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Lectures on Stylistics

Stylistics: It’s Concerns

外国语学院

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 0 Stylistics: Illustrations
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Lectures on Stylistics

Part 1 Stylistics: Definitions
? 1) 文体学是一门研究文体的学问。……文体学的任 务不在列举若干文体的名目,而在观察和描述若干主 要文体的语言特点,亦即它们各自的语音、句法、词 汇与篇章的特点,其目的在于使学者能够更好地了解 它们所表达的内容和在恰当的场合分别使用它们。 (王佐良 丁往道, 1987: i)

Lectures on Stylistics

? 2) Stylistics: 风格学/语体学 语言学的一个分支, 研究 语言在情景中不同用法(语言变体)的特征,并试图确立 一些原则来说明个人和社会群体使用语言的特定选择。 ? General stylistics (一般风格学): 研究一种语言内遇见 的各种非方言变体的总和(或总存)。Literary stylistics (文学风格学): 研究作为一种语体的文学作品和作家 个人“风格”特有的各种变化。Applied stylistics (应 用风格学): 研究语言在语境中的不同变体, 特别是考 察文学和非文学篇章的风格。Stylostatistics / stylometry (风格统计学/风格度量学): 风格型式的量化 研究。Phonostylistics (语音风格学): 研究语音的表达 或美学功能。
? (David Crystal. Shen Jiaxuan. Trans. A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. Pp 341-342.)

Lectures on Stylistics

3) “Stylistics is a branch of linguistics which applies the theory and methodology of modern linguistics to the study of Style. It studies the use of language in specific contexts and attempts to account for the characteristics that mark the language use of individuals and social groups. Although stylistics sometimes includes investigation of spoken language, it is usually concerned with the examination of written language, particularly literary texts. The stylistic analysis of a text involves the description of a writer?s / speaker?s verbal choices which can be abstracted as style. A stylistician would usually proceed to discuss the relevance of the analysis to interpretation, the possible meaning or effect evoked by the adoption of a certain style.” (Qian Yuan, 2006: 1)

Lectures on Stylistics

? 4) “Simply defined, Stylistics is a discipline that studies the ways in which language is used: it is a discipline that studies the styles of language in use.” ? “The stylistics we are discussing here is Modern Stylistics, a discipline that applies concepts and techniques of modern linguistics to the study of styles of language use.” (Xu Youzhi, 2005: 2)

Lectures on Stylistics

Xu Youzhi (2005: 2):
Modern Stylistics

General Stylistics

Literary Stylistics

Variety Features

Genre Features

LiteraryText Style

Figure 1: Subdivisions of Modern Stylistics and their scopes

Lectures on Stylistics

? General stylistics concentrates solely on the general features of various types of language use. It studies the stylistic features of the main varieties of language, covering the functional varieties from the dimension of fields of discourse (different social activities), formal vs informal varieties from the dimension of tenors of discourse (different addresser-addressee relationships), and the spoken vs written varieties from the dimension of modes of discourse (different mediums).

Lectures on Stylistics

? Meanwhile, general stylistics covers the various genres of literature (fiction, drama, poetry) in its study. But it focuses on the interpretation of the overall characteristics of respective genres, with selected extracts of literary texts as samples. Literary stylistics: concentrates solely on unique and overall linguistic features of the various genres of literature. ? The scope of general stylistics and the scope of literary stylistics are only partly overlapping, as is shown in Figure 1.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 2: Views on Language
1) Different views on language: *a system of signs (Modern linguistics: F. de Saussure? lectures: 1906-11) *a unified structure, a collection of habits (American structuralism: Bloomfield) *a system of innate rules (the transformationalgenerative (TG) linguists: Noam Chomsky, from the late 1950s on) *a social semiotic, an instrument used to perform various functions in social interaction, essentially a social activity (the systemic-functional linguists: M. A. K. Halliday) (For more: David Crystal. 2002: 197. Shen Jiaxuan. Trans.)

Lectures on Stylistics

2) Language as a social activity.
“Language is also a social phenomenon, or institution, whereby people communicate and interact with each other. A language of a particular society is part of the society?s culture. Language activities operate within social activities. The language of a participant in a social activity reflects his social characteristics (such as his status, ethnic group, age and sex). It also reflects his awareness of the various factors of a social situation in which he finds himself. He should adjust his language in accordance with the medium of communication (speech

Lectures on Stylistics

or writing), the setting (private or public), the relationship with the addressee (in terms of the degree of intimacy or social distance), the subject matter (technical or nontechnical), and the purpose (to inform, to persuade, etc.)”.

