C. COMPOSITIONAL PATTERNS OF SYNTACTICAL ARRANGEMENT



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C. COMPOSITIONAL PATTERNS OF SYNTACTICAL ARRANGEMENT



The structural syntactical aspect is sometimes regarded as the crucial issue in stylistic analysis, although the peculiarities of syntactical ar­rangement are not so conspicuous as the lexical and phraseological properties of the utterance. Syntax is figuratively called the "sinews of style".

Structural syntactical stylistic d e v i с е s are in special relations with the intonation involved. Prof. Peshkovsky points out that there is an interdependence between the intonation and syntactical properties of the sentence, which may be worded in the fol­lowing manner: the jnore explicitly the^structural syntactical relations are expressed, the weaker will be the intonation-pattern of the utterance (tcTcomplete disappearance) and vice-versa, the stronger the~ iritonalion, the weaker grow the evident syntactical relations (also to complete

disappearance) l. This can be illustrated by means of the following two nairs of sentences: 'Only after dinner did I make up my mind to go there' and '/ made up my mind to go there only after dinner.1 'It was in Bucharest that the Xth International Congress of Linguists took place' and'The Xth International Congress of Linguists took place in Bucharest.'

The second sentences in these pairs can be made emphatic only by intonffion]~"tTie~TrrsTsentences are made emphatic bjrmeari^ortlie^ syh-

-ffiffifi^^ I...' and 'It was... that"?..'

——The""~problem of syntactical stylistic devices appears to be closely linked not only with what makes an utterance more emphatic but also wjth the more general problem of predication. As is known, the English affirmative sentence is regarded as neutral if it maintains the regular wpFd:6fder,^i.e. subject—predicate—object (or other secondary mem-БёпГ of the "sentence, as they are called). Any other order of the parts of the sentence may also carry the necessary information, but the impact on the reader will be different. Even a slight change in the word-order of a sentence or in the order of the sentences in a more complicated syn­tactical unit will inevitably cause a definite modification of the mean­ing of the whole. An almost imperceptible rhythmical design intro­duced into a prose sentence, or a sudden break in the sequence of the parts of the sentence, or any other change^will add something to the vol­ume of information contained in the original sentence.

Unlike the syntactical expressive means of the language, which are naturally used in discourse in a straight-forward natural manner, syn­tactical stylistic de^/1cgs_jr<e_g^^ve4 as elaborate designs aimea al having, ja.Hefiii^

"any SD is meant to be understood as a device and is calculated to pro­duce a desired stylistic effect.

When viewing the stylistic functions of different syntactical designs we must first of all take into consideration two aspects:

1. The juxtaposition of different parts of the utterance.

2. The way the parts are connected with each other. In addition to these two large groups of EMs.and SDs two other groups may be distinguished:

3. Those based on the peculiar use of colloquial constructions.

4. Those based on the stylistic use of-structural meaning.

Stylistic Inversion

W о r d-o r d e r is a crucial syntactical problem in many languages. In English it has peculiarities which have been caused by the concrete and specific way the language has developed. O. Jespersen states that the English language "...has developed a tolerably fired word-order which in the great majority of cases shows without fail what is the Sub­ject of the sentence."2 This "tolerably fixed word-order" is Subject — ^efk _JPredicate) — ^Object JS^P^^P). Further, Jespersen mentions

<й statistical investigation of word-order made on the basis of a series of

<representative 19th century writers. It was found that the order S~

P—О was^used in from 82 to QTj^LSSu^L^Lsentences S^taininjipiii

three !Sefi:il^^^ for BeowuTT^asHrB'^M'TorKirig

^ПтесГГ prose* 40.

This predominance of S—P—О word-order makes conspicuous any change in the structure of the sentence and inevitably calls forth a mod­ification in the intonation design.

