies, are the words used in a definite trade, profession or calling by people connected by common interests both at work and at home professionalisms are correlated to terms.

Dialectal words

Are those which in process of integration of the English national language remained beyond its literary boundaries, 7 their use generally confined to a definite locality. In Great Britain 4 major dialects are distinguished: Low land Scotch, Northern, Midland (Central) & Southern. In the USA 3 major dialectal varieties are distinguished: New England, Southern & Midwestern (Central, Midland). These classification do not include many minor local variations.

Vulgar Words


Vulgarisms are coarse (грубые) words with a strong emotive meaning, mostly derogatory (нарушающая), normally avoided on polite conversation. History of vulgarisms reflects the history of social ethnic. So, in Shakespearean times people were much linguistically frank in their communication than in tha age of Enlightenment or Victorian era, famous for its prudish (ханжеский) & reserved manners. Nowadays words which were labeled vulgar in the XVIII th & XIX th centuries are considered such no more…

So Vulgarisms are:

  1.  Expletives (повторяемые слова) & swear words which are of an abcesive character, like “damm, bloody”, “to hell of, “goddam” & as some dictionaries state, used as general exclamations.
    1.  Obscene (неприличный) words. These are known as four-letter words the use of which is in any form of intercourse as being indecent. All of these words are of Anglo-Saxon.

Vulgarism are often used in conversation out of habit, without any thought of what they mean, or in imitation of those who use them in order not to seem old-fashioned or prudish. They will never acquire the status of standard English vocabulary & will always remain on the outskirts.

The function of expletives almost the same as that of interjections, that is to express strong emotions, mainly arrogance, anger, vexation & the like. They are to be found in emotive prose & here only in the direct speech of the character.

Colloquial Coinages (создание неологизмов)

Unlike those of literary-bookish character, are spontaneous & elusive. Not all of the colloquial nonce words are fixed in dictionaries or even in writing & therefore most of them, disappear from the language leaving no trace in it. Colloquial nonce formations are actually not new words but new meanings of existing words.

Some words which have undoubtedly – sprung from the literary-bookish stratum have become popular in ordinary colloquial language & have acquired new meanings in their new environment.

Terms – are words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. One of the most characteristic features of a term is its direct relevance to the system or set of terms used in particular science, discipline or art, i.e. to its nomenclature. When a term used our mind immediately associates it with a certain nomenclature.

Poetic a Highly Literary Words –poetic words from a rather insignificant layer of the special literary. They are mostly archaic or very rarely used highly literary vocabulary words which aim at producing an elevated effect. they have a marked tendency to detach themselves the common literary word-stock and gradually assume the quality of terms denoting certain definite notions and calling forth poetic diction.

The beginning of the aging process when the word becomes rarely used. Such words are called obsolescent, i.e. they are in the stage of gradually passing out of general use.

The second group of archaic words are those that have already gone completely out of use but are still recognized by the English-speaking community: e.g. methinks ( = it seems to me ) ; nay ( = no). these words are called obsolete.

The third group, which may be called archaic proper, are words which are no longer recognizable in modern English, words that were in Old English and which have either dropped out of the language entirely or have changed in their appearance so much that they have become unrecognizable, e.g. troth ( = faith); a losel ( = a worthless, lazy fellow).

Lecture # 4

Tropes and Stylistic Devices, their classifications and functions

Lexical Expressive Means and Stylistic Devices

In stylistics, Meaning is also viewed at the category of which is able to acquire meanings imposed on the by context. That is why such meanings are called contextual meanings. In Stylistics it is important to discriminate shades of Meaning, the component parts of which are the semes, i.e. the smallest units of which Meaning of a word consists.

Lexical meaning refers the mind to some concrete concept, phenomenon or thing of objective reality, real or imaginary Lexical meaning is a means by which a word form is made to express a definite concept.

Grammatical meaning refers our mind to relations between words or to some forms of words or constructions bearing upon their structural function in language as a system. Grammatical meaning may be adequately called “structural meaning”.

2 types of meaning can be distinguished, which we’ll call logical, emotive & nominal. Logical meaning is the precise naming of a feature of the idea, phenomenon or object, the name by which we recognize the precise naming of a feature of the idea, phenomenon or object, the name by which we recognize the whole of the concept. This meaning is also called direct or referential meaning. Referential meaning of one word may denote different concepts. Some dictionaries give a very extended list of primary & secondary logical Meanings.

What is known in linguistics as transferred meaning is practically the interrelation between two types of lexical meaning: dictionary and contextual.

The transferred meaning of a word may be fixed in dictionaries as a result of long and frequent use of the word other than in its primary meaning. In case we register a derivative meaning of the word. Hence the term transferred should be used signifying the development of the semantic structure of the word. In this case we do not perceive two meanings. When we perceive two meanings of the word simultaneously, we are confronted with a stylistic device in which the two meanings interact.

Classification of Lexical Stylistic devices (I.R. Galperin)

There are 4 groups.

The interaction of different types of lexical meaning.

2 logical (dictionary and contextual): metaphor, metonymy, irony;

Primary and derivative (zeugma, pun, semantically false chain);

Logical and emotive (epithet, oxymoron);

Logical and nominal (antonomasia);

Intensification of a feature (simile, hyperbole, periphrasis).

Peculiar use of set expressions (cliches, proverbs, epigrams, quotations).

Interaction of Logical and Nominal Meaning.

             I.The interaction of Different Types of Types of Lexical Meaning

1. Interaction of Dictionary and Contextual Logical Meaning

the relation between dictionary and contextual meanings may  be maintained along different lines: on the principle of affinity, on that of proximity, or symbol – referent relations, or on opposition. Thus the stylistic device based on the first principle is metaphor, on the second, metonymy and on the third, irony.

     A metaphor is a relation between the dictionary and contextual logical meanings based on the affinity or similarity of certain properties or features of the two corresponding concepts. Metaphor can be embodied in all the meaningful parts of speech, in noun, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and sometimes even in the auxiliary parts of speech, as in prepositions. Metaphor as any stylistic device can be classified according to their degree  of unexpectedness. Thus metaphors which are absolutely unexpected, are quite unpredictable, are called genuine metaphors. E.g.  Through the open window the dust danced and was golden.

Those which are commonly used in speech and are sometimes fixed in the dictionaries as expressive means of language are trite metaphors or dead metaphors eg. A flight of fancy, floods of tears.

   Trite metaphors are sometimes injected with new vigour , their primary meaning is re-established alongside the new derivative meaning. This is done by supplying the central image created by the metaphor with additional words bearing some reference to the main word. E.g. “Mr. Pickwick bottled up his vengeance and corked it down.”

   The verb “to bottle up” is explained as “to keep in check”, to conceal, to restrain, repress. So the metaphor can be hardly felt. But it is revived by the direct meaning of the verb “to corn down”. Such metaphors are called sustain or prolonged. Stylistic function of a metaphor is to make the description concrete, to express the individual attitude.

  Metonymy is based  on a different type of relation between the dictionary and context meanings, a relation based not on affinity, but on some kind of association connecting the two concepts which these meanings represent on proximity (contiguity).

The proximity (contiguity) may be revealed:

between the symbol and the thing it denotes; crown, scepter;

in the relations between the instrument and the action performed with this instrument ; e.g. His pen is rather sharp.

In the relation between the container and the thing it contains; e.g. He drank one more cup.

The concrete is put for the abstract; e.g It was a representative gathering (science, politics).

A part is put for the whole; e.g. the crown-king, a hand –worker.

Metonymy represents the events of reality in its subjective attitude. Metonymy in many cases is trite.

E.g. “to earn one’s bread”, “to keep one’s mouth shut”.

Irony is a stylistic device also based on the simultaneous realization of two logical meanings-dictionaries and contextual, but the two meanings are in opposition to each other. The literal meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning. Irony is based on the opposition of what is said to what is meant.

E.g. “The garden bore witness to a love of growing plants which extended to many types commonly known as weeds”. (J.Wain). Nice weather, isn’t it? (on a rainy day).

2. Interaction of Primary and Derivative Logical Meanings

There are special SDs which make a word materialize distinct dictionary meanings. They are zeugma and the pun. Zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context, the semantic relations being on the one hand literal, and on the other, transferred. E.g. Dora, plunging at once into privileged intimacy and into the middle of the room.

Zeugma is a strong and effective device to maintain the purity of the primary meaning when two meanings clash.

The pun is another S.D. based on the interaction of two well-known meanings of a word or a phrase. It is difficult to draw a hard and fast distinction between zeugma and pun. The only reliable distinguishing feature is a structural one: zeugma is the realization of two semantically different meanings of grammatically homogeneous members with the help of a verb which is made to refer to different subjects and objects (direct and indirect). “Killing time with a book was not much better than killing pheasants and time with a gun”.

The pun (play on words) is based on simultaneous realization of two meanings of a polysemantic word or the usage of two homonyms in the same context:

-Have you ever seen him at the bar?

-Thousand times. He was a drunkard.

The pun is more independent. Like any S.D. it must depend on a context. But the context may be of a more extended character, sometimes even as large as a whole work of emotive prose.

-Did you miss my lecture?

-Not at all.

Pun seems to be more varied and resembles zeugma in its humorous effect only.

Semantically false chain is a variety of zeugma consisting of a number of homogeneous members, semantically disconnected, but attached to the same verb. It is based on the effect of defeated expectancy and produces a humorous effect.

Ex.: “Babbitt respected bigness in anything: in mountains, jewels, muscles, wealth of words”. (S.L.)

3. Interaction of Logical and Emotive Meaning

Interjections and Exclamatory Words. Interjections are words we use when we express our feelings strongly and which may be said to exist in language as conventional symbol of human emotions. In traditional grammars the interjection is regarded as a part of speech. But there is another view which regards the interjection as a sentence.

However a close investigation proves that interjection is a word with strong emotive meaning. E.g. Oh, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers?

