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LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline

План

1. Стилістика як наука: предмет, об’єкт, зв’язок з іншими галузями мовознавства.

2. Історичний огляд розвитку стилістики.

3. Лінгвостилістика і літературознавство.

4. Поняття стилістичної норми, виразних засобів, стилістичного прийому.

 

The object of linguistics is language. All linguistic disciplines study specific language subsystems – the totality of units of different language levels and those relations that exist between these units or their classes.

In this respect, Stylistics differs from other linguistic disciplines in several aspects. Firstly, it deals with the units of all language levels. Secondly, it investigates these units from the functional point of view. Thus, Stylistics studies connotational specificity of the elements of the language system, separate language subsystems (the so-called “functional styles of the language”) and the language system as a whole.

The subject of Stylistics is the means of actualization of the main (communicative and cognitive) and additional language functions, that ensure the effectiveness of the speech activity of the speaker. The aim of communication is to transmit the necessary information. The communicative act, though, is called to life by yet another aim – to meet the need of the speaker to achieve the desired pragmatic effect. To achieve this effect, the speaker resorts to a conscious choice of the appropriate language means: not only certain stylistic ones but also all graphic, phonetic, lexical, grammatical and syntactic means of the language.

Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms contains such entry: “Stylistics – a branch of modern linguistics devoted to the detailed analysis of literary style, or of the linguistic choices made by speakers and writers in non-literary contexts”.

According to I.V. Arnold, “stylistics is a branch of linguistics, which studies the principles and results of the choice and usage of lexical, grammatical, phonetic and other language means with the aim of transmitting of ideas and emotions in different communication settings”.



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In I.R. Galperin’s view, stylistics is a branch of general linguistics, which deals with the investigation of two independent tasks:

1. Stylistics studies special media of language which are called expressive meansand stylistic devices.

Expressive means and stylistic devices form three large groups of phonetic, lexical, syntactical means and devices. Each group is further subdivided according to the principle, purpose and function of a mean or a device in an utterance.

2. Stylistics studies the types of texts which are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of verbal communication and are called functional styles of language.

Expressive means of a language are those phonetic, morphological, word-building, lexical, phraseological and syntactical forms which exist in language-as-a-system for the purpose of logical and/or emotional intensification of an utterance. These intensifying forms have special functions in making utterances emphatic.

A stylistic device is a conscious and intentional intensification of some typical structural and/or semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive) promoted to a generalized status and thus becoming a generative model. A stylistic device is an abstract pattern, a mould into which any content may be poured.

I.R. Galperin defines a functional style of language as a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. A functional style should be regarded as the product of a certain concrete task set by the sender of the message. Functional styles appear mainly in the literary standard of language. These represent varieties of the abstract invariant and can deviate from the invariant, even breaking away with it.

There arefive major functional styles in the English literary standard, which are rather widely accepted (I.R. Galperin, V.A. Kukharenko):

1) The Belles-Lettres Style, embracing numerous and versatile genres of imaginative writing;

2) The Publicistic Style, covering such genres as essay, feature article, most writings of “new” journalism, public speeches, etc;

3) The Newspaper Style, observed in the majority of information materials published in newspapers;

4) The Scientific Prose Style, found in articles, brochures, monographs and other scientific and academic publications;

5) The Style of Official Documents, represented in all kinds of official documents and papers.

Each functional style is subdivided into a number of substyles.

In terms of structuralist approach to language analysis, no national language is a homogeneous whole, because many of its constituents are not used in every sphere of communication, but belong to more or less strictly delimited special spheres, to specific types of speech. Yu. M. Skrebnev uses the term ‘sublanguage’ to describe each specific mode of expression (bookish, colloquial, neutral, etc.). The scholar’s assumption may be substantiated by the following examples:

1) The old man is dead.

2) The gentleman well advanced in years attained the termination of his terrestrial existence.

3) The ole bean he kicked the bucket.

Comparing the above-mentioned linguistic units, one may note that their stylistic value differs.

Yu. M. Skrebnev argues that sublanguages should not be identified with styles, adding, however, that there is no sublanguage without a style of its own.

If we go back to the notion of functional style given by I.R. Galperin, we will notice the absence of colloquial style in I.R. Galperin’s classification. In his opinion, style is the result of creative activity of the writer, in colloquial speech there is no stylistic intention on the part of the speakers. I.R. Galperin ignores the fact that it is not important for the hearer (reader) whether creative energy is employed or not, the reader will see the difference between a poetic line and an everyday utterance.

I.V. Arnold distinguishes between four styles: poetic style, scientific style, newspaper style, and colloquial style. But Yu. M. Skrebnev argues that nobody and nothing may prevent us from singling out and investigating more styles: something like telegraphic style, reference-book style, Shakespearean style, etc. All these styles are discernible; they characterize each their respective language. Yu. M. Skrebnev considers that the number of sublanguages and styles is infinite. But since scholars usually strive for generalization they will be always trying to form more or less large units and call them styles. Yu. M. Skrebnev also suggests a very short definition of style: Style is a specificity of sublanguage. According to the scholar, style may be roughly defined as the peculiarity, the set of specific features of a text type or a concrete text. Style is just what differentiates a group of homogeneous texts (an individual text) from all other groups (other texts).


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  4. Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.
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  8. Lecture 14. Evolution of the ME Nominal Morphology.
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  10. Lecture 16
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