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Unit Stylistics as a branch of Linguistics

Lecture 1. Unit 1. Stylistics as a branch of Linguistics Stylistics is a branch of linguistics that studies style, implying all possible definition of this term. It has been developing in connection with other linguistic disciplines, such as text linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, history of language, literature etc. Stylistics aims at examining two interdependent tasks: the investi­gation of the special language media which by "their ontological features secure the desirable effect of the utterance and b) cer­tain types of texts (discourse) which due to the choice, and arrangement of language means are distinguished b.y the pragmatic aspect of the communication. The two objectives of stylistics are clearly discernible as two separate fields of investigation. The special media of language which secure the desirable effect of the utter­ance are called stylistic devices (SD) and expressive means (EM). The first field of investigation, i.e. SDs and EMs, necessarily touches upon such general language problems as the aesthetic function of lan­guage, synonymous ways of rendering one and ffie same idea, emotional colouring in language, the interrelation between language and thought, the individual manner of an author in making use of language and a number of other issues.^ The 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. These intensifying forms, wrought by-social usage and recognized by their semantic function, have been singled out in grammars, courses in phonetics and dictionaries (including phra­seological ones) as having special functions in making the utterances emphatic. Some of them are normalized, and good dictionaries label them as "intensifiers". In most cases they have corresponding neutral synonymous forms. The stylistic device is a conscious and intentional 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. It follows then that an SD is an abstract pattern, a mould into which any content can be poured. As is known, the typical is not only that which is in frequent use, but that also which reveals the essence of a phenomenon with the greatest and most evident force. SDs function in texts as marked units. They always carry some kind of additional information, either emotive or logical. The second field, i.e. styles of discourse, cannot avoid discussion of such most general linguistic issues as oral and written varieties of lan­guage, the notion of the literary (standard) language, the constituents of texts larger than the sentence, the generative aspect of literary texts, and some others. In dealing with the objectives of stylistics, certain number of disciplines such as theory of information, literature, psy­chology, logic and to some extent statistics must be touched upon. This is indispensable; for nowadays no science is entirely isolated from other domains of human knowledge; and linguistics, particularly its branch stylistics, cannot avoid references, to the above mentioned dis­ciplines because it is confronted with certain overlapping issues.^ Unit 2. The notion of style. 1. The term the individual style of an author is applied to the realm of linguistics and litarary science which studies peculiarities of a writer individual manner of using language means to achieve his goals of influencing the writer. The individual style of an author is identified by his proper and specific manner of combing language media and stylistic devices which in interaction create a certain specific system. Among the features that highlight the individual style of an author can be mentionedcomposition of the larger-than-the sentence unitsrhythm and melody of utterancessystem of imagerypreferences for definite stylistic devices and their correlation with neutral language mediathe media characteristic if the personages The problem of studying the individual style of an author is common ground for literature and linguistics. 2. The term the functional style-is an independent more or less closed subsystem of the standart literary language that is fixed for performing in a codified sphere of social communication. In this way it differs from the other styles in peculiarities of using vocabulary, grammar, phonetics and so on The functional style is based on distinguishing typical form of social interaction. The social actions of culture enact recurring situations. It is a recurring institution in a soci­ety, a 'form of life', in which actions are intelligible and meaning­ful. Functional styles are also called registers of discourses. There are varios classification of styles in English. First, two famous books by I.E. Galperin, Galperin distinguishes five styles in present-day English. They are: Belles Lettres 2. Publicistic Style 3. Newspapers 4. Scientific Prose.5. Official DocumentsThe belles-lettres FS has the following substyles: a) the language style of poetry; b) the language style of emotive prose; c) the language style of drama.The publicistic F S comprises the following substyles: a) the language style of oratory; b) the language style of essays; c) the language style of feature articles in newspapers and journals.The newspaper F S falls into a) the language style of brief news items and communiques; b) the language style of newspaper head­ings and c) the language style of notices and advertisements.