The interjection oh, by itself may express various feelings such as regret, despair, disappointment, sorrow, surprise and many others. Interjections can be divided into primary and derivative. Primary interjections are generally devoid of any logical meaning. Interjections such as: Heavens! Good gracious! God knows! Bless me! Are exclamatory words generally used as interjections. It must be noted that some adjectives and adverbs can also take on the function of interjections- such as Terrible! Awfully! Great! Wonderful! Splendid! These adjectives acquire strong emotional colouring and are equal in force to interjections.

Epithet: a word (a group of words) carrying an expressive (emotive) characterization of an object described: “Full many a glorious morning have I seen…” (Sh.)

The epithet is based on the interplay of emotive and logical meaning in an attributive word, phrase or even sentence, used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some of the properties or features of the object with the aim of giving an individual perception and evaluation of these features or properties.

Classification of Epithets

From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into:

  1.  Simple (adjectives, nouns, participles): e.g. He looked at them in animal panic.
  2.  Compound: e.g. apple- faced man.
  3.  Sentence and phrase epithets: e.g. It is his do- it- yourself attitude.
  4.  Reserved epithets- composed of 2 nouns linked by an of phrase: e.g. “a shadow of a smile”.

Semantically epithets according to I.R. Galperin are:

  1.  Associated with the noun following it, pointing to the feature which is essential to the objects they describe: dark forest; careful attention.
  2.  Unassociated with the noun, epithets that add a feature which is unexpected and which strikes the reader: smiling sun, voiceless sounds.

According to another classification of epithets (V.A. Kucharenko):

  1.  Tautological epithets: “green grass”
  2.  Evaluative epithets: : “a pompously majestic female”
  3.  Descriptive epithets:  “ an unnaturally mild day”
  4.  Metaphorical epithets: “the smiling sun”
  5.  Metonymical epithets: “the sleepless pillow”

Oxymoron is a conjunction of seemingly contradictory notions. It is a combination of two words in which the meaning is opposite in sense: e.g. speaking silence, cold fire, living death. “And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true” (A. Tennison).

Trite oxymoron. E.g. awfully beautiful.

Close to oxymoron is paradox- a statement that is absurd on the surface. E.g. War is peace. The worse- the better.

If the primary meaning of a qualifying word is changed the stylistic effect of oxymoron is lost. In oxymoron the logical meaning holds fast because there is no true word combination.

4. Interaction of Logical and Nominal Meaning

ANTONOMASIA is a SD based on the usage of a common noun instead of a proper name and vice versa to characterize the person simultaneously with naming him- the so called “speaking names”: “Lady Teasle, Mister Logic. Every Caesar has his Brutus.

Antonomasia is the result of interaction between logical and nominal meaning of a word:

  1.  When the proper name of a person, who is famous for some reasons is put for a person having the same feature. E.g. Her husband is an Othello.
  2.  A common noun is used instead of a proper name, e.g. I agree with you Mr. Logic, e.g. My Dear Simplicity.
  3.  Speaking names: both naming and characterizing the personage under discussion- Lady Teasle, Mr. Surface, Mr. Snake.


Is another stylistic device based on the interaction between the logical and immotive meanings of a word. Hyperbole is a deliberate overstatement which is intended as such in this respect it differ from mere exaggeration which may stem from a burst of immotion, carelessness and is not a stylistic device. In its extreme form its exaggeration is carried to an illogical degree sometimes ad absurdum. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the use of exaggerated statements made for effect and not intended to be taken literally., e.g. waves as high as Everest.


as belong to the group of stylistic devices on the interaction between the logical and the immotive meaning. It usually produces a strong, immotional effect on the reader and brings out the author’s subjective evaluation of the phenomena. Oxymoron is a combination of two words I in which the meanings of the two clash, being opposite in sense, e.g. low skyscraper, sweet sorrow, pleasantly ugly face, horribly beautiful.

When  an oxymoron acquires the characteristics of phraseological units as in “awfully nice” it seases (stops) to be an oxymoron. The word “awfully” having become a synonym for “very” in colloquial speech. Such oxymorons as “awfully nice, mighty small, pretty nasty are practically speaking dead oxymorons which don’t contain the interaction between the logical and emotive meanings. The principle stylistic function of oxymoron is to show the contradictory features in the phenomena andthus to disclose the author’s subjective imotional attitude towards it.

II. Intensification of a Feature

(Lexico-Syntactical SD in V.A. Kukharenko’s classification)

Simile. The intensification of some feature of the concept is realized in a device called simile. Similes set one object against another regardless of the fact that they may be completely alien to each other. The simile gives rise to a new understanding of the object. The properties of an object may be viewed from different angles, i.e. its state, its actions and manners. Accordingly, similes may be based on adjective- attributes, adverb- modifiers, verb- predicates etc.

Similes have formal elements in their structure: connective words such as like, as, such, as if, seem.

Periphrasis- is a round- about way of speaking used to name some object or phenomenon. Longer phrase is used instead of a shorter one. Some periphrases are traditional. E.g.  The fair sex.  My better half.

Periphrases are divided into:

1.Logical- based on inherent properties of a thing.

E.g. Instrument of destruction, the object of administration.

2. Figurative- based on imagery; metaphor, metonymy.

E.g. To tie a knot-to get married; in disgrace of fortune-bad luck.



A phraseological unit (PU) is “a block longer one word, yet functioning as a whole. It is a semantically and structurally integral lexical collocation, partially or completely different from the meaning of its components”. (A. Kunin) Its main characteristic feature is that its meaning can’t infer from the sum of its components because each PU is characterized by a certain degree of cohesion (сплоченность) or semantic integrity. The main features of PU  are stability, semantic integrity and ready- made nature.

There exist different classifications of PU. According to I.R. Galperin’s classification of the English vocabulary all the PU can ve subdivided into neutral, literary and non- literary PU.

Neutral PU:

Ex.: “to let the cat out of the dog”, “ups and down,” “at the eleventh hour”.

Idioms and set expressions impart local coloring to the text and make it sound more expressive.

Ex.: Come, Roy, let’s go and shake the dust of this place for good… (Aldridge)- Cf. … let us go leave this place for ever. (Skrebnev, 2000)Some of them are elevated: an earthly paradise, to breath one’s last; to play fiddle while Rome burns.

Among the elevated PU we can discern:

  1.  Archaisms- to play upon advantage (to swindle), the iron in one’s soul (the permament embitterment).
  2.  Bookish phrases- Formal (bookish PU): “to breathe one’s last (to die); “The debt of Nature” (death), Gordian knot (a complicated problem);
  3.  Foreign PU- a propos de bottes (unconnected with the preceding remark, bon mot (a witty word).

Some are:

  1.  Subneutral or familiar colloquial PU: to rain cats and dogs, to be in one’s cups (=to be drunk), big bug, small fry, alive and kicking, a pretty kettle of fish.
  2.  Jargon PUa loss leader (an article sold below cost).
  3.  Old slang PU- to be nuts about, to kick the bucket, to hop the twig (to die).

Occasional PU are based on the following cases of violation of the fixed structure of a PU:

  1.  Prolongation: “He was born with a silver spoon in a mouth which was rather curly and large”. (Galsworthy)
  2.  Insertion: “he had been standing there nearly two hours, shifting from foot to unaccustomed foot”. (Galsworthy)
  3.  Substitution: “to talk pig (shop).”
  4.  Prolongation and substitution: “They spoiled their rods, spared their children and anticipated the results in enthusiasm”. (Galsworthy)
  5.   The author’s PU: “Oh, my ears and whiskers” (L. Carroll); “Too true to be good” (B. Shaw), The Gilded Age (The Golden Age).

Peculiar use of set expressions

A cliché is generally defined as an expression that has become hackneyed and trite. It has lots its precise meaning by constant reiteration: in other words it has become stereotyped. Cliché is a kind of stable word combination which has become familiar and which has been accepted as a unit of a language: e.g. rosy dreams of youth, growing awareness.

Proverbs are short, we;;-known, supposedly wise sayings, usually in simple language. E.g. Never say never. You can’t get bloom of a stone.

Proverbs are expressions of culture that are passed from generation to generation. They are words of wisdom of culture- lessons that people of that want their children to learn and to live by. They are served as symbols, abstract ideas. Proverbs are usually dedicated and involve imagery. E.g. Out of sight, out of mind.

Epigram is a short clever amusing saying or poem. E.g. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Quotation is a phrase or sentence taken from a work of literature or other piece of writing and repeated in order to prove a point or support an idea. They are marked graphically: by inverted commas: dashes, italics: All hope abandon, ye who enter (Dante)

Allusion is an indirect reference, by word or phrase, to a historical, literary, mythological fact or to a fact of everyday life made in the course of speaking or writing. The use of allusion presupposes knowledge of the fact, thing or person alluded to on the part of the reader or listener. “You too, Brutus?” (Shakespeare)

Proverbs, sayings, quotations, allusions and paradoxes are based on the interplay of primary and secondary meanings being also a variety of occasional PU: “to drop a handkerchief and relations”.

Paradox is a statement which though it appears to be self- contradictory, nevertheless involves truth or at least an element of truth. – O. Wilde’s paradoxes: “It’s simply washing one’s clean linen in public”.

Occasional PU are often used in the language of advertising- Our love is blind(Love is blind); Sofa, So Good! (So far, so good); Smirnoff’s Silver is for people who want a silver lining without the cloud. (Every cloud has a silver lining).

Stylistic functions of PU:

  1.  Compressing information; “The Moon and Sixpence”, a bird in the hand, birds of feather.
  2.  Foregrounding some elements, creating a comic effect: to drop a handkerchief and relations.
  3.  Expressing the message of the book; “In Chancery”, “ To Let”, “The silver spoon”.
  4.  Motivating the events: “Murder is out” in Jolion’s letter to his son.
  5.  Characterizing personages , events, etc.: “He was a jolly good fellow: no side or anything like that, he could never set the Thames on the fire… they were quite content  to give a leg up to a man who would never climb as high as to be an obstacle to themselves”. (S. Mau occasional gham)
  6.  Creating a comic, ironical, satirical effect: “Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay, if your enemy doesn’t get at you, your own folk may”. (J.Thurber) 



  1.  Introduction
    1.  Onomatopoeia
    2.  Alliteration
    3.  Euphony and Cacophony
    4.  Assonance
    5.  Rhyme
    6.  Rhythm

The stylistic approach to the utterance is not confined to its structure to its and sense. There is another thing to be taken into account which, in certain type of communication, f.i. in belles-letters, plays an important role. This is the way a word, a phrase or a sentence sounds. It is in combination with other words that a word may acquire a desired phonetic effect. Verier, a French scientist, a specialist in English versification maintains that the sound [u:] generally express sorrow or seriousness, [i:] produces the feeling of joy & so on.

