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The Theme: Stylistic Differentiation
Of The English Vocabulary. Stylistically Neutral And Stylistically Marked Lexics.
The Aim: To make students know stylistic strata of the English vocabulary.
Like any linguistic issue the classification of the vocabulary is for purely stylistic purposes. This is important for the course inasmuch as some SDs are based on the interplay of different stylistic
aspects of words. It follows then that a discussion of the ways the English vocabulary can be classified from a stylistic point of view should be given proper attention. In order to get a more or less clear idea of the word-stock of any language, it must be presented as a system, the elements of which are interconnected, interrelated and yet independent. Some linguists, who clearly see the systematic character of language as a whole, deny, however, the possibility of systematically classifying the vocabulary. They say that the word-stock of any language is so large and so heterogeneous that it is impossible to formalize it and therefore present it in any system. The words of a language are thought of as a chaotic body whether viewed from their origin and development or from their present state.
Indeed, the coinage of new lexical units, the development of meaning, the differentiation of words according to their stylistic evaluation and their spheres of usage, the correlation between meaning and concept and other problems connected with vocabulary are so multifarious and varied that it is difficult to grasp the systematic character of the word-stock of a language, though it co-exists with the systems of other levels—phonetics, morphology and syntax.
To deny the systematic character of the word-stock of a language amounts to denying the systematic character of language as a whole, words being elements in the general system of language.
The word-stock of a language may be represented as a definite system in which different aspects of words may be singled out as interdependent. A special branch of linguistic science—lexicology — has done much to classify vocabulary. A glance at the contents of any book on lexicology will suffice to ascertain the outline of the system of the word-stock of the given language.
For our purpose, i.e. for linguistic stylistics, a special type of classification, viz. stylistic classification, is most important.
In accordance with the already-mentioned division of language into literary and colloquial, we may represent the whole of the word-stock of the English language as being divided into three main layers: the literary layer, the neutral layer and the colloquial layer. The literary and the colloquial layers contain a num-
ber of subgroups each of which has a property it shares with all the subgroups within the layer. This common property, which unites the different groups of words within the layer, may be called its aspect. The aspect of the literary layer is its markedly bookish character. It is this that
makes the layer more or less stable. The aspect of the colloquial layer of words is its lively spoken character. It is this that makes it unstable, fleeting.
The aspect of the neutral layer is its universal character. That means it is unrestricted in its use. It can be employed in all styles of language and in all spheres of human activity. It is this that makes the layer the most stable of all.
The literary layer of words consists of groups accepted as legitimate members of the English vocabulary. They have no local or dialectal character.
The colloquial layer of words as qualified in most English or American dictionaries is not infrequently limited to a definite language community or confined to a special locality where it circulates. The literary vocabulary consists of the following groups of words: 1. common literary; 2. terms and learned words; 3. poetic words; 4. archaic words; 5. barbarisms and foreign words; 6. literary coinages including nonce-words.
The colloquial vocabulary falls into the following groups:
1.common colloquial words;
5. dialectal words;
6. vulgar words;
7. colloquial coinages.
The common literary, neutral and common colloquial words are grouped under the term standard English vocabulary. Other groups in the literary layer are regarded as special literary
vocabulary and those in the colloquial layer are regarded as special colloquial (non-literary) vocabulary.
Neutral words, which form the bulk of the English vocabulary, are used in both literary and colloquial language. Neutral words are the main source of synonymy and polysemy. It is the neutral stock of words that is so prolific in the production of new meanings.
The wealth of the neutral stratum of words is often overlooked. This is due to their inconspicuous character. But their faculty for assuming new meanings and generating new stylistic variants is often quite amazing. This generative power of the neutral words in the English language is multiplied by the very nature of the language itself. It has been estimated that most neutral English words are of monosyllabic character, as, in the process of development from Old English to Modern English, most of the parts of speech lost their distinguishing suffixes. This phenomenon had led to the development of conversion as the most productive means of word-building. Word compounding is not so productive as conversion or word derivation, where a new word is formed because of a shift in the part of speech in the first case and by the addition of an affix in the second. Unlike all other groups, the neutral group of words cannot be considered as having a special stylistic colouring, whereas both literary and colloquial words have a definite stylistic colouring.