? “Appropriate use of language is considered the key to effective communication. There is the convention that a certain type of language is appropriate to a certain use. The style appropriate to public speaking is inappropriate to legal documents; the style used in advertisements is illsuited to a scholarly article.

Lectures on Stylistics

? The totality of language varieties used by a speech community in all social situations constitutes the verbal repertoire of that community. English can be call the verbal repertoire of the community of English speakers. In this sense, it subsumes a wide range of varieties, used in all kinds of situations, in many parts of the world, serving various communicative needs.”
? (Qian Yuan, 2006:2)

Lectures on Stylistics

3) the philosophical view of language
“The philosophical view of Language or A language is related to the actual occurrence of language in society – what are called language activities. People accomplish a great deal not only through physical acts such as cooking, eating, bicycling, running a machine, cleaning, but also by verbal acts of all types: conversation, telephone calls, job application letters, notes scribbled to roommate, etc. All utterances (whether a word, a sentence, or several sentences) can be thought of as goal-directed actions. (Austin, 1962;
Searle, 1969)

Lectures on Stylistics

Such actions as carried out through language are Speech Acts. Social activities in which language (either spoken or written) plays an important role such as conversation, discussion, lecture, etc., are Speech Events.”
? “Most of these events are sequential and transitory (that is, they occur in sequence and can not last for a long time). It is difficult to examine them at the time of their occurrence. So we have to record the events. Any such record, whether recalled through memory, or committed to a tape, or written down on paper, or printed in a book, of a speech event, is known as a Text.”

Lectures on Stylistics

? 4) Language as a code ? “Language is often compared to a Code, a system of signals or symbols used for sending a Message, a piece of information. In any act of verbal communication (both spoken and written, primarily spoken), language has been regarded as a system for translating meanings in the Addresser?s (the speaker?s / writer?s) mind into sounds / letters, i.e., Encoding (meaning-to-sound/letter), or conversely, for translating sounds/letters into meanings in the Addressee?s (the hear?s / reader?s mind, ie Decoding ? (sound / letter-to-meaning), with lexis and grammar as the formal code mediating between meaning and sound / letter.”

Lectures on Stylistics

? “But we must keep in mind that, unlike other signaling codes, language code does not operate in a fixed way – it is open-ended in that it permits generation of new meanings and new forms (such as metaphorical meanings, and neologisms); ie it is in a way creatively extendible.” ? “Text, then, is verbal communication (either spoken or written) seen as a message coded in a linear pattern of sound waves, or in a linear sequence of visible marks on paper.” (Xu Youzhi, 2005: 4)

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 3: Text
“A text is any passage, spoken or written, of whatever length, that forms a unified whole. It may be the product of a single speaker/writer (e.g. a sign, a letter, a news report, a statute, a novel), or that of several speakers (e.g. a piece of conversation, a debate).” (Qian Yuan, 2006: 11) ? A text is realized by a sequence of language units, whether they are sentences or not. The connection among parts of a text is achieved by various cohesive devices, and by semantic and pragmatic implication.”

Lectures on Stylistics

Practice 1. Construct a text from the following disconnected sentences. a. Two boys stood near a jeweler?s shop. b. Two boys saw a man break a window of a jeweler?s shop and steal all the watches. c. Two boys took a man with several watches in his hand for a thief. d. Two boys ran after a man with several watches in his hand.

Lectures on Stylistics

? To connect the sentences into a text, we need to make several modifications so that the sentences become cohesive with one another: Two boys stood near a jeweler?s shop. They saw a man break the shop window and steal all the watches. They ran after him, because they took him for a thief.