Onomatopoeia is a combination of speech sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature (wind, sea, thunder), by things (machine, or tools) by people (sighing laughter) & by animals.

There are 2 varieties of Onomatopoeia: direct & indirect.

Direct Onomatopoeia is contained in words that imitate natural sounds, as ding-dong, burr, bang, cuckoo. These words have different degrees if imitative quality. Some of them immediately bring to mind whatever it is that produces the sound. Others require the exercise of a certain amount of imagination to decipher it.

Onomatopoetic words can be used in a transferred meaning, as for instance, ding-dong, which represents the sound of bells rung continuously, may mean 1) noisy, 2) strenuously contested.

Indirect Onomatopoeia is a combination of sounds the aim of which is to make the sound of the utterance an echo of its sence. It is called “echo-writing”. And demands some mention of what makes the sound, as resulting of curtains in the following line. And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of speech purple curtain. Indirect onomatopoeia is a combination of sounds the aim of which is to make the sound of the utterance an echo of its sense. It is sometimes called “echo writing”. An example is: “And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of speech purple curtain”

(E.A.Poe), where the repetition of the sound [s] actually produces the sound or the rustling of the curtain.


Alliteration is a phonetic stylistic device which aims at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance. The essence of this device lies in the repetition of similar sounds, in particular consonant sounds, in close succession, particularly at the beginning of successive words: “The possessive instinct never stands still” (J.Galsworthy) or, “Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before” (E.A.Poe).

Alliteration, like most phonetic expressive means, does not bear any lexical or other meaning unless we agree that a sound meaning exist as such. But even so we may not be able to specify clearly the character of this meaning, and the term will merely suggest that a certain amount of information is contained in the repetition of sounds, as in the case with the repetition of lexical units.

Euphony is a harmony of form and contents, an arrangement of sound combinations, producing a pleasant effect. Euphony – is a sense of ease and comfort in pronouncing or hearing: “The moan of doves in immemorial alms, and murmuring of innumerable bees” (Tennyson).

  Cacophony is a disharmony of form and contents, an arrangement of sounds, producing an unpleasant effect. (I.V.A.) Cacophony is a sense of strain ana discomfort in pronouncing or hearing. (V.A.K.)

E.g. Nor soul helps flesh now // more than flesh helps soul.

Assonance – the repetition of similar vowels, usually in stressed syllables (V.A.K.).

E.g.: tell this soul, with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aiden, // I shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angles name Lenore // Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angles name Lenore?

   Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combination of words rhyming words are generally placed at a regular distance from each other. In verses they are placed at the end of the corresponding lines.

Identity and similarity of sound combinations may be relative, for instance, 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, including the initial consonant of the second syllable (in polysyllabic words), we have exact or identical rhymes.

Incomplete rhymes present a greater variety. They can be divided into 2 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 as in flesh-fresh-press. Consonant rhymes, on the contrary, show concordance in consonants and disparity in vowels, as in worth-forth, tale-tool-treble-trouble.

Modifications in rhyming sometimes d=go so far as to make one word rhyme with a combination of words; or two or even three words rhyme with a corresponding two or three words, as in “upon her honour – won her”. “bottom – forgot them – shot him”/ such rhymes are called compound of broken. The peculiarity of rhymes of this type is that the combination of words is made to sound like one word – a device which inevitably gives a colloquial and sometimes a hormorous touch to the utterance. Compound rhyme may be set against what is called eye – rhyme, where the letters and not the sounds are identical, as love – prove, flood – brood, have – grave. It follows that compound rhyme is perceived in reading aloud, eye – rhyme con only be perceived in the written verse.

Full rhymes: might – right

Incomplete rhymes: worth – forth

Eye – rhyme: love – prove

Types if rhymes:

  1.  coupled: aa: The seed ye sow, another reaps; (a)

The wealth ye find, another keeps; (a)

  1.  triplet: aaa: And on the leaf a browner hue, (a)

And in the heaven that clear obscure, (a)

So softly dark, and darkly pure, (a)

  1.  cross rhymes: abab:

It is the hour when from the boughs (a)

The nightingales’ high note is heard; (b)

It is the hour when lovers’ vows (a)

Seem sweet in every whispered word, (b)

  1.  frame (ring): abba:

He is not here; but far away (a)

The noise of life begins again, (b)

And ghastly thro ‘the drizzling rain (b)

On the bland streets breaks the blank day (a)

5) internal rhyme:

“I dwelt alone (a) in a world of moan (a)

And my soul was a stagnant tide”.

Rhythm exists in all spheres of human activity and assumes multifarious forms. It is a mighty weapon in stirring up emotions whatever its nature or origin, whether it is musical, mechanical or symmetrical as in architecture. The most general definition of rhythm may be expressed as follows: “rhythm is a flown, movement, procedure, etc. characterized by basically regular recurrence of elements or features, as beat, or accent, in alternation with opposite or different elements of features” (Webster’s New World Dictionary).

Rhythm can be perceived only provided that there is some kind of experience in catching the opposite elements or features in their correlation, and, what is of paramount importance, experience in catching regularity of alternating patterns. Rhythm is a periodicity, which requires specification as to the type of periodicity. In verse rhythm is regular succession of weak and strong stress. A rhythm in language necessarily demands oppositions that alternate: long, short; stressed, unstressed; high, low and other contrasting segments of speech.

Academician V.M.Zhirmunsky suggests that the concept of rhythm should be distinguished from that of a metre. Metre is any form of periodicity in verse, its kind being determined by the character and number of syllables of which it consists. The metre is a strict regularity, consistency and exchangeability. Rhythm is flexible and sometimes an effort is required to perceive it. In classical verse it is perceived at the background of the metre. In accented verse – by the number of stresses in a line. In prose – by the alternation of similar syntactical patterns.

Rhythm in verse as a S.D. is defined as a combination of the ideal metrical scheme and the variations of it, variations which are governed by the standard.

Rhythm is not a mere addition to verse or emotive prose , which also has its rhythm. Rhythm intensifies the emotions. It contributes to the general sense. Much has been said and written about rhythm in prose. Some investigators, in attempting to find rhythmical patterns of prose, superimpose metrical measures on prose. But the parameters of the rhythm in verse and in prose are entirely different. Rhythm is a combination of the ideal metrical scheme and its variations, which are government by the standard.

English metrical patterns:

  1.  iambic metre: -/-/-/:

Those evening bells,

Those evening bells.

  1.  trochaic metre: /-/-:

Welling waters, winsome words (Swinborne)

  1.  dactylic metre: / - - / - - :

Why do you cry Willie?

Why do you cry?

  1.  amphibrachic metre: -/- : A diller, a dollar, a ten o’clock scholar…
  2.  anapaestic metre: - - / - - / :

Said the flee, “Let us fly”,

Said the fly, “Let us flee”,

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.  

Lecture # 6


Suspense is a compositional device which consists in arranging the matter of a communication in such a way that the less important, descriptive, subordinate parts are amassed at the beginning, the main idea being withheld till the end of the sentence. Thus the reader`s attention is held and his interest kept up. Example: “Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw”. Sentences of this type are called periodic sentences, or periods. Their function is to create suspense, to keep the reader state of uncertainty and expectation. Suspense and climax sometimes go together. In this case all the information contained in the series of statement-clauses preceding the solution-statement are arranged in the order of gradation. The device of suspense is especially favored by orators. This is apparently due to the strong influence of intonation which helps to create the desired atmosphere of expectation and emotional tension which goes with it. This device is effective in more than one way, but the main purpose is to prepare the reader for the only logical conclusion of the utterance. It is a psychological effect that is aimed at in particular. It must be noted that suspense, due to its partly psychological nature (it arouses a feeling of expectation), is framed in one sentence, for there must not be any break in the intonation pattern. Separate sentences of this device.

Antithesis- a figure of speech based on parallel construction with contrasted words (usually antonyms). It is based on relative opposition which arises out of the context through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs, as in: “Youth is lovely, age is lonely, Youth is fiery, age is frosty”. Here the objectively contrasted pair is ‘youth’ and ‘age’. ‘Lovely’ and ‘lonely’ cannot be regarded as objectively opposite concepts, but being drawn into the scheme contrasting ‘youth’ and ‘age’, they display certain features which may be counted as antonymic. It is not only the semantic aspect which explains the linguistic nature of antithesis, the structural pattern also plays an important role.  Antithesis is generally molded in parallel construction. The antagonistic features of the two objects or phenomena are more easily perceived when they stand out in similar structures. This is particularly advantageous when the antagonistic features are not inherent in the objects in questions but imposed of them. The structural design of antithesis is so important that unless it is conspicuously marked in the utterance, the effect might be lost.  Antithesis is a devise bordering between stylistic and logic. The extremes are easily discernible but most of the cases are intermediate. However, it is essential to distinguish between antithesis arid what is termed contrast. Contrast is a literary (not a linguistic) device based on logical opposition between the phenomena set one against another.

  The term s u p r a – p h r a s a l  u n I t  (SPU) is used to denote a larger unit than a sentence. In generally comprises a number of sentences interdependent structurally (usually by means of pronouns, connectives, tense-forms) and semantically (one definite through is dealt with). Such a span of utterance is also characterized by the fact that it can be extracted from the context without losing its relative semantic independents. This cannot be said of the sentence, which, while representing a complete syntactical unit, may, however, lack the quality of independence. A sentence from the stylistic point of view does not necessary e[press one idea, as it is defined in most manuals of grammar. It  may express only part of one idea. Thus the sentence: “Guy glanced at his wife’s untouched plate”, if taken out of the context, will be perceived as a part of a larger span of utterance where the situation will be made clear and the purport of verbal expression more complete. But what are the principals on which the singling out of an    SPU can be maintained? In order to give an answer to this question, it is first of all necessary to deepen our understanding of the term utterance.