Common l i t e r а r y words are chiefly used in writing and in polished speech. One can always tell a literary word from a colloquial word. The reason for this lies in certain objective features of the literary layer of words. What these objective features are, is difficult to say because as yet no objective criteria have been worked out. But one of them undoubtedly is that literary units stand in opposition to colloquial
units. This is especially apparent when pairs of synonyms, literary and colloquial, can be formed which stand in contrasting relation. The following synonyms illustrate the relations that exist between
the neutral, literary and colloquial words in the English language.
It goes without saying that these synonyms are not only stylistic but ideographic as well, i. e. there is a definite, though slight, semantic difference between the words. But this is almost always the case with synonyms. There are very few absolute synonyms in English just as
there are in any language. The main distinction between synonyms remains stylistic. But stylistic difference may be of various kinds: it may lie in the emotional tension connoted in a word, or in the sphere of application, or in the degree of the quality denoted. Colloquial words
are always more emotionally coloured than literary ones. The neutral stratum of words, as the term itself implies, has no degree of emotiveness, nor have they any distinctions in the sphere of usage.
The Theme: Stylistic Use of Syntactic Means. Stylistic Functions of the Sentence. Syntactic Tropes and their Functions.
The aim: To stipulate in students the habits of recognizing syntactic tropes.
It is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the micro-structures dealt with earlier.( the syntactical whole and the paragraph) . They 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 house- that man is your navy and recruit of your army,- that have enabled you to define all the word , and can also define you when regret and calamity have driven then to despair.`(Byron). Complete parallel arrangement, also called balance, maintains the corresponding sentences as in :
The seeds ye sow- another reaps,
The robs ye weave- another wears,
The arms 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 devises . There are two main functions of parallel constructions: semantic and structural.
Chiasmus ( Reversed Parallel Construction)
It belongs to the group of stylistic devices based on the repetition of a syntactical pattern, but it has a cross order of words and phrases. It is sometimes achieved by a sudden change from active voice to passive or vice versa, for example: “The register of his funeral was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it” (Dickens). This device is effective in that it helps to lay stress on the second part of the utterance, which is opposite in structure , as in our dejection , scrooge singed it. Here is another example of chiasmus where 2 parallel constructions are followed by a reversed parallel construction linked to the former by the conjunction and: `The night winds sigh, the breakers roar, and shrikes the wild sea – mew ? (Byron) It must be remembered that chiasmus is syntactical, not a lexical device. It is only the arrangement of the parts of the ( sentence) utterance which constitutes this stylistic device. In the famous epigram by Byron; ` in the days of old men made the manners; manners now make men.`
There is no inversion , but a lexical device. Both parts have the normal word order. The witty arrangement of the words has given the utterance an epigramic character. This device may be classed as lexical chiasmus or chiasmatic repetition. Byron particularly favored it e.g. the Jokes were sermons, and his sermons jokes. `It is strange ,but true, for truth is always strange. `True, it is a pity – pity `tis , `tis true``. ` Men are the sport of circumstances, when the circumstances seem the sport of men. Chiasmus contributes to the rhythmical quality of the utterance.
