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Stylistic devices based on the meaning of the category of number

 

The category of number in English and Ukrainian is represented by two meanings singular and plural, which are formed synthetically through zero and marked inflexions respectively. The category of number is realized differently in different lexico-grammatical classes of nouns. The morphological and stylistic investigation of the category of number gives ground for interesting stylistic observation.

Most English and Ukrainian common countable nouns are frequently used to denote the whole class of homogeneous objects. E.g. to keep chick, to shoot duck, , . Being employed in the belle-letters style as a stylistic device, this phenomenon secures expressiveness and emotional power of the text:

 

By God, they were soldiers. The Old Hun was a soldier The Old Hun would come down through the Trentino, and cut the railway at Vicenza (E. Hemingway).

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An utterance can get specific stylistic charge when the rules of forming plural are violated. Plural forms of nouns which can not be used in plural according to grammatical norms change the basic grammatical meaning of plurality, enriching it with additional stylistic nuances such as generalization, state, evaluation, exaggeration, etc. Let us compare:

 

Plural of proper nouns as stylistic device:

The real war of the world was not between the Bill Davidsons and the Jean Duvals and the Huns MullersWhat Bill Davidson and Jean Duval and Huns Muller ought to do was to stop blowing each other to hell (R. Aldington).

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Plural of uncountable nouns as stylistic device:

Waters on a starry night are beautiful and fair (W. Wordsworth).

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Plural of abstract nouns as stylistic device:

Heaven remain rigidly on its proper place on the other side of death and on this side flourished the injustices, the cruelties, the meannesses, that elsewhere people so cleverly hushed up (J. Green)/

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Discussing the stylistic potential of the category of number it is worth mentioning some peculiar cases of using plural to achieve humoristic effect and to secure the live colloquial character of the utterance. The first one is of s inflexion valency violation in English: One I-am-sorry-for-you is worth twenty I-told-you-sos. The second is the usage of Ukrainian nouns that denote profession in plural: - , ? . , ? ᒺ! (. ).

Stylistic potential of Ukrainian category of number is in some cases more powerful then in English. Stylistic properties of this grammatical category are predetermined by the words semantic volume. Expressive and evaluative stylistic meanings are inherent in such Ukrainian pluralia tantum nouns as , , as well as such pairs of synonymic plural forms: , , , , , , , which are used to create different characteristics of an image. Additional stylistic connotations are inherent to the following collective nouns: , , , , , , , , , , etc.

 


:

  1. Analyze the meanings of the italicized words. Identify the result of the changes of the connotational aspect of lexical meaning in the given words.
  2. Classification of word meaning
  3. Compare the meanings of the given words. Define what semantic features are shared by all the members of the group and what semantic properties distinguish them from each other.
  4. Grammatical meaning.
  5. Grammatical meaning.
  6. Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.
  7. LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline
  8. LECTURE3.2. Text stylistics as branch of functional stylistics. Subject, tasks.
  9. Lexical meaning and its structure.
  10. National Character of Stylistic Systems
  11. Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices
  12. Problems of phonostylistics




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Transposition of lexico-grammatical classes of nouns as stylistic device | Stylistic devices based on the meaning of the category of case

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