As a stylistic term the word ‘utterance’ must be expanded. Any utterance from a stylistic point of view will serve to denote a certain span of speech (language-in-action) in which we may observe coherence, interference of the elements, one definite idea, and last but not least, the purport of the writer.

     The purport is the aim that the writer sets before himself, which is to make the desired impact on the reader. So the aim of any utterance is a carefully through-out impact. Syntactical units are connected to achieve the desired effect is secured.

A paragraph is a graphical term used to name a group of sentences marked off by indentation at the beginning and a break in the line at the end. But this graphical term has come to mean a distinct portion of a written discourse showing an internal unity. As a linguistic category the paragraph is a unit of utterance marked off by purely linguistic means: intonation, pauses of various lengths, semantic ties which can be disclosed by scrupulous analysis of the morphological aspect and meaning of the component parts, etc. It has already been started elsewhere that the logical aspect of an utterance will always be backed up by purely  linguistic means causing, as it were, an indivisible unity of entrain-linguistic approach.

Bearing this in mind, we shall not draw a mark of demarcation between the logical and the linguistic analysis of an utterance, because the paragraph is a linguistic expression of a logical, pragmatic and aesthetic arrangement of through.

   Paragraph structure is not always built on logical principles alone, as is generally the case in the style, other requirements are taken into consideration, for instance, psychological principles, in particular the sensational effect or the communication and the grasping capacity of the reader for quick reading. Considerations of space also play an important part. This latter consideration sometimes overrules the necessity for logical arrangement and results in breaking the main rule of paragraph building, i.e. the unity of idea. The paragraph in some styles, such as scientific, publicistic and some others, generally has a topic sentence, i.e. a sentence which embodies the main idea of the paragraph or which may be interpreted as a key-sentence disclosing the chief though of the writer. In logical prose the topic sentence is, as a rule, placed either at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph, depending on the logical pattern on which the paragraph is built. In the belles-letters style the topic sentence may be placed in any part of the paragraph. It will depend on how the writer seeks to achieve his effect.

   Word-order is a crucial syntactical problem in many languages. In English it has peculiarities which have been caused by the concrete and specific way the language has developed.

   Stylistic inversion aims face meaning of the utterance at attaching logical stress or additional emotional coloring to the sur. Therefore a specific intonation pattern is the inevitable satellite of inversion. Stylistic inversion in Modern English should not be regarded as a violation of the norms of standard English. It is only the practice realization of what is potential in the language itself. The following patterns of stylistic inversion are most frequently met in both English prose and English poetry.

 Sometimes one of the secondary parts of a sentence by some specific consideration of the writer is placed so that it seems formally independent of the word it logically refers to. Such parts of structural are called detached. They seem to dangle in the sentence as isolated parts. The detached part, being torn away from its referent, assumes a greater degree of significance and is given prominence by intonation. The structural patterns of detached constructions have not yet seen classified, but the most noticeable cases are those in which an attribute or an adverbial modifier is placed not in immediate proximity to its referent, but in some other position.

 Parallel construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures dealt with earlier, viz. the SPU and the paragraph. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence in close succession. Parallel constructions are often backed up by repetition of  words (lexical repetition) and conjunctions and prepositions (polysyndeton). Pure parallel construction, however, does not depend on any other kind of repetition but the repetition of the syntactical design of the sentence.

THEME: Syntactical Expressive Means and Stylistic Devices.

Chiasmus belong to the group of stylistic devices based on the repetition of a syntactical pattern, but it has a cross order of words and phrases. The structure of two successive sentences or parts of a sentence may be described as reserved parallel construction, the word- order of one sentences being inverted as compared with that of the other.

It has already been pointed out that repetition is an expressive means of language used when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotion. It shoes the state of mind of the speaker.

Enumeration is a stylistic device by which separate things, objects, phenomena, properties actions are named one by one so that they produce a chain, the links of which, being syntactically in the same position (homogeneous parts of speech), are forces to display some kind of semantic homogeneity, remote though it may seem.

Most of our notions are associated with other notions due to some kind of relation between them: dependence, cause and result, likeness, dissimilarity, sequence, experience (personal and/or social), proximity, etc.

Suspense is a compositional device which consists in arranging the matter of a communication in such a way that the less important, descriptive, subordinate parts are amassed at the beginning, the main idea being withheld till the end of the sentence.

Climax is an arrangement of sentences (or of the homogeneous parts of one sentence) which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance. In order to characterize a thing or phenomenon from a specific point of view, it may be necessary not to find points of resemblance or association between it and some other thing or phenomenon, but to find point of sharp contrast, that is, to set one again the other, for example:

A saint abroad, and a devil at home.” (Bunyan)

“Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”(Milton)

A line of demarcation must be drawn between logical opposition and stylistic opposition. Any opposition will be based on the contrasting features of two objects. These contrasting features are represented in pairs of words which we call antonyms, provided that all the properties of the two objects in question may be set one against another, as ‘saint’ – ‘ devil’, ‘reign’- ‘serve’, ‘hell’- ‘heaven’.

Many word combinations are built up by means of contrasting pairs, as up and down, inside and out, from top to bottom and the like.

Stylistic opposition, which is given a special name, the term antithesis, is of a different linguistic nature: it is based on relative opposition which arises out of the context through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs. Asyndeton, that is, connection between parts of a sentences without any formal sign, becomes a stylistic device if there is a deliberate omission of the connective where it is generally expected to be according to the norms of the literary language.

Polysyndeton is the stylistic device of connecting sentences which for want of a term we shall call the gap- sentence link (GSL). The connection is not immediately apparent and it requires a certain mental effort to grasp the interrelation between the parts of the utterance, in other words, to bridge the semantic gap. Consequently, GSL is a way of connecting two sentences seemingly unconnected and leaving it to the reader’s perspicacity to grasp the idea implied, but not worded. Generally speaking every detail f the situation need not be stated. Some must remain for the reader to divine. As in many other cases, the device of GSL is deeply rooted in the norms of the spoken language. The omissions are justified because the situation easily prompts what has not been said. The proper intonation also helps in deciphering the communication. It is also natural in conversation to add a phrase to the statement made, a phrase which will point to uncertainly or lack of knowledge or to the unpredictability of the possible issue.

Ellipsis is a typical phenomenon in conversation, arising out of the situation. We mentioned this peculiar feature of the spoken language when we characterized its essential qualities and properties. But this typical feature of the spoken language assumes a new quality when used in the written language. It becomes a stylistic device in as much as it supplies suprasegmental information. All elliptical sentence in direct intercourse is not a stylistic device. It is simply a norm of the spoken English.

Question- in- the- narrative changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a stylistic device. A question in the narrative is asked and answered by one and the same person, usually the author. Question- in- the- narrative is very often uses in oratory. This is explained by one of the leading features of oratorical style- to induce the desired reaction to the context of the speech. Questions here chain the attention of the listeners to the matter the orator is dealing with and prevent it from wandering. They also give the listeners time to absorb what has been said, and prepare for the next point.

There are three ways of reproducing actual speech: a) repetition of the exact utterance as it was spoken (direct speech), b) conversion of the exact utterance into the relater’s mode of expression (indirect speech), and c) representation of the actual utterance by a second person, usually the author, as if it had been spoken, whereas it has not really been spoken but is only represented in author’s words (represented speech).

There is also a device which conveys to the reader the unuttered or inner speech of the character, thus presenting his thoughts and feelings. This device is also termed represented speech. To distinguish between the two varieties of represented speech we call the representation of the actual utterance through the author’s language uttered represented speech, and the representation of the thoughts and feelings of the character- unuttered or inner represented speech. The term direct speech came to be used in the belles- lettres style in order to distinguish the words of the character from the author’s words. Actually, direct speech is a quotation. Therefore it is always introduced by a verb like say, utter, declare, reply, exclaim, shout, cry, yell, gasp, babble, chuckle, murmur, sigh, call ,implore, comfort, assure, protest, object, command, admit and others. All these words help to indicate the intonation with which the sentence was actually uttered.

   Uttered represented speech demands that the tense should be switched from present to past and that the personal pronouns should be changed from 1st and 2nd person to 3rd person as in indirect speech, but the syntactical structure of the utterance does not change. As has often been pointed out language has two functions: the communicative and the expressive. The communicative function serves to convey one’s thoughts, volitions, emotions and orders to the mind of a second person. The expressive function serves to shape one’s thoughts and emotions into language forms. This second function is believed to be the only way of materializing thoughts and emotions. Without language forms thought is not yet thought but only something being shaped as thought. The thoughts and feelings going on in one’s mind and reflecting some previous experience are called inner speech. In as much as inner speech has no communicative function, it is very fragmentary, incoherent, isolated, and consists of separate units which only hint at the context of the utterance but do not word it explicitly. Inner speech is a psychological phenomenon. But when it is wrought into full utterance, it ceases to be inner speech, acquires a communicative function and becomes a phenomenon of a language. The expressive function of a language is suppressed by its communicative function, and the reader is presented with a complete language unit capable of carrying information. This device is called inner represented speech.

However, the language forms of inner represented speech bear a resemblance to the psychological phenomenon of inner speech. Inner represented speech retains the most characteristic features of inner speech. It is also fragmentary, but only to an extent which will not hinder the understanding of the communication.

   The rhetorical question is a special syntactical stylistic device the essence of which consists in reshaping the grammatical meaning of the interrogative sentence. In other words, the question is no longer a question but a statement expressed in the form of an interrogative sentence. Thus there is an interplay of two structural meanings: 1) that of the question and 2) that of the statement (either affirmative or negative). Both are materialized simultaneously.

  Litotes is a stylistic device consisting of  a peculiar use of negative constructions. The negation plus noun or adjective serves to establish a positive feature in a person a thing. This positive feature, however, is somewhat diminished in quality as compared with a synonymous expression making a straightforward assertion of the positive feature.

