General Notes on Style and Stylistics



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General Notes on Style and Stylistics



General Notes on Style and Stylistics

Stylistics is a branch of general linguistics. Its other branches are lexicology, grammar and phonetics. It deals mainly with two interdependent tasks:

1) the investigation of the inventory of special language means which secure the desirable effects of the utterance, they are called stylistic devices or expressive means;

2) the investigation of certain types of texts which due to the choice and arrangement of language means are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect  communication. They are called functional styles.

Stylistics necessarily touches upon synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea, emotion, and colouring.     Much attention is paid in linguo-stylistics to the analysis of expressive means (EM) and stylistic devices (SD), to their nature and function, to their classification and possible interpretation of additional meanings.

In order to ascertain the borders of stylistics it is necessary to go at some length into the question of what style is.

The original meaning of the world “style” was a writing implement - stilus; it was a short stick, sharp at one end and flat at the other, which was used by the Romans to write on wax tablets. But already in classical Latin the word acquired a terminological meaning. It came to denote one’s way of expressing oneself. Later in French the word acquired evaluative tint (оценочный оттенок). It came to denote a good way of expressing oneself. We speak of style in architecture, painting, clothes, behavior, music, etc.

The word “stylistics” is a newcomer to the English vocabulary. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it was first recorded in 1882 meaning “the science of literary style, the study of the stylistic features”.

Scholars give different definitions of the term “style”. Here are some of them:

1) “Style is a quality of language which communicates precisely emotions or thoughts, or a system of emotions or thoughts, peculiar to the author” (J. Middleton Murry)

2) “Style is a contextually restricted linguistic variation” (Enkvist)

3) “Style is a selection of non-distinctive features of language” (L. Bloomfield)

4) “Style is a product of individual choices and patterns of choices among linguistic possibilities” (Seymour Chatman).  

It follows then that the term “style”, being ambiguous, needs a restricting adjective to denote what particular aspect of style we intend to deal with. With the development of the theory of the language on the one hand and the theory of the literature on the other hand the term “style” came to be modified as style in language and style in literature.

Style in a language is understood as to be the whole corpus of expressive means of the language. It is lingo-stylistics.

Style in literature studies the peculiarities of the writer’s style, his individual and creative utilization (choice) of the resources of the language; the limitations are superimposed by the writer’s period, genre and purpose. The main difference is that linguo-stylistics studies all the expressive means of the language while style in literature (literary style) studies the peculiarities of that or this writer’s style, so called individual styles. Individual style is a unique combination of language units, expressive means and stylistic devices peculiar to a given writer, which makes that writer’s works or even utterance easily recognizable.  

A functional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim of communication.  

 

Stylistics and Other Linguistic Sciences

Stylistic is a branch of general linguistics. Its other branches are lexicology, grammar, phonetics.

Stylistics and Lexicology

Lexicology studies vocabulary, the origin and development of words, the meaning of words and word-building. Lexico-stylistics studies the interaction of primary and contextual (контекстуальное, вытекающее из контекста) meanings. It studies expressive, evaluative, emotional and etc meanings of words.

        E.g. The hall applauded. (metonymy)

              1) hall – room (primary meaning)

              2) hall – people (contextual meaning)

E.g. She was a sunny sort of creature. Too fond of the bottle. (metonymy, detachment – обособление )

              1) bottle – the container (primary meaning)

              2) bottle – the wine (contextual meaning)

Let’s analyze one more sentence.

E.g. They took measures to secure a convenient place near the river.

This sentence can be analyzed from the points of view of lexicology and stylistics.

1) Lexicology: all the words of the sentence but for the articles and prepositions are of foreign origin; 2) stylistically the sentence is neutral.

But if in the sentence we come across such words as bouquet, billet-daux we perceive that and analyze the words from the point of view of stylistics.

    Stylistics and Grammar

Stylistics is connected with grammar. Grammar is divided into morphology and syntax. There are a morphological stylistics and syntactical stylistics.

        E.g. One I-am-sorry-for-you is worth twenty I-told-you-sos…

This sentence sounds funny when the “s” ending is added to the whole of it.

Syntactical stylistics studies the expressive potentialities of the word order of different communicative types of sentences.

E.g. You just come home or I will… (There is something which is employed here; there is certain implication – threat)

    Stylistics and Phonetics

Phonetics is concerned with the phonetic structure of a language. It studies speech sounds, their distribution in words, mutual adaptation, stress, syllabus formation, intonation, etc.

