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Учебное пособие

для студентов IV курса

институтов и факультетов

иностранных языков




Издательство СГПУ

Печатается по решению редакционно-издательского совета Самарского государственного педагогического университета

УДК 811.111(075.8)


кандидат филологических наук,

профессор кафедры английской филологии Ю.Е. Сорокин

(Самарский государственный педагогический университет)

кандидат филологических наук,

доцент кафедры английской филологии А.С. Гринштейн

(Самарский государственный университет)


Б 82


Борисова Ел. Б., Кулинич М.А., Перов Р.В. ПРАКТИКУМ ПО СТИЛИСТИКЕ СОВРЕМЕННОГО АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА :Учебное пособие для студентов IV курса институтов и факультетов иностранных языков.

Практикум предназначен для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы, содержит планы семинарских занятий, перечень вопросов для обсуждения, список рекомендуемой литературы, практические задания для подготовки к семинарам, а также вопросы и тренировочные тесты для подготовки к экзамену. Приложение (клише для стилистического анализа) призвано помочь выработать навыки анализа стилистических явлений на различных уровнях описания (фонетическом, морфологическом, лексическом и синтаксическом).

ISBN 5-8428-0512-Х


Самара: Издательство СГПУ, 2006. - 84 с.

© Борисова Ел. Б.,

Кулинич М.А., Перов Р.В. 2006

© СГПУ, 2006

Phonographical and Phonostylistic Expressive means and stylistic devices of the paradigmatic and syntagmatic level

Essential Terms:

graphon-intentional violation of the graphical shape of a word (or word combination) used to reflect its authentic pronunciation. It represents blurred, incoherent, careless pronunciation caused by young age, intoxication, ignorance of the discussed theme or social, territorial, educational status: "De old Foolosopher, like Hickey calls yuh, ain't yuh?"

ONOMATOPOEIA (SOUND SYMBOLISM) - the use of words whose sounds imitate those of the signified object or action. It occurs when there is a correspondence between the sound of a word and the sound or sense denoted by the word – i.e. when the word actually imitates or echoes the sound or sense it stands for: Buzz, murmur, clatter, whisper, cuckoo

paronomasia -a figure which consists in the deliberate (often humorous) use of the partial phonetic similarity of words different in meaning: A young man married is a man that's marred (Shakespeare); Gentlemen wanted their bankers prudent but not prudish.

spoonerism -a figure based on an interchange of initial sounds or syllables of successive words, often designed for comic effect (called after Rev. Dr. W.A. Spooner, a Professor of Oxford University, a noted perpetrator of spoonerisms): You've hissed my mystery lessons, you've tasted the worm and you'll have to leave by the town drain.

ALLITERATION - a figure of speech which consists in the repe­tition of the same (esp. initial) consonant sound in words in close succession (usually in the stressed syllables):

1) The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea (S.T.Coleridge)

2) A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning. (Disraeli)

assonance- a figure of speech based on the coincidence of vowels (оr diphthongs) without regard to consonants, a kind of vowel-rhyme: 1) How sad and bad and mad it was (R. Browning); 2) ... the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -/Nameless here for evermore (E.A. Poe).

RHYMEis the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations of words (or the repetition of the same vowel in two or more stressed syllables). Identity and particularly similarity of sound combinations may be relative. We distinguish between full rhymes and incomplete rhymes. The full rhyme presupposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable. Incomplete rhymes can be divided into two main groups: vowel rhymes and consonant rhymes. In vowel rhymes the vowels of the syllables in corresponding words are identical, but the consonants may be different. Consonant rhymes, on the contrary, show concordance in consonants and disparity in vowels:

might-right; needless-heedless (full rhyme)

flesh-fresh-press (vowel rhyme)

tale-tool; treble-trouble (consonant rhyme)

STANZAS- different patterns of rhyming.

couplet: a a – when the last words of two successive lines are rhymed

triple rhymes: a a a

cross-rhymes: a b a b

framing rhyme / ring rhyme: a b b a

Other stanzas typical of English poetry are the following: tercet (aba bcb); quatrain; the ballad stanza ; the heroic couplet (aa bb cc ); the Spenserian stanza (abab bcb cc); ottava rima (ab ab ab cc); the sonnet (three quatrains and a concluding couplet - abab cdcd, efef, gg), etc.


RHYTHM - The measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose. In verse – measured alternation of accented and unaccented syllables, in prose – the alternation of similar syntactical patterns.

I. Speak on the following:

Paradigmatic level:

1) graphon as a phonographical stylistic device

2) onomatopoeia as a phonostylistic device

3) paronomasia as a phonostylistic device

4) spoonerism as a phonostylistic device

Syntagmatic level:

1) alliteration and assonance as rhythm forming figures of speech

2) rhythm and rhyme


Each style of the literary language makes use of a group of language means the interrelation of which is peculiar to the given style. It is the coordination of the language means and stylistic devices that shapes the distinctive features of each style, and not the language means or stylistic devices themselves. Each style can be recognized by one or more leading features, which are especially conspicuous. For instance, the use of special terminology is a lexical characteristic of the style of scientific prose, and one by which it can easily be recognized.

A functional stylecan be defined as a system of coordinated, interrelated and interconditioned language means intended to fulfill a specific function of communication and aiming at a definite effect.

