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Stylistics is a branch of general linguistics. It deals mainly with two interdependent tasks: a) the investigation of the inventory of special language media which by their ontological features secure the desirable effect of the utterance and b) certain types of texts which due to the choice and arrangement of language means are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of the communication.

The subject of linguistic stylistics is confined to the study of the effects of the message, i.e. its impact on the reader.

The expressive means of a 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 intensification of the utterance.

Stylistic device is a conscious and intentional intensification of some typical structural and/or semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive) prompted to a generalized status and thus Becoming a generative model.

Speaking about the relation between EMs and SDs it must be said that EMs have a greater degree of predictability. Sometimes a SD appears in such a context which is rather unexpected, for that is reasons SDs carry more information and require a lot of efforts in most cases to decode the language units.

There are 2 main varieties of language: the spoken and the written. One of the differences between the 2 varieties is special layer of the vocabulary. The so-called literary colloquial is based on written variety. The colloquial layer is based on the spoken variety. But most of the EW can be used in both varieties. They are called neutral layer.

The Common Property Units of Different Groups of Word within the layer: 1). If it is neutral layer – universal character of the words, 2). The common property of the literary layer is its bookish character, 3). The common property of the colloquial layer is spoken character.

The actual situation of the communication has evolved two varie­ties of language the spoken and the written.

the spoken variety of language can be described as the presence of an interlocutor. The written variety, on the contrary, presupposes the absence of an interlocutor. The spoken language is maintained in the form of a dialogue, the written in the form of a monologue.

The spoken language cannot be detached from the user of it, the speaker, who is unable to view it from the outside. The written language, on the contrary, can be detached from the writer, enabling him to look upon his utterance objectively and giving him the opportunity to correct and improve what has been put on paper. That is why it is said that the written language bears a greater volume of responsibility than its spoken counterpart.

The spoken variety differs from the written language phonetically, morphologically, lexically and syntactically.

1. Terms is connected with a concept It denotes and directs the reader to the essential quality of the theme. Terms are mostly use in special works dealing the science. The use of terms is not confined to it. If they are used in some other style their functions changes. When they are used in belles-letters style they get a stylistic function and sometimes become a SD. The usual functions: to refer to the character's occupation. in this case terms may be used in author's narraty and character speech; may be a SD, they are used metaphorical; terms with professional words may be used to produce a humorous effect.

2. Archaic words: 1) obsolescent words (устаривающие) thou, thee, thy. 2) Obsolete words (устаревшие), Such words have gone out of use. If we come across we recognize them easily. 3) archaic proper (собственно архаизмы). Such words are no longer used in modern English and we can't recognize them, because they were used in old English and later on they dropped out of the language or changed so much that we can't understand them if we don't know meaning.

3. Foreign words: they don't belong to the EV. They usually used for stylistic purposes. They are not included in the dictionary.

Functions: 1) to create local colory. Local colory means conditions of life, morals, customs and traditions. 2) may be used to show person's culture background.

1. Slang: means any vocabulary that is below the standard of usage of language. Slang is nothing but deviation (отклонение) from the establish norm at the level of the vocabulary. This term "slang" should be used for those forms of English which are either mispronounced or distorting ( искажающий ) in some way phonetically, morphologically or lexically. Some Americans scientists stick to the point of view that slang is either all kinds of nonce-words, nonce-formation. Such words may appear in every day speech and may rather disappear.

2. Jargonisms: stand to close to slang also being expressive and emotive, but unlike slang they are used by limited groups of people. There are 2 types: professional jargonisms and social. Both of types cover a narrow semantic field. All jargonisms are characterized by similar linguistic features but differ in function and spheres of application. Their major function to be cryptic (загадочный) and secretive. Jargonisms originated from the thieves' jargon or cant and served to conceal the actual significance or the utterance from the unitiated.

3. Vulgar words: The term vulgarism, as used to single out a definite group of words of non-standard English, is rather misleading. Vulgarisms are often used in conversation out of habit. The function is to express strong emotions, mainly annoyance, anger, vexation and the like. They are not to be found in any functional style of language except emotive prose, and here only in the direct speech of the characters.

4. Dialectal words: Dialectal words are those which in the process of integration of the English national language remained beyond its literary boundaries, and their use is generally confined to a definite locality. Dialectal words are only to be found in the style of emotive prose, very rarely in other styles.

Writers use dialectal words for the purpose of characterizing the speech of a person in a piece of emotive prose or drama, introduce them into the word texture in different ways. Other writers use dialectal words sparingly, introducing only units which are understandable to the intelligent English reader, or they make use of units which they think will enrich the standard English vocabulary.

