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Linguistic stylisticspart1.

  1. 1. LINGUISTIC STYLISTICS Gabriela MIŠŠÍKOVÁ Filozofická Fakulta Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa Nitra 2003
  2. 2. Opponents: Prof. PhDr. Tibor Žilka, DrSc. Doc. PhDr. Pavol KvetkoProofreading: John KehoeFinancované Komisiou J. W. Fulbrighta v SR© Filozofická fakulta UKF Nitra 2003ISBN 80-8050-595-0
  3. 3. CONTENTSFOREWORD………………………………………………………………………... 8 1. STYLISTICS AND STYLE: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND RECENT TRENDS……………………………………………………….. 9 1.1 Ancient Times……………………………………………………………… 9 1.2 The Middle Ages…………………………………………………………… 10 1.3 The New Age……………………………………………………………… 11 1.3.1 The 20th Century: Linguistic Schools and Conceptions before Ferdinand de Saussure……………………………………………....12 1.4 Recent Development: Stylistics in the United Kingdom……………………13 2. MAIN CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS………………………………. 15 2.1 The Scope of Stylistic Study………………………………………………. 15 2.2 The Notion of Language and Literary Style……………………………….. 16 2.3 Stylistic Analysis and Literary Interpretation.…………………………….. 17 2.4 Definitions of Style……………………………………………………….... 17 2.5 Definitions of Stylistics……………………………………………………. 18 2.6 Attempts at Refutation of Style…………………………………….……… 21 2.7 Style as a Notational Term………………………………………………… 22 2.8 Style as a Linguistic Variation…………………………………………….. 22 3. STYLISTICS AND OTHER FIELDS OF STUDY…………………….. 24 3.1 Stylistics and Other Linguistic Disciplines………………………………... 24 3.2 Stylistics and Literary Study……………………………………………….. 24 8
  4. 4. 3.3 Linguistic versus Literary Context………………………………………… 253.4 Linguistic Theories and the Study of Style………………………………... 25 3.4.1 Where Would Style Go within the Two Presented Theories? ……… 264. EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES………………… 294.1 Expressive Means………………………………………………………….. 294.2 Stylistic Devices…………………………………………………………… 314.3 Standard English…………………………………………………………… 32 4.3.1 Standard American English………………………………………... 32 4.3.2 Differences between British and American English……………….. 344.4 Varieties of Language……………………………………………………... 355. LEXICAL EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES……. 395.1 Interaction of Different Types of Lexical Meaning……………………….. 39 5.1.1 Interaction of Dictionary and Contextual Logical Meanings…...…. 40 5.1.2 Interaction of Primary and Derivative Logical Meanings……….. 44 5.1.3 Interaction of Logical and Emotive Meanings……………………... 45 5.1.4 Interaction of Logical and Nominal Meanings…………………….. 465.2 Intensification of a Certain Feature of a Thing or Phenomenon…………... 475.3 Peculiar Use of Set Expressions……………………………………..…….. 506. STYLISTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF LEXICAL EXPRESSIVE MEANS………………………………………………………………...….. 536.1 Stylistic Characteristics of Parts of Speech………………………………... 536.2 Stylistic Value of Particular Parts of Words………………………………. 576.3 Synonymy and Polysemy………………………………………………….. 57 9
  5. 5. 7. SYNTACTIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS………………………………..…. 597.1 Modality of a Sentence…………………………………………………….. 59 7.1.1 Ways of Expressing Modality…………………………………….... 59 7.1.2 Stylistic Exploitation of Modality………………………………….. 59 7.1.3 Types of Sentences according to the Types of Modality………….... 607.2 Expressiveness in Syntax……………………………….………………….. 60 7.2.1 Expressive Syntactic Constructions………………………………... 60 7.2.2 Word-order…………………………………………………………. 64 7.2.3 Detached Constructions……………………………………………. 65 7.2.4 The Length of a Sentence and its Type…………………………….. 73 7.2.5 Syntactic Constructions Based on the Relation of Synonymy……... 73 7.2.6 Transferred Use of Structural Meaning……………………………. 758. THE STUDY OF THE SYNTACTIC WHOLE IN STYLISTICS…….. 778.1 Main Concepts……………………………………………………………... 778.2 Combining Parts of an Utterance…………………………………………... 788.3 Cohesion and Coherence…………………………………………………... 809. EXTRA-LINGUISTIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS………………………... 879.1 The Notion of Paralanguage……………………………………………….. 879.2 Visual Expressive Means………………………………………………….. 90 9.2.1 Graphetics and Graphology………………………………..……….. 909.3 Kinesics……………………………….……………………………………. 9110. PHONETIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES…... 9210.1 General Notes………………………………………………………... 9210.2 Phonetic Stylistic Devices…………………………………….……… 92 10.2.1 Onomatopoeia…………………………………………………….... 92 10
  6. 6. 10.2.2 Alliteration………………………………………………………..... 94 10.2.3 Assonance………………………………………………………….. 95 10.2.4 Rhyme and Rhythm………………………………………………... 96 10.2.5 Phonaesthesia………………………...………………………...….. 97 10.2.6 Sound Symbolism………………………………………………….. 9711. STYLISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY…... 9911.1 Layers of the Vocabulary…………………………………...……….. 99 11.1.1 Neutral, Common Literary and Common Colloquial Vocabulary… 100 11.1.2 Special Literary Vocabulary……………………………………….. 102 11.1.3 Special Colloquial Vocabulary……………………………………... 10411.2 The Classification of Slang………………………………………….. 105 11.2.1 What is Slang? …………………………………………………….. 105 11.2.2 Sociolinguistic Aspect of Slang……………………………………. 105 11.2.3 Primary and Secondary Slang………………..…………………… 107 11.2.4 Individual Psychology of Slang……………………………………. 107 11.2.5 Slang and Language Levels………………………………………... 10712. FUNCTIONAL STYLES OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE………………... 11112.1 Stylistic Significance……………………………………………….... 11112.2 Attempts to Categorise Functions of Language……………………… 11112.3 Classification of Language Styles………………………………….… 114 12.3.1 The Belles-Lettres Style……………………………………………. 115 12.3.2 Publicistic Style…………………………………………………….. 116 12.3.3 Newspaper Style………………………………………………….... 117 12.3.4 Scientific Prose Style………………………………………...…….. 120 12.3.5 The Style of Official Documents…………………………………... 122 11
  7. 7. LIST OF SOURCES…………………………………………………………………. 124LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURESTable 1. The Analogists and Anomalists…………………………………….... 10Table 2. Style and Stylistics………………………………….……………….. 20Table 3. Types of Linguistic Variation………………………………….……. 23Table 4. Linguistic Dichotomy of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky………….. 26Table 5. The Study of Style within the Theories of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky ………………………………….………………………… 28Table 6. Reference………………………………….……………………….... 82Table 7. Types of Lexical Cohesion………………………………….……….. 85Table 8. Openness in Text………………………………….…………………. 86Table 9. Semiosis………………………………….………………………….. 88Table 10. Stylistic Markers of Synonyms……………………………………..… 101Table 11. Main Factors in Verbal Communication…………………….……… 112Table 12. Functions of Language………………………………….………….... 114Table 13. Classification of Styles………..…………………….……………….. 114Figure 1. Semiotic Triangle in Stylistics…………………………………...….. 89 12