Typology of Functional Styles:


Style Form Domain Function Character
Official Written Affairs Information Logical
Scientific Written Science Information Logical
Publicistic Written and oral Human life Persuasion Logical + emotional
Newspaper Written Everyday life information Logical
fiction Written Art Aesthetic influence emotional


The English language has evolved a number of functional styles easily distinguishable one from another. They are not homogeneous and fall into several variants all having some central point of resemblance. Thus, I. R.Galperin distinguishes five classes:



A. The Belles-Lettres Style

1. Poetry;

2. Emotive Prose;

3. The Drama.

B. Publicistic Style

1. Oratory and Speeches;

2. The Essay;

3. Articles.

C. Newspapers

1. Brief News Items;

2. Headlines;

3. Advertisements and Announcements;

4. The Editorial.

D. Scientific Prose

E. Official Documents.



The Belles-Lettres Style

• Poetry

• Emotive Prose

• The Drama

Each of these substyles has certain common features, typical of the general belles-lettres style.

The common features of the substyles may be summed up as follows. First of all, comes the common function, which may broadly be called «aesthetical-cognitive». Since the belles-lettres style has a cognitive function as well as an aesthetic one, it follows that it has something in common with scientific style, but the style of scientific prose is mainly characterized by an arrangement of language means which will bring proofs to clinch a theory. Therefore we say that the main function of scientific prose is proof. The purpose of the belles-lettres style is not to prove but only to suggest a possible interpretation of the phenomena of life by forcing the reader to see the viewpoint of the writer.

The belles-lettres style rests on certain indispensable linguistic features, which are:

1. Genuine, not trite, imagery achieved by purely linguistic devices.

2. The use of words in contextual and very often in more than one
dictionary meaning, or at least greatly influenced by the lexical

3. A vocabulary which will reflect to a greater or lesser degree the
author's personal evaluation of things or phenomena.

4. A peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax, a kind
of lexical and syntactical idiosyncrasy.

5. The introduction of the typical features of colloquial language to a
full degree or a lesser one or a slight degree, if any.


The first differentiating property of poetry is its orderly form, which is based mainly on the rhythmic and phonetic arrangement of the utterances. The rhythmic aspect call forth syntactical and semantic peculiarities which also fall into more or less strict orderly arrangement. Both the syntactical and semantic aspects of the poetic substyle may be defined as compact, for they are held in check by rhythmic patterns. Both syntax and semantics comply with the restrictions imposed by the rhythmic pattern, and the result is brevity of expression, epigram-like utterances, and fresh, unexpected imagery. Syntactically this brevity is shown in elliptical and fragmentary sentences, in detached constructions, in inversion, asyndeton and other syntactical peculiarities.

Rhythm and rhyme are distinguishable properties of the poetic substyle provided they are wrought into compositional patterns. They are typical only of this one variety of the belles-lettres style.

Emotive Prose

Emotive prose has the same features as have been pointed out for the belles-lettres style in general; but all these features are correlated differently in emotive prose. The imagery is not so rich as it is in poetry, the percentage of words with contextual meaning is not so high as in poetry, the idiosyncrasy of the author is not so clearly discernible. Apart from metre and rhyme, what most of all distinguishes emotive prose from the poetic style is the combination of the literary variant of the language, both in words and syntax, with the colloquial variant. It would perhaps be more exact to define this as a combination of the spoken and written varieties of the language.

Present-day emotive prose is to a large extent characterized by the breaking-up of traditional syntactical designs of the preceding periods. Not only detached constructions, but also fragmentation of syntactical models, peculiar, unexpected ways of combining sentences are freely introduced into present-day emotive prose.

The Drama

The third subdivision of the belles-lettres style is the language of plays. Unlike poetry, which, except for ballads, in essence excludes direct speech and therefore dialogue, and unlike emotive prose, which is a combination of monologue and dialogue, the language of plays is entirely dialogue. The author's speech is almost entirely excluded except for the playwright's remarks and stage directions, significant though they may be.

Publicistic Style

Publicistic style also falls into three varieties, each having its own distinctive features. Unlike other styles, the publicistic style has spoken varieties, in particular, the oratorical substyle. The development of radio and television has brought into being a new spoken variety, namely, the radio commentary. The other two are the essay (moral, philosophical, literary) and articles (political, social, economic) in newspapers, journals and magazines. Book reviews in journals and magazines and also pamphlets are generally included among essays.

The general aim of the publicistic style, which makes it stand out as a separate style, is to exert a constant and deep influence on public opinion, to convince the reader or the listener that the interpretation given by the writer or the speaker is the only correct one and to cause him to accept the point of view expressed in the speech, essays or article not merely by logical argumentation, but by emotional appeal as well. Due to its characteristic combination of logical argumentation and emotional appeal, the publicistic style has features common with the style of scientific prose, on the one hand, and that of emotive prose, on the other. Its coherent and logical syntactical structure, with the expanded system of connectives, and its careful paragraphing, makes it similar to scientific prose. Its emotional appeal is generally achieved by the use of words with emotive meaning, the use of imagery and other stylistic devices as in emotive prose. But the stylistic devices used in the publicistic style are not fresh or genuine.

Publicistic style is also characterized by brevity of expression. In some varieties of this style it becomes a leading feature, an important linguistic means. In essays brevity sometimes becomes epigrammatic.

Oratory and Speeches

Oratorical style is the oral subdivision of the publicistic style. Direct contact with the listeners permits the combination of the syntactical, lexical and phonetic peculiarities of both the written and spoken varieties of language. In its leading features, however, oratorical style belongs to the written variety of language, though it is modified by the oral form of the utterance and the use of gestures. Certain typical features of the spoken variety of speech present in this style are: direct address to the audience («ladies and gentlemen», «honorable members», the use of the2nd person pronoun «you»), sometimes contractions (I'll, won't, haven't, isn't) and the use of colloquial words.

This style is evident in speeches on political and social problems of the day, in orations and addresses on solemn occasions as public weddings, funerals and jubilees, in sermons and debates and also in the speeches of counsel and judges in courts of law.