Phonostylistics studies how the sound form of speech makes it more expressive. It studies metre, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, assonance, sound imitation, etc.

Emotive charge  

A word contains an element of emotional evaluation as a part of the connotational meaning. Let’s consider the two groups of words

              Tremendous - large

              Worship   - like

              Girlie       - girl

We see that the emotive charge of the words of the first group is heavier than that of the second. This doesn’t depend on the feelings of the individual speaker but it’s true for all the speakers of English. There are words of purely emotive charge – interjections.

    Stylistic reference

Words differ not only in their emotive charge but also in their stylistic reference. Verbal communication takes place in different spheres of human activity such as everyday life, business, science, etc. Each of these spheres has a particular mode of linguistic expression which is generally known as a functional style. Let’s consider the two groups of words

              Inquire - ask

              Obtain - get

              Proceed – go on

              Seek - look for

Each of these group represents a different stylistic layer, the first group contains words of a literary layer, the second – stylistically neutral.

    Nominal meaning

There are words which while denoting objects indicate a particular object out of the class. In other words they are proper names, such as Smith, Longfellow, Elbrus; they are said to have nominal meanings. The logical meaning which they originated from maybe forgotten.

Stylistic Devices

In linguistics there are different terms to denote particular means by which utterances are made more conspicuous, more effective and therefore imparting some additional information. They are called expressive means, stylistic means, stylistic markers, stylistic devices, tropes, figures of speech and other names. All these terms are used indiscriminately and are set against those means, which we shall call neutral. But some scholars, Galperin among them, define the notion of expressive means and stylistic devices.

The expressive means of the 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 intensifications of the utterance.

What is a stylistic device? Stylistic device is a conscious and intentional intensification of some typical structural and semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive) promoted to a generalized status and thus becoming a generative model.

The main feature of a stylistic device is the binary opposition of two meanings of the employed unit. One of the two is fixed in the lg and does not depend on the context while the other originates within a certain context and is contextual. When the other suppresses one of the meanings, we speak of a trite stylistic device (стертый, избитый, банальный). When the opposition is clearly perceived and both indicating meanings are simultaneously realized within the same context, we speak of a fresh (original, genuine) stylistic device.

There are 3 groups of E.M. and S.D.: Phonetic E.M. and S.D.;

I. Lexical-phraseological E.M. and S.D.;

II. Syntactical E.M. and S.D.

 

Lexical Stylistic Devices

Lexical stylistic devices are stylistic devices based on the binary opposition of lexical meanings; regardless of syntactical organization of the utterance.

Lexical-phraseological EMs and SDs are grouped into the following classes:

1) SD based on the interaction of different lexical meanings of the word:

a) EMs and SDs based on the interaction of primary and contextual meanings (metaphor, metonymy, personification, irony, sarcasm);

b) EMs and SDs based on the interplay of primary (dictionary) and derivative meanings (zeugma, pun, violation of phraseological units);

2) SDs based on the interaction between the logical and the nominal meanings of a word (antonomasia);

3) SDs based on the interaction between the logical and emotive meanings (epithet, hyperbole, oxymoron);

4) SDs which give additional characteristics to the object described (simile, periphrasis);

5) the use of the phraseological units (this type is very popular in English fiction).

 

Antonomasia – антономосия

It is a SD in which a proper name is used instead of a common noun or vice versa. There are two groups of antonomasia:

1) To the first group we refer the case in which a proper name is used instead of a common noun. Proper names in this type of antonomasia express some quality which has the leading passion with the character whose name is used.

E.g. Othello – a jealous person; Don Juan – an amorous person; Cinderella – a beautiful, kind girl.

This type of antonomasia is trite because the author repeats the well-known often mentioned facts.

2) We observe the interaction between the logical and the contextual nominal meanings of the word. This means that any common noun can be used as a name. it is always original. In such cases the person’s name becomes his first characteristics. They are called telling names or speaking names. Here are some Sheridan’s characters’ names: Mr. Snake ( Мистер Гад ), Mr. Backbite ( Мистер Клеветаун ), and Mr. Credulous ( Мистер Доверг ).

This SD is used to create a humorous effect. Antonomasia is created mainly by nouns, more seldom by attributive combinations (e.g. Doctor Fresh Air) or phrases (e.g. Mr. What’s-his-name). Common nouns used in the second type of antonomasia are in most cases abstract though there are instances of concrete ones being used to.