Lectures on Stylistics

*In the text you may notice the following modifications, which serve as grammatical cohesive devices: a. the use of the definite article on second mention, e.g. a shop →the shop, a man → the man; b. the substitution of pronouns for nouns, e.g. two boys → they c. the use of conjunction, e.g. They ran after him, because … * The lexical cohesion in the text is realized by the collocation of the words that are in some way or other typically associated with one another, e.g. steal with thief; jeweler?s shop with watches.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Practice 2. Examine the following conversation, find out whether linguistic units in it are overtly cohesive or not. A: See who that is. B: I?m in pyjamas. A: OK.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Linguistic units in the conversation are not overtly cohesive. In this text, the relevance of B?s remark to A?s first remark is conveyed by pragmatic implication. “I?m in pyjamas” implies an excuse for not complying with A?s command (= “No, I can?t, because I?m in pyjamas.”) A?s second remark implies that he accepts B?s excuse and undertakes to do himself what he originally asked B to do (= OK. I?ll go myself and see.” Texts are therefore recognized as appropriately coherent in actual use. A full understanding of a text is often impossible without reference to the context in which it occurs.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 4: Aspects of the Speech Event
? “Language is transmitted, patterned, and embedded in the human social experience. So it is both possible and useful to discern three crucial aspects of a speech event: the substantial, the formal, and the situational.” ? (Gregory & Carroll, 1978) “Language is transmitted by means of audible sound waves in the air or visible marks on a surface. These sounds or marks are the Substance of the speech events. The audible sounds or visible marks are not jumbled together – rather, they are arranged in a conventionally orderly way, displaying meaningful patterns in their internal relations. These meaningful internal patterns are the Form of the speech event.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Language activities does not occur in isolation from other human activities. They take place in relevant extra-textual circumstances, linguistic and non-linguistic. These relevant extratextual circumstances are the Situation of the speech event. Any speech event is part of a situation, and so has a relationship with that situation. Indeed, it is this contextual relationship between the substance and form of speech event on the one hand and the situation in which it occurs on the other, which gives what is normally called “meaning” to utterances. In other words, context determines meaning of features in situations.” (Xu
Youzhi, 2005: 4-5)

Lectures on Stylistics

“?Context? has been understood in various ways. It may be linguistic or extra-linguistic. Linguistic context is alternatively termed as Co-text, which refers to the linguistic units preceding and/or following a particular linguistic unit in a text. Extra-linguistic context (interchangeable with Context of Situation) refers to the relevant features of the situation in which a text has meaning. Taking on a broader sense, the term Context may include not only the co-text, but also the extralinguistic context of a text.” (Qian Yuan, 2006: 14)

Lectures on Stylistics

? Contextual factors that are socially, regionally or situationally relevant to the production and interpretation of texts fall into the two following categories: 1) Characteristics of the User of language: a. Age; b. Sex; c. Socio-regional or ethnic background; d. Education 2) Characteristics of the Use of language in situation: a. Medium of communication – speech or writing; b. Setting – private or public; c. Role-relationship between addresser and addressee – the degree of intimacy; the degree of social distance; d. Purpose for which language is used, e.g. to inform, to command, to express feelings, to establish social relations, etc.; e. Subject matter (of limited stylistic significance.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Linguists have emphasized the role of contexts of situation as determinants of style. There is an observable match (Correlation) between linguistic features and contextual factors. Let us compare some examples conveying more or less the same idea of asking somebody to close a door. (Practice 3)

Lectures on Stylistics

? Practice 3 Compare the following expressions. a. I?m sorry to trouble you, but could I ask you to close the door for me, please. b. Would you mind closing the door (please)? c. I could do without the draught from that door. d. Shut the door, won?t you. e. Shut the door, will you! f. Door! g. Were you born (AmE: raised) in a barn? h. I know a little boy who never leaves the door open.

Lectures on Stylistics

? These sentences differ from each other in linguistic form: (d) and (e) differ in the choice of a question tag and in intonation pattern; (b), (c) and (f) in syntactic structure; (a), (c) and (g) in the choice of words or expressions.
a. I’m sorry to trouble you, but could I ask you to close the door for me, please. b. Would you mind closing the door (please)? c. I could do without the draught from that door. d. Shut the door, won’t you. e. Shut the door, will you! f. Door! g. Were you born (AmE: raised) in a barn? h. I know a little boy who never leaves the door open.

