Expressive means based on the Juxtaposition of different parts of the utterance: Parallelism, Chiasmus, Anaphora, Epiphora. 

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Expressive means based on the Juxtaposition of different parts of the utterance: Parallelism, Chiasmus, Anaphora, Epiphora.

Parallel construction is a device based on identical/similar syntactical structure in 2 or more sentences or parts of a sentence in close session. P. c. is a purely syntactical type of repetition for here there is the reiteration of the structure of several successive sentences (clauses), and not their lexical “flesh”. Parallel constructions almost always include some type of lexical repetition too, and such a convergence produces a very strong effect, foregrounding at one go logical, rhythmic, emotive and expressive aspects of the utterance. P. c. may be partial (a repetition of some parts of successive sentences) and complete (also called “balance”, maintains the principal of identical structures throughout the corresponding sentences): “The cock is crowing. The stream is flowing. The small birds twitter. The lake doth glitter.” Functions:

a. intensify the utterance (aesthetic aim)

b. adds rhythm and balance to the utterance

c. show the state of mind of the speaker, he’s under the stress of strong emotion

d. aims at logical emphasis, fixes the reader’s attention on the key-word of the utterance.

e. Stress monotony of action, suggest fatigue, despair, doom

f. Emotive function (in belles-lettres style)

g. Carries the idea of semantic equality and significance of the parts (in matter-of-fact styles, in scientific prose) or emphasizes diversity and contrast of ideas.

P. c. frequently backs up enumeration, antithesis, repetition and climax. “And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe. And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot”


Reversed parallelism is called chiasmus. The second part of a chiasmus is, in fact, inversion of the first construction. Thus, if the first sentence (clause) has a direct word order — SPO (subjest-predicate-object), the second one will have it inverted — OPS (or vice versa). “Down dropped the breeze, The sails dropped down”. It may occur in a complex sentence, in 2 independent sentences.


a. Helps to lay stress on the second part of the utterance.

b. Serves to increase the effect of climax

c. To break the monotomy of p. c. (syntacticalchiasmus)

d. Brings in some new shade of meaning/ additional emphasis on some portion of the second part

e. adds rhythm and balance to the utterance

Lexical chiasmus (chiasmatic repetition): “His jokes were sermons, and his sermons jokes”

“’Tis strange,-but true; for truth is always strange”

1.  anaphora: the beginning of two or more successive sentences (clauses) is repeated —  a..., a..., a.... The main stylistic function is not so much to emphasize the repeated unit as to create the background non - repeated unit, which, through its novelty, becomes foregrounded. “Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow! Farewell to the straths and green valleys below!”

2.  epiphora: the end of successive sentences (clauses) is repeated - ...a,...a,...a. The main function is to add stress to the final words of the sentence. “I’m exactly the man to be placed in a superior position in such a case as that. I’m above the rest of mankind, in such a case as that.”


53. Expressive means based on the way the parts are connected: Asyndeton, polysyndeton, the Gap- Sentence Link.

The arrangement of sentence members, the completeness of sentence structure necessarily involve various types of connection used within the sentence or between sentences. Repeated use of conjunctions is called polysyndeton; deliberate omission of them is, correspondingly, named asyndeton. Both p. and a., have a strong rhythmic impact. Besides, the functions of polysyndeton

1. to strengthen the idea of equal logical (emotive) importance of connected sentences/emphasize the validity of the indicated phenomenon regardless of its varying denominations by various parties concerned(repetition of “or”);

2. create the atmosphere of bustling activity (“and”).

3. Rhythmical

4. Disintegrating(each member of a string of facts stands out conspicuously)

5. Express sequence

“The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect”.

Asyndeton, cutting off connecting words,

1. helps to create the effect of terse, energetic, active prose;

2. show a succession of minute, immediately following each other activities.

3. Give laconic and at the same time detailed introduction into the action proper (when opens the story/passage)

“Soames turned away; he had an utter disinclination for talk, like one standing before an open grave, watching a coffin slowly lowered.”

