The pronoun. Stylistic functions of pronoun

The invariant grammatical function of pronoun is the reference to the object or its quality without naming it. The grammatical meaning of pronoun is highly abstract, that is why it is seldom used as stylistic device. But this statement does not mean that in order to enrich the stylistic value of an utterance we can easily dispense with pronouns.

Different stylistic connotations (which in most cases coincide in both languages) can be expressed by pronouns of different lexico-gramatical classes. A certain stylistic effect can be created by means of transposition of one pronoun into the sphere of the other pronoun. The meaning of the first person singular which is generally expressed by the personal pronoun I, Ukrainian in certain contexts can be rendered by pronouns we, you, one, he/she (and corresponding Ukrainian pronouns) or sometimes by nouns a man, a chap, a fellow (in Ukrainian ) in order to make the utterance sound ironic, humorous, childish or to express either negative or sympathetic attitude of the speaker towards the addressee:


Mr. Grundys going to oblige the company with a song, - said a chairperson

No, he aint,-said Mr. Grundy (J.K.Jerome).

, . , (. ).

To the most frequent among the above stated substitutions also belong:

a) editorial we (), when the speaker expresses certain ideas on behalf on a number of people or in scientific texts to substitute the author: , ...

b) metonymic We as a symbol of Royal power;

c) we instead of I to achieve humoristic effect: How we are again? !;

d) we instead of you while addressing to other people: How do we feel today? ?

The great variety of stylistic connotations is embodied in contextual usage of pronouns what, this, that, anything and the word thing with pronominal function: that old ramshackle house of his, etc.

However, there are a lot of differences in stylistic functioning of English and Ukrainian pronouns. Various stylistic effects are created by means of the archaic forms of English pronoun you thee, thou, thy. These archaic forms are predominantly used to make the utterance sound poetic, solemn and official. In these cases they are combined with archaic verbal forms, e.g.:


O Thou, who sleepest of Thyself; Thou bringest tally, and a pact, new bound of living brotherhood (S. Crane).

The above-mentioned archaic pronouns are also used to render the opposition of the second person singular and plural in the speech of a foreigner:


Are they going to take thee away? she cried (S. Maugham).

In order to represent the live, colloquial atmosphere of the speech colloquial, nongrammatical constructions like Its me, Its him, Its us can also be used.

Comparing the stylistic potential of pronouns in both languages it should be mentioned that in Ukrainian the cases of transposition are more numerous and more varied. It especially concerns the stylistic resources of the pronoun . This pronoun being used as a substitute for the masculine and feminine nouns imparts different semantic nuances to the utterance makes it intimate, endearment, humorous, vividly colloquial or mirrors the speakers attitude toward the person described:


, . ? (. ).

, , , (.).

Some archaic and vernacular forms of Ukrainian demonstrative and indefinite pronouns are also stylistically marked:


, , , (. ).

, ? ( ).

( ..).

(), - (. ).

Some Ukrainian pronouns that have lost their pronominal meaning function as particles that secure the expressiveness of the text or are aimed at folklore stylization:

(1) ,


Among the special stylistic means that have no correspondence in English there are Ukrainian collective numerals which denote a quantity of objects in their totality or indivisible unity. Ukrainian numerals have a highly developed system of paradigms and are able to obtain stylistic meaning. This is true especially of the numerals which have parallel diminutive forms , , , - or indefinite cardinal compounds , , . Substitution of numerals in certain contexts for nouns that denote large quantity can also be regarded as stylistic device -, - etc.



  1. Communicative functions.
  2. Data Buses and ALU Register/Register Functions
  3. Exercise 1. Translate the following sentences paying attention to Participle Constructions in different syntactic functions.
  4. Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.
  5. LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline
  6. LECTURE3.2. Text stylistics as branch of functional stylistics. Subject, tasks.
  7. National Character of Stylistic Systems
  8. Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices
  9. Problems of phonostylistics
  10. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation
  11. Stylistic classification of English and Ukrainian vocabulary
  12. Stylistic devices based on the meaning of the category of case

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The Adjective. Degrees of comparison of adjectives as stylistic device | Stylistic resources of tense and aspect in English and Ukrainian

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