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Outlines1. Introduction 1.1. What is style? 1.2. What is Stylistics? 1.3. What are the stylistic study objectives? 1.4. Why we study stylistics?2. Cohesion and coherence 2.1. Cohesion vs. coherence 2.2. Reference: cohesion and coherence 2.3. Coherence: structural mimicry/ predictability of form 2.4. Ellipsis: cohesion and coherence3. Theories and models 3.1. Information structure: given to new 3.2. Coherent models: thought 3.3. Coherent models: other languages 3.4. Coherent models: speech 3.5. Speech syntax: intercalated clauses 3.6. Speech syntax: coordination and relative clauses 2
1. Introduction1.1. What is style? According to David Crystal (1969) in Investigating English Style: There are four commonlyoccurring senses of the term STYLE:• The language habits of one person: Shakespeare, James Joyce, Hemingway UNIQUENESS.• The language habits shared by a group at one time: the Augustan poets, the Old English ‘heroic’poetry.• Effectiveness of a mode of expression—good manners: ‘clear’ or ‘refined’ style.• Evaluation and description of literature in literary criticism or appreciation: ‘good’ ‘effective’beautiful’ writing.1.2. What is Stylistics?•D. Crystal: Linguistics is the academic discipline that studies language scientifically, andstylistics, as a part of this discipline, studies certain aspects of language variation.•H. G. Widdowson (1975): Stylistics involves both literary criticism and linguistics, as itsmorphological making suggests: the “style” component relating it to the former and the “-istic”component to the latter. Stylistics is a means of relating disciplines and subjects, as shown in thefollowing diagram: Disciplines: literary criticism linguistics ↖ ↗ StylisticsSubjects: (English) literature ↙ ↘(English) language 3
1.3. What are the stylistic study objectives?• Analyze language habits to identify, from the general mass, those features restricted tocertain kinds of social context.• Explain why such features have been used as opposed to others.• Classify these features into categories based upon a view of their function in the socialcontext. By ‘features’ we mean particular choice of words, sequence of words, or way ofutterance, so-called stylistically distinctive features.1.4. Why we study stylistics?• For better understanding.• To acquire a ―sense of style‖.• To prepares the way to the intrinsic study of different types of writing, e.g. literature. 4
2. Cohesion and coherence Cohesion is the formal, linguistic means that texts have for showing that they havestructure beyond that of the clause. There are number of cohesive devices as follows: (co-)reference (pronouns), repetition, ellipsis (missing things out),Substitution,Conjunction (coordination, subordination) Because(1) it was raining, I picked up my(2) coat and(3) put it(4) on. I(5)went to the door and(3) after(6) I(5) opened it(4) (7) went outside.1 subordinating conjunction;2 varied reference to first person (I-my);3 coordinating conjunction;4 pronoun replacement;5 repetition of pronoun;6 subordinating conjunction;7 ellipted pronoun (I) The various kinds of cohesion had been out lined by MAK Halliday in his writingson stylistics and the concept was developed by Ruqaiya Hasan in her University of 5Edinburgh doctoral thesis.
Coherence refers to the way we know a text achieves continuity of theme, cause andeffect, and so on.Dose the above passage achieve coherence?Yes it has been achieved through less formal links because it conforms to our notions ofwhat a first-person narrative should be like: tense is consistent, and the series of actionspresented is both logical in terms of cause and effect (rain-coat-wearing going outside)and temporal order.Notes:• Passages can have cohesion without coherence e.g., Because I opened the door I wentto it. It was raining. I put my coat on. I picked it up. I went outside.• And coherence without formal markers of cohesion e.g., Rain. I put my coat on. Outside the air tasted fresh.2.1 Cohesion vs. coherenceCohesion involves formal linguistic links between sections of a text, i.e. things whichcan be listed, pointed at, classified. Coherence is more difficult to define or analyzesince it refers to the way we know a text gels together, i.e. continuity of theme, causeand effect, and so on.Cohesion is a surface feature which we recognize immediately. Coherence, especiallyif cohesive features are rare in a text, may only emerge slowly. That makes it easy forthe writers to make our realization of the coherence of a passage more powerful.Stylistically, this delayed process of understanding may add to the humour of the text by 6involving the reader.