Lectures 7


 1. The study of the texts in terms of their syntactical organization is regarded as one of the crucial issues in stylistic analysis, though the peculiarities of syntactical arrangement are not so conspicuous as the lexical and phraseological ones.
    Stylistic syntax deals with specific patterns of syntactic usage, i.e. syntactical expressive means (EM) and stylistic devices (SD). In stylistic syntax, EM are recognized by less rule-bound modeling of sentences. All the deviations from the stylistically unmarked sentence pattern (S - P - 0 - D) are treated as its transforms that may acquire stylistic connotations, in which cases they are regarded as EM, The transformation of the pattern in question into negative and interrogative sentences rarely leads to any stylistic changes. Other transformations might create stylistically marked sentence patterns.
According to the type of transformation of the neutral syntactical pattern, all EM in English fall into three groups: 
    1.   EM based on the reduction of the syntactical pattern that results from the deliberate omission of some (s) of obligatory element the sentence structure. This group includes ellipsis,  aposiopesis, nominative sentences, and asyndeton.
    2.   EM based on the redundancy of the syntactical pattern that results from the addition of some sentence elements or their deliberate repetition. To this group we refer repetition, enumeration, syntactic tautology, polysyndeton, emphatic constructions, parenthetical clauses or sentences.
    3.    EM based on the violation of the grammatically fixed word order within a sentence or a deliberate isolation of some parts of the sentence. Here belong stylistic inversion, syntactical split, and detachment.
    The stylistic effect in syntax may be created not only due to the intrasentential relations (those between the olornents of a sentence), but also due to the intersentential (i.e. the relations between several sentences) relations within paragraphs and other supraphrasal unities.
The stylistic effect in supersyntax may be achieved by the use of SD, i.e. stylistically marked means and patterns of combination of sentences within a larger context. SD may also be created due to the transposition of the syntactical meaning of a sentence in context. In this case a sentence acquires an additional meaning which is not typical of the corresponding syntactical structure.
    Thus, taking into account the character of the relations between syntactical structures, possible transpositions of meanings in a context, and the means and types of connection within a sentence, we distinguish the following groups of syntactical SD:
1. SD based on the peculiar formal and semantic interaction of syntactical constructions within a sentential or suprasentential context: parallelism, chiasmus, anaphora, epiphora.
2. SD based on the transposition of the syntactical meaning in context: rhetorical questions.
3. SD based on the transformation of the types and means of connection within or between sentences: parcellation, subordination instead of coordination, and coordination instead of subordination.


    Ellipsis the omission from a syntactical construction of one or more words which might be clearly understood from context. Elliptical sentences are regularly employed in conversational English. Being used in fiction, they result in achieving some stylistic effect by:
1) giving, speech characteristics, e.g. Not him, sir. Too pleased with himself. Some gentlemen can't act... Too stiff (A. Christie);
2) emphasizing some fact(s), e.g. The robbery. Long Ago. Very valuable emeralds... The lady's made and the tweeny (A. Christie);
3) imitating spontaneity, e.g. "Quick - in here," Poirot led the way into the nearest room..."And you - behind the curtain" (A. Christie).
    Aposiopesis  is a break  in speech, while the thought is not completed, which is caused by the speaker's inability or unwillingness to finish the utterance, e.g. "Are you - are you and Paul...? " she stopped, squeezing my arm (D. Hammett); "It can be - you don't mean.." (A. Christie).
    Nominative sentences are one-member sentences with a noun, a prepositional noun-phrase, or an adverb. These verbless sentences are grammatically independent. In contrast with elliptical sentences, they have only one principal part, with or without words modifying it.
Nominative sentences may produce the effect of:
1) increasing the dynamism of narration, e.g. A remarkable woman - a dangerous woman. No waiting - no preparation. This afternoon - this very afternoon - with him here as witness... (A. Christie);
2) acquainting the reader with the place or background of action, e.g. Three blocks more... Another three blocks. (D. Hammett).
    Asyndeton is a deliberate avoidance of conjunctions used to connect sentences, clauses, or words. As far as its stylistic role is concerned, asyndeton creates a certain rhythmical arrangement, usually making the narrative measured, energetic, and tense, e.g.That's all I'm to do, all I want to do (D. Hammett); Tree and hall rose peaceful under the night sky and dear full orb; pearly paleness gilded the building; mellow brown gloom bosomed it round; shadows of deep green brooded above its oak-wreathed roof (Ch. Bronte).

    Repetition is a reiteration of the same word or phrase to lay an emphatic stress on certain parts of the sentence.
Various types of repetition can be found in fiction:
1) ordinary repetition, i.e. a repetition of a word in close succession, e.g. She talked, in fact, and talked, and talked (A. Berkley);
2) framing or ring repetition, i.e. a repetition in which the opening word or phrase is repeated at the end of the sentence or a group of sentences, e.g. I cooled off where Frank was concerned; he didn't notice, but I cooled off (V. Pritchett);
3) anadiplosis, or catch repetition, i.e. a repetition of the last word in a sentence or clause at the beginning of the next one, e.g. Yes, but I was afraid, afraid I'd go to one who'd tell Paul. I didn't know who to go to, who I could trust (D. Hammett);
4) chain repetition, i.e. a combination of catch repetitions, e.g. A smile would come into Mr.Pickwick's face. The smile extended into laugh; the laugh into roar, the roar became general (Ch. Dickens).
    Enumeration is a repetition of homogeneous parts of the sentence, aimed at emphasizing the whole utterance, e.g. I found butlers, secondmen, chauffeurs, COOKS, maids, upstairs girs, downstairs girls, and a raft of miscellaneous flunkies - he had enough servants to run a hotel (D. Hammett).
    Syntactical tautology is a superfluous repetition of semantically identical words or phrases to lay stress on a certain part of the sentence e.g. She's always one for a change, Gladdie is... (A. Christie).
    Polysyndeton is a repetition of conjunctions in close succession which are used to connect sentences, clauses, or words and make the utterance more rhythmical, e.g. She had herself a rich ruby look, for what with eating and drinking, and shouting and laughing and singing her face was crimson and almost steaming (J. Priestley).
    Emphatic constructions may intensity or contrast any part of the sentence, giving it an emotive charge. The emphatic construction with ‘do’ is used as a predicate intensifier. The construction "it is smb/smth who/that" intensifies the subject; the construction ''it is then that" stresses the adverbial modifier of time; "it is by/with/through smth that”  makes prominent the adverbial modifier of manner. "It is to that/smth there that" brings to the foreground the object of the sentence, e.g. That evening it was Dave, who read to the boys their bed-time story (D.Carter); It was then that Poirot received a brief note from Sady Willard (A. Christie); I do know it! (D. Hammett).
    Parenthetical clauses are sentences or phrases inserted into a syntactical structure without being grammatically connected with it. The functions of parenthesis are those of exemplification, deliberation, or reference. Parenthetical clauses may produce various stylistic effects:
1) creating two layers of the narrative, e.g. He tried to shake Wynant down by threat-ening to shoot him, bomb his house. Kidnap his children, cut his wife's throat - I don't know what all - if he didn’t come across (D. Hammett); 
2) emphasizing this or that fact, e.g. He laughed - not loud but in complete delight - and stood up exclaiming: "Judith herself!" (D. Hammett);
3) exemplifying certain points, e.g. The dog – a shapeless monster in the night-buried itself at the other side of the gate and barked terrifically (D. Hammett).


    Inversion is the violation of the fixed word order within an English sentence. There are two major kinds of inversion:
1. that one which results in the change of the grammatical meaning of a syntactic struc-ture, i.e. grammatical inversion (exclamatory and interrogative sentences), and 
2. that one which results in adding to a sentence an emotive and emphatic colouring, i.e. stylistic inversion, e.g. And the palm-trees I like them not (A. Christie).
Inversion may be of two types:
1) complete, i.e. comprising the principal parts of the sentence, e.g. From behind me came Andrews voice (S. Chaplin);
2) partial, i.e. influencing the secondary parts of the sentence, e.g. Straight into the arms of the police they will go (A. Christie).
    Separation, or syntactical split, is the splitting of a noun phrase by the attribute adjunct which is removed from the word it modifies. Stylistically, syntactical split is used to emphasize the phrase which was separated, e.g. He had never seen the truth before, about anything (R. Warren).
    Detachment is a separation of a secondary part of the sentence with the aim of emphasizing it, e.g. Formidable and ponderous, counsel for the defence  arose (A. Christie). 
    Detachment is to be regarded as a special kind of inversion, when some parts of the sentence are syntactically separated from its other members with which they are grammatically and logically connected.


    Parallelism is a repetition in close succession of the constructions formed by a similar syntactical pattern. Like inversion, parallelism may be complete and partial. Complete parallelism is observed when the syntactical pattern of the sentence that follows is completely similar to the proceeding one, e.g. He door-bell didn't ring. His telephone-bell didn't ring (D. Hammett).
    Parallelism is considered to be partial when either the beginning or the end of several neighbouring sentences are structurally similar, e.g. I want to see the Gorgensons together at home, I want to see Macawlay and I want to see Studsy Burke (D. Hammett).
    Chiasmus (reversed parallelism) is a kind of parallelism where the word order of the sentence or clause that follows becomes inverted, e.g. He sat and watched me, I sat and watched him (D. Hammett).
    The main stylistic function of chiasmus is to emphasize this or that part of the utterance, to break the rhythm and monotony of parallelism, e.g. Guild waited for me to say something, I waited for him (D. Hammett).
    Anaphora is a repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences, e.g. Еrgo, she didn't: Ergo, there never was such a bet. Ergo, Beresford was lying. Ergo, Beresford wanted to get hold of those chocolates for some reason other than he stated (A. Berkley). 
Anaphora contributes greatly to creating a certain rhythm of the narrative.
    Epiphora is the repetition of the final words or word-groups in succeeding sentences or clauses, e.g. I come to you on the level. Studsy says you are on the level. Be on the level (D. Hammett).