  8. 8. FOREWORD The aim of the presented textbook is to provide Slovak university students ofEnglish language and literature with the theory of stylistics and its practicalapplication in text analysis. By means of working with a wide variety of textsincluding literary (artistic) texts, stylistics can function as a bridging disciplinebetween literary and linguistic courses. However, our strong intention, as manifestedin the title of this textbook, is to constantly emphasise and explore the linguisticaspects of stylistic study. The textbook is based on several theoretical sources, which were selected withregards to the needs of Slovak students who need to familiarise themselves with avariety of language usages in particular contexts and situations. Considering thedifferences between the British tradition and the concept of stylistics within Slovakand Czech linguistics, as well as the contrasts between European and Americantraditions, the textbook aims at a study of stylistic means within a variety of texts.Influenced by the domestic (Slavonic/structuralist) tradition we use the concept ofa functional style which seems to be methodologically convenient. Many studentshave either a decent knowledge of Slovak stylistics, or, based on their everydayexperiences, can identify various language styles and their functions in particularutterances (contexts and situations). The main sources for the presented textbook are Stylistics by I. R.Galperin(1977), Investigating English Style by D. Crystal and D. Davy (1969) and the mostcomprehensive book on Slovak stylistics Štylistika by J. Mistrík (1985). We adoptedthe framework of the chapters on a stylistic classification of vocabulary, lexical andphonetic expressive means and devices from Galperin’s book, while reviewing andupdating the content and presenting the most recent examples of the subject matter.Our explanation of paralanguage, graphetics and graphology is based on the ideas ofD. Crystal and D. Davy. The book on Slovak stylistics by J. Mistrík provided us witha broader context of stylistic study, mainly historical perspectives and recentdevelopments. Some other sources were used to clarify specific concepts (see the‘List of Sources’). As stated in the text, several summarising explanations wereadopted from A Dictionary of Stylistics by K. Wales (1990) and examples were alsosought for in the Slovak dictionary of literary terms written by T. Žilka (1987). Inaddition to the works mentioned above, there are a few which I cherish as myfavourite reading. The most inspiring are the works of respected personalities in thefield, namely Ronald Carter, John Douthwaite, Mick Short and Peter Verdonk. The presented textbook attempts to provide a comprehensive theoreticalbackground to the study of Stylistics. For a practical application of the theory see thecollection of guided tasks in stylistic analysis of literary and non-literary texts entitledWorking with Texts in Stylistics (Miššíková, due out in 2003). 13
  9. 9. Chapter 1:STYLISTICS AND STYLE: A HISTORICALPERSPECTIVE AND RECENT TRENDS1.1 Ancient Times In ancient Greece the use of language can be seen mainly as an effort to createspeeches. Thus we may recognise a practical function of language in political andjudicial speeches, and an aesthetic function in ceremonial ones. The art of creatingspeech was called Rhetoric (from the Greek techne rhetorike) and was taught as oneof the main subjects in schools. The aim was to train speakers to create effective andattractive speeches. Another language activity was the creation of poetic works. Theprocess of artistic creation was called Poetics. Its aim was to study a piece of art, and,unlike rhetoric, it focused on the problems of expressing the ideas before the actualmoment of utterance. The work of Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C.) entitled Poetics isconsidered to be a pioneer publication in this field. His distinction of epics, drama andlyrics within artistic works is still applicable. The third field of language use was theart of creating a dialogue. The study of creating and guiding a dialogue, talk ordiscussion, as well as the study of methods of persuasion, was called Dialectics. The“dialogue technique” as one of the most convenient and efficient form of exchangingexperiences and presenting research results was introduced and supported bySocrates. This method is still known in pedagogy as the “dialogical” or “Socrates’method”. The further development of Stylistics was based on the three above mentionedsources from which Poetics went its own way and created the field of study known atpresent as Literary Criticism. Rhetoric and Dialectics developed into Stylistics. The development of Stylistics in ancient Rome, that is about 300 years later,brought the distinction of two different styles in speech represented by Caesar andCicero. Their main characteristics are summarised in the following table: 9
  10. 10. CAESAR CICERO and and the Analogists the Anomalists • stressed regularity and • aimed at the creation and development of system rules ‘Ornate Dicere’ that is flowery language • focused on facts and data • used unnatural syntactic patterns, sought • their aim was to create for innovative often artificial sentence simple, clear and structures straightforward speeches • created anomalies on all language levels • other representatives were • due to their approach, where the true Seneca and Tacitus message and communicated content were secondary to the form of presentation, Rhetoric was called the “mother of lies” • Cicero built his theory of rhetoric on the distinction between three styles: high, middle and lowTable 1. The Analogists and Anomalists.1.2 The Middle Ages Latin was exclusively used as the language of science, art and administration,and no attempts were made to deal with problems of speech. This period shows noprogress in the development of stylistics. An anomalistic rhetoric of Cicero became amodel way of public speaking, which means that aesthetically attractive speecheswere popular. They enabled speakers to develop their individual styles. However, theinfluence of ancient India brought about a tendency to make speeches brief in the caseof a sufficient amount of data and facts being available to a speaker. This tendency toeconomise the speech intentionally enhanced the distinction between the FORM andCONTENT. The language of science, culture and administration was very different from thelanguage of common people. However, it would be inappropriate to speak aboutstyles at this stage. It was the same language (and the same style) but, of course,different phrases, clichés and stereotyped bookish Latin formulas were used in eachsphere. The most apparent differences occurred in terminology. 10