Lectures on Stylistics

Table 1. Context of situation and speaker’s possible choice Context of situation i. Setting public private ii. Speaker-hearer relationship distant intimate iii. Speaker’s intention to request to hint to persuade to command to rebuke Speaker’s possible choice (a) – (f) (d) – (h)

(a) – (d) (e) – (h)
(a), (b), (d) (c) (h) (e), (f) (g)

Lectures on Stylistics

? Practice 4. Analyze the following conversation (Jenny comes to Alan?s house. She is conducting a survey for the government.) Alan: Won?t you come in, Miss-er-. Jenny: Cartwright, Jenny Cartwright. Alan: I?m Alan Marlow. (Alan shows Jenny into the living room.) Alan: Oh won?t you make yourself comfortable, Jenny? (After some minutes of talk, which is omitted here) Jenny: Mr. Marlow … Alan: Call me Alan. (The Marlows, Episode 11)

Lectures on Stylistics

The context shows clearly that Alan and Jenny are total strangers. The conven-tional address form between strangers is Title + Sur-name (Mr./Miss So-and-so). But Alan addresses the girl by her first name and later asks her to do the same. His adoption of first-naming is an example of the manipulation of language. It is a move towards a friendlier relationship, indicating that Alan does not want their encounter to be formal and distant, as it is customary between strangers. In contrast, Jenny chooses to remain formal and distant by addressing Alan as “Mr. Marlow”. (Qian Yuan, 2006: 17)

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 5: Language varieties and function
? Variety [语言]变体 社会语言学和风格学用来指任何 一个语言表达系统,其用法受情景变项的支配。有的 语言变体,情景的区别性很容易说明,如许多地域变 体和职业变体(例如伦敦英语,宗教英语);而有的 情景,如社会等级的研究,语言变体很难确定,因为 涉及多个变项的交叉(例如性别、年龄、职业等)。 已经提出的语言变体的分类法有多种,涉及方言、语 域、媒体、语场这样一些术语。有些社会语言学家对 “语言变体”的定义较狭窄,只指一类情景独特的语 言,即一种方言内部的一类特殊化的语言,例如用于 职业目的的语言.
? (David Crystal. Shen Jiaxuan. Trans. A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. Pp 378.)

Lectures on Stylistics

? “不同环境和场合产生的(语言)变体就叫做文体或 语体。……影响文体变化的因素多种多样,主要可以 归为三个方面。第一方面是讲话内容(field of discourse),第二是讲话方式(mode of discourse), 第三 是讲话人和听话人的地位关系(tenor of discourse)。
(王佐良 丁往道, 1987: 189-190)

Lectures on Stylistics

As mentioned above, when language is used, it is always used in a context. What is said and how it is said is often subject to a variety of circumstances. In other words, speech events differ in different situations, i.e. between different persons, at different times, in different places, for different purposes, through different media, and amidst different social environments. We often adjust our language according to the nature of the context of situation. Some situations seen to depend generally and fairly consistently on a regular set of linguistic features; as a result, there have appeared different types of a language which are called “Varieties of language”. So far as the English language is concerned, there are different ?Englishes? to fit different situations: Old/Modern English, British / American English, Black English, legal English, scientific English, advertising English, formal/informal English, spoken/written English, etc. (Xu Youzhi, 2005: 5-6)

Lectures on Stylistics

In all these varieties, language performs various communicative roles, i.e. Functions. For example, language is used (functions) to communicate ideas, to express attitudes, and so on. The roles that language plays are ever changing and the number of the roles can be numerous. There have been many attempts to categorize these roles into a few major functions. The Ideational / Referential function serves for expressing the speaker?s/writer?s experience of the real world, including the inner world of his/her own consciousness. The Interpersonal, or Expressive/Social function serves to establish and maintain social relations, for the expression of social roles, and also for getting things done by means of interaction between one person and another. The Textual function provides means for making links within the text itself and with features of its immediate situation.