 

SDs Based on Repetition

Repetition is a SD which emphasizes certain statements of a speaker and so possesses considerable emotive forth. According to the place which the repeated unit occupies in a sentence or utterance repetition is classified into several types: anaphora; epiphora; framing or ring repletion; anadiplosis or catch repetition; chain repletion; ordinary repetition; successive repetition. We shall focus our attention on four main types most frequently occurring in English literature. They are anaphora, epiphora, anadiplosis (catching repetition), framing (ring repetition).

Anaphora is the repetition of some successive sentences or clauses.

The pattern is a…, a…, a… .

E.g. I might as well face facts: good-bye Susan, good-bye a big house, good-bye power, good-bye the silly handsome dreams.

The main function is not so much to emphasize the repeated unit as to create the background for the non-repeated unit.

Epiphora is a repetition of the final words. The function is to add stress to the final words of the sentence. The pattern is …a, …a, …a.

E.g. I woke up and I am alone, I walk around and I am alone, I talk with people and I am alone.

Catching repetition (anadiplosis) is a SD wherethe end of one clause or sentence is repeated in the beginning of the following one.

E.g. Freeman and slave… carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-construction of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. (K. Marx, F. Engels)

Framing (a ring repetition)

The beginning of the sentence is repeated in the end. The function is to explain the notion mentioned in the beginning of the sentence. Between the appearances of the repeated unit there comes the developing middle part of the sentence which explains and classifies what was introduced in the beginning, so that by the time it is used for the second time its semantics is specified.

E.g. Poor doll’s dressmaker! How often so dragged down by hands that should have raised her up; how often so misdirected when losing her way on the eternal road and asking guidance. Poor, little doll’s dressmaker. (Dickens)

Chain Repetition presents several successive anadiploses. The effect is that of the smoothly developing logical reasoning. The pattern is … a, a … b, b … c, c…

E.g. For glances beget ogles, ogles sighs, sighs wishes, wishes words, and words a letter . (Byron)

Ordinary Repetition has no definite place in the sentence and the repeated unit occurs in different positions. It emphasizes both the logical and the emotional meaning of the reiterated word or phrase.

Successive Repetition is a string of closely following each other reiterated units. This is the most emphatic type of repetition which signifies the peak of emotions of the speaker. The pattern is … a, a, a …

E.g. And everywhere were people. People going into gates and coming out of gates. People staggering and falling. People fighting and cursing. (P.

Abrahams)  

The Scientific Prose Style

 The language of science is governed by the aim to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, etc. The language means therefore tend to be objective, unemotional, devoid of individuality.

1) The most noticeable feature of this style is the logical sequence of sentences with clear interrelations. Such syntactical speech divisions are frequent: as, thus, on the one hand, on the other hand, therefore, firstly, second, etc. Final or partial completion of an idea is marked by so, the fact is, thus, etc.

2) From the lexical point of view scientific style is characterized by the excessive use of terms; complete absence of colloquial and dialect words, etc.

3) The next characteristic feature is what we may call sentence patterns. They are of three types: a) postulatory; b) argumentative; c) formulative.

4) The use of quotations and references is yet another characteristic feature. The references have 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 referred to.

The enumerated features do not cover all the peculiarities of scientific prose but they are the most essential ones.

Popular Science prose

In popular scientific works the author wants to be understood by people who might not be well acquainted with the subject of his article. So, besides adhering to all typical phenomena of the scientific style he avoids using too many complicated terms and makes the syntactical structure of the sentence simpler. He might use stylistic devices.

E.g. Some of the waste kill fish.

Newspaper Style

Newspaper English is one of the forms of the English literary language. It is characterized by a definite communicative aim and its own system of means. The modern newspaper carries material of diverse character. Not all the printed material comes under newspaper style. Stories and poems, crossword puzzles, chess problems, etc. can’t be considered specimens of newspaper style. News and comment on it, press reports and articles, advertisements and the like inform the reader and provide him with an evaluation of the information published.  

To understand the language peculiarities of the newspaper style let’s name the basic features: a) brief news items;

                   b) advertisements and announcements;

              c) the headlines;

              d) the editorial.

The principal function of the brief news item is to inform the reader. News items are essentially matter of fact and stereotyped forms of the expression prevail. Newspaper style has its specific vocabulary features and is characterized by an extensive use of:

1) Special political and economic terms, such as socialism, constitution, etc.

2) Newspaper clichés, such as vital issue, danger of war, to escalate a war.

