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Gabriela MIKOV

Filozofick Fakulta Univerzita Kontantna Filozofa Nitra 2003

Opponents: Proofreading:

Prof. PhDr. Tibor ilka, DrSc. Doc. PhDr. Pavol Kvetko John Kehoe

Financovan Komisiou J. W. Fulbrighta v SR

Filozofick fakulta UKF Nitra 2003

ISBN 80-8050-595-0



1. STYLISTICS AND STYLE: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND RECENT TRENDS.. 9 1.1 Ancient Times 9 1.2 The Middle Ages 10 1.3 The New Age 11 1.3.1 The 20th Century: Linguistic Schools and Conceptions before Ferdinand de Saussure....12 1.4 Recent Development: Stylistics in the United Kingdom13

2. MAIN CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS. 15 2.1 The Scope of Stylistic Study. 15 2.2 The Notion of Language and Literary Style.. 16 2.3 Stylistic Analysis and Literary Interpretation... 17 2.4 Definitions of Style.... 17 2.5 Definitions of Stylistics. 18 2.6 Attempts at Refutation of Style. 21 2.7 Style as a Notational Term 22 2.8 Style as a Linguistic Variation.. 22

3. STYLISTICS AND OTHER FIELDS OF STUDY.. 24 3.1 Stylistics and Other Linguistic Disciplines... 24 3.2 Stylistics and Literary Study.. 24

3.3 Linguistic versus Literary Context 25 3.4 Linguistic Theories and the Study of Style... 25 3.4.1 Where Would Style Go within the Two Presented Theories? 26

4. EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES 29 4.1 Expressive Means.. 29 4.2 Stylistic Devices 31 4.3 Standard English 32 4.3.1 Standard American English... 32 4.3.2 Differences between British and American English.. 34 4.4 Varieties of Language... 35

5. LEXICAL EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES. 39 5.1 Interaction of Different Types of Lexical Meaning.. 39 5.1.1 Interaction of Dictionary and Contextual Logical Meanings.... 40 5.1.2 Interaction of Primary and Derivative Logical Meanings.. 44 5.1.3 Interaction of Logical and Emotive Meanings... 45 5.1.4 Interaction of Logical and Nominal Meanings.. 46 5.2 Intensification of a Certain Feature of a Thing or Phenomenon... 47 5.3 Peculiar Use of Set Expressions.... 50

6. STYLISTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF LEXICAL EXPRESSIVE MEANS..... 53 6.1 Stylistic Characteristics of Parts of Speech... 53 6.2 Stylistic Value of Particular Parts of Words. 57 6.3 Synonymy and Polysemy.. 57

7. SYNTACTIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS... 59 7.1 Modality of a Sentence.. 59 7.1.1 Ways of Expressing Modality.... 59 7.1.2 Stylistic Exploitation of Modality.. 59 7.1.3 Types of Sentences according to the Types of Modality.... 60 7.2 Expressiveness in Syntax... 60 7.2.1 Expressive Syntactic Constructions... 60 7.2.2 Word-order. 64 7.2.3 Detached Constructions. 65 7.2.4 The Length of a Sentence and its Type.. 73 7.2.5 Syntactic Constructions Based on the Relation of Synonymy... 73 7.2.6 Transferred Use of Structural Meaning. 75

8. THE STUDY OF THE SYNTACTIC WHOLE IN STYLISTICS.. 77 8.1 Main Concepts... 77 8.2 Combining Parts of an Utterance... 78 8.3 Cohesion and Coherence... 80

9. EXTRA-LINGUISTIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS... 87 9.1 The Notion of Paralanguage.. 87 9.2 Visual Expressive Means.. 90 9.2.1 Graphetics and Graphology.... 90 9.3 Kinesics.. 91

10. PHONETIC EXPRESSIVE MEANS AND STYLISTIC DEVICES... 92 10.1 10.2 General Notes... 92 Phonetic Stylistic Devices. 92

10.2.1 Onomatopoeia.... 92

10.2.2 Alliteration..... 94 10.2.3 Assonance.. 95 10.2.4 Rhyme and Rhythm... 96 10.2.5 Phonaesthesia........ 97 10.2.6 Sound Symbolism.. 97 11. STYLISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY... 99 11.1 Layers of the Vocabulary..... 99 11.1.1 Neutral, Common Literary and Common Colloquial Vocabulary 100 11.1.2 Special Literary Vocabulary.. 102 11.1.3 Special Colloquial Vocabulary... 104 11.2 The Classification of Slang.. 105 11.2.1 What is Slang? .. 105 11.2.2 Sociolinguistic Aspect of Slang. 105 11.2.3 Primary and Secondary Slang.. 107 11.2.4 Individual Psychology of Slang. 107 11.2.5 Slang and Language Levels... 107 12. FUNCTIONAL STYLES OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE... 111 12.1 12.2 12.3 Stylistic Significance.... 111 Attempts to Categorise Functions of Language 111 Classification of Language Styles. 114

12.3.1 The Belles-Lettres Style. 115 12.3.2 Publicistic Style.. 116 12.3.3 Newspaper Style.... 117 12.3.4 Scientific Prose Style..... 120 12.3.5 The Style of Official Documents... 122