It is an expressive means of language used when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotion. It shows the state of mind of the speaker, as in the following passage from J. Galsworthy. `Stop!`- she cried, `Don’t keel me! I don’t want to Hear; I don’t want to hear.` this repetition is not a stylistic device. When used as a stylistic device, repetition aims at logical emphasis. It the repeated word ( or phrase) comes at the beginning of 2 or more consecutive sentences clauses or phrases, we have anaphora, as in the example above. Epithermal-if the repeated unit is placed at the end of consecutive as in: ` I am exactly the man to be placed in a superior position in such a case as that. I am above the rest of minting , in such a case as that. I can act with philosophy in such a case as that.`(Dickens). Repetition may also be arranged in the form of a frame: the initial parts of a syntactical unit, in most cases of a paragraph, are repeated at the end of it as in ;`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 DRESS MAKER.`(Dickens). This composition design of repetition is called “framing.” Among other compositional models of repetition is linking or reduplication (also known as anadiplosis). The structure of this device is the following: the last word or phrase of one part of an utterance is repeated at the beginning of the next part, thus hooking the 2 parts together. Sometimes a writer may use the linking device several times in one utterance, for example; ` A smile would come into a laugh; the laugh into a roar, and the roar became general`.(Dickens) This compositional form is called chain-repetition . what are the most obvious stylistic functions of repetition? The first, the primary one is to intensify the utterance. The line in Thomas Moore`s in also repetition`. Those evening Bells! Those evening Bells! Medication, sadness ,reminiscence of mind are suggested by the repetition. Repetition may also stress monotony of action, it may suggest fatigue or despair, or hopelessness, or doom ,as in : what has my life been? Fag and grind , fag an grind. Turn the wheel, turn the wheel.`(Dickens). Connection by conjunction `and ` will express reiteration or frequentative action. For example: ` Fledge by knocked, but no one came`. There are phrases which contain repetition which have become lexical units of the English language, as “on and on, over and over, again and again and others”. They all express repetition or continuity of the action, as in : `He played the tune over and over again`. Synonymic repetitions
The theme: The definition of the functional style. Classification of functional styles. Interaction and interpenetration of functional styles. Basic functional styles of the modern studied language.
The aim: to make students know classification of functional styles.
1. The definition of the functional style. A style of language can be defined as a system of coordinated, interrelated and inter conditioned language means intended to fulfill a specific function of communication and aiming at a definite effect [professor Galperin`s point of view]. Each style is a relatively stable system at the given stage in the development of the literary language, but it changes, and sometimes considerably , from one period to another. Styles of language is a historical category. Thus the style of emotive prose actually began to function as an independent style after the second half of the 16-th century , the newspaper style budded off from the publicity style , oratorical style has undergone considerable fundamental changes and so with other style. The development of each style is predetermined by the changes in the norms of standard English. It is also greatly influenced by changing social conditions, the progress of science and development of cultural life in the country. For instance, the emotive elements of language were used in scientific prose in the 18-th century . Scientists in many fields used the emotional language instead of one more logically précis convincing , because they lacked the scientific data obtainable only by deep , prolonged research . The English literary language has evolved a number of style easily distinguishable one from another.
2 Classification of functional styles.
1. Official style, represented in all kinds of official documents and papers.
2. Scientific style, it is found in articles, brochures, monographs and other scientific, academic publications.
3. Publicist style, covering such genres as essay, feature article, most writings of “new journalism”, public speeches.
4. Newspaper style, observed in the majority of material printed in newspapers.
5. Belles-lettres style, embracing numerous and versatile genres of creative writing. Each of the enumerated styles is exercised in 2 forms – written and oral; an article and a lecture are examples of the 2 forms of the scientific style, news broadcast, on the radio and TV or newspaper information materials – of the newspaper style; an essay and a public speech – of the publicist style. The number of functional styles and the principles of their differentiation change with time and reflect the state of the functioning language at a given period. So, only recently, most style classifications had also included the so called poetic style which dealt with verbal forms specific for poetry. Something similar can be said about the oratoric style , which, in Ancient Greece, was instrumental in the creation of “Rhetoric”, where Aristotle, its author, elaborated the basics of style study, still relevant today. The oratoric (style) skill though has lost its position in social and political life. Nowadays speeches are mostly written first, and so contain all the characteristic features of publicist writing. Stylistics of literature study as well as (poetry) poetics is the branch of literary theory and takes an important place in the history of literature. The task of stylistics of literature study is the deep penetration in (of) the creative activity of the author and into the peculiarity of its individual technique. All the above – mentioned styles are specified within the literary type of the language. The colloquial type of the language, on the contrary, is characterized by the in officiality, spontaneity, informality of the communicative situation. Sometimes the colloquial type of speech is labeled “the colloquial style” and entered into the classification of functional styles of the language, regardless of the situational and linguistic differences. Alongside with this consideration there exists a strong tendency to treat colloquial speech as an individual language system with its independent set of language units and rules of their connection.
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