  11. 11. 1.3 The New Age On the one hand there were the traditions of Cicero and Aristotle, on the other,new theories of style have developed: individualist, emotionalist, formalist,functionalist, etc. In the era of Romanticism the notion and term style referred exclusively to thewritten form of language (from Gr. stylos = a carver, an instrument for writing).Spoken language was the main subject of rhetoric. The most impressive work from this period is the book LArt poétique (1674)written by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, which became the bible of French poets of the17th and 18th century. This book includes explanations of prose, poetry and drama,and is considered an unusual guidebook for poets and other artists. At the same time itis not limited to poetics, several definitions are of a stylistic character or even moregeneral (e.g. ... those pieces of information which are not new should be pronouncedwithout any special stress or accent, expressions should not be unnecessarilyextended, borrowed and loan words should be avoided and special attention should bepaid to the selection of a title, etc.) In general, the book is based on the poetics ofAristotle and Horatio. The three different styles are mentioned, their distinction beingbased on the opposition of language and parole first mentioned by Cicero (and laterelaborated, quite independently, by Ferdinand de Saussure). The French classical theory of styles requested the usage of a high (grand) stylein all verbal works of art as an opposite to the everyday communication of commonpeople in which the middle and low (plain) styles were used. The styles wereclassified as 1. stylus altus (works of art), 2. stylus mediocris (the style of highsociety) and 3. stylus humilis (the style of low society but could be used in comedies).This theory reflects preliminary attempts to describe the notion of style as basedprimarily on the selection of expressive means. At the beginning of the 19th century a German linguist and philosopher,Wilhelm von Humboldt described functional styles in his book “Űber dieVerschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss...” and treatedpoetry and prose (colloquial, educational and belles-letters prose) as opposites: poetryand prose differ in the selection of expressive means, i.e. words and expressions, useof grammatical forms, syntactic structures, emotional tones, etc. Humboldts ideasappeared quite intriguing, however, and since his classification of styles was notbased on and supported by any linguistic analyses of text samples, it remainedidealistic. Later on, many linguists returned to and elaborated on his ideas, amongothers, the most influential were the members of the Prague Linguistic Circle (1926),V. Mathesius, B. Havránek and F. Trávníček. Some literary schools have also contributed towards the development ofstylistics. The French school Explication de Texte developed a method of textanalysis and interpretation which is known as close reading. This method was basedon a correlation of historical and linguistic information and on seeking connectionsbetween aesthetic responses and specific stimuli in the text. The method became quitepopular and was used by many other schools and movements. 11
  12. 12. 1.3.1 The 20th Century: Linguistic Schools and Conceptions before Ferdinand de Saussure At the beginning of the 20th century a group of German linguists, B. Croce, K.Vossler and L. Spitzer, represented the school of the New Idealists. Their approach isknown as individualistic or psychoanalytical because its main aim was to search forindividual peculiarities of language as elements of expressing a psychological state ofmind (in German “Seelische Meinung”). B. Croce regarded language as a creation andthus suggested viewing linguistics as a subdepartment of aesthetics. Karl Vossler wasknown for looking for clues to national cultures behind linguistic details and LeoSpitzer for tracing parallels between culture and expression. His working methodbecame famous as the Spitzerian circle. However, the German school of individualistsand psychoanalysts belongs to the past and there are no followers anymore. The origin of the new era of linguistic stylistics is represented by the linguisticemotionalistic conception of the French School of Charles Bally. Ch. Bally workedunder the supervision of Ferdinand de Saussure in Geneva and after Saussure’s deathpublished his work: Cours de linguistique générale (1916). Bally’s own concept ofstylistics is classified as emotionally expressive because of his strong belief that eachparticular component of linguistic information combines a part of language and a partof a man who interprets or announces the information. While at the beginning of the 20th century the Romance countries were mainlyinfluenced by Bally’s expressive stylistics and Germany by Croce’s individualstylistics, a new linguistic and literary movement developed in Russia and becameknown as formalism. The Russian Formalists introduced a new, highly focused andsolid method of literary and linguistic analysis. Formal method used in linguistics wasbased on the analytical view of the form, the content of a literary work was seen asa sum of its stylistic methods. In this way, the formal characteristics of a literary workare seen in opposition to its content. In other words, the focus was on ‘devices ofartistry’ not on content (i.e. HOW not WHAT). The formalists originated as anopposition to a synthesis introduced by the symbolists. The development follows fromsynthesis towards analysis, putting the main emphasis on the form, material, or ‚skill‘.The main representative was Roman O. Jakobson; others were J. N. Tynjanov and V.V. Vinogradov. Russian formalism originated in 1916, flourished in 1920 – 1923, andhad practically ceased to exist by the end of the 20’s. In spite of the short, about ten-year, existence of Russian formalism, many ideas were modified and furtherelaborated. They became part of structuralism, and can also be found in the works ofthe members of the Prague School ten years later. The crucial question of the movement known as Structuralism is What islanguage and what is its organisation like? The main ideas of structuralism arepresented in its fundamental work Cours de linguistique générale written by F. deSaussure (1856 – 1913) and published posthumously by his student Ch. Bally in 1916.The ideas of Structuralism penetrated not only into linguistics and literary criticism,but also into ethnography, folklore studies, aesthetics, history of arts, drama andtheatre studies, etc. The program and methodology of work of the Prague Linguistic Circle (1926)were truly structuralistic. They introduced systematic application of the term 12