Table 1. Table 2. Table 3. Table 4. Table 5. Table 6. Table 7. Table 8. Table 9. Table 10. Table 11. Table 12. Table 13. Figure 1. The Analogists and Anomalists.... 10 Style and Stylistics... 20 Types of Linguistic Variation.. 23 Linguistic Dichotomy of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky.. 26 The Study of Style within the Theories of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky . 28 Reference..... 82 Types of Lexical Cohesion... 85 Openness in Text.. 86 Semiosis... 88 Stylistic Markers of Synonyms.. 101 Main Factors in Verbal Communication. 112 Functions of Language..... 114 Classification of Styles..... 114 Semiotic Triangle in Stylistics..... 89


The aim of the presented textbook is to provide Slovak university students of English language and literature with the theory of stylistics and its practical application in text analysis. By means of working with a wide variety of texts including literary (artistic) texts, stylistics can function as a bridging discipline between literary and linguistic courses. However, our strong intention, as manifested in the title of this textbook, is to constantly emphasise and explore the linguistic aspects of stylistic study. The textbook is based on several theoretical sources, which were selected with regards to the needs of Slovak students who need to familiarise themselves with a variety of language usages in particular contexts and situations. Considering the differences between the British tradition and the concept of stylistics within Slovak and Czech linguistics, as well as the contrasts between European and American traditions, the textbook aims at a study of stylistic means within a variety of texts. Influenced by the domestic (Slavonic/structuralist) tradition we use the concept of a functional style which seems to be methodologically convenient. Many students have either a decent knowledge of Slovak stylistics, or, based on their everyday experiences, can identify various language styles and their functions in particular utterances (contexts and situations). The main sources for the presented textbook are Stylistics by I. R.Galperin (1977), Investigating English Style by D. Crystal and D. Davy (1969) and the most comprehensive book on Slovak stylistics tylistika by J. Mistrk (1985). We adopted the framework of the chapters on a stylistic classification of vocabulary, lexical and phonetic expressive means and devices from Galperins book, while reviewing and updating the content and presenting the most recent examples of the subject matter. Our explanation of paralanguage, graphetics and graphology is based on the ideas of D. Crystal and D. Davy. The book on Slovak stylistics by J. Mistrk provided us with a broader context of stylistic study, mainly historical perspectives and recent developments. Some other sources were used to clarify specific concepts (see the List of Sources). As stated in the text, several summarising explanations were adopted from A Dictionary of Stylistics by K. Wales (1990) and examples were also sought for in the Slovak dictionary of literary terms written by T. ilka (1987). In addition to the works mentioned above, there are a few which I cherish as my favourite reading. The most inspiring are the works of respected personalities in the field, namely Ronald Carter, John Douthwaite, Mick Short and Peter Verdonk. The presented textbook attempts to provide a comprehensive theoretical background to the study of Stylistics. For a practical application of the theory see the collection of guided tasks in stylistic analysis of literary and non-literary texts entitled Working with Texts in Stylistics (Mikov, due out in 2003).




Ancient Times

In ancient Greece the use of language can be seen mainly as an effort to create speeches. Thus we may recognise a practical function of language in political and judicial speeches, and an aesthetic function in ceremonial ones. The art of creating speech was called Rhetoric (from the Greek techne rhetorike) and was taught as one of the main subjects in schools. The aim was to train speakers to create effective and attractive speeches. Another language activity was the creation of poetic works. The process of artistic creation was called Poetics. Its aim was to study a piece of art, and, unlike rhetoric, it focused on the problems of expressing the ideas before the actual moment of utterance. The work of Aristotle (384 322 B.C.) entitled Poetics is considered to be a pioneer publication in this field. His distinction of epics, drama and lyrics within artistic works is still applicable. The third field of language use was the art of creating a dialogue. The study of creating and guiding a dialogue, talk or discussion, as well as the study of methods of persuasion, was called Dialectics. The dialogue technique as one of the most convenient and efficient form of exchanging experiences and presenting research results was introduced and supported by Socrates. This method is still known in pedagogy as the dialogical or Socrates method. The further development of Stylistics was based on the three above mentioned sources from which Poetics went its own way and created the field of study known at present as Literary Criticism. Rhetoric and Dialectics developed into Stylistics. The development of Stylistics in ancient Rome, that is about 300 years later, brought the distinction of two different styles in speech represented by Caesar and Cicero. Their main characteristics are summarised in the following table:

CAESAR and the Analogists stressed regularity and system rules focused on facts and data their aim was to create simple, clear and straightforward speeches other representatives were Seneca and Tacitus

CICERO and the Anomalists aimed at the creation and development of Ornate Dicere that is flowery language used unnatural syntactic patterns, sought for innovative often artificial sentence structures created anomalies on all language levels due to their approach, where the true message and communicated content were secondary to the form of presentation, Rhetoric was called the mother of lies Cicero built his theory of rhetoric on the distinction between three styles: high, middle and low

Table 1. The Analogists and Anomalists. 1.2 The Middle Ages

Latin was exclusively used as the language of science, art and administration, and no attempts were made to deal with problems of speech. This period shows no progress in the development of stylistics. An anomalistic rhetoric of Cicero became a model way of public speaking, which means that aesthetically attractive speeches were popular. They enabled speakers to develop their individual styles. However, the influence of ancient India brought about a tendency to make speeches brief in the case of a sufficient amount of data and facts being available to a speaker. This tendency to economise the speech intentionally enhanced the distinction between the FORM and CONTENT. The language of science, culture and administration was very different from the language of common people. However, it would be inappropriate to speak about styles at this stage. It was the same language (and the same style) but, of course, different phrases, clichs and stereotyped bookish Latin formulas were used in each sphere. The most apparent differences occurred in terminology.



