Transposition of lexico-grammatical classes of nouns as stylistic device

The Noun

Morphological Expressive means and stylistic devices



Compounding is another highly resourceful means of creating stylistic effect. The source of Ukrainian poetic compounds is folklore: -, -, -, -, -, - etc. Ukrainian words that are created by means of combining two word stems are considered more poetic and expressive than their one-stem loaned synonyms: , , , , .

In English the compounding aimed at stylistic effect is based on unnatural valency of the components: boy-friend-in-chief (on the analogy of commander-in-chief), on syntagmatic connection: Miss whats-her-name, a dogin-the-monger, on rhyming: helter-skelter, chit-chat, riff-raff, on substantivation of phrasal verbs: a pin-up, a pick-up, etc.



Each sphere of communication is characterized by the employment of words created according to certain word-building patterns. For example the Ukrainian folk discourse is the domain of the prolific usage of most of the above-mentioned word-building patterns, which mirrors the slightest subtleties of human emotions. Due to its rich expressive potential word-building when applied in belle-letters style is an indispensable tool to impact the reader, to evoke his/her aesthetic associations, to amplify the imagery structure of the text. Emotional and expressive word-building patterns are widely used in every day speech and have become the characteristic feature of colloquial style.

Numerous grammatical categories of English and Ukrainian have only denotative meaning; they are devoid of any connotations. Thus out of context they cannot be qualified as stylistically marked, they do not possess any emotional or expressive value. Stylistic potential of morphological units (i.e. their ability to perform certain stylistic function, to create certain emotional effect, to obtain expressive value) depends on their categorical meaning, distribution in texts of different styles and genres and contextual environment.

Different grammatical categories can acquire stylistic value in case of intentional violation of the rules of morphemic valency and distribution or grammatical transposition of parts of speech belonging to different lexico-grammatical classes.


Noun is characterized in English and Ukrainian by a common lexico-grammatical nature of substantivity. This meaning finds its realization in two main paradigmatic classes: concrete nouns and proper names. Each of these two main classes of nouns is subcategorized in English and Ukrainian into several minor groups, such as concrete, abstract, collective nouns, names of materials, class nouns, names, nicknames, family names, geographical names, etc.

A specific stylistic effect can be achieved by repetition of one and the same word within the stylistically neutral syntactic structure N be N or when one member of this structure is substituted for a word that belongs to different lexico-semantic class:

e.g. Lets compare


(1) After all three hundred pounds is three hundred pounds (A. Christie).

(2)Phyllis was the key to the problem (G. Cary).

Various expressive connotations occur as a result of transposition of adjectives into nouns (a), transposition of abstract nouns into common one or into nouns that denote person (b), transposition of proper nouns into common ones (c):

(a) (1) listen, my sweet; (2) come on, lovely; (3) The devil artist who had staggered it (the battle) was a master in comparison with what all the other artists of sublime and terrible were babies (J. Aldington); (4)

(b) (1) the chubby little eccentricity the chubby little child; (2) he is the disgrace to his family - he is a disgraceful son; (3) the old oddity an odd old person; (4) you are a little horror a little horrid girl; (5) ; (6) .

(c) (1) , , : ( .).

The structures under consideration are always charged with emotiveness and expressiveness and reflect speakers positive or negative attitude towards the object described.

Specific stylistic function resides in Ukrainian proper nouns created at the beginning of XXth century to name children , , even and . These names are an authentic source for humour and satire. Similar stylistic effect can be achieved as a result of transference of abstract Ukrainian nouns ending on , -, - which are common in scientific writing into other functional styles:


, , . , , . , , ( ).

Underlined coinages not only create humoristic effect of the utterance but they also reflect speakers disability to use live and natural language forms instead of substituting them with clichés.

Besides general lexico-grammatical meaning, nouns possess grammatical category of number and case. These meanings can also be used for stylistic objectives.




  1. Classes of Supply
  2. Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.
  3. LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline
  4. LECTURE3.2. Text stylistics as branch of functional stylistics. Subject, tasks.
  5. Lexico-Grammatical groups
  6. National Character of Stylistic Systems
  7. Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices
  8. Problems of phonostylistics
  9. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation
  10. Rendering of Trite and Original Devices
  11. Rules and methods of Romanization of different Ukrainian proper nouns.
  12. Stylistic classification of English and Ukrainian vocabulary

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Affixation | Stylistic devices based on the meaning of the category of number

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