3 Stylistic Classification of the English Vocabulary
1. General considerations. In order to get a more or less idea of the word stock of any language, it must be presented as a system, the elements of which are interconnected, interrelated and yet independent. The word stock of a language may be represented as a definite system in which different aspects of words may be singled out as interdependent. A special branch of linguistic science-lexicology - has done much to classify vocabulary. For our purpose, i. e. for linguistic stylistics, a special type of classification, stylistic classification is the most important.
An accordance with the division of language into literary and colloquial, we may represent the whole of the word stock of the English language as being divided into three main layers: the literary layer, the neutral layer and the colloquial layer. The literary and the colloquial layers contain a number of subgroups each of which has a property it shares with all the subgroups within the layer. This common property, which unites the different groups of words within the layer may be called its aspect. The aspect of the literary layer is its markedly bookish character. It is this that makes the layer more or less stable. The aspect of the colloquial layer of words is its lively spoken character. It is this that makes it unstable, fleeting.
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 of language and in all spheres of human activity. The literary layer of words consists of groups accepted as legitimate members of the English vocabulary. They have no local or dialectal character. The colloquial layer of words as qualified in most English or American dictionaries is not infrequently limited to a definite language community or confine to a special locality where it circulates. The literary vocabulary consists of the following groups of words: 1) common literary; 2) terms and learned words; 3) poetic words; 4) archaic words; 5) barbarisms & foreign words; 6) literary coinages including nonce words.
The colloquial vocabulary falls into the following groups: 1) common colloquial words; 2) slang; 3) jargonisms; 4) professional words; 5) dialectal words; 6) vulgar words; 7) colloquial coinages.
The common literary, neutral and common colloquial words are grouped under the term standard English vocabulary.
11 Belle-letters style (the style of fiction) embraces:
1)poetry; 2)drama; 3)emotive prose. B-l style or the style of imaginative literature may be called the richest register of communication: besides its own lan-ge means which are not used in any other sphere of communication, b-l st. makes ample use of other styles too, for in numerous works of literary art we find elements of scientific, official and other functional types of speech. Besides informative and persuasive functions, also found in other functional styles, the b-l style has a unique task to impress the reader aesthetically. The form becomes meaningful and carries additional info. Boundless possibilities of expressing one's thoughts and feelings make the b-l style a highly attractive field of research for a linguist.
The belles-lettres style, in each of its concrete representations, fulfils the aesthetic function, which fact singles this style out of others and gives grounds to recognize its systematic uniqueness, i.e. charges it with the status if an autonomous functional style.
10 The Style of Official Documents
1) Language of business letters;
2) Language of legal documents;
3) Language of diplomacy;
4) Language of military documents; The aim:
1. to reach agreement between two contracting parties;
2. to state the conditions binding two parties in an understanding. Each of substyles of official documents makes use of special terms. Legal documents: military documents, diplomatic documents. The documents use set expressions inherited from early Victorian period. This vocabulary is conservative. Legal documents contain a large proportion of formal and archaic words used in their dictionary meaning. In diplomatic and legal documents many words have Latin and French origin. There are a lot of abbreviations and conventional symbols.
The most noticable feature of grammar is the compositional pattern. Every document has its own stereotyped form. The form itself is informative and tells you with what kind of letter we deal with.
Business letters contain: heading, addressing, salutation, the opening, the body, the closing, complimentary clause, the signature. Syntactical features of business letters are - the predominance of extended simple and complex sentences, wide use of participial constructions, homogeneous members.
Morphological peculiarities are passive constructions, they make the letters impersonal. There is a tendency to avoid pronoun reference. Its typical feature is to frame equally important factors and to divide them by members in order to avoid ambiguity of the wrong interpretation.
9 The Scientific Prose Style,
The style of scientific prose has 3 subdivisions:
1) the style of humanitarian sciences;
2) the style of "exact" sciences;
3) the style of popular scientific prose.
Its function is to work out and ground theoretically objective knowledge about reality
The aim of communication is to create new concepts, disclose the international laws of existence.
The peculiarities are: objectiveness; logical coherence, impersonality, unemotional character, exactness.
Vocabulary. The use of terms and words used to express a specialized concept in a given branch of science. Terms are not necessarily. They may be borrowed from ordinary language but are given a new meaning.
The scientific prose style consists mostly of ordinary words which tend to be used in their primary logical meaning. Emotiveness depends on the subject of investigation but mostly scientific prose style is unemotional.
