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 Galsworthys Indian Summer of a Forsyte by M.Lorie.


Summer summer summer! The soundless footsteps on the grass.

! .


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 authors device and its function can, in this case, be easily rendered in translation.

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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.

, , . , , , , .


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).

, ... , .

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).



  2. Characteristics and features of scientific and technical texts
  3. Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.
  4. LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline
  5. LECTURE3.2. Text stylistics as branch of functional stylistics. Subject, tasks.
  6. National Character of Stylistic Systems
  7. Problems of phonostylistics
  8. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation
  9. Rendering of Trite and Original Devices
  10. Stylistic classification of English and Ukrainian vocabulary
  11. Stylistic devices based on the meaning of the category of case

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

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