2.2. Reference: cohesion and coherenceReference includes: pronoun replacement, repetition, variation, and ellipsis. It can bedivided into two types: Forwards reference: He was sixteen years old. He had unwashed brown hair… Benny rode the length of the counter on a six-wheeled brown swivel chair. Backwards reference: Those eyes were like gas jets in a rust-flaked pipe. They informed everything you felt about him. Note that speech tends to use more pronoun replacement and ellipsis than writing.This is because speech takes place within a context i.e. we can check with the speakerwho they mean. But writing has to be more explicit.• Both examples are from Peter Carey‘s The Tax Inspector. 7
2.3. Coherence: structural mimicry/ predictability of form Literary texts often seek coherence by more or less elaborate ways ofpretending to be other texts by reproducing their typical patterns ofvocabulary, syntax, or even physical form. A novel for instance may havethe coherence typical of a conversation, a letter, a thriller, science fiction,the Bible etc. 2.4. Ellipsis: cohesion and coherence Ellipsis is a cohesive device involving the absence of an item whichthe audience has to supply. The cohesive link is set up by the process ofreferring back to recover the missing item such as the pronominalreference: How was Spain? I didn’t go___ Ellipsis can also be used to set up coherent links when the item to besupplied comes from the reader’s general knowledge or common sense,rather than the actual text. Furthermore, it is common in speech as adevice for economy, but its use in writing treads a fine line between 8economy and incoherence.
Text 1Source: John Wain, Hurry on Down, pp. 15–16. „[Do you] Mind if I come in all the same? [I have] Come some distance,‟ muttered Charles. „There‟s only Edith and me here,‟ said Robert, as if warning Charles that by coming in he was exposing himself to an unpleasant ordeal; which was true. Without answering, Charles levered himself past Robert and went into the hall. Edith came out of the kitchen and confronted him. „Sheila isn‟t here,‟ she said. [I] „Know,‟ said Charles, speaking too quickly to be fully intelligible. „Robert told me [she wasn‟t here]. [Do you] Mind if [I] come in perhaps [I could have a] cup of tea? Or [could you tell me] when Sheila [will] be back [I] wanted to see her if I could.‟Stylistic analysis of text1 The ellipsis here comes wholly within the speech of one character (Charles) whatrepresents his distress and mood. Note that almost all of this ellipsis involves the omission of auxiliary verbs and subjectpronouns which suggests that it is rule-governed in some way. Subject pronouns andauxiliaries are deleted in spoken English quite frequently, but this usage is particularlyassociated with upper-middle-class spoken English. In this text deletion demonstrates both the hastiness of the character Charles, and alsohis disinclination to engage with Edith and Robert whilst he waits for Sheila. 9
3. Theories and models 3.1. Information structure: given to new The arrangement of information from given which referred to as S to new whichreferred to as X aids understanding, as it means that readers move from things theyknow about (which should be smaller), to things they don’t know about (which shouldbe larger). These regular patterns of information structure function to give texts coherence andcohesion. Writers employ such different patterns of structure in order to avoidmonotony, and produce stylistic effects. 3.2. Coherent models: thought Cohesion is created by the predictability of grammatical structures - SVX withinthe clause, coordination and subordination outside it. Coherence arises out of whatmight be called ‗common-sense‘ links between ideas. Texts also gain coherence if wecan recognize that they have a model which supplies structure and form such as asection within a novel which mimics the form of another type of text or language. 10
Text 2Source: James Joyce, Ulysses, pp. 702–3. …….. let me see if I can doze off 1 2 3 4 5 (topic 2) what kind of flowers are those they invented like the stars the wallpaper in Lombard street was much nicer the apron he gave me was like that something (topic3) only I only wore it twice better lower this lamp and try again so as I can get up early I ll go to Lambes(5) there beside Findlaters(5) and get them to send us some flowers to put about the place in case he brings him home tomorrow (1) today (1) I mean no no Fridays(1) an unlucky day first(3) I want to do the place up someway the dust grows in it(2) I think while Im asleep then(3) we can have music(4) and cigarettes I can accompany(4) him first I must clean the keys(4) of the piano(4) with milk whatll I wear a white rose or those fairy cakes in Liptons(5) I love the smell of a rich big shop at 7 ½d a lb or the other(3) ones with the cherries in them and the pinky sugar………..There are number of cohesive devices used in this text:1 repetition: tomorrow, today, Friday, day2 pronouns: the dust grows in it3 deictic words: first I want to do the place up…then we can have music; the other ones4 semantic field: music, accompany, keys, piano5 hyponyms: Lambes, Findlaters, Liptons (these are all types of shop) 11
Stylistic analysis of text2• stream of consciousness This text features the thoughts of someone as they fall asleep. Joyce is probablybest-known proponent of what came to be known as ‘stream of consciousness’ i.e. therepresentation of thought in a more or less impressionistic way which he adopted in thistext.• continuous prose The writer regards pure thought as being something different from the syntax ofwritten English. He departs from the norms of written syntax even more radically,unlike most other texts in this book, this text has been lifted from a long passage ofcontinuous prose where there was no paragraph break separating this extract from itssurroundings.• lack of coherence Most of the clauses and phrases are cohesive with the next, or with one furtherback, but overall the text is not particularly coherent (in the linguistic sense of theword). The end of the text bears little relation to the beginning. The text as a whole isnot cohere because for example there’s no formal link between the topics of getting tosleep and a regard for nature (see topics 2 and 3 above), or preparing for a visit and 12theology.