Grammar: The logical presentation and cohesion of thought manifests itself in a developed feature of scientific syntax is the use of established patterns.
The impersonal and objective character of scientific prose style is revealed in the frequent use of passive constructions, impersonal sentences. Personal sentences are more frequently used in exact sciences. In humanities we may come across constructions but few.
The parallel arrangement of sentences contributes to emphasizing certain points in the utterance.
Some features of the style in the text are:
- use of quotations and references;
- use of foot-notes helps to preserve the logical coherence of ideas.
Humanities in comparison with "exact" sciences employ more emotionally coloured words, fewer passive constructions.
Scientific popular style has the following peculiarities: emotive words, elements of colloquial style
4 types of lexical meaning of the word
As it is known from the course of lexicology any word has a certain structure of its meaning which includes different components among which we can find denotative (obligatory for all words) and connotative (optional, which can’t be found in neutral words). In its turn a connotative component falls into emotional, evaluative, expressive and stylistic components. The emotional component is present in words expressing emotions and feelings, eg. Oh! Honey! Love! But they shouldn’t be confused with the words naming emotions and feelings, like fear, delight, gloom, etc., and the words whose emotional character depends on associations, connected with a denotate: death, tears, honour. The evaluative component expresses approval or disapproval, it is closely connected with the logical component, e.g. time-tested method (approval) – out-of-date method (disapproval). The word possesses the expressive component if it underlines by its imagery what is called by other syntactically connected words.
e.g. She was a thin, frail little thing. The word “thing” instead of a “girl” underlines the idea of fragility of the girl, expressed by the adjectives thin, frail, little. e.g. Life was not merely to be slaved away. Expressivenes of the verb “slave” is based on a metaphoric transfer, it is imagery expressiveness.In a context words may acquire additional meaning not fixed in dictionaries, which is called contextual. The latter may deviate from the dictionary meanings so that the new meaning may become the opposite of the primary meaning. e.g. the word ”sophisticated” originally meant “wise, then through its associations with the Sophists, it came to mean ‘over-subtle, marked byspecious reasoning’. After that it developed the additional sense of ‘adulterated, i.e. spoilt by admixture of inferior material’, then it gave birth to a new shade ‘corrupted’, then suddenly it ceased to mean ‘unpleasantly worldly-wise’ and came to mean admirably worldly-wise’, and then ‘highly complex mechanically, requiring skilled control’.What is known as transferred meaning is practically the interrelation of two types of meanings: dictionary and contextual. When the deviation of the contextual meaning from the dictionary one is carried to a degree that it causes an unexpected turn in the recognized logical meaning, we register a stylistic device.For stylistic purposes it is necessary to distinguish logical, emotive and nominal types of meaning. Logical meaning is the precise naming of a feature of the idea, phenomenon or objects by which we recognize the whole concept. It is called otherwise referential or denotative or direct meaning.Emotive meaning refers to things or phenomena directly, but through the feelings and emotions the speaker has to these things or phenomena, i.e. the emotive meaning bears reference to things, phenomena or ideas through a kind of evaluation of them. e.g. I feel so darned lonely. (G.Greene)Nominal meaning is characteristic of proper names, the logical meaning of the words they originate from may be forgotten. Most proper names have nominal meaning homonymous to common nouns with their logical or emotive meanings. To distinguish nominal meaning from logical one, the former is designated by a capital letter, e.g., smith-Smith, taylor-Taylor, free land-Freeland. In vocabulary one can find illustrations to the opposite process when a nominal meaning becomes the origin for a logical one. Thus the words ‘hooligan’, 'boycott’ are said to have appeared. The nominal meanings of these words have faded away and we perceive only the logical meaning.
13 phonetic expressive means
Onomatopoeia is a combination of speech-sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature, by things or people and animals. Onomatopoeia can be treated as some kind of metonymy as combinations of sounds are usually very quickly associated with whatever produces them. There exist two types of onomatopoeia: direct and indirect.
Direct onomatopoeia is found in words that imitate natural sounds, as cuckoo, buzz, bang, purr, bow-wow, etc.
Indirect onomatopoeia is created by combinations of sounds aimed at producing some echo effect in the utterance. It can be done through repetition of a sound, or an ending, or a separate word.e.g., And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe) –the repetition of [s] helps to create the sound the rustling of the curtains produce.And nearing and clearing,And falling and crawling and sprawling,
Alliteration is a phonetic stylistic device aimed at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance by means of the repetition of similar sounds in close succession, usually at the beginning ofsuccessive words, or in closely placed stressed syllables, e.g., Doom is dark and deeper than any sea. (Auden), Apt alliteration’s artful aid. (Churchill)
In contrast with indirect onomatopoeia where some mentioning of what makes the sound is made, alliteration does not demand it. It reaches the aim of creating some musical accompaniment or evoking some feeling just through the repetition of a certain sound, usually consonant.