1. Metaphor: becomes a SD when 2 different phenomena are simultaneously brought to mind by the imposition of some or all of the inherent properties of one object on the other which by nature is deprived of these properties. Can be classified according to their degree of unexpectedness. Metaphors which are absolutely unexpected are called genuine. Those which are commonly used in speech and sometimes even fixed in dictionaries are trite. Very often a group of metaphors is clasted around the same image to make it more vivid and complete such are called sustained. Genuine: they are very emotive, fresh, unexpected and original. Trite: they exist in the language as something given. May be expressed by verbs, nouns and adjectives.

2. Metonymy:

Metonymy is based on a different type of relation between the dictionary and contextual meanings, a relation based not on identification, but on some kind of association connecting the two concepts which these meanings represent.

Metonymy used in language-in-action is genuine metonymy and reveals a quite unexpected substitu­tion of one word for another or one concept for another, on the ground of some strong impression produced by a chance feature of the thing.

Metonymy is based on:

1. A concrete thing used instead of an abstract notion. In this case the thing becomes a symbol of the notion. 2. The container instead of the thing contained.3. The relation of proximity.4. The material instead of the thing made of it. 5. The instrument which the doer uses in performing the action instead of the action or the doer himself.

3. Irony is a stylistic device also based on the simultaneous realization of two logical meanings dictionary and contextual, but the two meanings stand in opposition to each other.

Irony must not be confused with humor, although they have very much in common. Humor always causes laughter. What is funny must come as a sudden clash of the positive and the negative. In this respect irony can be likened to humor. But the function of irony is not confined to producing a humorous effect. It rather expresses a feeling of irritation, displeasure, pity or regret. Irony is generally used to convey a negative meaning. That's why only positive concepts may be used in their logical dictionary meanings. In the examples quoted above, irony is embodied in such words as 'delightful', 'clever', 'coherent', 'like'. The contextual meaning always conveys the negation of the positive concepts embodied in the dictionary meaning.

1. Zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context.

Zeugma is a strong and effective device to maintain the purity of the primary meaning when the two meanings clash.

2. Pun is another stylistic device based on the interaction of phrase. The pun is more independent. It must depend on a context. Puns are often used in riddles and jokes.

3. Epithet:

The epithet is a stylistic device based on the interplay of emotive and logical meaning in an attributive word/phrase or even sentence used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some of the properties or features of the object.

The epithet is subjective and evaluative. The logical attribute is purely objective, non-evaluating. It is descriptive and indicates an inherent or prominent feature of the thing or phenomenon in question.

Epithets may be classified from different standpoints: semantiс and struсtural.

Semantic: 1). Associated point to the features essential and traditional 2). Unassociated are used to characterize the object by adding a feature not inherent.

There are combinations in which the ties between the attribute and the noun are very close, and the whole combination is viewed as a linguistic whole. Combination of this type appear as a result of the frequent use of certain definite epithet with definite nouns-fixsteps.

Structural: may be 1). simple, 2). compound, 3). phrase and sentence epithet. Unlike simple and compound epithets which may have pre-or-post position, phrase are always placed before the nouns they refer to; 4). invertive consist of nouns.

4. Oxymoron:

Oxymoron is a combination of two words in which the meanings of the two clash, being opposite in sense.


The interplay between the logical and nominal meanings of a word is called antonomasia. Antonomasia is intended to point out the leading, most characteristic feature of a person or event. Antonomasia is a much favoured device in the belles-lettres style.

1. The intensification of some one feature of the concept in question is realized in a device called simile. Ordinary comparison and simile must not be confused. They represent two diverse processes. Comparison means weighing two objects belonging to one class of things with the purpose of establishing the degree of their sameness or difference. To use a simile is to characterize one object by bringing it into contact with an­other object belonging to an entirely different class of things. Comparison takes into consideration all the properties of the two objects, stressing the one that is compared. Simile excludes all the properties of the two objects except one which is made common to them. Simile gives rise to a new understanding of the object characterizing as well as of the object characterized.

Accordingly, similes may be based on adjective-attributes, adverb-modifiers, verb-predicates, etc.

Similes have formal elements in their structure: connective words such as like, as, such as, as if, seem.

2. Periphrasis denotes the use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter and plainer form of expression. As a SD, periphrasis aims at pointing to one of the seemingly insignificant or barely noticeable features or properties of the given object, and intensifies this property by naming the object by the property.

Stylistic periphrasis can also be divided into logical and figurative.

Logical periphrasis is based on one of the inherent properties or perhaps a passing feature of the object described.

Figurative periphrasis is based either on metaphor or on metonymy.

3. Euphemism is a word or phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conventionally more acceptable one. So euphemisms are synonyms which aim at producing a deliberately mild effect.

Euphemisms may be divided into several groups according to their spheres of application. The most recognized are the following: 1) religious, 2) moral, 3) medical and 4) parliamentary.

4. Hyperbole is SD which also has the function of intensifying one certain property of the object described. It can be defined as an overstatement or exaggeration.

