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1.2.3.Literary stylistics

Stylistics of speech or literary stylistics studies the style of various writers or literary movements, or certain stylistic phenomena taken in their chronological developments, it deals with study of real text with the aim of discovering how content is expressed not only according to the norm but also due to deviation (отклонение) of the norm.

In the literary language the norm is the invariant of the phonemic, morphological, lexical and syntactical patterns in circulation during a given period in the development of the given language.

Any literary work of irrespective of its genre (poem, short story, novel, etc.), or its literary trend (realistic, naturalistic, romantic, etc.) is a unique and complete world, created by the author in precisely the way his imagination has urged him to create. Though it is a product of the author's imagination, it is always based upon objective reality. A literary work is thus a fragment of objective reality arranged in accordance with the vision of the author and permeated by his idea of the world.

The Theme of a literary work may be understood to be an interaction of human characters under certain circumstances, such as some social or psychological conflict (war and peace, clash of ideologies and the like).

Within a single work the basic theme may alternate with rival themes and their relationship may be very complex. Theme is the interpreted aspect of life(war and peace, race discrimination and the like).The same theme may be the basic theme, rival themes, by-themes.

Thus, for example, the basic theme of «The Forsyte Saga» may be defined as the life of the English middle class at the end of and after Victorian epoch. The by-themes in saga are numerous: the Boer and the 1st World War, the first Labour Government, the postwar generation, the arts and artists, etc.

The idea of a literary work can be defined as the underlying thought and emotional attitude transmitted to the reader by the whole poetic structure of the literary text.

Genre. A story or a novel may belong to one of the genres: social, scientific, historical, detective, documentary.

The author’s point of view. In contemporary fiction the author’s is to effectively impart to the reader various views and emotions of both: the writer and his personages and to impress the reader that the events described are real. This is fully depends on the form of the author’s narration or speech which is defined as the author’s point of view. There are four basic points of view: omniscient, limited omniscient, first person, objective.

Composition. The interrelation between different components of literary work is called composition. Any fiction text consists of a combination of relatively independent pieces of narrative: narration, description, dialogue, interior monologue.

The plot structure. The plot of a literary work is its plan and the structure of the action comprising a series of incidents or system of events. Episode is a separate incident, helping to unfold the action in a large piece of fiction. Each and every event that represents the conflict has a beginning, a development and an end. The plot accordingly consists of exposition, story and ending..

In the exposition the time, the place and the subject of the action are laid out. Some light may be shed on the circumstances that will influence the development of the action.

Story is that part of the plot which represents the beginning of the collision and the collision itself.

Climax is the highest point of the action.

Denouement is the event or events that bring the action to an end.

There is no uniformity as far as the above mentioned components of the plot and their sequence in the text are concerned. Some short stories may begin straight with the conflict without any exposition, while others have no denouement in the conventional sense of the word (E. Hemingway’s stories).

A work of narrative prose that has all the components mentioned above (exposition, story, climax and denouement) is said to have a closed plot structure.

A literary work in which the action is represented without an obvious culmination, which does not contain all the above mentioned components, is said to have an open plot structure.

Character may be presented either directly or indirectly. Also the character my be flat or round. The flat characteris impressionistic. The round character is complex and many-sided. The essential character in the conflict I referred to as the protagonist. The forces acting against him are referred to as antagonist.

Conflict. The main characters may be in conflict with some other person or a group of person(a man against man conflict ) or some external force , for example physical nature(man against environment conflict). He also may be in conflict with society(a man against society conflict) or some element in his own nature(a man against himself conflict) [ Нуриахметова 2010, 1-6]

1.2.2 Functional stylistics

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 co-ordination of the language means and stylistic devices (SD) which shapes the distinctive features of each style, and not the language means or SD themselves. A style of language – a system of co-ordinated, interrelated and inter-conditioned language means intended to fulfil a specific function of communication and aiming at a definite effect.


  • the purpose 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. This is the cognitive function of the style.

  • genuine, to trite, imagery, achieved by purely linguistic devices;

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

  • a vocabulary which will reflect to a greater or lesser degree of author's personal evaluation of things or phenomena;

  • a peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax, a kind of lexical and syntactical idiosyncrasy;

  • the introduction of the typical features of colloquial language to a full degree (in plays) or a lesser one (in emotive prose) or a slight degree, if any (in poems)

  • individual, distinctive properties, aesthetic-cognitive effect.


  • The language of poetry (verse) – rhyme, rhythmic and phonetic arrangement, strict orderly arrangement, compact, brevity of expression, epigram-like utterances; fresh, unexpected imaginary; elliptical and fragmentary sentences and other [SEM]. Versification and prosody.

  • Emotive prose (fiction): the imagery not so rich and the % of words with contextual meaning is not so high as it is in poetry, the idiosyncrasy of the author not so clearly discernible; monologue and dialogue, use of elements from other styles (newspaper, official, scientific);

  • The language of drama. : stylised language, entirely dialogue, the author's speech is almost entirely excluded except for the playwright's remarks and stage directions, significant though they may be. Use the norms of the literary language of the given period.


  • general aim 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 of the speaker is the only correct one and to cause him to accept the point of view … not merely by logical argumentation, but by emotional appeal as well (brain-washing function).