Thfejnpst: с;р11^1сшд^ consi(dered^to,,.be,ihe firsFand the last: the first place because.JheJull force of the stress can De felj;_^tMT^lmiing of an utterance and the last place because there is_a pause aftgrJhL This traditional word-order Tias developed a definite intonation Design. Through frequency of fepet it ion this design Fas Imposed Tts<eIfT5fTany sentence even though there are changes introduced in the sequence of the component parts. Hence the clash between seman-tically insignificant elements of the sentence when they are placed in structurally significant position and the intonation which follows the recognized pattern.

Thus in Dickens' much quoted sentence:

"Talent Mr. Micawber has; capital Mr. Micawber has not."

The first and the last positions being prominent, the verb has and the negative not get a fuller volume of stressjhan they would in ordina­ry (uninverted) wordPorHeFrTnlM^rMTnbnal word-order the predicates has and has not are closely attached to their objects talent and capital. English predicate-object groups are so bound together1 that when jye tear the object away from its predicate, the latter remains dangjjng in the sentence and in this position sometimes calls fortff'a cfiange: in mean­ing of the predicate word. In the inverted word-order not 'only the objects talent and capital become conspicuous but also the predicates has and has not.

In this example the effect bf the inverted word-order is backed up by two other stylistic devices: antith§sis and parallel const ruction. Unlike grammatical inversion, st^yljstfcjily^ersion does riot change the structur­al rneari|rigj^^ is, the change in the juxtapositioffbf lEe members of the senteECje.^does-.noI indicate structural meaning Jjut Ms^jp^rE^silperstru.eluriaj function. S^yJ^ i stj^ijiv e r s i о n ajms* "at att ach jn g 1ogi с a 1 stress or additional emotional colouring "f 6. the sur-tacB rnganjng of.. ГНе*11ГГё^ intonation pattern is the inevitable satellTfe^lriversion.

Stylistic inversion in Modern English should not be regarded as a violation of the norms of standard English. It is only the practical realization of what is potential in the language itself.

The folIc^ing^^ are most frequently met in both English prose and English poetry.

1. The object Js placed at the beginning of the seatence (see the exam­ple above)7 "~

pl\_ ClUV^VN-/.

2. Theattribute is placed after the word it modifies (postposition Of the'attribute). This model is often used when there is more than one attribute, for example: *

'"''""""""""""''With fingers weary and worn..." (Thomas Hood) "Once upon a midnight dreary..." (E. A. Poe)

3. a) JThe predicative is {^jaЈe<i ^^ as in "A good generous prayer it was." (Mark Twain)

or b) the predicative stands before the. link-verb and fajQlJlj^^Bjjiced^ before the sutTject, as m

"Rude am I in my speech..." (Shakespeare)

4. JThe adyeriiijai^Qdifier is placed at the beginning pЈJ]i^eiT.tence, as in:

"Eagerly I wished the morrow." (Poe) "My dearest daughter, at your feet I fall." (Dryderi) "A tone of most extraordinary comparison Miss Tox said it in."

(Dickens)

5. Both modifier and predicate stand before the subject, as in:

"In went Mr. Pickwick." (Dickens) "Down dropped the breeze..." (Coleridge)

These five models comprise the most^cqmrnori els of inversion.

However, in modern English and American poetry, as has been shown elsewhere, there appears a definite tendency to experiment with the word-order to the extent which may even render the message unintelligi­ble, In this case there may be an almost unlimited number of rearrange­ments of the members of the sentence.

Inversion s a stylistic: JjyiJs^ahvays sense-:notivЈtЈd

a tindencyTo^account for inversion in poetry by rhythmical c;oimder-IRoHgrThls'may sometimes be true, but really talented poets will never sacrifice sense for form and in the majority of cases inversion in poetry is called forth by considerations of content rather than rhythm.

Inverted word-order, or inversion, is one of the forms of what are known as emphatic constructions. What is generally called traditional word-order is iiotTiTrig~niore "than" unemphatic construction. Emphatic constructions have so far been regarded as non-typical structures and therefore are considered as violations of the regular word-.order in the sentence. But in practice these structures are as common as the lixed or traditional word-order structures. Theref ore^Tn'versTonnrnust'^e" re-garded as afrexpressive means of tlie language havingJ^ypiSSil structural models.