  13. 13. structuralism, which brought about new phenomena introduced into linguistics andliterary study. Its influence on stylistics was crucial. The main aspects of themovement can be summarised as follows: distinction between the aesthetic function of poetic language and the practical, communicative function of language; language is seen as a structure, supra-temporal and supra-spatial, given inherently (in the sense of Saussure´s language); literary work is an independent structure related to the situation of its origin/ creation; individual parts of literary or linguistic structure are always to be understood from the point of view of a complex structure; the analyses of particular works were based on language analysis because it was assumed that in a literary work all components (i.e. language, content, composition) are closely inter-related and overlapping within the structure. The founders and main representatives of the Prague Linguistic Circle were R.O. Jakobson, N. S. Trubeckoj, V. Mathesius, J. Mukařovský. Among others were alsoB. Trnka, B. Havránek, J. Vachek, K. Hausenblas and F. X. Šalda. Anotherstructuralistic school originated in Copenhagen, Denmark represented by J.Hjelmslev, and in the U.S. represented by E. Sapir and L. Bloomfield.1.4 Recent Development: Stylistics in the United Kingdom At the time when structuralism was at its most influential in Czechoslovakia,Denmark and the USA, the school known as The New Criticism originated inCambridge, Great Britain. The main representatives were I. A. Richards and W. Empson, who introducednew terms, mainly the method of structural analysis called close reading. Theydevoted great effort to the study of metaphor and introduced the terms tenor andvehicle which are still in use. The New Criticism represents progress in stylisticthinking and their theory is valid even today. They also have followers in the USA.(e.g. C. Brooks, R. P. Blackmur, R. P. Warren). British stylistics is influenced by M. Halliday (1960’s) and his structuralistapproach to the linguistic analysis of literary texts. British tradition has always beenthe semiotics of text – context relationships and structural analysis of text: locatingliterature into a broader social context and to other texts. British Stylistics andLinguistic Criticism reached its most influential point at the end of the 70s (Kress,Hodge: Language as Ideology, 1979; Fowler, R. et al: Language and Control, 1979,Aers, et al.: Literature, Language and Society in England 1580-1680, 1981). All threebooks used transformational and systemic linguistics, an overtly structuralist andMarxist theoretical approach to the analysis of literary texts. Two years later RogerFowler published a book signalling new directions in British Stylistics and marking itstransition to Social Semiotics (Fowler, R.: Literature as Social Discourse: The 13
  14. 14. Practice of Linguistic Criticism, 1981). Fowler’s book brings together British works(Halliday) with those of Barthes, Bakhtin and others of European traditions. Romance, English and American stylistics are based on observation andanalysis of literary works (texts) and are very close to poetics. The original Americantradition is based on practical methods of creating various texts, there is a schoolsubject called creative writing and composition which is very often identified withstylistics. The field of study of stylistics in Slovakia is understood as more independentfrom poetics than the British tradition, but also very different from the Americantradition (more theoretical, academic, e.g. F. Miko, J. Mistrík, T. Žilka, etc.). It is necessary to mention a contribution of Czech stylistics here, namely in thefield of the classification of styles. The Czech linguist, B. Havránek, one of therepresentatives of the Prague Linguistic Circle, introduced the notion of functionalstyles based on the classification of language functions. According to B. Havránekthe language functions are: 1. communicative, 2. practical professional, 3. theoreticalprofessional and 4. aesthetic function. The first three functions are informative and thefourth one is aesthetic. This system of functions is reflected in the classification ofstyles in the following way: 1. colloquial (conversational) style, 2. professional(factual) style, 3. scientific style, 4. poetic (literary) style. In the 1970’s larger structures of texts and networks of relations within whichthey circulate were studied, and recourses to Hallidayan linguistics, register and genretheory became influential. Typical representatives are Ronald Carter and RogerFowler. Among the latest tendencies there is the interesting approach of textualStylistics which originated in Anglo-Saxon countries (Halliday: Cohesion in English,London 1976; Turner: Stylistics, Penguin Books, 1973) and from American centres ofstylistic studies the Indiana University of Bloomington should be mentioned (Style inLanguage, 1958). In the 1990’s two journals which map recent development have to bementioned: Language and Literature (first published in Great Britain, 1992) andSocial Semiotics (first published in Australia, 1991). 14
  15. 15. Chapter 2:MAIN CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS2.1 The Scope of Stylistic Study Stylistics is traditionally regarded as a field of study where the methods ofselecting and implementing linguistic, extra-linguistic or artistic expressive means anddevices in the process of communication are studied (e.g. Mistrík, 1985). In general,we distinguish linguistic stylistics and literary (poetic) stylistics. The division betweenthe two is by no means easy or clear. In his book Exploring the Language of Poems,Plays and Prose Mick Short comments on this problem like this: “... stylistics can sometimes look like either linguistics or literary criticism, depending upon where you are standing when looking at it. So, some of my literary critical colleagues sometimes accuse me of being an unfeeling linguist, saying that my analyses of poems, say, are too analytical, being too full of linguistic jargon and leaving unsufficient room for personal preference on the part of the reader. My linguist colleagues, on the other hand, sometimes say that I‘m no linguist at all, but a critic in disguise, who cannot make his descriptions of language precise enough to count as real linguistics. They think that I leave too much to intuition and that I am not analytical enough. I think I‘ve got the mix just right, of course!” (Short, 1996, p. 1) Mick Short is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern EnglishLanguage at Lancaster University and a leading authority in the field of stylistics.The above-mentioned book provides a clear and broad ranging introduction tostylistic analysis including a comprehensive discussion of the links betweenlinguistics and literary criticism. Short’s standpoint is a linguistic one and hisanalytical methods are perfectly up-to-date. He works exclusively with literary texts;texts of poetry, fiction and drama and consequently his analyses include aconsiderable amount of (literary) interpretation and discussion of literary issues. Inother words, he is interested not only in the (linguistic) forms of the analysed texts(i.e. HOW), but he also studies the meaning (i.e. WHAT) of the text in the sense of aplot and an overall meaning/message of a story. For our purposes, it is crucial to understand that there are different traditions ofstylistic research (e.g. Slovak versus British and American traditions) which influencethe limits and ambitions of stylistic study as well as the methods used in stylisticanalysis. Of course, modern developments and tendencies towards an interdisciplinaryresearch have to be taken into account. 15