3.3. Coherent models: other languages A calque is a word or phrase which is translated directly into one language from another,retaining the structural properties of the first language, e.g. the English calqued title from theNorman French: Princess royal Governor general Languages may also influence each other in more major structural ways such as ingrammatical shifting. Text3 Source: Philip K.Dick, The Man in the High Castle, pp. 112–13. Betty said in a low voice, „Personally, I do not believe any hysterical talk of “world inundation” by any people. Slavic or Chinese or Japanese.‟ She regarded Robert placidly. She was in complete control of herself, not carried away; but she intended to express her feeling. A spot of colour, deep red, had appeared in each of her cheeks. They ate for a time without conversing. I did it again, Robert Childan informed himself. [It is] Impossible to avoid the topic. Because it‟s everywhere, in a book I happen to pick up or a record collection, in these bone napkin rings - loot piled up by the conquerors. Pillage from my people. Face facts. I‟m trying to pretend that these Japanese and I are alike. But observe: even when I burst out as to my gratification that they won the war, that my nation lost - there‟s still no common ground. What words mean to me is [a] sharp contrast vis-à- vis them. Their brains are different. [Their] Souls likewise. Witness them drinking from English bone china cups, eating with U.S. silver, listening to [the] Negro style of music. It‟s all on the surface. [The] Advantage of wealth and power makes this available to 13 them, but it‟s ersatz as the day is long.
Even the I Ching, which they‟ve forced down our throats; it‟s Chinese. Borrowed from way back when. Whom are they fooling? Themselves? [They] Pilfer customs right and left, wear, eat, talk, walk, as for instance consuming with gusto baked potato served with sour cream and chives, old-fashioned American dish added to their haul. But nobody fooled, I can tell you; me least of all. Only the white races endowed with creativity, he reflected. And yet I, blood member of same, must bump head to floor for these two. Think how it would have been had we won! Would have crushed them out of existence. No Japan today, and the U.S.A. gleaming great sole power in entire wide world.Stylistic analysis of text3 This text describes an American eating a meal with a Japanese couple yet the thoughts of theAmerican come out in English which is similar to the English spoken by Japanese speakers. So wehave the following style of writing other language speakers‟ English: The „errors‟ of grammar here are in fact structural influences from Japanese. We have overly formal vocabulary: I did it again, Robert Childan informed himself Omission of dummy subjects and to be: [It is] Impossible to avoid the topic Omission of articles and determiners. What words mean to me is [a] sharp contrast vis-à-vis them. Their brains are different. [Their]Souls likewise. Omission of subjects [They] Pilfer customs right and left, wear, eat, talk, walk, as for instance [them] consuming….. 14
The reason for this strange scene of an American talking Japanese-influenced English to aJapanese couple is only fully clear in the context of the whole novel. Caught between his admiration for their poise and civilisation, and resentment of their invasionand plunder of his culture, the narrator feels decidedly ambivalent about his hosts. This ambivalenceis neatly caught in the final section where the narrator gives vent to a racist rant which draws evermore heavily on the structure of the language of one of the peoples he dispraises.3.4. Coherent models: speech Speech is transient, unplanned; it cannot be recalled and revised. Writing is fixed, considered; itcan be recast or struck out. But there are differences of structure as well as medium and contextbetween the two. One of the defining characteristics of prose in the twentieth century has been a willingness toexperiment with features which are more often found in speech, from dialect to complex patterns ofgrammatical organization. Thus loss of prosodic features such as stress, intonation and pausesmeans that written language can carry much less information than the spoken form. Either thereader or the writer has to work hard to make up this deficit.3.5. Speech syntax: intercalated clauses In written texts certain units are regarded as indivisible. In speech, however, speakers insertother things, in particular, clauses, within the noun phrase. For example: (The five [and they were very noisy and naughty indeed] boys) Such a clause is called intercalated (interspersed clause) clause which is very usual to occur inspeech than in writing. This is because speakers do not speak in sentences, but in a sequence ofclauses, with intonation marking the syntactic boundaries. 15