Detached Construction

a sentence by some specific

consideration of the writer is placed so that it seems formally independ-

ent of Ще^ш^1У^^ parts of structures are called lie t ached. They seem_tCLjdanЈle in the sentence as isolated parts. """""The detacfted part, being torn away from its referenf, assumes a greater llegree of significance and is given prominence by intonation. The structural patterns of detached constructions have not yet been classified, but the most noticeable cases are those in which;.. aiLjIttri-bute or an adverbiajjnqdifier is placed not in immediate proximity to Its referent, but in somebiher positFon", aTTfi thefollowingexamples:

1) "Steyne rose up, grinding his teeth, pale, and with fury in

his eyes." (Thackeray)

2) "Sir Pitt came in first, very much flushed, and rather un­steady in his gait." (Thackeray)

Sometimes a nominal phrase is thrown into the sentence forming a syntactical unit with the rest of the sentence, as in:

"And he walked slowly past again, along the river—an evening of clear, quiet beauty, all harmony and comfort, except within his heart." (Galsworthy)

The essential quality of detached construction lies in the fact that the isolated parts represent a kind of independent whole thrust into The sentence or placed in a position which will'make the phrase (or word) seem independent. But a detached phrase cannot rise to the rank of a primary member of the sentence—it always remains secondary from the semantic point of view, although structurally it possesses all the fea­tures of a"primary:'~member. This clash of the structural and semantic aspects of detached constructions produces the desired effect—forcing the reader to interpret the logical connections between the component parts of the sentence. Logical ties between them always exist in spite of the absence of syntactical indicators.

Detached constructions in their common forms make the written vari^^^langua^l'jalcin to* the spoken variety where the relation be­tween the component parts is effectively materialized by means of into-TTation. Detached construction, as it were, becomes a peculiar device bridging the norms of written and spoken language.

This stylistic device is akin to inversion. The functions are almost the same. But detached construction produces a much stronger effect, inasmuch as it presents 'parts of the uttexance^significant from the au­thor's ppiflt^Tyle^vIffi''T''.^^'nDif"'less independent manner. " """"Here are some more examples of-detached constructions:

"Daylight was dying, the moon rising, gold behind the pop­lars." (Galsworthy)

"'I want to go,7 he said, miserable" (Galsworthy) "She was lovely: all of her—delightful." (Dreiser)

The italicized phrases and words in these sentences seem to be isolat­ed, but still the connection with the primary members of the correspond­ing sentences is clearly implied. Thus 'gold behind the poplars' may be

interpreted as a simile or a metaphor: the moon like gold was rising behind the poplars, or the moon rising, it was gold...

Detached construction sometimes causes the simultaneous realiza-tion~ofTwo grammatical meanings of a word. In the "sentence" Ч want to go,' He said, miserable", the last word might possibly have been under­stood as an adverbial modifier to the word said if not for the comma, though grammatically miserably would be expected. The pause indicated by the comma implies that miserable is an adjective used absolutely and referring to the pronoun he.

The same can be said about Dreiser's sentence with the word de­lightful. Here again the mark of punctuation plays an important role. The dash standing before the word makes the word conspicuous and, being isolated, it becomes the culminating point of the climax— lovely... —delightful, i. e. the peak of the whole utterance. The phrase all of her is also somehow isolated. The general impression suggested by the implied intonation, is a strong feeling of admiration; and, as is usually the case, strong feelings reject coherent and logical syntax.

In the English language detached constructions are generally used in the belles-lettres prose style and mainly with words that have some explanatory function, for example:

"June stood in front, fending off this idle curiosity — a little bit of a thing, as somebody said, 'all hair and spirit'..."

(Galsworthy)

Detached_cpnstruction as a stylistic device is a typification of the synractical peculiarities of colloquial language.