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. Parallel constructions are often backed up by repetition of words and conjunctions and prepositions. Parallel constructions may be partial or complete. Partial parallel arrangement is the repetition of some parts of successive sentences or clauses. Complete parallel arrangement, also called balance, maintains the principle of identical structures throughout the corresponding sentences

The belles-lettres style. The purpose of the belles-lettres style is not to prove but only to suggest a possible interpretation of the phenomena of life by forcing the reader to see the viewpoint of the writer. This is the cognitive function of the belles-lettres style.

1. The language of poetry2. Emotive prоse or the language of fiction.3. Тhe language of the drama.

Emotive prоse is a combination of the spoken and written varieties of the language, in as much as there are always two forms of communication present—monologue (the writer's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters). Emotive prose allows the use of elements from other styles.

Unlike poetry, which, except for ballads, in essence excludes direct speech and therefore dialogue, and unlike emotive prose, which is a combination of monologue (the author's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters), the language of plays(drama) is entirely dialogue.


Publicistic Style. 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 opinion, to convince the reader or the listener that the interpretation given by the writer or the speaker is the only correct one and to make him to accept the point of view expressed in the speech, essay or article not through logical argumentation but through emotional appeal as well.

essays: The essay is a literary composition of moderate length on philosophical, social, aesthetic or literary subjects. It never goes deep into the subject, but merely touches upon the surface. An essaу is rather a series of personal and witty comments than a finished argument or a conclusive examination of any matter.

The most characteristic language features of the essay1) brevity of expression 2) the use of the first person singular, which justifies a personal approach to the problems treated 3) a rather expanded ( расширенное) use of connectives 4) the use of emotive words 5) the use of similes and sustained metaphors.


Irrespective of the character of the magazine and the divergence of subject matter—whether it is political, literary, popular-scientific or satirical, all the already mentioned features of publicistic style are to be found in any article.


Scientific prose style.

The language of science is governed by the aim of the functional style of scientific prose, which is to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between different phenomena. The first and most noticeable feature of this style is the logical sequence of utterances with clear indication of their interrelations and interdependence. A second and no less important feature is the use of terms specific to each given branch of science. A third characteristic feature of scientific style is what we may call sentence-patterns. They are of three types: pоstulatory, argumentative and fоrmulative. A fourth feature is the use of quоtations and references. A fifth feature of scientific style, which makes-it distinguishable from other styles is the frequent use of fооt-notes.

Scientific experiments are generally described in the passive voice.

Alliteration: Alliteration is a phonetic stylistic device which aims at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance. The essence of this device lies in the repetition of similar sounds, in particular consonant sounds, in close succession, particularly at the beginning of successive words. Alliteration is generally regarded as a musical accompaniment of the author's idea, supporting it with some vague emotional atmosphere which each reader interprets for himself. Alliteration in the English language is deeply rooted in the traditions of English folklore.

Rhyme: Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations of words.

Rhyming words are generally placed at a regular distance from each other. In verse they are usually placed at the end of the corresponding lines.

Identity and particularly similarity of sound combinations may be relative. For instance, we distinguish between full rhymes and incomplete rhymes. The full rhyme presupposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable, as in might, right; needless, heedless. Incomplete rhymes present a greater variety. They can be divided into two main groups: vowel rhymes and consonant rhymes. In vowel rhymes the vowels of the syllables in corresponding words are identical, but the consonants may be different, as in flesh— fresh—press. Consonant rhymes show concordance in consonants and disparity in vowels, as in worth—forth; tale—tool— treble—trouble; flung—long.

The dissevering function of internal rhyme makes itself felt in a distinctive pause, which is a natural result of the longer line. This quality of internal rhyme may be regarded as a leading one.

The distinctive function of rhyme is particularly felt when it occurs unexpectedly in ordinary speech or in prose. The listener's attention is caught by the rhyme and he may lose the thread of the discourse.

Rhythm: Rhythm is a flow, movement, procedure characterized by basically regular recurrence of elements or features in alternation with opposite or different elements or features.

Inversion deals with the displacement of the predicate (which is the case complete inversion) or with the displacement of secondary members of the sentence (which is the case of partial inversion).

Through detachment secondary members of the sentence acquire independent stress and intonation which leads to their emphatic intensification. The effect is the strongest if detached members are isolated from the rest of the sentence by full stops.

Repetition, involving the whole structure of the sentence is called parallelism.

Parallel construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures. Parallel constructions are often backed up by repetition of words (lexical repetition) and conjunctions and prepositions.

Parallel constructions may be partial or complete. Partial parallel arrangement is the repetition of some parts of successive sentences or clauses. Complete parallel arrangement maintains the principle of identical structures throughout the corresponding sentences. 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.

Chiasmus: when 2 sentences are included, of which the second repeats the structure of the first, only in reversed manner.