    Rhetorical questions are negative or affirmative statements rather than questions, possible answers being implied by the question itself, e.g. Is the day of the supernatural over? (A. Christie).
    Rhetorical questions can often be found in modern fiction in the descriptions of the character's inner state, his/her meditations and reflections, e.g. And then, like a douche of cold water, came the horrible thought, was she right? (A. Christie).

    Parcellation is a deliberate break of the sentence structure into two or more isolated parts, separated by a pause and a period. Parcellation is typical of colloquial speech. The main stylistic functions of parcellation are as follows:
1) specification of some concepts or facts, e.g. His wife had told him only the night before that he was getting a habit of it. Curious things, habits (A. Christie);
2) characterization of the personages' emotional state, e.g. It angered him finally. With a curious sort of anger Detached, somehow, separate from himself (C.B. Gilford);
3) description of the events or giving the personages' portrayal, e.g. I’d say he was thirty-five or –six. Sallow, dark hair and eyes, with the eyes set pretty close together, big mouth, long limp nose, bat-wing ears  - shifty-looking (D.Hammett); A touring car, large, black, powerfully engined and with lowered curtains, came from the rear... Possibly a scout (D. Hammett).
    The usage of coordination instead of subordination helps the author, to show differ-ent planes of narration. In this case the connection itself is more important stylistically than the contents of the sentence, e.g. He was more enthusiastic about America than ever, and he was not so simple, and he was not so nice (E. Hemingway).

Lecture # 7 

Functional Styles

  Functional Style is a system of interrelated language means serving a definite aim in communication. It is the coordination of the language means and stylistic devices which shapes the distinctive features of each style and not the language means or stylistic devices themselves.

  Functional Style is a system of interrelated language means serving a definite aim in communication. It is the coordination of the language means and stylistic devices which shapes the distinctive features of each style and not the language means or stylistic devices themselves.

  Functional Style is a system of interrelated language means serving a definite aim in communication. It is the coordination of the language means and stylistic devices which shapes the distinctive features of each style and not the language means or stylistic devices themselves.

  An FS is a patterned variety of literary text characterized by the greater or lesser typification of its constituents, supra-phrasal units (SPU), in which the choice and arrangement of interdependent and interwoven language media are calculated to secure the purport of the communication.

  The English literary system has evolved a number of styles easily distinguishable one from another. They are not homogeneous and fall into several variants of having some central point of resemblance or better to say. All integrated by the invariant  - i.e. the abstract ideal system.

They are: 

1) Official(documents and papers);

2) Scientific (brochures, articles, other scientific publications);

3) Publicistic (essay, public speech);

4) Newspaper style(mass media);

5) Belles-lettres style(genre of creative writing);

Each of mentioned here styles  can be expressed in two forms: written and oral.

Stylistics is a sides that examines the complex of stylistically marked elements of any language level.

1) scientific style is employed in professional communication to convey some information. It’s most conspicuous feature is the abundance of terms denoting objects, phenomena and processes characteristics of some particular field of science and technique. Also precision clarity logical cohesion.

2) Official style is the most conservative one. It uses syntactical constructions and archaic words. Emotiveness is banned out of this style.

3) Publicistic style is famous for its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing the reader in accordance with the argumentation of the author.

4) Newspaper style - special graphical means are used to attract the readers attention.

5) Belles-lettres style - the richest register of communication besides its own language means, other styles can be used besides informative and persuasive functions, belles-lettres style has a unique task to impress the reader are aesthetically.

The Style of Official Documents 

There is one more style of language within the field of standard literary  English which has become singled out – the style of official documents, or ‘officialese’. It  can in its turn be divided into the language of business documents, the language of legal documents, the language of diplomacy, and the language of military documents.  But we shall examine the peculiarities of the style in the whole, without going into details and peculiarities of every substyle. This style has a definite communicative aim and, accordingly, its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means.

The main aim of this type of communication is to state  the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. These parties may be:

  •  the state and the citizen, or citizen and the citizen;
  •  a society and its members;
  •  two or more  enterprises or bodies;
  •  two or more governments;
  •  a person in authority and a subordinate;
  •  a board or presidium and an assembly or general meeting, etc. the aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agreement between two contracting parties.
  •  This most general function of the style of official documents predetermines the peculiarities of the style. The most essential feature  of it is a special system of clichés, terms and set expressions by which each  substyle can easily be recognized,
  •  for example: 
  •  I beg to inform you, I second the motion, provisional agenda, the above-mentioned, hereinafter named, on behalf of, Dear Sir, your obedient servant.
  •  Besides the special nomenclature characteristic of each variety of the style, there is a feature common  to all of them – the use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions, for example: MP – Member of Parliament; gvt – government; HMS – Her Majesty’s Steamship; $, &,  £, §,  rsvp, PTO – Please Turn Over; e.g. – for example. There are so many of them that there are special addendas in dictionaries to decode them.
  •  Another feature of the style is the use of words in their logical dictionary meaning. Just as in the    other matter-of-fact style, there is no room for contextual meanings or for any kind of simultaneous realization of two meanings.
  •  Words with emotive meaning are not to be found in official documents either.
  •  As in all other functional styles, the distinctive properties appear as a system.

The syntactical pattern of the style is as significant as the vocabulary, though not so immediately apparent. The most noticeable are the compositional patterns of the variants of this style. Thus, business letters have a definite compositional pattern, namely, the heading giving the address of the writer, the date, the name of the addressee and his address. Then come the address (either by name or impersonal), the theme of the letter, the main information itself, the final greeting, the signature, and then follow different appendixes if there are any.

   As it is seen from the different samples above, the over-all code of the official style falls into a system of subcodes, each characterized by its own variety of syntactical arrangements.  But the integrating features of all these subcodes remain the following:

conventionality of expression;

absence of any emotiveness;

the encoded character of language symbols;

a general syntactical mode of combining several pronouncements into the sentence.

Scientific Prose Style 

The language of science is governed  by the aim of the functional style of scientific prose, which is to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between different phenomena, etc. the language means used, therefore, tend to be objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of any individuality; there is a  striving for the most generalized form of expression.

The first and most noticeable feature of this style is the logical sequence  of utterances with clear indication of their interrelations and interdependence. It will not be exaggeration to say that in no other functional style we find such a developed and varied system of connectives as in scientific prose.

    The second equally important feature of this style is the use of terms specific to each given branch of science. Due to the rapid dissemination of scientific and technical ideas, we may observe the process of ‘de-terminization’, that is, some scientific and technical terms begin to circulate outside the narrow field they belong to and eventually begin to develop new meanings. But the overwhelming majority of terms do not undergo this process and remain the property of scientific prose. There they are born, may develop new terminological meanings, and there they die. No other field of human activity is so prolific in coining new words as science is.                                                              

     Further, the general vocabulary employed in scientific prose bears its direct referential meaning, that is, words used in scientific prose will always tend to be used in their primary logical meaning. Nor will there be any words with contextual meaning. Even the possibility of ambiguity is avoided. Furthermore, terms are coined so as to be self-explanatory to the greatest possible degree. But neutral and common literary words used in scientific prose will be explained, even it their meaning is only slightly modified.   

A third characteristic feature  of scientific style is sentence – patterns. They are of 3 types: postulatory,  argumentative and formulative. A hypothesis must be based on facts already known. Therefore, every piece of scientific prose  will begin with postulatory pronouncements which are taken as self-evident and needing no proof. The writer’s own ideas are shaped in formulae, arguments, etc., that is, in sentences giving reasons for further conclusions. The definition sentence –pattern is the sentence which sums up the facts; it is generally a kind of clincher sentence.

A fourth observable feature of the style of modern scientific prose is the use of quotations and references. They sometimes occupy as much as half a page. They also have a definite compositional pattern, namely, the name of the writer referred to, the title of the work quoted, the publishing house,  the place and year it was published, and the page of the excerpt quoted or referred to.

A fifth feature of the style under discussion is the frequent use of foot-notes, not of the reference kind, but digressive in character. 

This is in full accord with the requirement of the style, which is logical coherence of ideas expressed.

  The impersonality of scientific writings can also be considered a typical feature of this style.

It is mainly revealed in the frequent use of passive constructions and impersonal scientific ‘we’ followed by the verbs suppose, assume, conclude, infer, point out, etc.

Newspaper style

Newspaper style was the last of all the styles of written literary English to be recognized as a specific form of writing standing apart from other forms. English newspaper writing dates back to the 17th century. For more than a century writers and linguists have been vigorously attacking “the slipshod construction and the vulgar vocabulary” of newspaper English. Yet, for all its defects, this form of the English literary language cannot be reduced merely to a distorted form of literary English. As any other style, it is characterized by a definite communicative aim and its own system of language means.

Not all the printed matter found in newspapers comes under newspaper style. On the pages of modern newspapers we can find news, press reports and articles, advertisements and announcements, and also stories and poems, crossword puzzles, chess problems and the like. Here only those materials matter that perform the function of informing the reader and providing him with an evaluation of the information published.

Thus, English newspaper style can be defined as a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means which is perceived  by the community as a separate linguistic unity that serves the purpose of informing and instructing the reader.

   Information and evaluation co-exist in the modern English newspaper.

Information in the English newspaper is conveyed, in the first place, through the medium of:

brief news items;

press reports (parliamentary, of court proceedings, etc.);

articles purely informational in character;

advertisements and announcements.

The newspaper also seeks to influence public opinion on political and other matters. Elements of appraisal may be observed in the very selection and way of presentation of news, in the use of specific vocabulary (allege, claim, etc.), casting some doubt on the facts reported and syntactic constructions indicating a lack of assurance on the part of the reporter as to the correctness of the facts reported or his desire to avoid responsibility (Mr. X was quoted as saying that…). The headlines of the  news items, apart from giving information about the subject-matter, also carry a considerable amount of appraisal (the size and the arrangement of the headline, the use of emotionally coloured words and elements of emotive syntax), thus indicating the interpretation of the facts in the news item that follows. But, of course, the principal vehicle of interpretation and appraisal is the newspaper article, and editorial in particular. Editorials (leading articles or leaders) are characterized by a subjective handling of facts, political or otherwise.