The New Age

On the one hand there were the traditions of Cicero and Aristotle, on the other, new theories of style have developed: individualist, emotionalist, formalist, functionalist, etc. In the era of Romanticism the notion and term style referred exclusively to the written form of language (from Gr. stylos = a carver, an instrument for writing). Spoken language was the main subject of rhetoric. The most impressive work from this period is the book L'Art potique (1674) written by Nicolas Boileau-Despraux, which became the bible of French poets of the 17th and 18th century. This book includes explanations of prose, poetry and drama, and is considered an unusual guidebook for poets and other artists. At the same time it is not limited to poetics, several definitions are of a stylistic character or even more general (e.g. ... those pieces of information which are not new should be pronounced without any special stress or accent, expressions should not be unnecessarily extended, borrowed and loan words should be avoided and special attention should be paid to the selection of a title, etc.) In general, the book is based on the poetics of Aristotle and Horatio. The three different styles are mentioned, their distinction being based on the opposition of language and parole first mentioned by Cicero (and later elaborated, quite independently, by Ferdinand de Saussure). The French classical theory of styles requested the usage of a high (grand) style in all verbal works of art as an opposite to the everyday communication of common people in which the middle and low (plain) styles were used. The styles were classified as 1. stylus altus (works of art), 2. stylus mediocris (the style of high society) and 3. stylus humilis (the style of low society but could be used in comedies). This theory reflects preliminary attempts to describe the notion of style as based primarily on the selection of expressive means. At the beginning of the 19th century a German linguist and philosopher, Wilhelm von Humboldt described functional styles in his book ber die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss... and treated poetry and prose (colloquial, educational and belles-letters prose) as opposites: poetry and prose differ in the selection of expressive means, i.e. words and expressions, use of grammatical forms, syntactic structures, emotional tones, etc. Humboldt's ideas appeared quite intriguing, however, and since his classification of styles was not based on and supported by any linguistic analyses of text samples, it remained idealistic. Later on, many linguists returned to and elaborated on his ideas, among others, the most influential were the members of the Prague Linguistic Circle (1926), V. Mathesius, B. Havrnek and F. Trvnek. Some literary schools have also contributed towards the development of stylistics. The French school Explication de Texte developed a method of text analysis and interpretation which is known as close reading. This method was based on a correlation of historical and linguistic information and on seeking connections between aesthetic responses and specific stimuli in the text. The method became quite popular and was used by many other schools and movements.



The 20th Century: Linguistic Schools and Conceptions before Ferdinand de Saussure

At the beginning of the 20th century a group of German linguists, B. Croce, K. Vossler and L. Spitzer, represented the school of the New Idealists. Their approach is known as individualistic or psychoanalytical because its main aim was to search for individual peculiarities of language as elements of expressing a psychological state of mind (in German Seelische Meinung). B. Croce regarded language as a creation and thus suggested viewing linguistics as a subdepartment of aesthetics. Karl Vossler was known for looking for clues to national cultures behind linguistic details and Leo Spitzer for tracing parallels between culture and expression. His working method became famous as the Spitzerian circle. However, the German school of individualists and psychoanalysts belongs to the past and there are no followers anymore. The origin of the new era of linguistic stylistics is represented by the linguistic emotionalistic conception of the French School of Charles Bally. Ch. Bally worked under the supervision of Ferdinand de Saussure in Geneva and after Saussures death published his work: Cours de linguistique gnrale (1916). Ballys own concept of stylistics is classified as emotionally expressive because of his strong belief that each particular component of linguistic information combines a part of language and a part of a man who interprets or announces the information. While at the beginning of the 20th century the Romance countries were mainly influenced by Ballys expressive stylistics and Germany by Croces individual stylistics, a new linguistic and literary movement developed in Russia and became known as formalism. The Russian Formalists introduced a new, highly focused and solid method of literary and linguistic analysis. Formal method used in linguistics was based on the analytical view of the form, the content of a literary work was seen as a sum of its stylistic methods. In this way, the formal characteristics of a literary work are seen in opposition to its content. In other words, the focus was on devices of artistry not on content (i.e. HOW not WHAT). The formalists originated as an opposition to a synthesis introduced by the symbolists. The development follows from synthesis towards analysis, putting the main emphasis on the form, material, or skill. The main representative was Roman O. Jakobson; others were J. N. Tynjanov and V. V. Vinogradov. Russian formalism originated in 1916, flourished in 1920 1923, and had practically ceased to exist by the end of the 20s. In spite of the short, about tenyear, existence of Russian formalism, many ideas were modified and further elaborated. They became part of structuralism, and can also be found in the works of the members of the Prague School ten years later. The crucial question of the movement known as Structuralism is What is language and what is its organisation like? The main ideas of structuralism are presented in its fundamental work Cours de linguistique gnrale written by F. de Saussure (1856 1913) and published posthumously by his student Ch. Bally in 1916. The ideas of Structuralism penetrated not only into linguistics and literary criticism, but also into ethnography, folklore studies, aesthetics, history of arts, drama and theatre studies, etc. The program and methodology of work of the Prague Linguistic Circle (1926) were truly structuralistic. They introduced systematic application of the term