3) Abbreviations. News items and headlines abound in abbreviation of all kinds: NATO, UNO, etc.

4) Neologisms: glasnost, a splash-down, lunik.

But the basic peculiarities lie in their syntactical structure such as specific word order: “the 5 w – and – h – pattern” rule (who-what-why-where-when-and-how).

Headlines is to inform the reader but at the same time it often contains an element of evaluation, i.e. it shows the reporter’s or the newspaper’s attitude to the facts reported. English headlines are short and catching. Syntactically headlines are short sentences or phrases:

a) full declarative sentences e.g. The lesson of the last war should not be forgotten;    

b) imperative sentences e.g. Stop before it’s too late.

Paper 1

1. General notes on Style and Stylistics. The subject matter and the aims of the course of Stylistics.

2. Stylistics and other linguistic sciences.

3. Style in imaginative literature and style in language.

4. Expressive means and Stylistics Devices. Fresh and trite EM and SD.

5. Lexical meaning of the word and its components

a) emotive charge

b) stylistic reference

c) nominal meaning.

6. EM and SD based on the interaction of primary (dictionary) and contextual meanings (metaphor and metonymy)

a) What are peculiarities of metaphor?

b) What is metonymy? Give a detailed description of the device.

c) What do metaphor and metonymy differ in?

d) What types of relations between the contextual and the dictionary are metaphor and metonymy based on?

e) What is personification?

 

8. Answer the questions in writing.

“Will he ever come down those stairs again?” this thought lanced Constance’s heart.

1) Find word in the text that builds up (directly or indirectly) the feeling of grief. What other means that create that feeling?

1) Interpret the interplay of the literary and the metaphorical meanings in the word “lance”. State whether the metaphor is original or dead, simple or sustained.

2) Does the author reveal Constance’s emotional attitude towards the man? Prove your point.

3) Speak of the implication contained in the word “ever”. Does it speak of the man’s state of health?

4) What facts about Constance and the man do you come to know while reading the text? What might their relations be? Did she suffer? Why? Was he in danger? Was she hopeful?

 

9. Translate the sentences and analyze the given cases of metaphor

1. She looked down on Gopher Prairie. The snow stretching without break from street to devouring prairie beyond, wiped out the town’s pretence of being a shelter. The houses were black specks on a white sheet (S.L.).

2. And the skirts! What a sight were those skirts! They were nothing but vast decorated pyramids; on the summit of each was stuck the upper half of the princess (A.B.).

3. I was staring directly in front of me, at the back of the driver’s neck, which was a relief map of boil scars (S.).

4. She was handsome in a rather leonine way. While this girl was a lioness, the other was a panther – lithe and quick (Ch.).

5. His voice was a dagger of corroded brass (S.L.).

6. Wisdom has reference only to the past. The future remains for ever an infinite field for mistakes. You can’t know beforehand (D.H.L.).

7. He felt the first watery eggs of sweat moistening the palms of his hands (W.S.).

8. At the last moment before the windy collapse of the day, I myself took the road down (J.H.).

9. Leaving Daniel to his fate she was conscious of joy springing in her heart (A.B.).

10. He smelled the ever-beautiful smell of coffee imprisoned in the can (J.St.).

11. We talked and talked and talked, easily, sympathetically, wedding her experience with my articulation (Jn.B.).

12. We need you so much here. It’s dear old town, but it’s a rough diamond, and we need you for the polishing, and we’re ever so humble…(S.L.).

13. They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate (W.G.).

14. Geneva, mother of the Red Cross, hostess of humanitarian cogress for the civilizing of warfare! (J.R.).

15. She and the kids have filled his sister's house and their welcome is wearing      thinner and thinner (U.).

16. Notre Dame squats in the dusk (H.).

17. I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last twelve months about life. All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me; I am waiting for you to search it out again and with more determination. All the good that you tried to do for others and didn't achieve last year is mine to grant - providing you have fewer selfish and conflicting desires. In me lies the potential of all that you dreamed but didn't dare to do, all that you hoped but did not perform, all you prayed for but did not yet experience. Those dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of an enduring purpose. I am your opportunity (Т.Н.).

18. Autumn comes

And trees are shedding their leaves,

And Mother Nature blushes

Before disrobing (N.W.).

19. He had hopped that Sally would laugh at this, and she did, and in a sudden   mutual gush they cashed into the silver of laughter all the sad secrets they could find in their pockets (U.).