It is possible to distinguish within this style the following substyles:

1. Brief news items. 

2. Advertisements  and announcements. 

3. The headline. 

4. The editorial. 

Let’s have a closer look at them

Brief news items 

The principal function of a brief news item is to inform the reader. It states facts without giving explicit comments/ news items are essentially matter-of-fact, and stereotyped forms of expression prevail. But apart from this, newspaper style has its specific vocabulary features and is characterized by an extensive use of:

special political and economic terms (socialism, constitution, president, apartheid, gross output);

non-term political vocabulary (public, people, progressive, nation-wide, unity, peace);

newspaper clichés \stereotyped expressions; commonplace phrases familiar to the reader\ (vital issue, pressing necessity, informed sources, danger of war, to escalate a war, war hysteria, captains of industry,  pillars of society);

abbreviations (UNO, Trade Union Congress, NATO, UFO, European Economic Community, Foreign Office, MP, VIP);

neologisms. The newspaper is very quick to react to any new development in the life of society, science and technology. Hence, neologisms make their way into the language of the newspaper very easily and often even spring up on newspaper pages (lunic – a machine to study the Moon; a splash-down – a landing on water; a sit-in– a strike when the strikers sit on their places but do not work; stop-go policies – contradictory, indecisive and inefficient policies);

complex sentences with a developed system of clauses (“There are indications that BOAC may withdraw threats of all-out dismissals for pilots who restrict flying hours, a spokesman for the British Airline Pilots’ Association said yesterday”.);

verbal constructions (“…he set this example by announcing the disbanding of his faction numbering 47 of the total of 95 conservative members of the Lower House…”);

syntactical complexes, especially the nominative with the infinitive. These constructions are largely used to avoid mentioning the source of information or to shun responsibility for the facts reported (“The condition of Lord Samuel, aged 92, was said last night to be ‘a little better’”);

attributive noun groups are powerful means of effecting brevity (heart swap patient, the national income and expenditure figures, Labour backbench decision);

specific word-order. In one-sentence news paragraphs and in leads \the initial sentences in longer news items\ is more or less fixed. Journalistic practice has developed what is called the ‘five-w-and-h-pattern rule’ (who-what-why-how-where-when) and for a long time strictly adhered to it. (“A neigh- bour’s peep through a letter box led to the finding of a woman dead from gas and two others semiconscious in a block of council flats in Eccles New Road, Salford, Lanc., yesterday.”).

Advertisements  and    announcements

Advertisements made their way into the British press at an early stage of its development (in the 17th century). Their principal function is to inform the reader. There are two  basic types of advertisements and announcements in the modern English newspaper: classified and non-classified.

In classified advertisements and announcements various kinds of information are arranged according to subject-matter into sections, each bearing an appropriate name. in “The Times”, for example, the reader never fails to find several hundred advertisements and announcements classified into groups, such as BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS, BUSINESS OFFERS, etc. (“CULHANE – on November 1st, to BARBARA and JOHN CULHANE – a son”).

The headline 

    The headline \the title given to a news item or an article\ is a dependent form of newspaper writing. It is in fact a part of a larger whole. The main function of it is to inform the  reader briefly what the text that follows is about. But apart from this, headlines often contain elements of appraisal, i.e. they show the  reporter’s of the paper’s attitude to the facts reported or commented on. English headlines are short and catching.  A skillfully turned out headline tells a story, or enough of it, to arose or satisfy the reader’s curiosity.

The practices of headline writing are different with different newspapers. In many papers there is, as a rule, but one headline to a news item, whereas such papers as ‘The Times’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The New York Times’ often carry a news item or an article with two or three headlines, and smt as many as four. (FIRE FORCES AIRLINED TO TURN BACK 

Cabin Filled With Smoke 

Safe Landing For 97 Passengers 

Atlantic Drama In Super VC 10 “The Times”) 

Syntactically headlines are very short sentences or phrases of variety of patterns:

full declarative sentences (‘Allies  Now Look to London’ – “The Times”);

interrogative sentences (‘Do You Love War?’- “Daily World”);

nominative sentences (‘Atlantic Sea Traffic’- “The Times”);

elliptical sentences (‘Still in danger’-“The Guardian”);

sentences with articles omitted (‘Step to Overall Settlement Cited in Text of Agreement’-“International Gerald Tribune”);

phrases with verbals (‘Keeping Prices Down’- “The Times”; ‘To Get US Aid’-“The Guardian”);

questions in the form of statements (‘Growl Now, Smile Later?’- “The Observer”);

complex sentences (‘Army Says It Gave LSD to Unknown GIs’- “International Gerald Tribune”);

headlines including direct speech, as a full sentence or elliptically (‘The Queen: “My Deep Distress”- -“The Guardian”);

The headline in British and American newspapers is an important thing both for information and appraisal; editors give it special attention. It takes a lot of skill on the part of the writer to make the reader look through the article or at least the greater part of it.

The editorial

Its function is to influence the reader by giving an interpretation of certain facts. Editorials comment on the political and other events of the day. Their purpose is to give the editor’s opinion and interpretation of the news published and suggest to the reader that it is the correct one.

In addition to vocabulary typical of brief news items, writers of editorials make an extensive use of emotionally coloured vocabulary (‘The long-suffering British housewife needs a bottomless purse to cope with this scale of inflation’-“Daily Mirror”). The language of editorial articles is characterized by a combination of different strata of vocabulary, which enhances the emotional effect. Alongside political words and expressions, terms, clichés and abbreviations one can find colloquial words and expressions, slang and professionalisms. Emotional colouring in editorial articles is achieved with the help of various stylistic devices, the use of which is largely traditional.

Yet, the role of expressive language means and stylistic devices in the editorial should not be over-estimated. They stand out against the essentially neutral background. Broadly speaking, tradition reigns supreme in the language of newspapers. Original forms of expression and fresh genuine stylistic means are comparatively rare in newspaper articles, editorial included.

Publicistic style 

The publicistic style of language became a separate style in the middle of the 18th century. It also falls into 3 varieties , each having its own distinctive features. It has a spoken variety, namely, the oratorical substyle. The development of radio and television has brought into being another new spoken variety, namely, the radio and TV commentary. The other 2 substyles are the essay (moral, philosophical, literary) and journalistic articles (political, social, economic) in newspapers, journals and magazines. Book reviews in journals, newspapers and magazines and also pamphlets are generally included among essays.

Aim of publicistic style

The general aim of publicistic style is to exert a constant and deep influence on public opinion,  to convince the reader or the listener that the interpretation given by the writer or the speaker is the only correct one and to cause him to accept the point of view expressed in the speech, essay or article not merely through logical argumentation but through emotional appeal as well.

Oratory and speeches 

The oratorical style of the language is the oral subdivision of the Publicistic style. Persuasion is the most obvious purpose of oratory.

Direct contact with the listener permits a combination of the syntactical, lexical and phonetic peculiarities of both the written and spoken varieties of language. But in its leading features oratorical style belongs to the written variety of language, though it is modified by the oral form of the utterance and the use of gestures. Typical features of the spoken variety of speech present in this style are: direct address to the audience (ladies & gentlemen, honourable members), contractions (I’ll, won’t, we’ve), the use of colloquial words.

This style is evident in speeches on political and social problems of the day, in orations and addresses on solemn occasions, in parliamentary debates, at meetings and in election campaigns.

The essay

As a separate form of English literature the essay dates back to the close of the 16th century. The name became common after the publication of Montaigne’s “Essays”, a literary form created by this French writer.

An essay is rather a series of personal and witty comments than a finished argument or a conclusive examination of any matter.

The most characteristic language features of the essay are:

Brevity of expression, reaching in good writers a degree of epigrammaticalness;

The use of the first person singular, which justifies a personal approach to the problems treated;

Ø A rather expanded use of connectives, which stress the process of correlation of ideas;

The abundant use of emotive words;

The use of similes and sustained metaphors.

Journalistic articles 

All the already mentioned features of Publicistic style are to be found in any article irrespective of the character of the magazine and the article, though the latter affect the choice of stylistic devices. Words of emotive meaning, for example, are few, if any, in popular scientific articles. In a satiric article, on the contrary, their exposition is more consistent and the system of connectives more expanded. Literary reviews stand closer to essays both by their content and by their linguistic form.

Classification of functional styles, belles-lettres style

Belles-lettres or belles letters is a term that is used to describe a category of writing. A writer of belles-lettres is a belletrist. However, the boundaries of that category vary in different usages.

Literally, belles-lettres is a French phrase meaning "beautiful" or "fine" writing. In this sense, therefore, it includes all literary works — especially fictionpoetrydrama, or essays — valued for their aesthetic qualities and originality of style and tone. The term thus can be used to refer to literature generally. The Nuttall Encyclopedia, for example, described belles-lettres as the "department of literature which implies literary culture and belongs to the domain of art, whatever the subject may be or the special form; it includes poetry, the drama, fiction, and criticism," while the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition describes it as "the more artistic and imaginative forms of literature, as poetry or romance, as opposed to more pedestrian and exact studies."

The purpose of the belles-lettres style is to suggest a possible interpretation of the phenomena of life by forcing the reader to see the view point of the writer.

The belles-lettres FS has the following substyles: style of poetry; of emotive prose; of drama. The publicistic FS comprises the following substyles: style of essays; of oratory; of feature articles in newspapers and journals.

The newspaper FS falls into: style of brief news items and communiqués; of newspaper headlines; of notices and advertisements.

The scientific prose FS also has three divisions: style of humanitarian sciences; of ‘exact’ sciences; of military documents.

The official documents FS can be divided into four varieties: style of diplomatic documents; of business documents; of legal documents; of military documents.

The belles-lettres Style

The belles- letters style is a generic tern for three sub styles in which the main principles and the most general properties of the style are materialized. These three sub styles are:

☺The language of poetry, or simple verse.

☺Emotive prose or the language of fiction. 

☺The language of drama.

Each of these sub styles has certain common features, typical of the general belles letters style, which make up the foundation of the style, by which the particular style is made recognizable and can therefore be singled out.

Each of them also enjoys some individuality.       

 This is revealed in definite futures typical only of one or another sub style. This correlation of the general and the particular in each variant of the belles letters style had manifested itself differently at different stages in its historical development.