The stylistic device of repetition aims at logical emphasis, an emphasis necessary to fix the "attention of the reader on the key-word of the utterance.

Climax is an arrangement of sentences (or of the homogeneous parts of one sentence) which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance.

A gradual increase in significance may be maintained in three ways: logical, emotional and quantitative.

Logical сlimах is based on the relative importance of the component parts looked at from the point of view of the concepts embodied in them.

Emotional сlimах is based on the relative emotional tension produced by words with emotive meaning.

Quantitative climax is an evident increase in the volume of the corresponding concepts.

Climax, like many other stylistic devices, is a means by which the author discloses his world, outlook, his evaluation of objective facts and phenomena. The concrete stylistic function of this device is to show the relative importance of things as seen by the author (especially in emotional climax), or to impress upon the reader the significance of the things described by suggested comparison, or to depict phenomena dynamically.

There is a device which is called anticlimax. The ideas expressed may be arranged in ascending order of significance, or they may be poetical or elevated, but the final one, which the reader expects to be the culminating one, as in climax, is trifling or farcical. There is a sudden drop from the lofty or serious to the ridiculous.


In order to characterize a thing or phenomenon from a specific point of view, it may be necessary not to find points of resemblance ( сходства) but to find points of sharp contrast.

A line of demarcation (установления) must be drawn between logical opposition and stylistic opposition. Any opposition will be based on the contrasting features of two objects. These contrasting features are represented in pairs of words which we call antonyms.
Suspense: is often realized through the separation of predicate from subject or from predicative, by the introduction between them of a phrase, clause or sentence. The main purpose is to prepare the reader for the only logical conclusion of the utterance. It is a psychological effect. It must be noted that suspense, due to its partly psychological nature is framed in оnе sentence.


Asyndeton is connection between parts of a sentence or between sentences without any formal sign. Such structures make the utterance sound like one syntactical unit to be pronounced in one breath group.

Polysyndeton is the stylistic device of connecting sentences, or phrases, or syntagms, or words by using connectives (mostly conjunctions and prepositions) before each component part. The repetition of conjunctions and other means of connection make an utterance more rhythmical. Polysyndeton has a disintegrating function. It generally combines homogeneous elements of thought into one whole resembling enumeration.

Polysyndeton has also the function of expressing sequence. In this case too much stress would be laid on the logical aspects of the utterance.

The rhetorical question is a special syntactical stylistic device the essence of which consists in reshaping the grammatical meaning of the interrogative sentence. In other words, the question is no" longer a question but a statement expressed in the form of an interrogative sentence. Thus there is interplay of two structural meanings: 1) that of the question and 2) that of the statement (either affirmative or negative). Both are materialized simultaneously.

Litotes is a stylistic device consisting of a peculiar use of negative constructions. The negation plus noun or adjective serves to establish a positive feature in a person or thing. Litotes is a deliberate understatement used to produce a stylistic effect. It is not a pure negation, but a negation that includes affirmation.

The stylistic effect of litotes depends mainly on intonation.

Litotes is used in different styles of speech, excluding those which may be called the matter-of-fact styles, like official style and scientific prose. In poetry it is sometimes used to suggest that language fails to adequately convey the poet's feelings and that's why he uses negations to express the inexpressible.

Ellipsis is a typical phenomenon in conversation, arising out of the situation.

Question-in-the-narrative changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a stylistic device. A question in the narrative is asked and answered by one and the same person, usually the author. Sometimes question-in-the-narrative gives the impression of an intimate talk between the writer and the reader.

Represented Speech:

There are 3 ways of RS: direct, indirect and represented. RS is representation of the utterance by a second person, usually the author, as if it had been spoken, but is only represented in the author's words. In RS we come across features typical both of direct and indirect speech. The features of the DS: 1) the use of interrogative and negative sentences 2) the use of evaluative words 3) the use of local colloquial words.

The features of IS: 1) the use of sequence of tenses 2) the use of third person instead of first and second 3) usually shows the shift from the author's narration to the character's utterance. A remark or whole dialogue may be included into author's narration. There are 2 varieties: Uttered represented speech demands that the tense should be switched from present to past and that the personal pronouns should be changed from 1st and 2nd person to 3rd person as in indirect speech, but the syntactical structure of the utterance does not change.

Inner speech is a psychological phenomenon. But when it is wrought into full utterance, it ceases to be inner speech, acquires a communicative function and becomes a phenomenon of language. The expressive function of language is suppressed by its communicative function, and the reader is presented with a complete language unit capable of carrying information. This device is called inner represented speech. Inner represented speech retains the most characteristic features of inner speech.

Inner represented speech, unlike uttered represented speech, expresses feelings and thoughts of the character which were not materialized in spoken or written language by the character.

Inner represented speech, unlike uttered represented speech, is usually introduced by verbs of mental perception

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