EMs and SDs based on the interaction of primary and contextual meanings

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EMs and SDs based on the interaction of primary and contextual meanings

Metaphor is a SD based on the principle of identification of two objects. This term means transference of some quality from one object to another. A metaphor becomes a SD when two different phenomena (things, events, ideas, and actions) are simultaneously brought to mind by the imposition of some properties of one object to the other.

Metaphor can be classified according to the degree of unexpectedness into fresh (original) and stale (dead, hackneyed). Those, which are absolutely unexpected, are called fresh. Those, which are commonly used in speech and even fixed in the dictionaries (floods of tears, a shadow of smile, etc.), are called stale (dead, trite, and hackneyed).                

E.g. The clock had struck, time was bleeding away. (develop M.)

                       struck – dead M.

                       bleeding away – fresh M.

Metaphors can be classified according to their structure into simple and develop (sustained). When a group of metaphors is clustered around one image to make it more vivid and complete we speak of a develop M.

E.g. Mr. Dombey’s cup of satisfaction was so full at this moment however, that he could afford a drop or two of its contents, even to sprinkle on the dust in the by-path of his little daughter.(Dickens “Dombey and Son”)

Personification is a SD where likeness is observed between inanimate object and human quality

E.g. The face of London was now strangely altered, the voice ofMourning was heard in every street.

The stylistic functions of metaphors are: 1) they evoke images and suggest analogies; 2) they make the author’s thought more definite, clear and concrete; 3) they reveal the author’s emotions, his attitude towards what he is speaking about or towards his interlocutor.

Metonymy is a SD based on definite relations between the object named and the object implied.

        E.g. Many ears and eyes were busy.     

E . g . Вынести ведро, вскипятить чайник, взять Аракина в библиотеке, на   стене висит Шишкин.

In metonymy the relations between the object named and the object implied are numerous and various.

There are trite metonymies based on very common close relations between objects:

1. the most frequent types are between an article of clothing and a person wearing it;

              E.g. Then a pause as the bonnet and dress neared the top of the square.

      (the bonnet and dress mean a young girl)

2. A concrete thing used instead of an abstract notion. In this case the thing becomes a symbol of the notion:

E.g. The camp, the pulpit and the law

For rich men’s sons are free. (Shelley)

3. The container instead of the thing contained:

E.g. The hall applauded.

4. The relation of proximity:

              E.g. The round game table was boisterous and happy.

5. The material instead of the thing made of it

              E.g. to be dressed in silk.

6. The instrument which the doer uses in performing the action instead of the action or the doer himself:

E.g. As the sword is the worst argument that can be used, so should it be the last.

    Well, Mr. Weller, says the gentl’mn, you’re a very good whip, and can do what you like with your horses, we know. (Dickens)

The list is not complete. There are many other types of relations which may serve as a basis for metonymy.

Synecdoche is a type of metonymy, which is based on the relation between the part and the whole.

              E.g. She was all ears, he was all smile.

              Since I left you, eye is in my mind.

    Through metonymy the author achieves concreteness of description, he draws the reader’s attention to either one seemingly insignificant or striking and unusual feature and makes him see the character he describes as he himself sees him.

Irony is a SD where the contextual, logical meaning of the word becomes opposite of its logical dictionary meaning

E.g. It must be delightful to find oneself in a foreign country without a penny in one’s pocket.

Contentedly Sam Clark drove off in the heavy traffic of three Fords and a bus.

The effect of irony largely depends on the unexpectedness and seeming lack of logic of a word used by the author in an incompatible context (несоответствующий контекст). The contrast often produces a humorous effect. Nevertheless irony must not be confused with humour. They have very much in common but humour always causes laughter. But the function of irony is not just to produce a humorous effect.

              E.g. How clever of you!

The word clever conveys a sense oppositeto its literal meaning;the irony does not produce a humorous effect, but expresses irritation, displeasure, pity or regret.

Sarcasm is bitter, socially or politically aimed irony.


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