Lectures on Stylistics

? The three functions represent three coexisting ways in which language has to be adapted to its users? communicative needs. First, it has to convey a message about ?reality?, about the world of experience, from speaker / writer to hearer / reader. Secondly, it must fit appropriate-ly into a speech situation, fulfilling the particular social designs that speaker/writer has upon hearer/reader. Third-ly, it must be well constructed as an utterance or text, so as to serve the decoding needs of hearer/reader. ? These functions and the needs they serve are interrelated: success in interpersonal or expressive/social communication depends in part on success in transmitting a message, which in turn depends in part on success in terms of text production.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Different types of language have relations with predominat functions, e.g. advertising with persuasion, TV commentary with information, address terms with social roles. Literary texts can be regarded as a type of language which performs a distinct social function – an aesthetic or poetic function. ? The functions are not mutually exclusive: an utterance may well have more than one function.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 6: Style
? 1) The word Style has used in many ways. ? Style may refer to a person?s distinctive language habits, or the set of individual characteristics of language use, as ?Shakespeare?s style?, ?Miltonic style?, ?Johnsonese?, or ?the style of James Joyce?. Often, it concentrates on a person?s particularly singular or original features of speaking or writing. Hence at the extreme end style may refer to a writer?s deviations from a relatively normal use of language.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Style may refer to a set of collective characteristics of language use, i.e. language habits shared by a group of people at a given time, as ?Elizabethan style?, in a given place, as ?Yankee humor?, amidst a given occasion, as ?the style of public speaking?, for a literary genre, as ?ballad style?, etc. Here the concentration is not on the individuality of the speaker or writer, but on their similarities in a given situation.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Style may refer to the effectiveness of a mode of expression, which is implied in the definition of style as ?saying the right thing in the most effective way? or ?good manners?, as a ?clear? or ?refined? style advocated in most books of composition. ? Style may refer solely to a characteristic of ?good? or ?beautiful? literary writings. This is the wide-spread use of style among literary critics, as ?grand style?, ?ornate style?, ?lucid style?, ?plain style?, etc. given to literary works.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Of the above four senses of style, the first two (esp. the second) come nearest to our definition of style. To be exact, we shall regard Style as the language habits of a person or group of persons in a given situation. As different situations tend to yield different varieties of a language which, in turn, display different linguistic features, so Style may be seen as the various characteristic uses of language that a person or group of persons make in various social contexts. ? All linguistic choices are meaningful, and all linguistic choices are stylistic. Even choices which are clearly dictated by subject matter are part of style. In our discussion, however, stylistic choice is limited to those aspects of linguistic choice which concern alternative

Lectures on Stylistics

ways of rendering the same subject matter, or those forms of language which can be seen as equivalent in terms of ?referential reality? they describe, or, in other words, the ?synonymous expressions? in transmitting the same ?message?. *We are interested in the way in which choices of codes are adapted to communicative functions for advertising, news reporting, science thesis, etc., including the aesthetic function for literature. Hence the occurrence of different functional styles and of the various styles of literature.

Lectures on Stylistics

? When we look at style in a text, we are not likely to be struck by local or individual choices in isolation, but rather at a pattern of choices. If, for instance, a text shows a repeated preference for passive structures over active structures, we are likely to consider this preference a feature of style. But local or specific features may also be noteworthy features of style if they form a significant relationship with other features in a coherent (consistent) pattern of choice. Consistency in preference is naturally reduced to ?frequency?: to find out what is distinctive about the style of a text, we just measure the frequency of the features it contains. The more we wish to substantiate what we say about style, the more we will need to point

Lectures on Stylistics

to the linguistic evidence of texts; and linguistic evidence has to be couched in terms of numerical frequency. ? Yet it is worth our note that a feature which occurs more rarely than usual is just as much a part of the statistical pattern as one which occurs more often than usual; and it is also a significant aspect of our sense of style.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 7: The study of style
? Some scholars call the object of stylistics simply style, without further qualifications. Indeed, the study of style in western countries has been undertaken for more than two thousand years. The doctrine of ?decorum? or fittingness of style has passed from the rhetoricians of Ancient Greece and Rome, who applied it first to oratory and then to written language. Up till the late 19th century, style studies had always been closely integrated with the art of writing and the evaluation of literary works. In fact, traditional approaches to language laid such heavy store by the quality of written language that ?good style? or sometimes simply ?style? was used as a description of

Lectures on Stylistics

? writing that was praiseworthy, skilful or elegant. At the turn of the century, Ferdinand de Saussure, in his Geneva lectures of 1906-11, Cours de linguistique generale (1916), attacked the 19th century philologists for their ?diachronic? or historical study of language (i.e. looking at language as it changes through time), and for their interest in prescribing normal or ?correct? usage modeled on ?classic? literary writings. His influence was so strong that, after him, the professional study of language soon veered away from the historical concern of philology towards linguistics, which claimed to be heavily descriptive and to describe a given language ?synchronically? (i.e. synchronic study: looking at language as it exists at a given time). Saussure, with his insistence on the primacy of everyday speech, was little

Lectures on Stylistics

interested in the written language and even less in the literary. ? He viewed literary language as special uses of language which were comparatively unimportant in the study of language as a whole. His pupil, Charles Bally, who began the systematic study of what we now call ?stylistics?, again gave scant attention to literature. American linguist Leonard Bloomfield held much the similar view. This is only too natural, for, at the turn of the century, new linguistics was yet fighting for its autonomy and needed to emphasize its difference from traditional language studies. It was not until the fifties that there appeared a sway from this position. ? Noam Chomsky?s Syntactic Structures (1957) revived interest in what had once looked a discredited concern with ?correctness? in speech and with an inherited system