The Essay

The essay is a literary composition of moderate length on philosophical, social, aesthetic or literary subjects. Personality in the treatment of theme and naturalness of expression are two of the most obvious characteristics of the essay. This literary genre has definite linguistic traits which shape the essay as a variety of the publicistic style.

The most characteristic language features of the essay are:

1. Brevity of expression, reaching in a good writer a degree of

2. The use of the first person singular.

3. A rather expanded use of connectives, which facilitate the process
of grasping the correlation of ideas.

4. The abundant use of emotive words.

5. The use of similes and metaphors as one of media for the
cognitive process.


Irrespective of the character of the magazine and the divergence of subject matter - whether it is political, literary, popular-scientific or satirical - all the already mentioned features of the publicistic style are to be found in any article. The character of the magazine as well as the subject chosen affects the choice and use of stylistic devices. Words of emotive meaning, for example, are few, if any, in popular scientific articles. Their exposition is more consistent and the system of connectives more expanded than, say, in a satirical style.

The language of political magazines articles differs little from that of newspaper articles. But such elements of the publicistic style as rare and bookish words, neologisms (which sometimes require explanation in the text), traditional word combinations and parenthesis are more frequent here than in newspaper articles. Literary reviews stand closer to essays both by their content and by their linguistic form. More abstract words of logical meaning are used in them, they more often resort to emotional language and less frequently to traditional set expressions.


Newspaper Style

English newspaper style may be defined as a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means which is perceived by the community speaking the language as a separate unity that basically serves the purpose of informing and instructing the leader.

Since the primary function of the newspaper style is to impart information the four basic newspaper features are:

1. Brief news items and communiques;

2. Advertisements and announcement;

3. The headline;

4. The editorial.

Brief News Items

The function of a brief news is to inform the reader. It states only facts without giving comments. This accounts for the total absence of any individuality of expression and the almost complete lack of emotional coloring. It is essentially matter-of-fact, and stereotyped forms of expression prevail.

The newspaper style has its specific features and is characterized by an extensive use of:

1. Special political and economic terms.

2. Non-term political vocabulary.

3. Newspapers clishés.

4. Abbreviations.

5. Neologisms.

Besides, some grammatical peculiarities may characterize the style:

1. Complex sentences with a developed system of clauses.

2. Verbal constructions.

3. Syntactical complexes.

4. Attributive noun groups.

5. Specific word order.

The Headline

The headline is the title given to a news item or a newspaper article. The main function of the headline is to inform the reader briefly of what the news that follows is about. Sometimes headlines contain elements of appraisal, i.e. they show the reporter's or paper's attitude to the facts reported.

The basic language peculiarities of headlines lie in their structure. Syntactically headlines are very short sentences or phrases of a variety of patterns:

1. Full declarative sentences.

2. Interrogative sentences.

3. Nominative sentences.

4. Elliptical sentences.

5. Sentences with articles omitted.

6. Phrases with verbals.

7. Questions in the form of statements.

8. Complex sentences.

9. Headlines including direct speech.

The Editorial

Editorials are intermediate phenomenon bearing the stamp of both the newspaper style and the publicistic style.

The function of the editorial is to influence the reader by giving an interpretation of certain facts. Editorials comments on the political and other events of the day. Their purpose is to give the editor's opinion and interpretation of news published and suggest to the reader that it is the correct one. Like any publicistic writing, editorials appeal not only to the reader's mind but to his feelings as well.

Scientific Prose

The language of science is governed by the aim of the functional style of scientific prose, which is to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between phenomena, etc. The language means used, therefore, tend to be objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of any individuality; there is a striving for the most generalized form of expression.

The first and most noticeable feature of the style in question is the logical sequence of utterances with clear indication of their interrelation and interdependence. The second and no less important one is the use of terms specific to a certain branch of science. The third characteristic feature is sentence pattern of three types: postulatory, argumentative, and formulative. The fourth observable feature is the use of quotations and references. The fifth one is the frequent use of foot-notes of digressive character. The impersonality of scientific writing can also be considered a typical feature of this style.

The characteristic features enumerated above do not cover all the peculiarities of scientific prose, but they are the most essential ones.

Official Documents

The style of official documents, like other styles, is not homogeneous and is represented by the following substyles or variants:

1. The language of business documents;

2. The language of legal documents;

3. That of diplomacy;

4. That of military documents.

This style has a definite communicative aim and accordingly has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state the condition binding two parties in an undertaking.

In other words the aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agreement between two contracting parties. Even protest against violations of statutes, contracts, regulations, etc., can also be regarded as a form by which normal cooperation is sought on the basis of previously attained concordance.

As in the case with the above varieties this style also has some peculiarities:

1. The use of abbreviations, conventional symbols, contractions;

2. The use of words in their logical dictionary meaning;

3. Compositional patterns of the variants of this style.

4. Absence of any emotiveness.

Do the following exercise: Analyze the texts below and indicate the basic style-forming characteristics of each style and overlapping features:

(1) Speech of Viscount Simon of the House of Lords:


...The noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, made a speech of much persuasiveness on the second reading raising this point, and today as is natural and proper, he has again presented with his usual skill, and I am sure with the greatest sincerity, many of the same considerations. I certainly do not take the view that the argument in this matter is all on the side. One could not possibly say that when one considers that there is considerable academic opinion at the present time in favour of this change, and in view of the fact that there are other countries under the British Flag where, I understand, there was a change in the law, to a greater or less degree, in the direction which the noble and learned Earl so earnestly recommends to the House. But just as I am very willing to accept the view that the case for resisting the noble Earl's Amendment is not overwhelming, so I do not think it reasonable that the view should be taken that the argument is practically and considerably the other way. The real truth is that, in framing statuary provisions about the law of defamation, we have to choose the sensible way between two principles, each of which is greatly to be admitted but both of which run into some conflict.