The belles-lettres style rests on certain indispensable linguistic features which are:

1.Genuine, not trite, imagery, achieved by purely linguistic devices.

2.The use of words in contextual and very often in more than one dictionary meaning, or at least greatly influenced by the lexical environment.

3.A vocabulary which will reflect to a greater or lesser degree the author’s personal evaluation of things or phenomena.

4.A peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax, a kind of lexical and syntactical idiosyncrasy.

The introduction of the typical features of colloquial language to a full degree (in plays) or lesser one (in emotive prose) or a slight degree, if any (in poems).

1. Language of poetry

The first sub style we shall consider is verse. Its first differentiating property is its orderly form, which is based mainly on the rhythmic and phonetic arrangement of the utterances. The rhythmic aspect calls forth syntactical and semantic peculiarities which also fall into a more or less strict orderly arrangement.

 The various compositional forms of rhyme and rhythm are generally studied under the terms versification or prosody

a) Compositional Patterns of Rhythmical Arrangement

Metre and Line

The most observable and widely recognized compositional patterns of rhythm making up classical verse are based on:

1) alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables,

2) equilinearity, that is, an equal number of syllables in the lines,

3) a natural pause at the end of the line, the line being a more or less complete semantic unit,

4) identity of stanza pattern,

5) established patterns of rhyming

Less observable, although very apparent in modern versification, are all kinds of deviations from these rules, some of them going so far that classical poetry ceases to be strictly classical and becomes what is called free verse, which in extreme cases borders on prose.

The nature of the English language with its specific phonetic laws, however, is incompatible with the demand for strict regularity in the alternation of similar units, and hence there are a number of accepted deviations from established metrical schemes which we shall discuss in detail after pointing out the most recognizable English metrical patterns.

There are five of them:

1. Iambic metre, in which the unstressed syllable is followed y a stressed one. It is graphically represented thus:

2. Trochaic metre, where the order is reversed, i.e. a stressed syllable is followed by one unstressed

3. Dactylic metre—one stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed

4. Amphibrachie metre—one stressed syllable is framed by two unstressed


  1.  Anapaestic metre—two unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed

The Stanza

The stanza is the largest unit in verse. It is composed of a number of lines having a definite measure and rhyming system which is repeated throughout the poem.

1) The heroic couplet—a stanza that consists of two iambic pentameters with the rhyming pattern aa.

The heroic couplet was later mostly used in elevated forms of poetry, in epics and odes. Alexander Pope used the heroic couplet in his "The Rape of the Lock" with a satirical purpose, that of parodying the epic.

Here are two couplets from this poem:

"Then flashed the Jiving lightning from her eyes,

And screams of horror rent the affrighted skies.

Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast,

When husbands or when lapdogs breathe their last;"

2) The next model of stanza which once enjoyed popularity was the Spencerian stanza, named after Edmund Spencer, the 16th century poet who first used this type of stanza in his "Faerie Queene." It consists of nine lines, the first eight of which are iambic pentameters and the ninth is one foot longer, that is, an iambic hexameter. The rhyming scheme is ababbcbcc. Byron's "Childe Harold" is written in this stanza:

1. "Awake, ye sons of Spain! Awake! Advance! (a)

2. Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries, (b)

3. But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance, (a)

4. Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies: (b)

5. Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies, (b)

6. And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar: (c)

7. In every peal she calls—"Awake! Arise!" (b)


8. Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore, (c)

9. When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore? (c)

3) The stanza named оttava rima has also been popular in English poetry. It is composed of eight iambic pentameters, the rhyming scheme being abababcc. This type of stanza was borrowed from Italian poetry and was widely used by Philip Sidney and other poets of the 16th century. Then it fell into disuse but was revived at the end of the 18th century. Byron used it in his poem "Beppo" and in "Don Juan." Here it is:

1. "With all its sinful doings, I must say, (a)

2. That Italy's a pleasant place to me, (b)

3. Who love to see the Sun shine every day, (a)

4. And vines (not nail'd to walls) from tree to tree (b)

5. Festoon'd much like the back scene of a play (a)

6. Or melodrame, which people flock to see, (b)

7. When the first act is ended by a dance (c)

8. In vineyards copied from the South of France." (c)

4) A looser form of stanza is the ballad stanza. This is generally an alternation of iambic tetrameters with iambic dimeters (or trimeters), and the rhyming scheme is abcb; that is, the tetrameters are not rhymed— the trimeters are. True, there are variants of the ballad stanza, particularly in the length of the stanza.

The ballad, which is a very old, perhaps the oldest form of English verse, is a short story in rhyme, sometimes with dialogue and direct speech. In the poem of Beowulf there are constant suggestions that the poem was made up from a collection of much earlier ballads. Modern ballads in form are imitations of the old English ballad. Here is a sample of the ballad stanza:

"They took a plough and plough'd him down (a)

Put clods upon his head; (b)

And they had sworn a solemn oath (c)

John Barleycorn was dead." (b) (Robert Burns)

5) One of the most popular stanzas, which bears the name of stanza only conventionally, is the sonnet.

This is not a part of a larger unit, it is a complete independent work of a definite literary genre. However, by tradition and also due to its strict structural design this literary genre is called a stanza.

The English sonnet is composed of fourteen iambic pentameters with the following rhyming scheme: ababcdcdefefgg 

Free Verse and Accented Verse

We shall use the term 'free verse' to refer only to those varieties of verse which are characterized by: 1) a combination of various metrical feet in the line; 2) absence of equilinearity and 3) stanzas of varying length.

A good illustration of free verse in our sense of the term is Shelley's poem "The Cloud."

"I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,

From the seas and the streams;

I bear light shade for the leaves when laid

In their noonday dreams.

From my wings are shaken the dews that waken

The sweet buds every one,

When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,

As she dances about the sun.

I wield the flail of the lashing hail,

And whiten the green plains under,

And then again I dissolve it in rain,

And laugh as I pass in thunder."

Accented verse is a type of verse in which only the number of stresses in the line is taken into consideration. The number of syllables is not a constituent; it is irrelevant and therefore disregarded. Accented verse is not syllabo-tonic but only tonic.

For the sake of illustration we shall quote two poems representing the two extremes of accented verse.

1. "With fingers weary and worn;

With eyelids heavy and red,

A woman sat in unwomanly rags,

Plying her needle and thread,—

Stitch! Stitch! Stitch!

In poverty, hunger and dirt;

And still with a voice of dolorous pitch

She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

Work! Work! Work!

While the cock is crowing aloof!

And work—work—work—

Till the stars shine through the roof!

It's O! to be a slave

Along with the barbarous Turk,

Where woman has never a soul to save,

If this is Christian work!

(Thomas Hood)

b) Lexical and Syntactical Features of Verse

Among the lexical peculiarities of verse the first to be mentioned is imagery, which being the generic feature of the belles-lettres style assumes in poetry a compressed form: it is rich in associative power, frequent in occurrence and varied in methods and devices of materialization.

Imagery as a use of language media which will create a sensory perception of an abstract notion by arousing certain associations (sometimes very remote) between the general and the particular, the abstract and the concrete, the conventional and the factual.

"An image," writes A. E. Derbyshire, "is a use of language which relates or substitutes a given word or expression to or for an analogue in some grammatical way, and which in so doing endows that word or expression with different lexical information from that which it has in its set. An image, in this sense, is merely a linguistic device for providing contextual information."

Imagery a use of language media which will create a sensory perception of an abstract notion by arousing certain associations (sometimes very remote) between the general and the particular, the abstract and the concrete, the conventional and the factual.

Images from a linguistic point of view are mostly built on metaphor, metonymy and simile. These are direct semantic ways of coining images. Images may be divided into three categories: two concrete (visual, aural), and one abstract (relational).

Visual images are the easiest of perception, inasmuch as they are readily caught by what is called the mental eye. In other words, visual images are shaped through concrete pictures of objects, the impression of which is present in our mind. Thus in:

"... and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth..." (Shakespeare)

the simile has called up a visual image, that of a lark rising.

Onomatopoeia will build an аиral image in our mind, that is, it will make us hear the actual sounds of nature or things (see, for example: "How the Water Comes Down at Ladore").

A relational image is one that shows the relation between objects through another kind of relation, and the two kinds of relation will secure a more exact realization of the inner connections between things or phenomena.

Thus in:

"Men of England, Heirs of Glory,

Heroes of unwritten story.

Nurslings of one mighty mother,

Hopes of her, and one another." (Shelley)

2.Emotive prose

The substyle of emotive prose has the same common features as the belles-lettres style in general; but all these features are correlated differently in emotive prose. The imagery is not so rich and the percentage of words with contextual meaning is not so high as in the poetry; it contains a combination of the spoken and written varieties of the language. There are always 2 forms of communication present – monologue (the writer’s speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters).

The language of the writer follows the literary norms of the given period in the development of the English literary language. The language of the hero of a novel or a story will be chosen in order to characterize the person himself.

Emotive prose allows the use of elements from other styles as well.

Emotive prose as a separate form of imaginative literature, that is fiction, came into being rather late in the history of the English literary language. The first were translations from Latin of stories from the Bible, in the 12th and 13thcenturies there appeared “Tales of King Arthur and his Round Table”, but actually it began in the 2nd half of the 15thcentury with bringing of printing to Britain.

3.Language of the drama 

The third subdivision of the belles-lettres style is the language of plays

      Language of the drama

    It is entirely a dialogue. The author’s speech is practically excluded except for the playwright’s remarks and stage directions.

But the language of the characters is in no way the exact reproduction of the norms of colloquial language, although the playwright  seeks to reproduce actual conversation as far as the norms of the written language will allow. The language of plays is always stylized, that is, it strives to retain the modus of literary English. The playwright uses non-literary forms and expressions with particular aim, but he does it sparingly.

W. Shakespeare was the 1st to use prose in his plays; before him all the plays were written in the form of a verse.

Colloquial style is divided into upper colloquial, common colloquial and low colloquial. The latter two have their own peculiar features connected with region, gender, age of the speaker.


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