These two types of connection are more characteristic of the author’s speech. The third type —  attachment (gap-sentence, leaning sentence, link)(GSL) on the contrary, is mainly to be found in various representations of the voice of the personage — dialogue, reported speech, entrusted narrative. In the attachment the second part of the utterance is separated from the first one by a full stop though their semantic and grammatical ties remain very strong. The second part appears as an afterthought and is often connected with the beginning of the utterance with the help of a conjunction, which brings the latter into the foregrounded opening position. GSL is generally indicated by and/but.


“It wasn’t his fault. It was yours. And mine.” “Prison is where she belongs. And my husband agrees one thousand per cent.” Functions:

1. To signal the introduction of inner represented speech

2. Indicate a subjective evaluation of the facts

3. Introduce an effect resulting from a cause which has already had verbal expression

4. Unexpected coupling of ideas

5. Stir up in the reader’s mind the suppositions, associations/ conditions under which the sentence uttered can really exist

Semi-marked structures

Semi-marked structures are a variety of defeated expectancy associ­ated with the deviation from the grammatical and lexical norm. It's an extreme case of defeated expectancy much stronger than low ex­pectancy encountered in a paradox or anti-climax, the unpredictable element is used contrary to the norm so it produces a very strong emphatic impact.

In the following lines by G. Baker we observe a semi-marked structure on a grammatical basis:

The stupid heart that will not learn. The everywhere of grief

The word everywhere is not a noun, but an adverb and cannot be used with an article and a preposition, besides grief is an abstract noun that cannot be used as an object with a noun denoting location. However the lines make sense for the poet and the readers who interpret them as the poetic equivalent of the author's overwhelming feeling of sadness and dejection.

Lexical deviation from the norm usually means breaking the laws of semantic compatibility and lexical valency. Arnold considers semi-marked structures as a part of tropes based on the unexpected or unpredictable relations established between objects and phenomena by the author. She... tried her best to spoil the party. (Erdrich)

Would you believe it, that unnatural father wouldn't stump up.

He liked the ugly little college... (Waugh)

Such combination of lexical units in our normal everyday speech is rare. However in spite of their apparent incongruity s-m structures of both types are widely used in literary texts that are full of sophisticated correlations which help to read sense into most unpredictable combinations of lexical units.

55) Zeugma, Semantically false chain, pun.

Zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations tо two adjacent words in the context, the semantic relations being, on the one hand, literal, and, on the other, transferred. E.G. I just blew my nose, a fuse and 3 circuit breakers. (to blow a fuse- lose one’s temper) This stylistic device is particularly favoured in English emotive prose and in poetry. The revival of the original meanings of words must be regarded as an essential quality of any work in the belles-lettres style. A good writer always keeps the chief meanings of words from fading away, provided the meanings are worth being kept fresh and vigorous.

Zeugma is a strong and effective device to maintain the purity of the primary meaning when the two meanings clash. By making the two meanings conspicuous in this particular way, each of them stands out clearly. The structure of zeugma may present variations from the patterns.

The pun is another stylistic device based on the interaction of two well-known meanings of a word or phrase. It is difficult to draw a hard and fast distinction between zeugma and the pun. The only reliable distinguishing feature is a structural one: zeugma is the realization of two meanings with the help of a verb which is made to refer to different subjects or objects (direct or indirect). The pun is more independent. There need not necessarily be a word in the sentence to which the pun-word refers. This does not mean, however, that the pun is entirely free. Like any other stylistic device, it must depend on a context. But the context may be of a more expanded character, sometimes even as large as a whole work of emotive prose. Thus the title of one of Oscar Wilde's plays, "The Importance of Being Earnest" has a pun in it, as much as the name of the hero and the adjective meaning 'seriously-minded' are both present in our mind.

Puns are often used in riddles and jokes.