(2) An extract from the instruction manual:


The purpose of the carburettor is to provide a mixture of petrol and air for combustion in the engine. The mixture normally consists of one part (by weight) of petrol to fifteen parts of air, but this mixture varies quite considerably with temperature and engine speed. If there is a higher proportion of petrol the mixture is said to be «rich». A higher proportion of air gives a «weak» mixture.

Very simply, the carburettor consists of a tube through which the air is drawn, and a series of very small holes known as jets which break the petrol up into tiny droplets and pass it into the airstream in the form of a mist. The mixture of petrol mist and air is sucked along an inlet pipe (induction manifold) and then, by way of branches in the pipe, into each cylinder. A float chamber in the carburettor provides a small reserve of petrol for the jets and ensures an even supply.

The flow of air into the carburettor is controlled by a «butterfly throttle», which is a flap that can be opened and closed by operating the accelerator pedal in the car. Pressing the accelerator opens the throttle. This lets in more air which in turn sucks more petrol vapour through the main jet. The mixture passes into the cylinders making the engine run faster.


(3) A commercial letter:

September 16, 1998



126 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 17503


Dear Sirs:

We are pleased to have received your order of September 15 and would like to welcome you as a new customer of Payton's Plastics.

Your order (No. 62997) for one dozen 4"x 5" sheets of 1/8" Lucite is being processed and will be ready for shipment on September 21. It will be delivered to your workshop by our own van, and payment will be c.o.d. (our policy for all orders under $100).

We are sure you will appreciate the clear finish and tensile strength of our entire line of plastics. Ms. Julie Methel, your sales representative, will call on you soon with a catalog and samples.


PAYTON'S PLASTICS, INC. Howard Roberts Customer relations

(4) An extract from a contract for sale/purchase of goods:

The Supplier guarantees that the goods are in all respects in accordance with the description, technical conditions and specifications of the order, that they are free from defects in material, design and workmanship and they conform to the Supplier's highest standards. Should the goods prove defective during the period of 12 months from the date of putting the machine, equipment or instruments into operation but not more than 18 months from the date of shipment, the Supplier undertakes to remedy the defects or to replace the faulty goods delivering them c.i.f. Baltic or Black Sea port at the Buyer's option, free of charge, or to refund the value of the goods paid by the Buyer.


(5) A newspaper article:

Ageism Factor

I blame Prince Philip, rather than the Queen, for the extraordinarily silly decision to support Jeffrey Archer's private bill which will allow a female child of the monarch to inherit the crown if she is born before her brothers. Although it may seem vaguely progressive and modern, even feminist, the truth is that it will do nothing for women's dismal role within the reproductive system which is the basis of all disadvantages.

If the monarchy is seen as a prize which anyone would want, then it might make some sort of sense to open it up further to women, but in those circumstances, the proposal emphasizes another injustice. If the former arrangement was sexist, the new one is unacceptably ageist. Why should one child be preferred to another just because it is older?

In the new spirit of the age, we have to accept that the younger our leaders or rulers, the better their image. That is why the Conservatives are now led by exciting, 36-year old William Hague. Some of us might be regretting the choice. Most, I think, would agree he made a mistake in allowing his spin-doctors to persuade him to adopt the accents of Wallace, the television entertainer of Wallace and Gromit fame, to promote his «young» image.

Even so, the superiority of youth is now unassailable. Before too long, when the monarchy falls vacant, it will go to the youngest child of either sex... are we soon to be told that the Queen will become such a law? We rather look to the monarchy to protect us from such nonsense. In point of fact, as I said, I suspect that Prince Philip is to blame for this latest bit of mischief. He and Jeffrey Archer are simply sending rude messages to their sons. Lord Archer is a Life Peer, so his opinions are not of the slightest interest on this or any other subject, but Prince Philip deserves a small rap on the knuckles. Some things are too important to joke about.

(The Daily Telegraph, March 2, 1998)

(6) A news item:

Stylistic Phonetics

1. At the level of phonetic description stylistically of interest is an instance of substandard pronunciation (are instances of)...

2. The vowel ... is reduced to...

The consonant ... is replaced by...

The sound ... is omitted.

The word ... is completely mispronounced.

3.The substandard (colloquial, low colloquial etc.) pronunciation is rendered in writing by deviations from standard spelling.

4.The non-standard pronunciation

a) serves for character drawing;

b) is due to the social position of the character; the low educational level of the speaker; the dialectal peculiarities of speech; the emotional state of the character, etc.

5. The prosodic features are rendered in writing by...

6. The emphatic stress/intonation, etc.

a) conveys a special importance to the words...

b) renders the emotional state of the personage...

c) shows the attitude of the character to ...

7. Alliteration (intentional repetition of consonants)/onomatopoeia (sound imitation)

a) creates a melodic/rhythmic effect;

b) serves as a method of euphonic organization of the text;
c) evokes a concrete sensuous image of the phenomena described

d) serves for comic representation of foreign speech.

Stylistic Morphology

1. In the extract under consideration we observe transposition of ...

2. The pronoun ... is used instead of... in order to express ... /show

3. The use of... instead of...

a) is a sign of "popular"/ illiterate/low colloquial speech;

b) creates connotations of irritation/surprise/irony etc.

4. Repetition of morphemes

a) is employed for emphasis;

b) serves the purpose of...;

c) creates indirect onomatopoeia.

5. The forms... are completely "ungrammatical" and thus show the low social status of the speaker.

6. Stylistically colored morphemes (such as...) are signals of...

7. The substitution of... by... is stylistically relevant, because...

8. The text (the personage's discourse, the dialogue, etc.) abounds in contracted forms, which render colloquial (informal) character of communication.