^ The scientific prose F S also has three divisions: a) the language style of humanitarian sciences; b) the language style of "exact" sciences; c) the language style of popular scientific prose.The official document F S can be divided into four varieties: a) the language style of diplomatic documents; b) the language style of business documents; c) the language style of legal documents; d) the language style of military documents. As you see there is no Colloquial Style in this classification. There is one more point that calls for discussion: the validity of postulating a Belles-Lettres Style. It may in fact be assumed that Galperin's position is not shared by most of those interested in style matters. The diversity of what is actually met with in books of fiction turns the notion of a belles-lettres style into something very vague possessing no constant features of its own. Not a mere chance it seems that Galperin mentions not imaginative prose in general, but emotive prose, giving special accent to the 'euphuistic style'.2 The next book to appear was Stylistics of the English Language by M.D. Kuznets. M.D. Kuznets' cursory description of style classes runs as follows: Literary, or 'Bookish' Style 1.Publicistic Style 2. Scientific (Technological) Style 3. Official Documents Free ('Colloquial') Style . Literary Colloquial Style 2. Familiar Colloquial Style As can be seen, both poetry and imaginative prose have been rejected (as non-homogeneous objects), althoiugh the book is supplied with a chapter on versification (also written by Kuznets). On the futility of attempts to differentiate 'literary' amd 'faimiliar' colloquial speech, see the last chapter of this book. Next comes the well-known work by I.V. Arnold Stylistics of Modern English (two editions: 1973 and, thoroughly revised, 1981). I.V. Arnold singles out four styles: 1. Poetic style 2. Scientific style 3. Newspaper style 4. Colloquial style Very rich in information, with a number of new problems raised and solved, is the handbook by A.N. Morokhovsky and his three co­authors — O.P. Vorobyova, N.I. Likhosherst and Z.V. Timoshenko Stylistics of the English Language, published in Kiev. In the final chapter of the book "Stylistic Differentiation of Modern English", written by A.N. Morokhovsky a concise, but exhaustive review of factors to be taken into consideration when problem of styles is to be settled ends with the following set of style classes: 1. Official business style 2. Scientific-professional style 3. Publicistic style 4. Literary colloquial style 5Familiar colloquial style Each item is discussed. Each style has a combination of distinctive features. Among them we find oppositions like 'artistic — non-artistic', presence of personality — absence of if, 'formal — informal situation', equal — unequal social status (of the participants of communication)', written form — oral form'. A.N. Morokhovsky warns the reader that the five classes of what he alls 'speech activity' are abstractions, rather than realities, and can only eldom be observed in their pure forms: mixing styles is the prevailing practice. On the whole, Morokhovsky's concept is one of the few that attempt to differentiate and arrange hierarchically the system of cardinal linguistic notions. In Morokhovsky's opinion, language as a system includes types if thinking differentiating poetic and straightforward language, oral and vritten speech; hence, ultimately, bookish and colloquial functional types if language. The next problem is stylistics of 'speech activity'. Its basic lotion is 'style of speech activity' ("socially cognized stereotype of speech lehaviour"). "Stereotypes of speech behaviour, or functional styles of speech activity, are norms for wide classes of texts or utterances, in which general social roles are embodied — poet, journalist, manager, politician, scholar, ' teacher, father, mother, etc." The number of stereotypes is not unlimited, but it is sufficiently great. What is termed 'text types' differs either in content or in denotation. E.g., texts in official business style may be administrative, juridical, military, commercial, diplomatic, etc. The next step is division of text types into genres. The type of military texts (official style) comprises commands, reports, regulations, manuals, instructions; in diplomacy, notes, declarations, agreements, treaties, etc. T'he degree of regulation is strictest in the formal style and much freer for scientific or publicistic prose. With regard to texts of any type and ,;'enre, one may speak of their individual styles (from the viewpoint of "stylistics of individual speech"). 4.The term ‘style ‘ is widely used in literature to signify literary genre. So we speak of classical style , realistic style, the style of romanticism and so on 5. The style characterize linguistic paradighm of the epoch (Old English, The Middle English Period, The New English Period, etc)Lecture 2. Two varieties of language. At the present period of its development English is marked by a great number of different functional varieties, also called styles or registers, appropriate to given situations. The most common functional varieties or styles are: written English and spoken English . The terms "written" and "literary" are used here synonymously; similarly, the terms "spoken" and "conversational" are used interchangeably, "colloquial" being a form of spoken variety. Of the two varieties of language, diachronically the spoken is pri­mary and the written is secondary. Each of these varieties has developed its own features and qualities which in many ways may be regarded as opposed to each other. The main two varieties are treated as of equal importance. The written variety of English is the type of language that is taught at school and universities and generally used by press, radio and television. This type is used by educated speakers in formal situations for some serious purpose, for example, in literary prose, in official reports, scholarly articles, theses and reviews, scientific textbooks and essays, formal correspon­dence and business letters, and also in public speeches, addresses, or possibly