structuralism, which brought about new phenomena introduced into linguistics and literary study. Its influence on stylistics was crucial. The main aspects of the movement can be summarised as follows: distinction between the aesthetic function of poetic language and the practical, communicative function of language; language is seen as a structure, supra-temporal and supra-spatial, given inherently (in the sense of Saussures language); literary work is an independent structure related to the situation of its origin/ creation; individual parts of literary or linguistic structure are always to be understood from the point of view of a complex structure; the analyses of particular works were based on language analysis because it was assumed that in a literary work all components (i.e. language, content, composition) are closely inter-related and overlapping within the structure. The founders and main representatives of the Prague Linguistic Circle were R. O. Jakobson, N. S. Trubeckoj, V. Mathesius, J. Mukaovsk. Among others were also B. Trnka, B. Havrnek, J. Vachek, K. Hausenblas and F. X. alda. Another structuralistic school originated in Copenhagen, Denmark represented by J. Hjelmslev, and in the U.S. represented by E. Sapir and L. Bloomfield. 1.4 Recent Development: Stylistics in the United Kingdom

At the time when structuralism was at its most influential in Czechoslovakia, Denmark and the USA, the school known as The New Criticism originated in Cambridge, Great Britain. The main representatives were I. A. Richards and W. Empson, who introduced new terms, mainly the method of structural analysis called close reading. They devoted great effort to the study of metaphor and introduced the terms tenor and vehicle which are still in use. The New Criticism represents progress in stylistic thinking and their theory is valid even today. They also have followers in the USA. (e.g. C. Brooks, R. P. Blackmur, R. P. Warren). British stylistics is influenced by M. Halliday (1960s) and his structuralist approach to the linguistic analysis of literary texts. British tradition has always been the semiotics of text context relationships and structural analysis of text: locating literature into a broader social context and to other texts. British Stylistics and Linguistic Criticism reached its most influential point at the end of the 70s (Kress, Hodge: Language as Ideology, 1979; Fowler, R. et al: Language and Control, 1979, Aers, et al.: Literature, Language and Society in England 1580-1680, 1981). All three books used transformational and systemic linguistics, an overtly structuralist and Marxist theoretical approach to the analysis of literary texts. Two years later Roger Fowler published a book signalling new directions in British Stylistics and marking its transition to Social Semiotics (Fowler, R.: Literature as Social Discourse: The

Practice of Linguistic Criticism, 1981). Fowlers book brings together British works (Halliday) with those of Barthes, Bakhtin and others of European traditions. Romance, English and American stylistics are based on observation and analysis of literary works (texts) and are very close to poetics. The original American tradition is based on practical methods of creating various texts, there is a school subject called creative writing and composition which is very often identified with stylistics. The field of study of stylistics in Slovakia is understood as more independent from poetics than the British tradition, but also very different from the American tradition (more theoretical, academic, e.g. F. Miko, J. Mistrk, T. ilka, etc.). It is necessary to mention a contribution of Czech stylistics here, namely in the field of the classification of styles. The Czech linguist, B. Havrnek, one of the representatives of the Prague Linguistic Circle, introduced the notion of functional styles based on the classification of language functions. According to B. Havrnek the language functions are: 1. communicative, 2. practical professional, 3. theoretical professional and 4. aesthetic function. The first three functions are informative and the fourth one is aesthetic. This system of functions is reflected in the classification of styles in the following way: 1. colloquial (conversational) style, 2. professional (factual) style, 3. scientific style, 4. poetic (literary) style. In the 1970s larger structures of texts and networks of relations within which they circulate were studied, and recourses to Hallidayan linguistics, register and genre theory became influential. Typical representatives are Ronald Carter and Roger Fowler. Among the latest tendencies there is the interesting approach of textual Stylistics which originated in Anglo-Saxon countries (Halliday: Cohesion in English, London 1976; Turner: Stylistics, Penguin Books, 1973) and from American centres of stylistic studies the Indiana University of Bloomington should be mentioned (Style in Language, 1958). In the 1990s two journals which map recent development have to be mentioned: Language and Literature (first published in Great Britain, 1992) and Social Semiotics (first published in Australia, 1991).




The Scope of Stylistic Study

Stylistics is traditionally regarded as a field of study where the methods of selecting and implementing linguistic, extra-linguistic or artistic expressive means and devices in the process of communication are studied (e.g. Mistrk, 1985). In general, we distinguish linguistic stylistics and literary (poetic) stylistics. The division between the two is by no means easy or clear. In his book Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose Mick Short comments on this problem like this: ... stylistics can sometimes look like either linguistics or literary criticism, depending upon where you are standing when looking at it. So, some of my literary critical colleagues sometimes accuse me of being an unfeeling linguist, saying that my analyses of poems, say, are too analytical, being too full of linguistic jargon and leaving unsufficient room for personal preference on the part of the reader. My linguist colleagues, on the other hand, sometimes say that Im no linguist at all, but a critic in disguise, who cannot make his descriptions of language precise enough to count as real linguistics. They think that I leave too much to intuition and that I am not analytical enough. I think Ive got the mix just right, of course! (Short, 1996, p. 1) Mick Short is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language at Lancaster University and a leading authority in the field of stylistics. The above-mentioned book provides a clear and broad ranging introduction to stylistic analysis including a comprehensive discussion of the links between linguistics and literary criticism. Shorts standpoint is a linguistic one and his analytical methods are perfectly up-to-date. He works exclusively with literary texts; texts of poetry, fiction and drama and consequently his analyses include a considerable amount of (literary) interpretation and discussion of literary issues. In other words, he is interested not only in the (linguistic) forms of the analysed texts (i.e. HOW), but he also studies the meaning (i.e. WHAT) of the text in the sense of a plot and an overall meaning/message of a story. For our purposes, it is crucial to understand that there are different traditions of stylistic research (e.g. Slovak versus British and American traditions) which influence the limits and ambitions of stylistic study as well as the methods used in stylistic analysis. Of course, modern developments and tendencies towards an interdisciplinary research have to be taken into account.