Stylistic Lexicology

1. At the level of lexical description (lexical analysis) of interest
stylistically is/are...

a) The bookish/colloquial type of speech is marked by...

b) The text is remarkable for the use of ... vocabulary...

c) The bookish/colloquial/slang word ... stands for the neutral...

2. The use of specific vocabulary (archaisms, barbarisms, terms, dialectisms, etc.) serves to create a particular background (historical, local, professional, etc.)

3. The use of ... serves for character drawing (indicates the social position, educational level; renders official / unofficial / familiar / humorous / sneering. etc. manner of speech.

4. ... are used in close context

a) to achieve comic / humorous effect;

b) to create connotations of irony / mockery etc.

5. The specific (poetic, colloquial, etc.) vocabulary gives / renders a particular (solemn, grave, passionate, pompous, unofficial, familiar, etc.) tone to the text.

6. The hyperbole ... is intended for emphasis.

7. …conveys the author's subjective evaluation of…

8. ... is introduced / to describe (to characterize) by deliberate
underestimation of...

9. ... carries a sarcastic overtone / has a connotation of
mockery/creates humorous connotations.

a) The text owes its vividness to the use of...

b) ... gives a vivid colourful description of...

10. The metaphor / metonymy / irony … replaces a traditional
nomination on the basis of...

... presents an abstract notion as a concrete thing with vigor and

... serves for an expressive characterization of...

11. ... creates gradual intensification of meaning.

12. The stylistic effect of... is based on defeated expectancy.

13. ... is used to bring forth a comic/humorous etc. effect.

14. is made up by deliberate combination of words incompatible in


15. The stylistic function of the oxymoron is to present ... in

complexity of contrasting features.

16. The antithesis a) is made up of lexical/contextual antonyms

a) serves to show ...

b) is realized through the use of...

Stylistic Syntax


1. ... creates a certain rhythmic effect/ serves for rhythmic organization of the text/creates the inner rhythm of the author's discourse/of the narration.

2. ... creates an atmosphere of tension/dynamic activities/ monotony etc.

3. ... serves as an appending stylistic device, increasing the stylistic effect of...

4. ... conveys the emotional state of the character/ the fragmentary character of his thoughts/introduces the elements of suspence.

5. The text, which is a specimen of colloquial speech, abounds in elliptical sentences, such as ...

6. ... is used to imply emotional tension to the text.

7. Implied question/request/negation etc. are disguised as ...

8. ...serves for emphatic negation/assertion etc.

9. ... convey emphasis and expressiveness to the text/description/narration by their condensed and laconic form.

10. The stylistic effect is created by deliberate deviation from the generally accepted arrangement of sentence elements.

11. ... is detached from the head word and placed in a prominent position

12. ... gives special prominence to

13. ... /introduces some new information/a plane of secondary predication.

14. The sentences/clauses/phrases are built after (follow) the same syntactic pattern.

15. The stylistic effect of parallelism ... etc. is increased by anaphora/epiphora/ etc.
16. ... adds to the emphatic overtone of the text.

Stylistic Phonetics

Thquire!... Your thirvant! Thith ith a bad pieth of bithnith, thith ith.... (Ch. Dickens)

At the level of phonetic description, of interest is substitution of consonants, which is rendered in writing by intentional violation of spelling: the graphon "th" replaces the letter "s" in the personage's discourse. This stylistic device serves for speech characterization, it shows the character's lisp.

My daddy's coming tomorrow on a nairplane." (J. D Salinger) To create an impression of the little girl's speech, the author resorts to graphical stylistic means: the graphon " on a nairplane" stands for "on an airplane" . The contracted form "daddy's" is used to show the informal character of communication (reduction of vowels is typical of colloquial speech).

"His wife," I said... W-I-F-E. Homebody. Helpmate. Didn 't he tell you? (Myrer)

Emphatic stress is rendered in writing by capitalized and hyphenated spelling of the word "wife". The stylistic device of alliteration (repetition of the initial consonant) in short one-member sentences ("Homebody. Helpmate.") strengthens the emphatic effect.

How sweet it were,...

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly

To the music of mild-minded melancholy;

To muse and brood and live again in memory. (A. Tennyson)

The repetition of the sonorant "m" at the beginning of successive words aims at imparting a melodic effect and creating connotations of solemnity.

Whenever the moon and the stars are set,

Whenever the wind is high,

AII night long in the dark and wet

A man goes riding by. (R. S. Stevenson)

In the analysed passage, stylistically of interest is a case of indirect onomatopoeia: repeated "w" is used to reproduce the sound of wind. Unlike alliteration, indirect onomatopoeia demands some mention of what makes the sound (see the word "wind").

Stylistic Morphology


"They're certainly going to hold on to her," Nicole assured him briskly. "She did shoot the man. " (S. Fitzgerald)

At the level of stylistic morphology, we observe transposition of the auxiliary verb "did", which is used not in its primary function but for the purpose of emphasis.

"You're the bestest good one - she said - the most bestest good one in the world" (H.E. Bates)

The emphatic effect of the above given utterance is achieved by intentional violation of English grammar rules (the rules of forming degrees of comparison). The nonce-words thus formed ("bestest", "the most bestest") create humorous connotations.

What else do I remember? Let me see.

There comes out of the cloud our house, our house - not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground floor is Peggoty's kitchen,opening into the back yard.... (Ch. Dickens)

The reproduced extract is the author's narrative. Charles Dickens depicts past events as if they were in the present. This stylistic device (the use of present tense forms with reference to past actions) is called "historical present" ("praesens historicum" in Latin). It imparts vividness to narration.