in formal conversation (especially between strangers). Literary English is nearly always written, except when used in formal public speeches, broadcast talks, prepared lectures, etc. These types of communication are chiefly carried on in the form of monologue addressed from one person to many, and often prepared in advance. Thus, written English, typically used in formal contexts, is informa­tive and discursive. Spoken English is the type of language naturally used by the majority of educated speakers in private two-way communication and partly in familiar letters to close friends. It is characteristically maintained in the form of a dialogue which I is supported in its explicitness by the appropriate speech situation and the meaningful modulation of the voice: its rise and fall, its pauses and stresses, and all kinds of gestures. There is constant feed-back between the speaker and the listener in dialogue intercourse whose main function is the mutual intelli­gibility and communicative effectiveness. The written language, by contrast, has not any of these external aids to assist us and, therefore, it fails to carry much of English intonation. Conversational spoken speech seldom appears in formal writing in its purity even in the dramatic dialogue of plays and novels. The spoken variety of language is by its very nature sponta­neous, momentary, fleeting. The written language, on the contrary, lives rather a long life; it changes more slowly than the spoken and is therefore far more conservative and homogeneous. Ordinary conversational speech is as highly personal and indi­vidual as is the written style of talented writers, while technical language tends to be impersonal. Within each variety of educated English (written and spoken) various levels of usage are generally distinguished. The most important of them are: formal, informal, polite, familiar. Such features as formal, polite usually tend to go together with written English and those of informal, familiar with spoken English. But this need not always be the case as it is possible to express oneself politely in conversational English, and likewise it is possible to express oneself informally in written English. . Although there are many common features between formal written and informal conversational English, there are also many differences (both in vocabulary and grammar) which may be regarded as opposed to each other. The most striking difference between the two styles lies, of on the vocabulary used ( to conclude-to end, I beg your pardon- sorry for, etc.). Turning to grammatical characteristics we also find quite obvious differences between the spoken and the written language. As a rule, certain grammatical forms and constructions are more preferable and more frequent in one style than in the other, where they may be even exclusive. The grammar of formal literary English is generally conser­vative, more closely organized and more complex, too. It makes use of longer sentences with more levels of subordination; it also prefers sentences with non-finite constructions (infinitival, gerundial and participial - The issue being analyzed we were in a position to go on to another matter) which serve as a certain means of informational condensation. The arrangement of sentences is by no means accidental. Each sentence is logically connected with those preceding and following it, thus forming a syntactical whole (a paragraph). As a result, long complicated sentence-units are more frequent than short utterances. The written language usually avoids loose or mixed constructions. Contractions and other conversational forms and structures are out of place here. Another syntactical peculiarity of the written style is that it prefers hypotactic constructions to paratactic ones. Hence it abounds in all kinds of conjunctions and connectives. Many of the connecting words are permissible exclusively in the written language, but not in ordinary conversation. Such connectives as furthermore, moreover, nevertheless, therefore, In connection with, similarly and some others have a decidedly bookish flavour and are rarely used outside of the written style. Thus, written literary English, where exactness and clarity are of vital importance, is said to be "more grammatical" in the sense that it often indicates grammatical relationships more clearly. . Conversational English should not be treated as a poor version of the written language. In many ways, moreover, the spoken language, which follows the approved standard in grammar, is a far better vehicle of communication than the written. The spoken grammar has certain morphological peculiarities but they are few in number. Thus, of morphological forms conversational English abundantly makes use of contracted forms like: isn't, aren't, Another morphological feature typical of dialogue speech is the use of the analytical emphatic do-forms in the present and past tenses of the indicative mood (^ I do know he couldn’t have lost it) and also in the imperative mood. The colloquial character of everyday conversation also reveals itself in the use of the first and second person pronouns / and you, which are common in a dialogue. There are some other grammatical divergences between informal and formal English, for instance: the use of who and whom', I and me', he and him, etc.; the preference in use of finite verb-forms to non-finite forms (in sentences and clauses); the placing of a preposition at the beginning or at the end of a sentence (a clause) and others. And again, use of phrasal verbs in preference to their simple synonyms with more or less formal air is especially character­istic of informal spoken style. For example: find out — discover, blow up — explode; give in — surrender, etc. The same is true of multi-word