Text 4Source: Henry Green, Caught, pp. 53–4. There was a long silence. Then she said, ‘What would I’ave to do, Arthur, on top of wearin’ the things?’ ‘Keep the occurrience book.’ ‘God‘elp us, what’s that?’ ‘Where they write the telephone messages down.’ ‘Oh no, not me, not much. Why, once at the Royal College, you know where I’ve worked these fifteen years, they said, “Mary, Miss Hofford(1), an’ she was a nice girl(2) you was glad to oblige(3), Miss O we called her(4)’s deaf to-day(5) or I forget what(6), an’ would you mind answering the telephone through the mornin’.” I expect it was a cold she‘ad. Oh dear. Never again. I don’t seem ever to get used to that instrument. Oh no. I couldn’t.’ ‘Well then, there’s the kitchen.’ ‘What, me cook for a ‘undred? Oh my Gawd.’1. subject of main clause12. intercalated main clause13. intercalated subordinate clause to intercalated main clause4. intercalated main clause25. verb and complement of main clause1 166. intercalated main clause2
Stylistic analysis of text4 Many of Henry Green’s experiments with English prose involve the importation ofacutely observed spoken features. Here Green captures a series of intercalated clauses -something which would be easy to follow if heard, because intonation would make thesyntactic boundaries clear, but which is very difficult to follow on the page. 3.6. Speech syntax: coordination and relative clauses Although subordination is not absent from spoken English, it is more usual to findclauses linked by coordination, or simply interleaved as in the intercalated clausesexamined above. The most common kind of subordination in speech is probably relativisation whichoccurs in slot 4 of the noun phrase, postmodifying the noun:This is (the young man (who I know)) 1 2 3 4That is (the young man (I know)) 1 2 3 4 As shown above they can be introduced by who, or any subordination device ornothing at all. The different ways of beginning relatives carry different levels of formality• the wh- relatives are the most formal,• the that and• nothing relatives less so. Wh-relatives are more common in written English, the other types more common inthe spoken language. 17
Text 5 Source: Stevie Smith, Novel on Yellow Paper, pp. 74–5. (And at this time I had a nanny that was William’s sister, that had run away from home)1 (and so she had to be a nanny)2, but very vigorous and affectionate was (this nanny, (that was called Elizabeth))3, and very strongly indeed she took to my mama, and very strongly indeed she raged against (my papa (that was to her villain of the villa))4. She would not have one good word said for my papa but was always shaking her head and saying: If the truth were known, and: It can come to no good. And: There will be trouble. So very soon I began too to rage very furiously against my papa. I sat upright in my baby-carriage and wished mama hadn’t made such a foolish marriage.• Clause linkage without relatives: 1. Main clause 2. Subclause• Relative linkage: 3. (this nanny, (that was called Elizabeth)) 4. (my papa (that was to her villain of the villa)) 18
Stylistic analysis of text5 This text seeks to reproduce the speech of a child - the syntactic techniques it usesare relatively straightforward. Generally coordination is used rather than subordination, so the repetition of andbecomes rather obligatory. The most frequent type of subordination in the passage is relativisation, which is themost frequent type of subordination in speech what makes the use of the less formalrelativiser insistence. All of this provides the foundation for the humour of the text: a baby judging itsparents’ marriage.ReferencesCrystal, David & Davy, Derek (1969), Investigating English Style. United States ofAmerica, Longman GroupHalliday, M.A.K. (1964) Descriptive Linguistics in Literary Studies, Edinburgh,Edinburgh University PressWiddowson, H.G. (1975), Stylistics and the Teaching of literature, London, LongmanGroupWright, Laura & Hope, Jonathan (2000) Stylistics: A Practical Coursebook. London, 19Routledge