There are many problems that have fascinated scholars working at the interface between language and literature: What is literature? How does literary discourse differ from other discourse types? What is style? What is the relationship between language, literature and society? Within the last 40 years scholars have introduced various approaches, summarised and discussed in detail in the book edited by Jean Jacques Weber: The Stylistics Reader. From Roman Jakobson to the present (1996). These are mainly: formalist stylistics represented by Roman Jakobson, functionalist stylistics represented by Michael Halliday, affective stylistics introduced by Stanley E. Fish and Michael Toolan, pedagogical stylistics elaborated by H. G. Widowson, Ronald Carter and Paul Simpson.

Other currents in contemporary stylistics are different types of contextualized stylistics, for instance: pragmatic stylistics represented by recent works of Mick Short, Mary Louise Pratt and Peter Verdonk, critical stylistics represented mainly by Roger Fowler and David Birch, feminist stylistics introduced by Deirdre Burton and Sara Mills, and cognitive stylistics represented by Donald C. Freeman, Dan Sperber, Deirdre Burton and others. We shall discuss some of the most influential approaches later on in this chapter. 2.2 The Notion of Language and Literary Style

According to J. Mistrk (1985) stylistics can be defined as the study of choice and the types of use of linguistic, extra-linguistic and aesthetic mean, as well as particular techniques used in communication. Considering the generally accepted differentiation between linguistic and literary stylistics, J. Mistrk suggests that we carefully distinguish between the language style, belles-lettres and literary style (ibid., p. 30): The language style is a way of speech and/or a kind of utterance which is formed by means of conscious and intentional selection, systematic patterning and implementation of linguistic and extra-linguistic means with respect to the topic, situation, function, author's intention and content of an utterance. The Belles-Letters style (artistic, aesthetic, in Slovak umeleck tl) is one of the language styles which fulfils, in addition to its general informative function, a specific aesthetic function. The Literary Style is the style of literary works implemented in all components of a literary work, i.e. on the level of language, ideas, plot, etc. All these components are subordinated to aesthetic norms. (Thus Literary style is an extra-linguistic

category while the language and belles-letters styles are language categories.) We can recognise the style of a literary school, group or generation and also an individual style of an author (i.e. idiolect). This means that on the one hand we can name the socalled individual styles and on the other the inter-individual (functional) styles. Traditionally recognised functional styles are 1. rhetoric (persuasive function), 2. publicistic (informative function to announce things) and 3. scientific (educational function). Functional styles can be classified as subjective (colloquial and aesthetic) and objective (administrative and scientific). We shall discuss more details on particular styles and their classification in Chapter 12 (Mistrk, ibid., p. 31). 2.3 Stylistic Analysis and Literary Interpretation

In his work on (Slovak) stylistics J. Mistrk draws clear boundaries between stylistic analysis and literary interpretation (ibid., p. 31): He defines stylistic or text analysis as a procedure which aims at the linguistic means and devices of a given text, the message, topic and content of analysed texts are not the focus. The method of stylistic analysis can be equally applied to the study of language use in literary as well as non-literary texts. From this point of view literary interpretation is a process which applies exclusively to literary texts, it aims at understanding and interpreting the topic, content and the message of a literary work, its literary qualities and the so called decoding of the author's signals by the recipient. 2.4 Definitions of Style

The understanding of the term style influences the characteristics given to Stylistics as one of several linguistic disciplines. The following are the most common characteristics of style as listed by K. Wales in her respected work A Dictionary of Stylistics (1990): Although the term style is used very frequently in Literary Criticism and especially Stylistics, it is very difficult to define. There are several broad areas in which it is used: (1) At its simplest, style refers to the manner of expression in writing and speaking, just as there is a manner of doing things, like playing squash or painting. We might talk of someone writing in an ornate style, or speaking in a comic style. For some people style has evaluative connotations: style can be good or bad. (2) One obvious implication of (1) is that there are different styles in different situations (e.g. comic vs. turgid); also that the same activity can produce stylistic variation (no two people will have the same style in playing squash or writing an essay). So style can be seen as variation in language use, whether literary or nonliterary. The term register is commonly used for those systemic variations in linguistic features common to particular non-literary situations, e.g. advertising, legal language, sports commentary. Style may vary not only from situation to situation but according to medium and