Lectures on Stylistics

? of rules. Chomsky believes that the human mind must be constituted at birth to receive certain patterns of language; otherwise it would be very hard to explain how infants learn their mother tongue so quickly and with little effort. So it may not have been absurd of the European Renaissance to have interested itself in the prospect of a universal grammar underlying all human languages. Chomsky destroyed the dominance of structuralism and encouraged a new tolerance of historical grammar. And in doing this he initiated a new interest in literature among professional linguists and the prospect of cooperation between criticism and the professional study of language.

Lectures on Stylistics

? By the 1950s most of the early anxieties on the part of linguists had become unnecessary. The tools of linguistics could be used in related disciplines without the danger of reducing linguistics itself to a mere technology or a service station. On the contrary, by the time they came back to literary language, linguists had been armed to the teeth – with fresh insights and new theories as well as a formidable technical vocabulary. This time they would study style in a much more detailed and systematic way. They would not study literature to the exclusion of other varieties of language. Rather they would approach literature as a complex of varieties of language in use and point to the aesthetic function of literary language.

Lectures on Stylistics

? The 1960s saw the flourishing of modern stylistics: Two landmark volumes of papers presented respectively to the Indiana Style Conference in 1958 (Style in Language, MIT Press) and to the Bellagio Style Conference in 1969 (Literary Style: a Symposium, OUP) came into being. Monographs such as Linguistics and Style (Enkvist et al, 1964) and Investigating English Style (Crystal and Davy, 1969), A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry (Leech, 1969) appeared. New courses on style were offered in colleges and universities. Textbooks concerning spoken varieties of English (some with accompanying records or tapes) such as Varieties of Spoken English (Dickinson & Mackin, 1969), Scientifically Speaking (Brookes, 1971) were published. Grammars, as A Grammar of Contemporary English (Quirk et al, 1972) widened their scope to

Lectures on Stylistics

include in their study ?sentence connection?, ?focus?, ?theme?, ?emphasis?, and ?varieties of English and classes of English?. Dictionaries began to give labels (e.g. fml, colloquial, slang, etc. ) to words and phrases of stylistic coloring. ? From the 1960s onward, application of various linguistic models such as transformational-generative linguistics, systemic-functional linguistics, speech-act theory, discourse analysis, etc., in stylistic analysis has been gaining momentum in the past decades of years.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 8: The Concern of Stylistic Study
? Having discussed what language is and the sense of style, we are now in a position to come to a more refined definition of stylistics: It is a discipline that studies the sum of stylistic features characteristic of the different varieties of language. ? Stylistic study concerns itself with the situational features that influence variations in language use, the criterion for the classification of language variety, and the description and interpretation of the linguistic features and functions of the main varieties (both literary and non-literary) of a language – here, of the Modern English language.

Lectures on Stylistics

? As an independent discipline, stylistics offers a comparatively more complete theoretical framework and a more rigorous procedure of linguistic description, so that learners will have a systematic knowledge of the features of different varieties of language, make appropriate use of language in their communication, familiarize themselves with the stylistic features of the different genres of literature, and deepen their understanding and appreciation of literary works. Besides, stylistics offers useful ideas on translation and language teaching.

Lectures on Stylistics

Part 9: Stylistics and Other Spheres of Study
? A formerly very much borderline discipline, stylistics takes roots in the soil of modern linguistics, using models and methods of linguistic description in the stylistic analysis of texts. Stylistics also absorbs nourishment from literary theories, and so is closely related to them. ? Similar to modern linguistics, stylistics lays stress on the study of language functions and the different structures dictated by these functions. But linguistics stresses the description of linguistic structures while stylistics on the stylistic effects of different language structures.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Stylistics is the continuation and development of rhetoric. However, discarding the traditional practices of rhetoric to establish norms for people to model on, stylistics turns to the presentation of the functional features of language, -- it is descriptive, not prescriptive. It does not aim at a so-called ?refined? style of writing, but at a manner ?appropriate? to the situation.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Stylistics supplies literary criticism with a brand-new approach. Since the beginning of the 20th century the linguistic turn in literary criticism has enabled the scientific school of literary theorists such as Russian formalism, New Criticism, Structuralism, etc., to place language in the central position of their theories. With a whole set of meta-language renewed by modern linguistics and modern literary theory – deviation, prominence, function, situational factors, narrative points of view, modes of presenting speech, etc, and with the multi-level structural approach, stylistics has pushed the linguistic turn to its extreme. Making literary research still more scientific and more accurate, it broadens the vision of literary criticism.