 

 

Paper 2

1. What is the difference between the original and the hackneyed SDs?

2. What are Lexical SDs?

3. What is metaphor, metonymy, personification irony, sarcasm based on?

                             

Paper 3

1. What are the main groups of lexical stylistic devices?

2. What is irony?

3. What lexical meaning is employed in its formation?

4. What types of irony do you know? Give examples.

Paper 4

 

1. What stylistic devices are based on the interaction of primary and derivative meanings?

2. What is included into a group of SDs known as “play of words”?

5. Describe the difference between put and zeugma.

Paper 5

1. What are the components of the lexical meaning of the word?

2. What stylistic devices are based on the interaction between the logical and the nominal meanings of the word?

3. What groups of antonomasia are there?

Paper 6

1. What are the basic features of epithet?

2. What is the difference between epithet and logical attribute?

3. What is the semantic classification of epithet?

4. What structural types of epithet are there?

Paper 7

1. What stylistic devices are based on the interaction between the logical and emotive meanings?

2. What is hyperbole?

3. What stylistic device has the same mechanism as hyperbole?

4. What is oxymoron?

5. What is the usual pattern of oxymoron? 

Paper 8

1. What are the components of simile?

2. What is foundation of simile?

3. Learn the following phrases and use them in your own sentences:

As wet as a fish-as dry as a bone;
As live as a bird - as dead as a stone;

As plump as a partridge - as crafty as a rat;

As strong as horse - as weak as a cat;

As hard as flint - as soft as a mole;

As white as a lily- as black as coal;

As plain as a pike - as rough as a bear;

As tight as a drum - as free as the air;

As heavy as lead - as light as a feather;

 As steady as time - as uncertain as weather;

As hot as an oven - as cold as a frog;

As gay as lark - as sick as a dog;

As savage as a tiger - as mild as a dove;

As stiff as a poker - as limp as a glove;

As blind as a bat - as deaf as a post;

As cool as a cucumber - as warm as toast;

As flat as flounder - as round as a ball;

As blunt as a hammer - as sharp as an awl;

As brittle as glass - as tough as gristle;

As neat as a pin - as clean as a whistle;

As red as a rose - as square as a box   

As plain as a pike - as rough as a bear;

As tight as a drum - as free as the air;

As heavy as lead - as light as a feather;

 As steady as time - as uncertain as weather;

As hot as an oven - as cold as a frog;

As gay as lark - as sick as a dog;

As savage as a tiger - as mild as a dove;

As stiff as a poker - as limp as a glove;

As blind as a bat - as deaf as a post;

As cool as a cucumber - as warm as toast;

As flat as flounder - as round as a ball;

As blunt as a hammer - as sharp as an awl;

As brittle as glass - as tough as gristle;

As neat as a pin - as clean as a whistle;

As red as a rose - as square as a box (O.N.)  

Paper 9

 

1. What is periphrasis?

2. What are the types of periphrasis?

 

3. Define the periphrases in the sentences and state their type:

1. Gargantuan soldier named Dahoud picked Ploy by the head and scrutinized this convulsion of dungarees and despair whose feet thrashed a yard above the deck.

2. His face was red, the back of his neck overflowed his collar and there had recently been published a second edition of his chin. (P. G. W.)

3. His huge leather chairs were kind to the femurs. (R W.)

4. "But Pickwick, gentlemen, Pickwick, this ruthless destroyer of this domestic oasis in the desert of Goswell street!" (D.)

5. He would make some money and then he would come back and marry his dream from Hack wood. (Er.)

6. The habit of saluting the dawn with a bend of the elbow was a hangover from college fraternity days. (W. G.)

7. I took my obedient feet away from him (W. G.) .

8. I got away on my hot adolescent feet as quickly as I could. (W. G.)

9. I am thinking an unmentionable thing about your mother. (I. Sh.)

10. Jean nodded without turning and slid between two vermilion-coloured buses so that two drivers simultaneously used the same qualitative word. (G.)

11. During the previous winter I had become rather seriously ill with one of those carefully named difficulties which are the whispers of approaching age.  

12. A child had appeared among the palms, about a hundred yards along the beach. He was a boy of perhaps six years, sturdy and fair, his clothes torn, his face covered with a sticky mess of fruit. His trousers had been lowered for an obvious purpose and had only been pulled back half-way. (W. G.)