degree of formality: what is sometimes termed style-shifting. On a larger scale it may vary, in literary language, from one genre to another, or from one period to another (e.g. we may talk of the style of Augustan poetry, etc.) Style is thus seen against a background of larger or smaller domains or contexts. (3) In each case, style is seen as distinctive: in essence, the set or sum of linguistic features that seem to be characteristic: whether of register, genre or period, etc. Style is very commonly defined in this way, especially at the level of text: e.g. the style of Keats Ode to a Nightingale, or of Jane Austens Emma. Stylistic features are basically features of language, so style is in one sense synonymous with language (i.e. we can speak equally of the language of Ode to a Nightingale). What is implied, however, is that the language is in some way distinctive, significant for the design of a theme, for example. When applied to the domain of an author, style is the set of features peculiar to, or characteristic of an author: his or her language habits or idiolect. So we speak of Miltonic style, or Johnsonese. (4) Clearly each author draws upon the general stock of the language in any given period; what makes style distinctive is the choice of items, and their distribution and patterning. A definition of style in terms of choice is very popular, the selection of features partly determined by the demands of genre, form, theme, etc. All utterances have a style, even when they might seem relatively plain or unmarked: a plain style is itself a style. (5) Another differential approach to style is to compare one set of features with another in terms of a deviation from a norm, a common approach in the 1960s. It would be wrong to imply that style itself is deviant in the sense of abnormal, even though there are marked poetic idiolects. Rather, we match any text or piece of language against the linguistic norms of its genre, or its period, and the common core of the language as a whole. Different texts will reveal different patterns of dominant or foregrounded features. 2.5 Definitions of Stylistics

Stylistics is the study of style. Just as style can be viewed in several ways, so there are several different stylistic approaches. This variety in stylistics is due to the main influences of Linguistics and Literary Criticism. Stylistics in the twentieth century replaces and expands on the earlier discipline known as rhetoric. Following the publication of a two-volume treatise on French stylistics by Ch. Bally (1909), a pupil of the structuralist, F. de Saussure, interest in stylistics gradually spread across Europe via the work of L. Spitzer and others. It was in the 1960s that it really began to flourish in Britain and the United States. Traditional literary critics were suspicious of an objective approach to literary texts. In many respects, stylistics is close to literary criticism and practical criticism. By far the most common kind of material studied is literary, and attention is textcentred. The goal of most stylistic studies is not simply to describe the formal features of texts for their own sake, but to show their functional significance for the interpretation of the text; or to relate literary effects to linguistic causes where these

are felt to be relevant. Intuitions and interpretative skills are just as important in stylistics and literary criticism; however, stylisticians want to avoid vague and impressionistic judgements about the way formal features are manipulated. As a result, stylistics draws on the models and terminology provided by whichever aspects of linguistics are felt to be relevant. In the late 1960s generative grammar was influential; in the 1970s and 1980s discourse analysis and pragmatics. Stylistics also draws eclectically on trends in literary theory, or parallel developments in this field. So the 1970s saw a shift away from the reader and his or her responses to the text (e.g. affective stylistics, reception theory). Stylistics or general stylistics can be used as a cover term for the analysis of non-literary varieties of language, or registers (D. Crystal & D. Davy in Investigating English Style, 1969; M. M. Bakhtin in The Dialogic Imagination, 1981 and The Problem of the Text, 1986). Because of this broad scope stylistics comes close to work done in sociolinguistics. Indeed, there is now a subject sociostylistics which studies, for instance, the language of writers considered as social groups (e.g. the Elizabethan university wits); or fashions in language. The following table offers a summary of the most common definitions of style and the most influential approaches in stylistic studies:


DEFINITIONS OF STYLE Style can be seen as the manner of expression in writing and speaking from the point of view of language in use as a variation, i.e. speakers use different styles in different situations, literary v non-literary (register - systemic variations in non-literary situations: advertising, legal language, sports commentary, etc.). Styles may vary also according to medium (spoken, written) and degree of formality (termed also style-shifting) the set or sum of linguistic features a choice of items deviation from a norm (e.g. marked poetic idiolects, common approach in the 1960s)

APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF STYLISTICS In the 19th century Rhetoric was replaced by Linguistic/emotionally expressive stylistics in the Romance countries (Ch. Bally) Individualistic, neo-idealistic, psychoanalytical approach in Germany (Croce, Vossler, Spitzer) Formalism in Russia (1920-1923) Structuralism in Czechoslovakia (The Prague Linguistic Circle, 1926), Denmark (J. Hjelmslev), USA (E. Sapir, L. Bloomfield) The New Criticism in Great Britain (Cambridge University, Richards, Empson) and USA (Brooks, Blackmur, Warren). Functionalists: Generative Grammar 1960s Discourse Analysis 1970s Pragmatics and Social Semiotics1980s British Stylistics and Linguistic Criticism reached its most influential point at the end of the 70s. New directions in British Stylistics and its transition to Social Semiotics (Fowler, R.: Literature as Social Discourse: The Practice of Linguistic Criticism, 1981). General stylistics (non-literary varieties) Sociostylistics (close to sociolinguistics)

Table 2. Style and Stylistics.



