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Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices

 

Many stylistic devices are polyfunctional: one and the same device may fulfill a variety of functions and produce diverse effects. These functions are sometimes not identical and do not coincide in English and in Ukrainian. The same stylistic devices in two languages reveal complete concurrence, partial concurrence and no concurrence at all.

Alliteration is a case in point. Alliteration is primarily a euphonic device and euphonic function is practically identical in both languages. Alliteration appears to be one of the fundamental features of poetry. But alliteration in prose is more frequently used in English than in Ukrainian and cannot always be preserved. For example, it is not preserved in the translation of the concluding paragraph of Galsworthy’s “Indian Summer of a Forsyte” by M.Lorie.

 

Summer –summer – summer! The soundless footsteps on the grass.

Жарко – жарко – спекотно! Безшелесні кроки по траві.

 

The second function of alliteration is a logical one. Alliteration serves as a link binding together different components of the text. It is used as a bond between the epithet and the qualified word. E.g. silent sea (Oldridge); dusty death (Shakespeare).

Alliteration in its logical function is frequently used in all kinds of emotive prose, e.g.

Nothing befalls him (the author) that he cannot transmute into a stanza, a song, or a story. (Somerset Maugham).

 

Alliteration here is deliberately used in the enumeration of different poetical and literary forms. The author’s device and its function can, in this case, be easily rendered in translation.

Все, що трапляється з письменником, може знайти своє втілення в пісні, поемі чи повісті.

 

Alliteration is also not infrequently used in newspaper and publicist style.

 

At the end of the week the students, tutors and chairman meet to review the school. Everything is criticized, sometimes favorably, from the tutor to the tea, from the bedroom to the beer.

Наприкінці тижня студенти, викладачі і голова зустрічаються, щоб обговорити всі навчальні справи. Все підлягає критиці, іноді доброзичливій – і викладачі, і чай, і спальні, і пиво.

 

In this case alliteration has not been preserved. But the omission of alliteration is compensated by polysyndeton which imparts a certain rhythm to the sentence and makes it emphatic.

Alliteration is widely used in slogans, newspaper headlines and book titles where it fulfills an eye-catching function.

 

We demand universal suffrage because it is our right… we believe it will give us bread, and beef and beer. (Dave Morgan).

Ми вимагаємо загального виборчого права, тому що це наше право... Ми впевнені, що це дасть нам хліб і м’ясо і пиво.

Alliteration here cannot be preserved as exactitude of expression and of sense may suffer.

The eye-snaring function of alliteration is apparent in newspaper headlines, e.g. Cabinet Cool on Canal; Report on the Rampageous Right; Bacon Blow, etc.

Alliteration is frequently used in the titles of books, e.g.

Sense and sensibility (J.Austin); the Posthumous Paper of the Pickwick Club (Ch. Dickens).

 


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Rendering of Form in Translating Emotive Prose | Rendering of Trite and Original Devices

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