  16. 16. There are many problems that have fascinated scholars working at the interfacebetween language and literature: What is literature? How does literary discourse differfrom other discourse types? What is style? What is the relationship between language,literature and society? Within the last 40 years scholars have introduced variousapproaches, summarised and discussed in detail in the book edited by Jean JacquesWeber: The Stylistics Reader. From Roman Jakobson to the present (1996). These aremainly:• formalist stylistics represented by Roman Jakobson,• functionalist stylistics represented by Michael Halliday,• affective stylistics introduced by Stanley E. Fish and Michael Toolan,• pedagogical stylistics elaborated by H. G. Widowson, Ronald Carter and Paul Simpson. Other currents in contemporary stylistics are different types of contextualizedstylistics, for instance:• pragmatic stylistics represented by recent works of Mick Short, Mary Louise Pratt and Peter Verdonk,• critical stylistics represented mainly by Roger Fowler and David Birch,• feminist stylistics introduced by Deirdre Burton and Sara Mills, and• cognitive stylistics represented by Donald C. Freeman, Dan Sperber, Deirdre Burton and others.We shall discuss some of the most influential approaches later on in this chapter.2.2 The Notion of Language and Literary Style According to J. Mistrík (1985) stylistics can be defined as the study of choiceand the types of use of linguistic, extra-linguistic and aesthetic mean, as well asparticular techniques used in communication. Considering the generally accepteddifferentiation between linguistic and literary stylistics, J. Mistrík suggests that wecarefully distinguish between the language style, belles-lettres and literary style (ibid.,p. 30): The language style is a way of speech and/or a kind of utterance which isformed by means of conscious and intentional selection, systematic patterning andimplementation of linguistic and extra-linguistic means with respect to the topic,situation, function, authors intention and content of an utterance. The Belles-Letters style (artistic, aesthetic, in Slovak umelecký štýl) is one ofthe language styles which fulfils, in addition to its general informative function, aspecific aesthetic function. The Literary Style is the style of literary works implemented in all componentsof a literary work, i.e. on the level of language, ideas, plot, etc. All these componentsare subordinated to aesthetic norms. (Thus Literary style is an extra-linguistic 16
  17. 17. category while the language and belles-letters styles are language categories.) We canrecognise the style of a literary school, group or generation and also an individualstyle of an author (i.e. idiolect). This means that on the one hand we can name the so-called individual styles and on the other the inter-individual (functional) styles. Traditionally recognised functional styles are 1. rhetoric (persuasive function),2. publicistic (informative function – to announce things) and 3. scientific(educational function). Functional styles can be classified as subjective (colloquialand aesthetic) and objective (administrative and scientific). We shall discuss moredetails on particular styles and their classification in Chapter 12 (Mistrík, ibid., p. 31).2.3 Stylistic Analysis and Literary Interpretation In his work on (Slovak) stylistics J. Mistrík draws clear boundaries betweenstylistic analysis and literary interpretation (ibid., p. 31): He defines stylistic or text analysis as a procedure which aims at the linguisticmeans and devices of a given text, the message, topic and content of analysed textsare not the focus. The method of stylistic analysis can be equally applied to the studyof language use in literary as well as non-literary texts. From this point of view literary interpretation is a process which appliesexclusively to literary texts, it aims at understanding and interpreting the topic,content and the message of a literary work, its literary qualities and the so calleddecoding of the authors signals by the recipient.2.4 Definitions of Style The understanding of the term style influences the characteristics given toStylistics as one of several linguistic disciplines. The following are the most commoncharacteristics of style as listed by K. Wales in her respected work A Dictionary ofStylistics (1990): Although the term style is used very frequently in Literary Criticism andespecially Stylistics, it is very difficult to define. There are several broad areas inwhich it is used: (1) At its simplest, style refers to the manner of expression in writing andspeaking, just as there is a manner of doing things, like playing squash or painting.We might talk of someone writing in an ornate style, or speaking in a comic style. Forsome people style has evaluative connotations: style can be good or bad. (2) One obvious implication of (1) is that there are different styles in differentsituations (e.g. comic vs. turgid); also that the same activity can produce stylisticvariation (no two people will have the same style in playing squash or writing anessay). So style can be seen as variation in language use, whether literary or non-literary. The term register is commonly used for those systemic variations in linguisticfeatures common to particular non-literary situations, e.g. advertising, legal language,sports commentary. Style may vary not only from situation to situation but according to medium and 17
  18. 18. degree of formality: what is sometimes termed style-shifting. On a larger scale it mayvary, in literary language, from one genre to another, or from one period to another(e.g. we may talk of the style of Augustan poetry, etc.) Style is thus seen against abackground of larger or smaller domains or contexts. (3) In each case, style is seen as distinctive: in essence, the set or sum oflinguistic features that seem to be characteristic: whether of register, genre or period,etc. Style is very commonly defined in this way, especially at the level of text: e.g. thestyle of Keat’s Ode to a Nightingale, or of Jane Austen’s Emma. Stylistic features are basically features of language, so style is in one sensesynonymous with language (i.e. we can speak equally of the language of Ode toa Nightingale). What is implied, however, is that the language is in some waydistinctive, significant for the design of a theme, for example. When applied to thedomain of an author, style is the set of features peculiar to, or characteristic of anauthor: his or her language habits or idiolect. So we speak of Miltonic style, orJohnsonese. (4) Clearly each author draws upon the general stock of the language in anygiven period; what makes style distinctive is the choice of items, and theirdistribution and patterning. A definition of style in terms of choice is very popular, theselection of features partly determined by the demands of genre, form, theme, etc. Allutterances have a style, even when they might seem relatively plain or unmarked: aplain style is itself a style. (5) Another differential approach to style is to compare one set of features withanother in terms of a