Alliteration is deeply rooted in the traditions of English, as it was one of the basic principles of versification in Old English. In modern poetry alliteration is used to increase expressiveness as the alliterated words usually give prominence to the most important notions.
The Age of Anxiety
We would rather be ruined than changed,
Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations of words. Depending on a degree of identity of sound combinations rhymes may fall into full rhymes and incomplete rhymes.
In full rhymes the vowel sound and the consonant sounds in a stressed syllable are identical: light – right, might – bite, flown – grown, etc.
Triple rhymes – aaa – the last words of three successive lines are rhymed.
Cross rhymes – abab –the last words of the 1st and the 3rd lines, the 2nd and the 4th lines are rhymed.
Framing or ring rhymes – abba – the last words of the 1st and the 4th, the 2nd and the 3rd lines are rhymed.
Rhythm is a flow, movement, procedure, etc., characterized by basically regular recurrence of elements or features, as beat, or accent, in alteration with opposite or different elements or features.
The notion of norm. Norm may be defined as a set of language rules which are considered to be most standard and correct in a certain epoch and in a certain society. It is next to impossible to work out universal language norms because each functional style has its own regularities. The sentence "I ain't got no news from nobody" should be treated as non-grammatical from the point of view of literary grammar though it is in full accordance with special colloquial English grammar rules.
5 expressive means
The notion of expressive means. Expressive means of a language are those phonetic, lexical, morphological and syntactic units and forms which make speech emphatic. Expressive means introduce connotational (stylistic, non-denotative) meanings into utterances. Phonetic expressive means include pitch, melody, stresses, pauses, whispering, singing, and other ways of using human voice. Morphological expressive means are emotionally coloured suffixes of diminutive nature: -y (-ie), -let (sonny auntie, girlies). To lexical expressive means belong words, possessing connotations, such as epithets, poetic and archaic words, slangy words, vulgarisms, and interjections. A chain of expressive synonymic words always contains at least one neutral synonym. For ex-le, the neutral word money has the following stylistically coloured equivalents: ackers (slang), cly (jargon), cole (jargon), gelt (jargon), moo (amer. slang), etc. A chain of expressive synonyms used in a single utterance creates the effect of climax (gradation). To syntactic expressive means belong emphatic syntactic constructions. Such constructions stand in opposition to their neutral equivalents. The neu¬tral sentence "John went away" may be replaced by the following expressive variants: "Away went John" (stylistic inversion), "John did go away" (use of the emphatic verb "to do"), "John went away, he did" (emphatic confirmation pattern), "It was John who went away" ("It is he who does it" pattern).
The notion of stylistic devices. Stylistic devices (tropes, figures of speech) unlike expressive means are not language phenomena. They are formed in speech and most of them do not exist out of context. According to principles of their formation, stylistic devices are grouped into phonetic, lexico-semantic and syntactic types. Basically, all stylistic devices are the result of revaluation of neutral words, word-combinations and syntactic structures. Revaluation makes language units obtain connotations and stylistic value. A stylistic de¬vice is the subject matter of stylistic semasiology.
8 Newspaper Style
The newspaper style. The basic communicative function of this style is to inform people about all kinds of events and occurrences which may be of some interest to them. Newspaper materials may be classified into three groups: brief news reviews, informational articles and advertisements. The vocabulary of the newspaper style consists mostly of neutral common liter-ary words, though it also contains many political, social and economic terms (gross output, per capita production, gross revenue, apartheid, single European currency, political summit, commodity exchange, tactical nu-clear missile, nuclear nonproliferation treaty). There are lots of abbrevia-tions (GDP - gross domestic product, EU - European Union, WTO - World Trade Organization, UN - United Nations Organization). One of unattractive feature of the newsp. st. is the overabundance of cliches. Clishes usually suggest mental leziness or the lack of original thought. Ex-s: it takes the biscuit, back to square one. The bottom line is..., living in the real world. Syntax of the newsp.st. is a dicersity of all sctructural types of sentencesa (simple, complex, compound and mixed) with a developed system of clauses connected with each other be all types of syntactic connections. Graphically, the newsp.st. is notable for the system of headlines. Functions: gripping readrs’ attenion, providing informaion and evaluating the contents of the article.
