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Types of Stylistics

Developments of stylistics

To drink till all is blue

rabbit =

crocodile =

dog days =

Wishes don’t wash dishes

As to this rushing down to Wales to visit the young man’s aunts, he fully expected they were old cats. (J. Galsworthy)

Щож до цієї скоропоспішної мандрівки в Уельс до тіток нареченого, то Джоліон не мав щонайменшого сумніву в тому, що тітки ті – старі єхидні баби.

The word “stylistics ” was first registered in English dictionaries in 1882. Initially the word stylistics first meant “the science of literary style, the study of stylistic features”. Stylistics is closely connected with rhetoric, the art of composition and delivery of speeches that appeared in the 5th century B.C. Rhetoric dealt with choice of disposition of words in sentences and detailed organization.

Modern stylistics was elaborated at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century as a direct opposition to the approach

of style as the art of writing.

This field straddles two interrelated movements in linguistics, known as Russian Formalism and Prague School Structuralism.

Russian Formalism: V. Shklovsky, B. Tomashevsky;

Prague School Structuralism: J. Mukarovsly, W. Mathesius, R. Jacobson;

Though the Formalist and Prague School movements have had a significant bearing on the way stylistics has developed, other schools in stylistic studies have made advances in solidifying the foundations of this discipline.

French school: Ch. Bally, M.Riffaterre;

British school: G.W.Turner, D. Crystal, P. Simpson;

Russian school: I. Galperin, I. Arnold, Yu. Screbnev;

Ukrainian school: O. Morokhovsky, O. Vorobyova, V. Kukharenko.

fem­inist stylistics ( images of women in literature written by feminist writers );

cognitive stylistics (investigates the way we transfer mental constructs, especially the way we map one mental representation onto another when we read texts – conceptual transfer);

discourse stylistics (Deals with discourse analysis);

comparative stylistics is connected with the contrastive study of more than one language (analyses the stylistic resources not inherent in a separate language but at the crossroads of two languages, or two literatures and is obviously linked to the theory of translation);

decoding / communicative stylistics ( from the point of view of the reader ) describes expressive peculiarities of certain messages (texts); enables the scholar to interpret a work of art with a minimum loss of its purport and message;

encoding stylistics / literary stylistics;

Literary stylistics is focused on:

- the composition of a work of art;

- various literary genres;

- the writer's outlook.

If we analyse the text from the author's (encoding) point of view we should consider the epoch, the historical situation, the personal political, social and aesthetic views of the author.


They have some meeting points or links in that they have common objects of research. Consequently they have certain areas of cross-reference. Both study the common ground of:

1) the literary language from the point of view of its variability;

2) the idiolect (individual speech) of a writer;

3) poetic speech that has its own specific laws.

Linguo-stylistics is a science of functional styles and expressive potential of a language. The points of difference proceed from the different points of analysis. It studies:

- the linguistic nature of the expressive means of the language, their systematic character and their functions;

- functional styles (in their development and current state).

- Functional Stylistics (functional styles)

- Stylistic Phonetics (or Phonostylistics) is engaged in the study of style-forming phonetic features of the text. It describes the prosodic features of prose and poetry and variants of pronunciation in different types of speech (colloquial or oratory or recital).

- Stylistic Lexicology studies the semantic structure of the word and the interrelation (or interplay) of the connotative and denotative meanings of the word, as well as the interrelation of the stylistic connotations of the word and the context.

- Stylistic Grammar: Stylistic Morphology is interested in the stylistic potentials of specific grammatical forms and categories, such as the number of the noun, or the peculiar use of tense forms of the verb, etc. Stylistic Syntax is one of the oldest branches of stylistic studies that grew out of classical rhetoric. The material in question lends itself readily to analysis and description. Stylistic syntax has to do with the expressive order of words, types of syntactic links (asyndeton, polysyndeton), figures of speech (antithesis, chiasmus, etc.). It also deals with bigger units from paragraph onwards.

5. Stylistics and information theory

Language or speech communication, putting it more accurately, should be regarded as a specific kind of human activity. It is the process of converting the language system into speech in accordance with fixed rules and patterns (Vorobyova et al.).

While communicating, we actually use a host of different language means. The same thought, idea, belief, opinion, emotion, feeling or attitude can be expressed in more than one way. Cf.:

1. My dear father has passed away. My father has died. My old man has kicked the bucket.

It is apparent from the above examples that a natural language provides us with a number of vocabulary items and grammatical structures to convey the same idea but the attitude differs greatly in each case. The pragmatic aim is also quite different.

Linguistics, and stylistics in particular, is closely connected with information theory, i.e. a branch of the cybernetic theory of communication by signal.

communication (oral/written) = a transfer of information

information = inner content

language = a code

code= a set of signs used for making signals

signal carries information

sign is a component of a signal

signs: phonemes, morphemes, words, phrases, sentences (utterances), paragraphs and whole texts

C. Shannon, W. Weaver - information theory model:

Stages of the communication act:

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And away they ran, past waltzing lamp-posts and houses and fences and trees. (K. Mansfield) | Определение производной функции
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