deviation from a norm, a common approach in the 1960’s. Itwould be wrong to imply that style itself is deviant in the sense of abnormal, eventhough there are marked poetic idiolects. Rather, we match any text or piece oflanguage against the linguistic norms of its genre, or its period, and the common coreof the language as a whole. Different texts will reveal different patterns of dominantor foregrounded features.2.5 Definitions of Stylistics Stylistics is the study of style. Just as style can be viewed in several ways, sothere are several different stylistic approaches. This variety in stylistics is due to themain influences of Linguistics and Literary Criticism. Stylistics in the twentieth century replaces and expands on the earlier disciplineknown as rhetoric. Following the publication of a two-volume treatise on Frenchstylistics by Ch. Bally (1909), a pupil of the structuralist, F. de Saussure, interest instylistics gradually spread across Europe via the work of L. Spitzer and others. It wasin the 1960s that it really began to flourish in Britain and the United States.Traditional literary critics were suspicious of an objective approach to literary texts. In many respects, stylistics is close to literary criticism and practical criticism.By far the most common kind of material studied is literary, and attention is text-centred. The goal of most stylistic studies is not simply to describe the formalfeatures of texts for their own sake, but to show their functional significance for theinterpretation of the text; or to relate literary effects to linguistic causes where these 18
  19. 19. are felt to be relevant. Intuitions and interpretative skills are just as important instylistics and literary criticism; however, stylisticians want to avoid vague andimpressionistic judgements about the way formal features are manipulated. As aresult, stylistics draws on the models and terminology provided by whichever aspectsof linguistics are felt to be relevant. In the late 1960s generative grammar wasinfluential; in the 1970s and 1980s discourse analysis and pragmatics. Stylistics alsodraws eclectically on trends in literary theory, or parallel developments in this field.So the 1970s saw a shift away from the reader and his or her responses to the text (e.g.affective stylistics, reception theory). Stylistics or general stylistics can be used as a cover term for the analysis ofnon-literary varieties of language, or registers (D. Crystal & D. Davy in InvestigatingEnglish Style, 1969; M. M. Bakhtin in The Dialogic Imagination, 1981 and TheProblem of the Text, 1986). Because of this broad scope stylistics comes close towork done in sociolinguistics. Indeed, there is now a subject sociostylistics whichstudies, for instance, the language of writers considered as social groups (e.g. theElizabethan university wits); or fashions in language. The following table offers a summary of the most common definitions of styleand the most influential approaches in stylistic studies: 19
  20. 20. DEFINITIONS APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF OF STYLE STYLISTICS Style can be seen as In the 19th century Rhetoric was replaced by the manner of expression in Linguistic/emotionally expressive writing and speaking stylistics in the Romance countries (Ch. Bally) from the point of view of ‘language in use’ as a variation, Individualistic, neo-idealistic, psycho- i.e. speakers use different styles analytical approach in Germany (Croce, in different situations, literary v Vossler, Spitzer) non-literary (register - systemic variations in non-literary Formalism in Russia (1920-1923) situations: advertising, legal language, sports commentary, Structuralism in Czechoslovakia (The etc.). Styles may vary also Prague Linguistic Circle, 1926), Denmark according to medium (spoken, (J. Hjelmslev), USA (E. Sapir, L. written) and degree of formality Bloomfield) (termed also style-shifting) The New Criticism in Great Britain the set or sum of linguistic (Cambridge University, Richards, features Empson) and USA (Brooks, Blackmur, Warren). a choice of items Functionalists: deviation from a norm (e.g. Generative Grammar 1960s marked poetic idiolects, common Discourse Analysis 1970s approach in the 1960s) Pragmatics and Social Semiotics1980s British Stylistics and Linguistic Criticism reached its most influential point at the end of the 70s. New directions in British Stylistics and its transition to Social Semiotics (Fowler, R.: Literature as Social Discourse: The Practice of Linguistic Criticism, 1981). General stylistics (non-literary varieties) Sociostylistics (close to sociolinguistics)Table 2. Style and Stylistics. 20
  21. 21. 2.6 Attempts at Refutation of Style Our discussion has shown that the notion of style covers a large semantic field.In the past, the multiple application of the term caused many disputes about its use.As N. E. Enkvist points out (1973), others, mainly scholars with a non-philologicalbackground, emphasised the fact that the notion of style is vague and hard to define.Consequently, the opinions on style expressed in the 20th century can be presentedwithin three groups. While the first and the second group can be seen as opposite, thethird one originated as a reaction to these two. The first group of stylisticians based their classification and analyses of style ona personal and subjective perception of analysed texts. Regardless of how elegantlythey expressed their opinions, they were accused of being very subjective,impressionistic and vague in their style evaluations and their attempts were chargedwith conceptual looseness. The second group of stylisticians tried to remain on the very objective andstrictly scientific bases, making use of mathematics, statistics and other as precise aspossible technical procedures, when studying the qualities of texts and formulatingdefinitions of style. These authors provided rigorous definitions and statementssupported with exact facts, figures and statistics. They were charged with tortuospedantry and of using inadequate “rough” methods for the treatment of the “gentle”material of (literary) texts. This strong criticism is expressed metaphorically asbreaking butterflies on the wheel. The third group is made up of a few scholars from different fields of study whodeny the existence of style completely. The opinions and theories presented bygeologists, chemists and other non-philological scholars on style (in language andliterature) are quite extraordinary. However, some ideas have been found useful andworth considering. The approach of Benison Gray is a good and typical example. The central question asked by Bennison Gray (1969) is Does style exist at all?and his answer is a vigorous negative. Gray says that style is something like the emperor’s clothes, everyone says it isthere but no one can actually see it. He tries to map all possible areas of the use of theterm style and refutes one approach after another. It has to be said at the verybeginning that we do not agree fully with his arguments but still, quite a