7 PUBLICISTS STYLE
The publicist i*c s tу I e of language became discernible as a sepa¬rate style in the middle of the 18th century. It also falls into three va¬rieties, each having its own distinctive features. Unlike other styles, the publicistic style has a spoken variety, namely, the о r a tor i с a I sub-style. The development of radio and television has brought into being another new spoken variety, namely, the radio and TV с о т т е n-t a r y. The other two substyles are the essay (moral, philosophical, lit¬erary) 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.
The general aim of publicistic style, which makes it stand out as a separate style, is to exert a constant and deep influence on public opin¬ion, 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. This brain-washing function is most effective in oratory, for here the most powerful instrument of persuasion, the human voice, is brought into play.
Due to its characteristic combination of logical argumentation and emotional appeal, publicistic style has features in common with the style of scientific prose, on the one hand, and that of emotive prose, on.the other. Its coherent and logical syntactical structure, with an expanded system of connectives and its careful paragraphing, makes it similar to scientific prose. Its emotional appeal is generally achieved by the use of words with emotive meaning, the use of imagery and other stylistic devices as in emotive prose; but the stylistic devices used in publicistic style are not fresh or genuine.- The individual element essential to the belles-lettres style is, as a rule, little in evidence here. This is in keeping with the general character of the style.
Asyndeton, that is, connection between parts of a sentence or between 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. Here is an example:
"Soames turned away; he had an utter disinclination for talk like one standing before an open grave, watching a coffin slowly lowered." (Galsworthy)
The deliberate omission of the subordinate conjunction because or for makes the sentence 'he had an utter...' almost entirely independent. It might be perceived as a characteristic feature of Soames in general, but for the comparison beginning with like, which shows that Soames's mood was temporary. Here a reminder is necessary that there is an essential difference between the ordinary norms of language, both literary and colloquial, and stylistic devices which are skilfully wrought for special informative and aesthetic purposes. In the sentence:
"Bicket did not answer his throat felt too dry." (Galsworthy) the absence of the conjunction and a punctuation mark may be regarded as a deliberate introduction of the norms of colloquial speech into the literary language. Such structures make the utterance sound like one syntactical unit to be pronounced in one breath group. This determines the intonation pattern.
It is interesting to compare the preceding two utterances from the point of view of the length of the pause between the constituent parts. In the first utterance (Soames...), there is a semicolon which, being the indication of a longish pause, breaks the utterance into two parts. In the second utterance (Bicket...), no pause should be made and the whole of the utterance.pronounced аз one syntagm.
The crucial problem in ascertaining the true intonation pattern of
a sentence composed of two or more parts lies in a deeper analysis of
the functions of the connectives, on the one hand, and a more detailed
investigation of graphical means—the signals indicating the correct
interpretation of the utterance—, on the other,
Suspense is a compositional device which consists in arranging the fffaFEe? of a communication in such a way that the less important, "descriptive, subordinate parts are amassed af 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, for 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'' (Charles Lamb) Sentences of this type are called periodic sentences, or periods. Their function is to create „suspense, to keep the reader ma state of uncertainty and expectation. Here is a good example of the piling up of details so as to create a state of suspense in the listeners:
"But suppose it * passed; suppose one of these men, as I have seen them,— meager with famine, sullen with despair, careless of a life which your Lordships are perhaps about to value at something less than the price of a stocking-frame: — suppose this man surrounded by the children for whom he is unable to procure bread at the hazard of his existence, about to be torn for ever from a family which he lately supported in peaceful industry, and which it is not his fault that he can no longer so support; — suppose this man, and there are ten thousand such from whom you may select your victims, dragged into court, to be tried for this new offence, by this new law; still there are two things wanting to convict and condemn him; and these are, in my opinion,— twelve butchers for a jury, and a Jeffreys for a judge!" (Byron)
Here the subject of-the subordinate clause of concession ('one of these men')is**repeated twice, ('tlfis man', 'this man'), each time followed by a number of subordinate parts, before the predicate ('dragged') is reached. All this is drawn together in the principal clause ('there are two things wanting...'), which was expected and prepared for by the logically incomplete preceding statements. But the suspense is not yet broken: what these two things are, is still withheld until the orator comes to the words 'arid these are, in my opinion.'
Suspense and climax s4ometimes 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, as in the example above from Byron's maiden speech in the House of Lords.
The device of suspense is especially favoured 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.