phrasal verbs of the type to have a bath; to take a rest, etc. Such combinations have the effect of a single word. In ». fact, they serve as synonyms to simple words: to have a smoke — to smoke, to take care of— to care, etc., and in a more formal style their place will be taken by the corresponding simple synonym (if there is one). But generally conversational English is recognized by its more flexible and less rule-bound syntax. It makes extensive use of short and uncomplicated sentences and casual colloquial constructions, whose structure is simple, often elliptical to the utmost. Balanced sentences are accidental to ordinary conversa­tion. As a rule, coordination is preferred to subordination and such conjunctions as and, or, but also are in frequent use. On the other hand, it is quite typical and natural to have a string of sentences without any connective words. The wordorder is much looser than in written style and there is a marked tendency to use the direct wordorder in questions, whose grammatical meaning is clearly understood from the intonation and speech situations. The dialogue character of colloquial speech accounts for another syntactical peculiarity termed sentence variety, i.e. sen­tences of a dialogue do not follow a single pattern, but come out naturally in a variety of shapes and sizes. A dialogue, for example, may begin with a statement or a question, which may be followed by another question or a short answer, or an exclamation, or an imperative sentence, then interrupted by a casual side-remark, and so on. Streamlining sentences with many things left out because they are so clearly understood from the communicational situation are perfectly natural in dialogue speech. It is noteworthy that in ordinary everyday conversation interrogative, imperative and exclamatory sentences prevail over statements while in written style (literary prose, scientific papers, official documents, etc.) it is vice versa. One of the dominant and distinctive features of conversational English is word-economy which is obtained by abundant use of contracted forms and abbreviations of any kind, word-substi­tutes, elliptical sentences and even sentence fragments. Conversational English regularly employs well-worn cliches, colloquial expressions, idioms and sentences with nonce-words, and is at times quite inattentive to grammatical forms and sentence-patterning and to careful choice of words. Proverbs, sayings and quotations are also the common property of all native speakers of English. Informal conversation usually abounds in numerous figures of speech. Since they are not the object of our description, we shall note here only the most common ones. They include phrases of exaggeration and understatement, as in: a) "It's ages since we met", or "I was scared to death"; b) "Things get a bit hot", or "It's a spot of trouble." In the literary language such expressions are rare. Everyday conversation is also rich in metaphorical phrases, which taken literally would make no sense. They include hyperbole, comparison, simile, euphemism, jocular or ironical expressions, and the like. e.g. I'm snowed under with work. John works like the devil. It should be stressed here that colloquial English is very emotional. Emotions find their expression not only in lexical means, but also in grammatical forms and constructions that do not occur anywhere but in informal everyday intercourse. These forms and constructions will be dealt with in chapter four. Numerous social phrases of stereotyped and formulaic struc­ture (greetings, thanks, apologies, invitations, toasts, etc.,) also vocatives of various syntactic structure (John, Dr.Smith, my sweet, dear, etc.), interjections, empty words (or "fill-ups"), imprecations and slang words — all are part and parcel of contemporary spoken English. All these specific features of conversational usage will be discussed separately and in detail in the subsequent sections of the book. . Grammatical forms and structures which are not charac­terized as formal, informal, etc., are used in both styles of speech and belong to the "common core" of the language; they may be said to be neutral in style. The following sentences will serve to illustrate the point. e.g. 1) Feeling tired, Mary went to bed early. 2) Mary went to bed early because she felt tired. Mary felt tired, so she went to bed early. Sentence (1) is rather formal in construction, typical of written style. Sentence (2) is of fairly neutral style and belongs to the "common core". It could be used in both ordinary speech and formal writing. Sentence (3) is informal, and is likely to occur in a casual conversation between friends. Non-standard or uneducated English is the sort of English commonly used by people with little or no education. It is characterized by its limited vocabulary, its extensive use of slang and non-standard words, and also by what is now considered to be ungrammatical usage (for example, the double or multiple negative constructions, the forms ain't, youse, them instead of these and the like). e.g. I ain't saying nothing. I ain't got no time for youse. Who done it? They are neither grammatical nor idiomatic and for these reasons alone should be strictly avoided in conversation. Non-standard or uneducated English is nearly always spoken, seldom written, except in plays and dialogue form of novels, short stories, etc. Educated people occasionally use it especially when they are poking fun or imitating the speech of illiterate or uneducated people. But as we shall not be concerned with non-standard English, we shall no longer discuss it here. For the same reason we exclude grammatical forms and constructions which are restricted to regional dialects.


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