Lectures on Stylistics

? *The Need for Stylistic Study ? 1) Style is an integral part of meaning. As EFL learners, we often fail to notice those stylistic subtleties which contribute significantly to meaning. Stylistics – the study of style – may help us develop a consistent method of language analysis and solve problems of interpretation by bringing into focus the stylistically significant features that we might otherwise overlook.

Lectures on Stylistics

? ? ? ?

Practice 5. Analyze the following text. Policeman: What?s your name, boy? Black psychiatrist: Dr. Poussiant. I?m a physician. Policeman: What?s your first name, boy?

? Black psychiatrist: Alvin.

Lectures on Stylistics

? The word ?boy? may be used to address a male inferior. In above conversation, the form is used to address a physician, who is usually accorded high respect in the US and is addressed as ?Dr. So-and-so? (Title + Surname). Insistently using the form ?boy?, the white policeman shows his racist contempt of and prejudice against the black people.

Lectures on Stylistics

? 2) Stylistics may help us to acquire a ?sense of style?. We have already learned that the key to effective communication is the ability to use language appropriately. A native speaker of English has acquired over the years a great deal of intuitive knowledge about linguistic appropriateness. He knows how to adjust his style to different types of situation: at home or in court, with friends or with strangers, writing a love letter or a scholarly essay. If we wish to communicate in English successfully, we too need to develop a ?sense of style?, ?a semi-instinc-tive knowledge of linguistic appropriateness and (more importantly) taboo, which corresponds as closely as possible to the fluent native speaker?s. But this awareness of differing varieties of English does not come easily.

Lectures on Stylistics

? Much to our dis –advantage, we have not been exposed to the various language activities in English, in which a native speaker is engaged daily. We cannot hope to develop this sense of style in the long process of natural acquisition as a native speaker of English may. Stylistics may help speed up the process of acquisition of the ability by its systematic description of language varieties, by its emphasis on practical analysis, because such analysis is an enabling device, which, once acquired, will facilitate one?s sensitivity to language variation.

Lectures on Stylistics

? 3) Stylistics prepares the way to the intrinsic study of literature. In the study of literature there are two complementary approaches: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic study attempts to interpret a literary work in the light of its social context, its literary tradition, and its author?s biography and psychology. On the other hand, intrinsic study concentrates on the analysis of the literary work itself, whose medium is language. Literary language is another example of language in use. It is non-literary language creatively exploited in particular context – literary genres. Stylistic analysis can enhance our understanding of the ways in which impressions, effects and meanings are communicated by language in literary work.

Lectures on Stylistics

Questions
? 1. Several ways of asking about the time are listed below. Please identify the addresser-addressee relationship and the possible occasion on which each of them is used. ? 1) Excuse me, could you tell me the right time, please? ? 2) What time is it, please? ? 3) What?s the time? ? 4) Time? ? 5) How much longer have we got? ? 6) My watch seems to have stopped …
? (O?Donnel, W.R. & Todd, L., Varieties in Contemporary English, 1980)

Lectures on Stylistics

? 2. The following passage is taken from Ernest Hemingway?s well-known novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ch.13). Read it carefully and comment on the writer?s use of language from your intuitive knowledge of style and stylistics. (For example, does the writer use simple language or involved language? Does the passage sound direct or indirect? Why?)

Lectures on Stylistics

? Because now he was not there. He was walking beside her but his mind was thinking of the problem of the bridge now and it was all clear and hard and sharp as when a camera lens is brought into focus. He saw the two posts and Anselmo and the gypsy watching. He saw the road empty and he saw movement on it. He saw where he would place the two automatic rifles to get the most level field of fire, and who will serve them, he thought, me at the end, but who at the start? He placed the charges, wedged and lashed them, sunk his caps and crimped them, ran his wires, hooked them up and got back to where he had placed the old box of the exploder and then he started to think of all the things that could have happened and that might go wrong?

Lectures on Stylistics

THE END


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