Attempts at Refutation of Style

Our discussion has shown that the notion of style covers a large semantic field. In the past, the multiple application of the term caused many disputes about its use. As N. E. Enkvist points out (1973), others, mainly scholars with a non-philological background, emphasised the fact that the notion of style is vague and hard to define. Consequently, the opinions on style expressed in the 20th century can be presented within three groups. While the first and the second group can be seen as opposite, the third one originated as a reaction to these two. The first group of stylisticians based their classification and analyses of style on a personal and subjective perception of analysed texts. Regardless of how elegantly they expressed their opinions, they were accused of being very subjective, impressionistic and vague in their style evaluations and their attempts were charged with conceptual looseness. The second group of stylisticians tried to remain on the very objective and strictly scientific bases, making use of mathematics, statistics and other as precise as possible technical procedures, when studying the qualities of texts and formulating definitions of style. These authors provided rigorous definitions and statements supported with exact facts, figures and statistics. They were charged with tortuos pedantry and of using inadequate rough methods for the treatment of the gentle material of (literary) texts. This strong criticism is expressed metaphorically as breaking butterflies on the wheel. The third group is made up of a few scholars from different fields of study who deny the existence of style completely. The opinions and theories presented by geologists, chemists and other non-philological scholars on style (in language and literature) are quite extraordinary. However, some ideas have been found useful and worth considering. The approach of Benison Gray is a good and typical example. The central question asked by Bennison Gray (1969) is Does style exist at all? and his answer is a vigorous negative. Gray says that style is something like the emperors clothes, everyone says it is there but no one can actually see it. He tries to map all possible areas of the use of the term style and refutes one approach after another. It has to be said at the very beginning that we do not agree fully with his arguments but still, quite a few interesting points were highlighted and thus it is worth discussing his approach here. Gray says that, for example, psychologists talk about style as behaviour. They study human character, personality, or individuality and thus they should say so and not identify style with character or personality. Similarly, rhetoricians identify style with the speaker: a man's language has a physiognomic relation to the man himself, but this is just an assumption which has to be proved, says Gray. Philologists view style as latent but they actually study subject matter. Literary critics were also criticised by Gray, they view style as individual but individuality is a matter of language, subject matter, content, theme and referent, etc. Other scholars consider style as an implicit speaker. However, comparing a text with an imaginary norm does not involve any reference to the author's intentions. Finally linguists define style as a choice but in Grays opinion, choice is not a workable concept, we can never know what choices were available to a particular author at the time of the creation of a text.

Grays scepticism is bent on reducing terms and concepts to a minimum. We can agree with him that it is necessary to define precisely what we mean by style, and still insist that the term is a convenient abbreviation (as yellow is for the most luminous primary colour occurring in the spectrum between green and orange). A solution is offered by the philosophy of science which differentiates between substantive and notational terms (Enkvist, ibid., pp. 14-16): 2.7 Style as a Notational Term

The definition of style seen as a notational term can be based on a number of principles. The first one is the complexity of the relationships between the speaker/writer and the text (the personality and environment of the people who have generated the text). The second one is represented by the relationship between the text and the listener/reader (recipients responses), and the third one is the attempt to objectify the approach and to eliminate references to the communicants at either end of the communication process (i.e. description of the text, not appeals to personalities). Another dimension will offer three fundamentally different views. In this way, we can define style as a departure from a set of patterns which have been labelled as a norm. In this case stylistic analysis becomes a comparison between features in the text whose style we analyse and the text that we consider as a norm. Secondly, the style can be seen as an addition of certain stylistic traits to a neutral, styleless expression, here the stylistic analysis becomes a stripping process. The third view sees style as connotation, whereby each linguistic feature acquires its stylistic value from the textual and situational environment. Stylistic analysis then becomes a study of the relationship between specific linguistic units and their environment. As we will experience later, when working with texts, all these approaches should be seen as complementary rather than as contradictory or mutually exclusive. 2.8 Style as a Linguistic Variation N. E. Enkvist (ibid., pp. 16-17) describes linguistics as a branch of learning which builds models of texts and languages on the basis of theories of language. Consequently, he says, linguistic stylistics tries to set up inventories and descriptions of stylistic stimuli with the aid of linguistic concepts. By this definition linguists should be interested in all kinds of linguistic variation and style is only one of many types. The table below is based on the relevant passage from the above quoted Enkvists book on Linguistic Stylistics and presents the classification of linguistic variations according their correlation towards context, situation and others:



correlates with context and situation is an individual variation within each register correlates with a given period correlates with areas on a map correlates with the social class of its users also called sociolect indicates the language of one individual correlates with situations different subtypes of language that people use in different social roles (e.g. doctors register is different from the teachers, etc.)

Table 3. Types of Linguistic Variation.




Stylistics and Other Linguistic Disciplines

Stylistics often intersects with other areas of linguistics, namely historical linguistics, dialectology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and many others. All of them are different branches of language study and should be regarded as different tools from the same set and not as rivals. To illustrate the situation, an example discussed by N. E. Enkvist (ibid., p. 19) can be presented here: The expression thou lovest taken from the language of W. Shakespeare illustrates how different fields of study use different classifications of the same language phenomenon. In our case, the expression thou lovest will be classified by historians as an older form of you love and by the students of contemporary styles as a feature of a Biblical or archaic style. Another example also points at different point of view in classification. The expression you aint can be regarded as a characteristic of a social class and thus qualified as a class marker. It also correlates with a certain range of situations and so it can be a style marker. In a complex study of linguistic variation, both observations may be relevant. 3.2 Stylistics and Literary Study

As we have already pointed out, the study of Stylistics is (more or less) related to the field of study of Linguistics and/or Literary Study. According to this, stylistics can be seen as a subdepartment of linguistics when dealing with the peculiarities of literary texts. Secondly, it can be a subdepartment of literary study when it draws only occasionally on linguistic methods, and thirdly, it can be regarded as an autonomous discipline when it draws freely, and eclectically, on methods from both linguistics and literary study (ibid., p. 27). Each of these three approaches has its own virtues. We always need to consider the task we are to complete, and consequently decide about the relevant approach. In a particular situation one approach may be better than another. However, we should keep in mind that to study styles as types of linguistic variations and to describe the style of one particular text for a literary purpose are two different activities.