fewinteresting points were highlighted and thus it is worth discussing his approach here.Gray says that, for example, psychologists talk about style as behaviour. They studyhuman character, personality, or individuality and thus they should say so and notidentify style with character or personality. Similarly, rhetoricians identify style withthe speaker: a mans language has a physiognomic relation to the man himself, but thisis just an assumption which has to be proved, says Gray. Philologists view style as‘latent’ but they actually study subject matter. Literary critics were also criticised byGray, they view style as ‘individual’ but individuality is a matter of language, subjectmatter, content, theme and referent, etc. Other scholars consider style as an ‘implicitspeaker’. However, comparing a text with an imaginary norm does not involve anyreference to the authors intentions. Finally linguists define style as a ‘choice’ but inGray’s opinion, ‘choice’ is not a workable concept, we can never know what‘choices’ were available to a particular author at the time of the creation of a text. 21
  22. 22. Gray’s scepticism is bent on reducing terms and concepts to a minimum. Wecan agree with him that it is necessary to define precisely what we mean by style, andstill insist that the term is a convenient abbreviation (as ‘yellow’ is for ‘the mostluminous primary colour occurring in the spectrum between green and orange’).A solution is offered by the philosophy of science which differentiates betweensubstantive and notational terms (Enkvist, ibid., pp. 14-16):2.7 Style as a Notational Term The definition of style seen as a notational term can be based on a number ofprinciples. The first one is the complexity of the relationships between thespeaker/writer and the text (the personality and environment of the people who havegenerated the text). The second one is represented by the relationship between the textand the listener/reader (recipient’s responses), and the third one is the attempt toobjectify the approach and to eliminate references to the communicants at either endof the communication process (i.e. description of the text, not appeals topersonalities). Another dimension will offer three fundamentally different views. In this way,we can define style as a departure from a set of patterns which have been labelled asa norm. In this case stylistic analysis becomes a comparison between features in thetext whose style we analyse and the text that we consider as a norm. Secondly, thestyle can be seen as an addition of certain stylistic traits to a neutral, stylelessexpression, here the stylistic analysis becomes a stripping process. The third view seesstyle as connotation, whereby each linguistic feature acquires its stylistic value fromthe textual and situational environment. Stylistic analysis then becomes a study of therelationship between specific linguistic units and their environment. As we willexperience later, when working with texts, all these approaches should be seen ascomplementary rather than as contradictory or mutually exclusive.2.8 Style as a Linguistic Variation N. E. Enkvist (ibid., pp. 16-17) describes linguistics as a branch of learningwhich builds models of texts and languages on the basis of theories of language.Consequently, he says, linguistic stylistics tries to set up inventories and descriptionsof stylistic stimuli with the aid of linguistic concepts. By this definition linguistsshould be interested in all kinds of linguistic variation and style is only one of manytypes. The table below is based on the relevant passage from the above quotedEnkvist´s book on Linguistic Stylistics and presents the classification of linguisticvariations according their correlation towards context, situation and others: 22
  23. 23. • correlates with context and situation STYLE • is an individual variation within each register TEMPORAL • correlates with a given period REGIONAL • correlates with areas on a map • correlates with the social class of its users SOCIAL DIALECT • also called sociolect IDIOLECT • indicates the language of one individual • correlates with situations • different subtypes of language that people use in REGISTER different social roles (e.g. doctor’s register is different from the teacher’s, etc.)Table 3. Types of Linguistic Variation. 23
  24. 24. Chapter 3:STYLISTICS AND OTHER FIELDS OF STUDY3.1 Stylistics and Other Linguistic Disciplines Stylistics often intersects with other areas of linguistics, namely historicallinguistics, dialectology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and many others. All ofthem are different branches of language study and should be regarded as differenttools from the same set and not as rivals. To illustrate the situation, an examplediscussed by N. E. Enkvist (ibid., p. 19) can be presented here: The expression thou lovest taken from the language of W. Shakespeareillustrates how different fields of study use different classifications of the samelanguage phenomenon. In our case, the expression thou lovest will be classified byhistorians as an older form of you love and by the students of contemporary styles as afeature of a Biblical or archaic style. Another example also points at different point of view in classification. Theexpression you ain’t can be regarded as a characteristic of a social class and thusqualified as a class marker. It also correlates with a certain range of situations and soit can be a style marker. In a complex study of linguistic variation, both observationsmay be relevant.3.2 Stylistics and Literary Study As we have already pointed out, the study of Stylistics is (more or less) relatedto the field of study of Linguistics and/or Literary Study. According to this, stylisticscan be seen as a subdepartment of linguistics when dealing with the peculiarities ofliterary texts. Secondly, it can be a subdepartment of literary study when it draws onlyoccasionally on linguistic methods, and thirdly, it can be regarded as an autonomousdiscipline when it draws freely, and eclectically, on methods from both linguistics andliterary study (ibid., p. 27). Each of these three approaches has its own virtues. Wealways need to consider the task we are to complete, and consequently decide aboutthe relevant approach. In a particular situation one approach may be better thananother. However, we should keep in mind that to study styles as types of linguisticvariations and to describe the style of one particular text for a literary purpose are twodifferent activities. 24