"It don't take no nerve to do somepin when there ain't nothing, he voucan da..." (J. Steinbeck)

The stylistic purpose of the writer is to portray the character by showing peculiarities of his idiolect. Double negation ("don't take no nerve, etc.), misuse of person-and-number forms ("it don't"), colloquial speech form ("ain't'), and the substandard pronunciation of fhe word -'something", rendered in writing by the graphon "somepin'", - all this shows the low educational and cultural level of the speaker.

Stylistic Lexicology

"I'm terribly sorry I brought you along, Nickie ", said his father, his post-operative exhilaration gone. "It was an awful mess to put you through." (E. Hemingway).

Father's tenderness and care is stressed by the writer in the diminutive form of the boy's name. "Nickie", compared with "Nick", shows that besides the nominal meaning the derived word has aquired emotive meaning too. Also, the contracted form "I'm", substandard intensifier "terribly", and the word combination "an awful mess" participate the conveying the atmosphere of colloquial informality.

The little boy, too, we observed, had a famous appetite, and consumed schinken, and braten, and kartoffeln, and cranberry jam... with a gallantry that did honour to his nation. (W. Thackeray)

In the analysed extract, stylistically of interest is the use of barbarisms. The events take place in a small German town where a boy with a remarkable appetite is made the focus of attention. By introducing several German words into his narrative, the author gives an indirect description of the peculiarities of the German menu and the environment in general.

"Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast, Her sire an earl; her dame of princess blood." (A. S.) The solemn, high-flown connotations of the utterance are due to the use of lexical archaisms, such as "to foster" ("nourish", "bring up"), "sire" ("father"), and "dame" ("mother"). The partial inversion at the beginning of the sentence and two metonymies ("breast" and blood") add to the stylistic effect.

Then they came in. Two of them, a man with long fair moustaches and a silent dark man... Definitely, the moustache and I had nothing in common (D. Lessing)

At the level of stylistic semasiology, of interest is a case of genuine metonymy. A feature of a man which catches the eye - his moustache - stands for the man himself. The metonymy here implies that the speaker knows nothing of the man in question; obviously, it is the first time those two have met.

At the top of the steps... amber light flooded out upon the darkness (S. Fitzgerald).

The metaphors "amber" and "flooded out" are used by the author to create a colourful picture of the night and the dark hall, part of which is illuminated by a ray of light coming from the room upstairs. The metaphoric epithet "amber" substitutes the non-figurative "yellow" (similarity of colour). The figurative verb "flood out" stands for the traditional "illuminate"; this transfer is based on the funcational similarity of water flooding the earth and a ray lighting dark space.

"Never mind", said the stranger, cutting the address very short, "said enough - no more; smart chap that cabman - handled his fives well; but if I'd been your friend in the green jemmy - damn me - punch his head-, God I would -pig'd whisper - pieman too, - no gammon."

This coherent speech was interrupted by the entrance of the Rochester coachman, to announce that... (Ch. Dickens)

The word "coherent", which describes Mr. Jingle’s speech, is inconsistent with the actual utterance and therefore becomes self-contradictory. Here, irony as a trope (the use of a word in the sense opposite to its primary dictionary meaning) contributes to the general ironic colouring of the author's narration.

In the parlors he was unctuously received by the pastor and a committee of three, wearing morning clothes and a manner of Christian intellectuality. (S. Lewis)

In the passage under analysis the author brings into play effective zeugma ("wearing morning clothes and a manner of Christian intellectuality") to convey the ironic attitude of the protagonist to the situation and the members of the religious committee. The affected insincere atmosphere of the reception is further sustained by the high-flown epithet "unctuously", which adds to the stylistic effect.

"I'm eating my heart out"

"It's evidently a diet that agrees with you. You are growing fat on it." (W.S. Maugham)

The semantic and stylistic effect of pun here is due to simultaneous realization in close context of the phraseological and non-phraseological meanings of the phrase "to eat one's heart out". The first speaker uses it figuratively, while the second one intentionally interprets it as a free word combination, thus creating ironic connotations.

Stylistic Syntax

Into a singularly restricted and indifferent environment Ida Zobel was born. (Th. Dreiser)

The narration begins with partial inversion, promoting the adverbial modifier of place into the most conspicuous position, thus adding relevance and importance to the indication of the place of action.

It is not possible to describe coherently what happened next: but I, for one, am not ashamed to confess that, though the fair blue sky was above me, and the green spring woods beneath me, and the kindest friends around me, yet I became terribly frightened, more frightened that I ever wish to become again, frightened in a way I never have known either before or after. (E.M. Foster).

The syntax of this sentence paragraph shows several groups of parallel constructions, combined with epiphora ("above me", "beneath me", "around me"), polysyndeton ("and... and..."), and anaphora ("frightened... frightened..."). These stylistic devices used in convergence create a definitely perceived rhythm, which helps to render the atmosphere of overwhelming inexplicable horror dominating the passage. The stylistic effect is reinforced by the masterful use of climax creating gradual intensification of meaning:

" What - a daughter of his grow up like this! Be permitted to join in this prancing route of perdition! Never!" (Th. Dreiser)

The represented inner speech of the character culminates in a number of exclamatory one-member sentences, which emphasize the speaker's emotions. The sentences are placed in inverted commas, but we perceive that the author's presentation of the man's words does not occur simultaneously with their utterance, and the pronoun "his" used instead of "mine" indicates the fact.

Being narrow, sober, workaday Germans, they were annoyed by the groups of restless, seeking, eager and, as Zobel saw it, rather scandalous men and women who paraded the neighbourgood streets ... without a single thought apparently other than pleasure. And these young scramps and their girl-friends who sped about in automobiles. The loose indifferent parents. What was to become of such a nation? (Th. Dreiser)

The subjectivity of Zobel`s evaluation is stressed by two parentheses ("as Zobel saw it" and "apparently"). They lessen the finality and disapprobation of otherwise negative qualifications of the alien (American) world. The structurally incomplete (elliptical) sentences and the rhetorical question at the end of the passage indicate the shift of narration from the author's discourse to the personage's represented speech.