Linguistic versus Literary Context

In his Linguistic Stylistics N. E. Enkvist (1973) refers to certain theoretical discussions which voiced some dogmatic attitudes about the relationship between linguistics, stylistics and literary study. Many of them have even acquired political overtones. In practice, such problems tend to solve themselves pragmatically, as long as each investigator allows himself the freedom of choosing and shaping his methods to achieve his own particular goals (ibid., p. 33). In some studies, stylistics may be an auxiliary brought in to narrative structure, in others, categories of narrative structure provide contexts for stylistic analysis. To illustrate the situation, Enkvist uses the following sample sentence from Ibsens play The Dolls House: Nora says: I leave the keys here. This sentence can be linguistically characterised as an everyday middle-class conversation, an expression which seems, against one contextual background, trivial and highly predictable. From the point of view of a literary context (that is the dramatic structure of the play) we have to see the sentence as an expression of Noras determination to break with her past, that is, the sentence is seen in the light of another contextual background. How far we wish to go in our discussion of an utterance such as this will depend on our purpose: if we study Ibsens Norwegian style, we may dismiss Noras sentence as a trivial example of everyday dialogue, if, on the contrary, we study the way in which Ibsen built up to a dramatic climax, we should carefully note the tension between a major narrative kernel and its undramatic expression. Narrative elements and their linguistic expressions is an apparatus developed mainly by Propp, Barthes and Todorov (ibid., p. 34). 3.4 Linguistic Theories and the Study of Style

The most influential linguistic theories of the 20th century, introduced by Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky, have also influenced the discussion of the study of style. The aim of this subchapter is to review the main characteristics of the two dichotomies and to see what the role of study of style within these theories was.


Ferdinand de Saussure (Course in General Linguistics, 1916) LANGUAGE

LANGUE any particular language that is the common possession of all members of a given language community language as a system

Noam Chomsky (Syntactic Structures, 1957) LANGUAGE

COMPETENCE the ability to engage in this particular kind of behaviour the typical speakers knowledge of the language system ones linguistic competence is ones knowledge of a particular language PERFORMANCE
kind of behaviour

PAROLE language behaviour of individual members of the language community language behaviour which is actualised on particular occasion

the speaker habitually or occasionally engages in

social phenomenon purely abstract social or institutional character In the study of language linguistics is closer to sociology and social psychology than to cognitive psychology a linguist is interested in the structures of language systems

actual individual

a linguist describes the competence of language speakers

does not presuppose performance

does presuppose competence

Table 4. Linguistic dichotomy of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky.


3.4.1 Where Would Style Go within the Two Presented Theories? One of the major goals of linguistic stylistics is to define or devise linguistic methods for the identification and adequate description of stylistic stimuli. The desire to define the place of the study of style within the given linguistic theories seems to be crucial to our further discussion. Accounting for the main aspects of the presented linguistic dichotomies, several possibilities on how to incorporate the study of style into the linguistic dichotomy of Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky can be considered. One way is to identify the study of style with the linguistic concept of parole. This approach seems to work well in the analysis of single texts by one individual, however, some methodological difficulties can be pointed out. If langue is only observable as an abstraction from parole, and if styles are only observable as results of comparison between one sample of parole and another, how can these two samples be compared without references to langue? In other words, we believe, that each sample reflects the same langue and this fact makes them comparable and measurable (see Enkvist, ibid., p. 37). Another reaction towards the distinction between langue and parole, one which suggests to find a stylistic subsection under each of these two concepts, seems to accommodate the aims of our study of style better. Describing parole as noncollective, individual, and momentaneous actually excludes the study of some other language variants, namely of non-individual, collective, group styles. Group styles reflect the wider norms of language communities, and, as such, should be classified and studied under langue. From this point of view, the suggestion to provide stylistic subsections under langue and parole seems to be an acceptable one. This approach is reflected in the division of styles into two categories: group styles belonging to langue, and individual styles belonging to parole. The Czech linguist, Lubomir Doleel, emphasised the distinction between the style of a single utterance (close to parole), and the style of a category or type of utterance. As L. Doleel implies, it is possible that an individual can order certain features in a single utterance. But to study this aspect of utterances a special theory of discourse is needed which is not the same as stylistics. A similar theory of divorcing individual styles from group styles was introduced by another Czech scholar, Josef Vachek, who draws distinction between special languages and functional styles (ibid., pp. 38-39). Another possibility is to declare that Saussures dichotomy requires an overall modification to be applicable in stylistic study. In fact, several attempts to provide supplements to Saussures dichotomy can be recorded. An interesting contribution was made by the Prague linguists who have also developed a three-level approach. They claim that between the concrete speech event and the abstract sentence pattern there intervenes an utterance level which includes features such as functional sentence perspective, studied mainly by Dane (ibid., p. 40). Finally, opinions suggesting that the dichotomy langue vs. parole is not suited for the study of style were recorded as well. As for the dichotomy of N. Chomsky, the notion of style can only be traced in this theory with difficulties. In fact, there is no special interest paid to the study of style. However, some suggestions were made to supplement Chomskys dichotomy.

The following table offers a summary of the opinions described above:

Linguistic Dichotomy of Ferdinand de Saussure To create a stylistic subsection under langue and parole. To equate stylistics with parole. To add stylolinguistic use. To ignore this theory. The most acceptable solution is a combination of the first and third way.

Linguistic Dichotomy of Noam Chomsky The notion of competence should include an apparatus describing stylistic variations. Style should be considered within grammar, but not within the basic grammar, where the study of style is considered less fundamental.

Table 5. The Study of Style within the Theories of F. de Saussure and N. Chomsky.