Detached construction is a stylistic phenomenon which has so far been little investigated. The device itself;js_clQsely connected wiibLlUe intonation pattern of the utterance. In conversation any word or phrase or even sentence may be made more conspicuous by means of intonation. Therefore precision in the syntactical structure of the sentence is not so necessary from the communicative point of view. But it becomes vitally important in writing.1 Here precision of. syntactical-relations is the only way to make the utterance fully communicative. Therefore when the syntactical relations become obscure, each member of the sentence that seems to be dangling becomes logically significant.

A variant of detached construction is p a re n t h e sis,

"Parenthesis is a qualifying, explanatory or appositive word^ phrase, clause, sentence, or other sequence which interrupts^ syntactic construc­tion without otherwise affecting it, having often % cffafacteristic into­nation and indicated in writing by commas, brackets or dashes."2

In fact, parenthesis sometimes embodies a considerable volumejDf predicativeness, thus giving the utterance.an. additional nuance of mean­ing or a tinge of emotional colouring.

Parallel Construction

Parallel construction is a device which may be encoun­tered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures dealt with earlier, viz. the SPU and the paragraph. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence in close succession, as in:

"There were, ..., real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china cups to drink it out of, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast in." (Dickens)

Parallel constructions are often backed up by repetition of words (lexical repetition) and conjunctions and prepositions (polysyndeton). Pure parallel construction, however, does not depend on any other kind of repetition but the repetition of the syntactical design of the sentence. Parallel constructions may be partial or complete. Partial parallel arrangement is the repetition of some parts of successive sentences or clauses, as in:

"It is the mob that labour in your fields and serve in your houses—that man your navy and recruit your army,—that have enabled you to defy all the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair." (Byron)

The attributive clauses here all begin with the subordinate con­junction that which is followed by a verb in the same form, except the last (have enabled). The verbs, however, are followed either by adverbial modifiers of place (in your fields, in your houses] or by di­rect objects (your navy, your army). The third attributive clause is not built on the pattern of the first two, although it preserves the parallel structure in general (that+verb-predicate+object), while the fourth has broken ^away entirely.

Complete parallel arrangement, also called balance, maintains the principle of identical structures throughout the corresponding sen­tences, as in:

"The seeds ye sow — another reaps, The robes ye weave—another wears, The arips ye forge — another bears."

(P. B. Shelley)

Parallel construction is most frequently used in enumeration, anti­thesis and in climax, thus consolidating the general effect achieved by these stylistic devices.

Parallel construction is used in different styles of writing with slightly different functions. When used in the matter-of-fact styles, it carries, in the main, the idea of semantic equality of the parts, as in scientific prose, where the logical principle of arranging ideas predomi­nates. In the belles-lettres style parallel construction carries an emotive function. That is why it is mainly used as a technical means in building up other stylistic devices, thus securing their unity

In the following example parallelism backs up repetition, allitera­tion and antithesis, making the whole sentence almost epigrammatic. "And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot." (Shakespeare)

In the example below, parallel construction backs up the rhetorical address and rhetorical questions. The emotional aspect is also enforced by the interjection 'Heaven!'

"Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Heaven! — •

Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?

Have I not suffered things to be forgiven?

Have I not had my brain seared, my heart riven,

Hopes sapped, name blighted, Life's life lied away?'* (Byron)

In some cases parallelism emphasizes the similarity and equates the significance of the parts, as, for example:

"Our senses perceive no extremes. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders our view."

In other cases parallel construction emphasizes diversity and con­trast of ideas. (See the example on p. 223 from the "Tale of Two Cities"

by Dickens).

As a final remark it must be stated that the device of parallelism al­ways generates rhythm, inasmuch as similar syntactical structures repeat in close succession. Hence it is natural that parallel construction should very frequently be used in poetical structures. Alternation of similar units being the basic principle of verse, similarity in longer units — i. e. in the stanza, is to be expected.



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