3) Semantically false chain - extended context prepares the reader for the realization of a word in one contextual meaning when unexpectedly appears a semantically alien element forcing the second contextual meaning upon the central word. As it is seen from the denomination of the SD, structurally it presents a chain of homogeneous members belonging to non-relating semantic fields but linked to the same kernel, which due to them is realized in two of its meanings simultaneously. E.g .“A Governess wanted. Must possess knowledge of Rumanian, Italian, Spanish, German, Music and Mining Engineering”.

Enumeration, suspense.

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 forced 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.

Enumeration, as a SD, may be conventionally called a sporadic semantic field, in as much as many cases of enumeration have no continuous existence in their manifestation as semantic fields do. The grouping of sometimes absolutely heterogeneous notions occurs only in isolated instances to meet some peculiar purport of the writer.

E.G. "Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and his sole mourner." (Dickens)

The enumeration here is heterogeneous; the legal terms placed in a string with such words as 'friend' and 'mourner' result in a kind of clash, a thing typical of any stylistic device.


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.

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 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.

Suspense always requires long stretches of speech or writing. Sometimes the whole of a poem is built on this stylistic device, as is the case with Kipling's poem "If" where all the eight stanzas consist of if-clauses and only the last two lines constitute the principal clause.


Nouns can perform different stylistical functions.Nouns denoting animals can be used to describe a person. In this case they possess strong emotional, expressive & evaluative components. E.g."You little pig!”- Tender & a little bit ironical nuance."You lazy dog!” - Negative evaluation & strong emotive component.

There is also a strong emotional & expressive connotation, when an abstract noun is used instead of nouns, denoting a person. “He is a disgrace to his family”. Besides such usage of the nouns shows the utterance belongs to the colloquial style mostly.

The use of genitive case - is the means of personification, which always includes some emotional colouring: “winter’s gloomy face”.

To increase expressiveness in the description of landscapes one may use material nouns in plural form, though they don’t have it as a rule: “sands of Africa”, “waters of the Ocean”.

An indefinite article + proper name: evaluative component (negative or positive): “I don’t claim to be a Caruso”; belonging to a famous family (used as a satirical means): “She was a Dobson”;

A definite article + proper name: it shows that a person is famous for something, increasing the expressiveness; it can help to associate the noun with the previous context.

The interchange of sentences with additional articles & with no articles creates a certain rhythm of the utterance.


Pronoun “I” usually serves as a formal sign of the 1st person narrative. But its overuse shows the selfishness & self- satisfaction of the narrator. And when the narrator replaces “I” by “one” & “you”, the contact between him & the listener becomes close & more respectful. The narrator can speak about himself in the third person, talking a detached view by this and focusing attention on him. Pronouns “he", “she”, “it” may serve formal signs of personification. Archaic pronouns “thou”, “thy”, etc add to the historical or geographical colour, create elevation in poems. Demonstrative pronouns “this” & “that” have emotive connotation, if they don’t point any object. They can express irritation & anger, as well as mockery. They can create emphasis in the text. Other pronouns also can be emotive & emphatic, under condition of violation of their unusual connection with their referents.


Adjectives. Verb. Adverbs

The comparative & superlative degrees of adjectives are very close to the expressive category of stylistics. In familiar colloquial style it is possible to intensify the object with the help of an adjective & the demonstrative pronoun “that”: “She is that foolish”. The usage of the comparative or superlative degrees of the adjective, which usually don’t have them, add to the expressiveness of the word: “You can’t be deader than the dead”.

Present indefinite is used to describe some historical events, which creates the effect of presence. Continuous forms are emotional. They can express surprise, distrust, and indignation. In low colloquial speech the auxiliary verbs can be omitted or used in the incorrect form: “You done me good.”, “I says it’s true.” Modal verbs perform the emotive function of the language.

Adverbs may serve as a link between the paragraphs in the text. Adverbs add to creation of the temporal plan of narration.


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