  25. 25. 3.3 Linguistic versus Literary Context In his Linguistic Stylistics N. E. Enkvist (1973) refers to certain theoreticaldiscussions which voiced some dogmatic attitudes about the relationship betweenlinguistics, stylistics and literary study. Many of them have even acquired politicalovertones. In practice, such problems tend to solve themselves pragmatically, as longas each investigator allows himself the freedom of choosing and shaping his methodsto achieve his own particular goals (ibid., p. 33). In some studies, stylistics may be anauxiliary brought in to narrative structure, in others, categories of narrative structureprovide contexts for stylistic analysis. To illustrate the situation, Enkvist uses the following sample sentence fromIbsen’s play The Doll’s House: Nora says: “I leave the keys here.” This sentence can be linguistically characterised as an everyday middle-classconversation, an expression which seems, against one contextual background, trivialand highly predictable. From the point of view of a literary context (that is thedramatic structure of the play) we have to see the sentence as an expression of Nora’sdetermination to break with her past, that is, the sentence is seen in the light ofanother contextual background. How far we wish to go in our discussion of an utterance such as this willdepend on our purpose: if we study Ibsen’s Norwegian style, we may dismiss Nora’ssentence as a trivial example of everyday dialogue, if, on the contrary, we study theway in which Ibsen built up to a dramatic climax, we should carefully note the tensionbetween a major narrative kernel and its undramatic expression. Narrative elementsand their linguistic expressions is an apparatus developed mainly by Propp, Barthesand Todorov (ibid., p. 34).3.4 Linguistic Theories and the Study of Style The most influential linguistic theories of the 20th century, introduced byFerdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky, have also influenced the discussion ofthe study of style. The aim of this subchapter is to review the main characteristics ofthe two dichotomies and to see what the role of study of style within these theorieswas. 25
  26. 26. Ferdinand de Saussure Noam Chomsky(Course in General Linguistics, 1916) (Syntactic Structures, 1957) LANGUAGE LANGUAGE LANGUE PAROLE COMPETENCE PERFORMANCEany particular • the ability tolanguage that is the language behaviour engage in this • kind of behaviourcommon possession of individual particular kind of the speakerof all members of a members of the behaviour habitually orgiven language language community occasionallycommunity • the typical engages in language behaviour speaker’slanguage as a system which is actualised knowledge of the on particular occasion language system• social phenomenon • actual • one’s linguistic• purely abstract • individual competence is• social or one’s knowledge of institutional a particular character language• In the study of language linguistics is • does not closer to presuppose sociology and performance social psychology • a linguist than to cognitive describes the psychology competence of • does presuppose language competence• a linguist is speakers interested in the structures of language systemsTable 4. Linguistic dichotomy of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky. 26
  27. 27. 3.4.1 Where Would Style Go within the Two Presented Theories? One of the major goals of linguistic stylistics is to define or devise linguisticmethods for the identification and adequate description of stylistic stimuli. The desireto define the place of the study of style within the given linguistic theories seems to becrucial to our further discussion. Accounting for the main aspects of the presentedlinguistic dichotomies, several possibilities on how to incorporate the study of styleinto the linguistic dichotomy of Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky can beconsidered. One way is to identify the study of style with the linguistic concept of parole.This approach seems to work well in the analysis of single texts by one individual,however, some methodological difficulties can be pointed out. If langue is onlyobservable as an abstraction from parole, and if styles are only observable as resultsof comparison between one sample of parole and another, how can these two samplesbe compared without references to langue? In other words, we believe, that eachsample reflects the same langue and this fact makes them comparable and measurable(see Enkvist, ibid., p. 37). Another reaction towards the distinction between langue and parole, one whichsuggests to find a stylistic subsection under each of these two concepts, seems toaccommodate the aims of our study of style better. Describing parole as non-collective, individual, and momentaneous actually excludes the study of some otherlanguage variants, namely of non-individual, collective, group styles. Group stylesreflect the wider norms of language communities, and, as such, should be classifiedand studied under langue. From this point of view, the suggestion to provide stylisticsubsections under langue and parole seems to be an acceptable one. This approach is reflected in the division of styles into two categories: groupstyles belonging to langue, and individual styles belonging to parole. The Czechlinguist, Lubomir Doležel, emphasised the distinction between the style of a singleutterance (close to parole), and the style of a category or type of utterance. As L.Doležel implies, it is possible that an individual can order certain features in a singleutterance. But to study this aspect of utterances a special theory of discourse is neededwhich is not the same as stylistics. A similar theory of divorcing individual stylesfrom group styles was introduced by another Czech scholar, Josef Vachek, who drawsdistinction between special languages and functional styles (ibid., pp. 38-39). Another possibility is to declare that Saussure‘s dichotomy requires an overallmodification to be applicable in stylistic study. In fact, several attempts to providesupplements to Saussure’s dichotomy can be recorded. An interesting contributionwas made by the Prague linguists who have also developed a three-level approach.They claim that between the concrete speech event and the abstract sentence patternthere intervenes an utterance level which includes features such as functional sentenceperspective, studied mainly by Daneš (ibid., p. 40). Finally, opinions suggesting that the dichotomy langue vs. parole is not suitedfor the study of style were recorded as well. As for the dichotomy of N. Chomsky, the notion of style can only be traced inthis theory with difficulties. In fact, there is no special interest paid to the study ofstyle. However, some suggestions were made to supplement Chomsky’s dichotomy. 27
  28. 28. The following table offers a summary of the opinions described above: Linguistic Dichotomy Linguistic Dichotomy of of Ferdinand de Saussure Noam Chomsky• To create a stylistic subsection • The notion of competence should include under langue and parole. an apparatus describing stylistic• To equate stylistics with parole. variations.• To add stylolinguistic use.• To ignore this theory. • Style should be considered within grammar, but not within the basicThe most acceptable solution is a grammar, where the study of style iscombination of the first and third considered less fundamental.way.Table 5. The Study of Style within the Theories of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky. 28

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