13. When I saw him again, there were silver dollars weighting down his eyes.

14. She was still fat after childbirth; the destroyer of her figure sat at the head of the table. (A B.)

15."Did you see anything in Mr. Pickwick's manner and conduct towards the opposite sex to induce you to believe all this?" (D.)

16. Bill went with him and they returned with a tray of glasses, siphons and other necessaries of life.(Ch.)

17. It was the American, whom later we were to learn to know and love as the Gin Bottle King, because of a great feast of arms performed at an early hour in the morning with a container of Mr. Gordon's celebrated product, as his sole weapon. (H)

18. Naturally, I jumped out of the tub, and before I had thought twice, ran out into the living room in my birthday suit. (B. M)

19. For a single instant, Birch was helpless, his blood curdling in his veins at the imminence of the danger, and his legs refusing their natural and necessary office. (T.C)

Paper 10

1. What do syntactical stylistic devices deal with?

2. What are the groups of syntactical stylistic devices?

3. What is the difference between grammatical and stylistic inversion?

4. What are the most frequently used patterns of inversion?

5. What is detachment?

6. What are the functions of inversion and detachment?

Paper 11

1. What group do ellipsis, aposiopesis and represented speech belong to?

2. What SDs are based on the stylistic use of interrogative and negative constructions?

3. What is the difference between ellipsis and aposiopesis?

4.Find examples of represented speeh ,rhetorical questionsin W. S. Maugham’s novel “Theatre”.

Paper 12

1. What are the types of climax?

2. What is anticlimax?

3. What is the function of anticlimax?

4. What is suspense and how is it technically organized?

 

Paper 13

1. What is antithesis?

2. What is the difference between antithesis and oxymoron?

3. What are the types of repetition?

Paper 14

1. What is the difference between repetition and parallelism?

2. What are the types of repetition?

3. Find cases of different types of repetition, parallelism and chiasmus in W.S Maugham’s novel “Theatre”

Paper 15

General Notes on Style and Stylistics

Stylistics is a branch of general linguistics. Its other branches are lexicology, grammar and phonetics. It deals mainly with two interdependent tasks:

1) the investigation of the inventory of special language means which secure the desirable effects of the utterance, they are called stylistic devices or expressive means;

2) the investigation of certain types of texts which due to the choice and arrangement of language means are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect  communication. They are called functional styles.

Stylistics necessarily touches upon synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea, emotion, and colouring.     Much attention is paid in linguo-stylistics to the analysis of expressive means (EM) and stylistic devices (SD), to their nature and function, to their classification and possible interpretation of additional meanings.

In order to ascertain the borders of stylistics it is necessary to go at some length into the question of what style is.

The original meaning of the world “style” was a writing implement - stilus; it was a short stick, sharp at one end and flat at the other, which was used by the Romans to write on wax tablets. But already in classical Latin the word acquired a terminological meaning. It came to denote one’s way of expressing oneself. Later in French the word acquired evaluative tint (оценочный оттенок). It came to denote a good way of expressing oneself. We speak of style in architecture, painting, clothes, behavior, music, etc.

The word “stylistics” is a newcomer to the English vocabulary. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it was first recorded in 1882 meaning “the science of literary style, the study of the stylistic features”.

Scholars give different definitions of the term “style”. Here are some of them:

1) “Style is a quality of language which communicates precisely emotions or thoughts, or a system of emotions or thoughts, peculiar to the author” (J. Middleton Murry)

2) “Style is a contextually restricted linguistic variation” (Enkvist)

3) “Style is a selection of non-distinctive features of language” (L. Bloomfield)

4) “Style is a product of individual choices and patterns of choices among linguistic possibilities” (Seymour Chatman).  

It follows then that the term “style”, being ambiguous, needs a restricting adjective to denote what particular aspect of style we intend to deal with. With the development of the theory of the language on the one hand and the theory of the literature on the other hand the term “style” came to be modified as style in language and style in literature.

Style in a language is understood as to be the whole corpus of expressive means of the language. It is lingo-stylistics.

Style in literature studies the peculiarities of the writer’s style, his individual and creative utilization (choice) of the resources of the language; the limitations are superimposed by the writer’s period, genre and purpose. The main difference is that linguo-stylistics studies all the expressive means of the language while style in literature (literary style) studies the peculiarities of that or this writer’s style, so called individual styles. Individual style is a unique combination of language units, expressive means and stylistic devices peculiar to a given writer, which makes that writer’s works or even utterance easily recognizable.  

A functional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim of communication.  

 



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