Functional Analysis

"Ever do any writing?" he asked.

"Only letters," answered Anna, startled from her marking. It was obvious that Mr. Forster was disposed to talk, and Anna put down her own marking pencil. "Why? Do you?" she asked.

Mr. Foster waved a pudgy hand deprecatingly at the exercise book before him.

" Oh! I'm always at it. Had a go at a pretty well everything in the writing line."

"Have you had anything published?" asked Anna with proper awe. She was glad to see that Mr. Foster looked gratified and guessed, rightly, that he had.

"One or two little things," he admitted with a very fair show of insouciance.

"How lovely!" said Anna enthusiastically. ("Fresh from the Country ")

The passage represents an informal dialogue between a young school teacher and her colleague. The personage's discourse is interspersed with instances of the author's narration, which is marked by the use of bookish words (" deprecatingly", "gratified", " awe", "insouciance", etc.) and well-organized lengthy sentences, such as the following one, complicated by detachment: "She was glad to see that Mr. Foster looked gratified and guessed, rightly, that he had." The dialogue, on the contrary, abounds in short, one-member and elliptical, sentences ("Ever do any writing?" "How lovely!"). The vocabulary, too, participates in conveying the atmosphere of colloquial informality. Alongside with standard colloquial "had a go", it includes interjections ("Oh!"), contracted forms ("I'm"), the colloquial intensifier "pretty", and a word of highly generalized meaning ("little things").

A case of understatement ("One or two little things") in the end of the passage is used to render the affected modesty of the speaker, which is becomes clear from the subsequent author's remark.

Text Interpretation

The passage under analysis is taken from John Galsworthy's story "The Broken Boot". It is about an actor whose name is Gilbert Caister. For six months he had been without a job and a proper meal. He ran into a man whom he had come to know in a convalescent camp, a man who thought a lot of him as an actor and was tremendously happy to see him again.

To convey Caister's state of mind on the noon when he "emerged" from his lodgings, the author brings into play an abundance of expressive stylistic means and means of speech characterization.

Caister was humiliated by having been out of job, by having to wear old clothes and being hungry. He did not want to acknowledge his poverty and fought the humiliation by assuming an ironic attitude towards himself and things happening to him. The irony is conveyed by lexical means: the epithet "faint" and the bookish word "regard" (instead of "look at"). The stylistic effect is increased by the verb "long for" used in the context inappropriate with its high-flown connotations. Cf. Fixing his monocle, he stopped before a fishmonger's and with a faint smile on his face, regarded a lobster.... One could long for a lobster without paying....

The metaphoric epithet "ghost" and the euphemistic metonymy "elegance" add to the stylistic effect: Yet he received the ghost of aesthetic pleasure from the reflected elegance of a man long fed only twice a day.... The epithet "the ghost of .. .pleasure" forms a specific structure characterized by reversed syntactic-semantic connections (inverted epithet). "Elegance" replaces "gauntiness" because Caister does not like to think of himself as "gaunt".

Irony is accentuated by a mixture of styles (formal, intentionally well-bred vs highly colloquial) in the following: "/ shall be delighted." But within him something did not drawl: "By God, you are going to have a feed, my boy!"

To show Caister's attitude to his own distress and worry over his worn-out clothes, the author makes use of numerous stylistic devices: mixture of styles (cf. the use of colloquial "fancy himself and bookish "refitted" in close context); the vulger intensifier "damned"; the anaphoric repetition of "very" and "on", combined with parallelism: The sunlight of this damned town was very strong, very hard on sems and button-holes, on knees and elbows! Together with the actual tweeds, in which he could so easily fancy himself refitted...."

The list of devices employed in the second paragraph is by no means exhaustive. Find and interpret the meaning and function of the following.

of a man long fed... of an eyeglasses well rimmed... of a velour hat salved...;

under it was his new phenomenon... ;

meche blanche;

Was it an asset or the beginning of the end?

that shadowy face;

atrophy, nerve, tissue;

…perhaps, but.

When Caister ran into Bryce-Green, it was the latter's face that attracted his attention. This idea is emphasized by the use of metonymy. ...he had passed a face he knew. A chain of post-positive attributes with the metaphoric epithet "cherubic" gives a vivid and colourful description of Bryce-Green's appearance: Turning, he saw it also turn on a short and dapper figure - a face rosy, bright, round, with an air of cherubic knowledge, as of a getter-up of amateur theatricals." This description sets Bryce-Green at once in an opposition to Caister, as a prosperous well-fed, well-clothed man to a poor and nearly starving one. This idea is reinforced by the use of antithesis: And - elegantly threadbare, roundabout and dapper - the two walked side by side. It is a complex stylistic device, in which the first opposed part is constituted by another figure of speech, an oxymoron ("elegantly threadbare"). The antithesis is made prominent by detachment, which is marked in writing by paired dashes.

To conclude, one may say that within a mere page of the story Galsworthy displays an abundance of though and feeling, proving himself once again a brilliant stylist. The extract is a wonderful example of the author's consistency in the realization of his creative scheme - to achive and sustain ironic effect.

Functional Analysis

The text begins with the author's discourse which constitutes the first paragraph of the story. The second paragraph is the author's discourse intersperced with instances of Caister's represented speech. At the end of the chosen extract, there is a fragment of the conversation between Caister and Bryce-Green (the personages' discourse).

