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Inventory of stylistics: Expressive means and stylistic devices. Tropes

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The name “stylistics” is derived from the Greek word “stylos”, the name of a writing instrument – a small rod made of metal with a pointed end which was used by ancient people to write on wax-covered tablets. The other end was blunt and was used to obliterate what was written.

Stylistics is a linguistic subject. It deals with the expressive and stylistic means of a language, their relation to the idea expressed and the classification and peculiarities of the existing styles of speech.

Foreign linguists often consider style: a). a technique of expression, b). peculiarities of a writer’s individual manner, c). the study of form apart of content. Russian linguists regard language and style as inseparable of thought.

Stylistic devices are those typified units of grammar, phraseology, lexics, phonetics which are apt to produce a certain stylistic effect. Stylistic devices can be opposed to expressive means. Stylistic devices are produced by a certain author. Expressive means are found in the language at large, they exist in the language as a resource, e.g. proverbs. If an author uses it having in view an artistic aim it turns into SD.

SDs bear double meaning based on the interaction. Words express the content (the thing or phenomenon) by their forms and meanings. The forms of a word show its relation to the other words in a sentence. They are said to have grammatical meaning. The term “lexical meaning” comprised the logical meaning, nominal meaning and emotive meaning.

The logical meaning is materialized in the context. It is the precise naming of a feature or an idea, object, the name by which we recognize the whole of the concept. Logical meanings are liable to change (meat®пища®мясо). Every word can generate new meanings.

Emotive meaning has reference not directly to things or phenomena of objective reality but to the feelings and emotions of the speaker towards these things: e.g. he is a fox (a sly person). Emotive meaning is recognized in a context as well as the logical meaning.

The nominal meaning is the name of a particular object out of a class (a unique object, a person or a geographic notion). Many nominal meanings have developed from logical meaning (Smith) and many logical meanings have developed from nominal (“hooligan” – the name of Irish family).



Contextual meaning lives in the given text. It is produced as a result of interaction of logical or nominal and emotive meanings. When such a contextual meaning is used very often it becomes a secondary logical meaning and enters the dictionary: e.g. smart, cute.

We register SD wen we have two-fold perception of 2 meanings. There are different types of transference of meaning based on the interaction:

· Of dictionary and contextual meaning (which is the basis of such SDs as metaphor, metonymy, irony)

· Of primary and derivative logical meanings (for zeugma, pun and polysemy)

· Of logical and emotive meaning (used as the foundation of epithet, oxymoron, interjection)

· Of logical and nominal meaning (which we find in antonomasia)

­ lexical SD

Phonetic SD – comprise all the ways of the use of sounds of speech for stylistic: purposes.

Paralinguistic (intonation, prolongation of vowels, whisper, shouting, overstressing)

Alliteration (repetition of the same/similar sounds in close proximity)

Rhythm

Syntactical: rhetorical question, litotes, inversion, detached construction, repetition, enumeration, suspense, climax, parallel constructions.

 

 


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