The author's discourse is marked by lengthy sentences of complex structure, such as the following: The actor, Gilbert Caister, who had been “out” for six months emerged from his east-coast seaside lodging about noon in the day, after the opening of the "Shooting the Rapids", on tour, in which he was allying Dr. Dominic in the last act. The bookish type of speech is also signalled by general bookish words: emerge, remake, jauntiness, regarded; fitted, aesthetic, elegance, phenomenon, reclined, conspicuous.

The use of words pertaining to the theatrical world creates a professional background: opening, on tour, act, production, amateur, theatricals, etc. Titles of plays, such as "Educating Simon", "Gotta-Campus ", etc., add to the stylistic effect.

Caister's represented speech is a peculiar blend of bookish and colloquial elements. On the one hand, there are no contracted forms in it, some sentences are rather lengthy and there are instances of bookish words; on the other hand, it contains elliptical sentences (Ages since he had eaten a lobster! Rather distinguished, perhaps...) and the vulgar intensifier damned.

Colloquial elements abound in the personages discourse -Caister and Bryce-Green's dialogue. Among them we find contracted forms (aren't, haven't); interjections (By George, Jove, By God); colloquial words (What sport we had..., here "sport" stands for the neutral "fun"; .. .you are going to have a feed, my boy! "feed" replaces "meals"); elliptical sentences (Haven't seen you... Doing anything with yourself?). All these elements serve to render the unofficial character of communication.


1. Choose the right answer to define the stylistic device in an underlined word:

I went back to the novel I had been reading, a Simenon.

a) metaphor c) personification

b) antonomasia d) metonymy

2. The stylistic device which is defined as “a figure of speech based on such an arrangement of parts of the utterance which secures a gradual increase in semantic significance or emotional tension” is:

a) inversion c) climax

b) enantiosemy d) euphemism


3. Give the definition of a functional style and single out the main functional styles according to Prof. Galperin’s classification.

4. Name the particular stylistic device, which is defined as “a figure of speech based on the use of the similar syntactic pattern in two or more sentences or syntagms”.

5. Define the particular type of euphemisms in the following phrases:

a) a woman of certain type c) children with specialneeds

b) a mighty reaper d) a sanitary engineer

e) Native Americans

6. Define the structural type of epithets in the following:

a) golden shoulders с) a devil of a woman

b) deep dark-blue crazy crying eyes d) unbreakfasted morning

e) a please-don't-touch-me-or-I-shall-cry look

7. Oxymoron is:

a) a trope which is based on the use of an evaluative word in the
opposite meaning;

b) a trope based on the transfer of meaning;

c) a figure of speech based on the play upon words similar in spelling
but different in meaning;

d) a figure of speech and a trope based on the combination of words with
contradictory meaning.

8. Adduce illustrative examples of:

a) grammatic inversion

b) emphatic inversion

c) stylistic inversion

9. Enumerate the main types of detachment and adduce illustrative examples of each type.

10. What are the main structural and semantic differences between the metaphor and simile? Adduce examples to illustrate your viewpoint.


1. Choose the right answer to define the stylistic device in an underlined word: Не took little satisfaction in telling each Mary something.

a) personification c) antonomasia

b) simile d) oxymoron

2. A stylistic device “based on the deliberate exaggeration of a quality or quantity essential to an object or phenomenon” is:

a) metaphor c) pun

b) zeugma d) hyperbole

3. Give definitions of a trope and a figure of speech and adduce illustrative examples.

4. Name the stylistic device which is defined as: “a figure of speech based on the repetition of the syntactical pattern with the reversed word order”. Give illustrative examples of each type of repetition.

5. Define the particular kind of metonymy in the following:

a) from the cradle to the grave

b) hands wanted

с) I don't like either Jack London or O'Henry.

d) She wears only tweed and cashmere.

e) I prefer gold to silver with my evening dress.

6. Define the particular semantic type of metaphor in the following:

a. the branch of the bank

b. Ploughing is surgery.

с Life is full of dangerous corners if you drive at a high speed.

7. Detachment is:

a) a trope based on the use of a common noun instead of a
proper name;

b) a stylistic device based on the play upon words;

c) a figure of speech based on the inverted word order in the

d) a figure of speech based on the separation of the secondary
members of the sentence by punctuation marks.


8. Adduce illustrative examples of the main types of climax and define them.

9. Enumerate the main stylistic types of syntactic connection between the parts of the utterance and adduce illustrative examples.

10. State the difference between hyperbole and meiosis. Adduce illustrative examples.




1. Арнольд И.В. Стилистика современного английского языка (Стилистика декодирования). Учебное пособие для студентов и институтов иностранных языков. – Л.: «Просвещение», 1973 (1981)

2. Гриценко Е.С., Рябова К.М. Учебно-методические материалы по стилистике английского языка. – Н. Новгород: НГПУ им Н.А. Добролюбова, 2004.

3. Задорнова В.Я. Стилистика английского языка: Методические указания для студентов романо-германских отделений филол. фак. гос. ун-тов. – М.: Изд-во Моск. университета, 1986.

4. Знаменская Т.А. Стилистика английского языка: Основы курса: Учебное пособие. – М.: Едиториал УРСС, 2002.

5. Кулинич М.А., Молчкова Л.В. Понятийный аппарат курса стилистики английского языка: Методические разработки. – Самара: Изд-во МИР, 2002.

6. Galperin, I.R. Stylistics. – M.: Higher School, 1977 (1981).

7. Ivashkin, M, Sdobnikov, V. A Manual of English Stylistics: Практикум по стилистике английского языка. Изд. 2-е. Нижний Новгород: НГЛУ им. Н.А. Добролюбова, 2002.

8. Kukharenko, V.A. A Book of Practice in Stylistics. – M, «Высшая школа», 1986.

9. Skrebnev, L.M. Fundamentals of English Stylistics. – M.: «Высшая школа», 1994.


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