  • combination of logical argumentation and emotional appeal;

  • features, common with the style of scientific prose and emotive prose;

  • coherent and logical syntactical structure, expanded system of connectives and careful paragraphing;

  • use of words with emotive meaning, the use of other SD as in emotive prose, but

  • the SD are not fresh or genuine.

  • individual element is little in evidence here, generally toned down and limited

  • brevity of expression (sometimes epigrammatic) – leading feature;


  • oratorical (direct contact with the listeners);

  • radio commentary;

  • essay (moral, philosophical, literary; book review in journals and magazines, pamphlets) is a literary composition of moderate length on … subjects. It never goes deep into the subject but merely touches upon the surface, a series of personal and witty comments;

  • articles (political, social, economic);


  • 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 reader.

  • primary function is to impart information, seeks to influence public opinion on political and other matters

  • (brief news items and communiqués, press reports, purely informational, advertisement and announcements, editorials)

  • alleges and claims, restrictions of time and space

  • LED]: special political and economic terms, non-term political vocabulary, newspaper clichés, abbreviations, neologisms;

  • syntactic constructions, indicating a lack of assurance of the reporter as to the correctness of the facts reported or his desire to avoid responsibility [Complex Subject]

  • complex sentences with a developed system of clauses;

  • syntactical complexes: verbal constructions (infinitive, participial, gerundial) and verbal noun constructions;

  • specific word order – five-w-and-h-pattern rule: (who-what-why-how-where-when)

  • attributive noun groups (e.g. leap into space age);

  • the most concise is the headlines, + considerable amount of appraisal (the size and arrangement, the use of emotionally coloured words and elements of emotive syntax);


  • aim: to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between different phenomena, etc.

  • logical sequence of utterances with clear indication of their interrelations and interdependence; logical coherence of ideas expressed;

  • objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of any individuality, striving for the most generalised form of expression.

  • developed and varied system of connectives

  • use of terms specific to each given branch of science

  • direct referential (and primary logical) meaning of the general vocabulary; self-explanatory terms; neutral and common literary words; the possibility of ambiguity is avoided;

  • Hardly a single word will be found here which is used in more than one meaning, nor will be any words with contextual meaning;

  • sentence-patterns (postulatory, argumentative, formulative)

  • based on facts already known, on facts systematised and defined;

  • quotations and references

  • foot-notes, digressive in character

  • impersonality: frequent use of passive constructions, [infinitive constructions]

  • Impersonal passive constructions are frequently used with the verbs suppose, assume, point out

  • far greater amount of preliminary knowledge

  • there may be hypotheses, pronouncements and conclusions, (backed up by strong belief)


  • the main aim is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking (the state and the citizen, citizen and citizen, the society and its members, two or more enterprises or bodies, a person and subordinates)

  • the aim is to reach agreement between two contracting parties.

  • special system of clichés, terms and set expressions; conventionality of expression;

  • each of subdivisions of this style has its own peculiar terms, phrases and expressions;

  • the encoded character of language; symbols: special terminological nomenclature, abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions;

  • use of words in their logical dictionary meaning. There is no room for words with contextual meaning or for any kind of simultaneous realisation of two meanings.

  • Word with emotive meaning are also not to be found in the style of official documents, except those which are used in business letters as conventional phrases of greeting or close (as Dear Sir)

  • absence of any emotiveness: (commercial correspondence) emotional words and phrases

  • compositional patterns, compositional design; infinitive object clauses

  • a general syntactical mode of combining several pronouncement into one sentence, the whole document in one sentence [acc. to] its formal syntactical structure


  • the language of business documents,

  • the language of legal documents,

  • that of diplomacy,

  • that of military documents.

1.3. Problem of image-creation in fiction texts

Literary image is one of the fundamental notions both in literary and linguostylistics. It may refer a) to the way of reflecting the objective reality (text serves as the image of reality); b) to characters; c) to any meaningful unit (word, phrase, detail).

We should distinguish: 1) macroimage - the literary work itself understood as an image of life, visioned and depicted by the author; 2) character image; 3) event image; 4) landscape; 5) microimages - words within the poetic structure - which serve to build images of a higher level.

Literature is a medium for transmitting aesthetic information. To be operative, it must, like any other kind of communication, involve not only the addresser (the author) but also the addressee (the reader). Indeed, a literary work is always written for an audience. Whether the author admits it or not, he is urged on by a desire to impart his vision of the world, his attitude towards it, to someone, i.e. to an addressee. His attitude may be quite obviously expressed, or, on the contrary, be presented in a non-committal, impersonal way. Thus, the literary work is an act of communication of the author with the reader.

Language is the medium of literature, it is capable of transmitting practically any kind of information. It has names for all things, phenomena and relations of objective reality. It is so close to life that an illusion of their almost complete identity is created, for man lives, works and thinks in the medium of language; his behaviour finds an important means of expression primarily in language.

Language is closely connected with nationality. And even when a person speaks a language foreign to him, his own nationality can be clearly identified. Language is constantly changing. Changes in language are brought about by external, i.e. social causes (for language develops simultaneously with the culture of the people that speaks it) as well as by internal causes. The results of all these changes remain in the language.

Stylistics studies many problems treated in lexicology. These are the problems of meaning, connotations, synonymy, functional differentiation of vocabulary according to the sphere of communication and some other issues. For a reader without some awareness of the connotations and history of words, the images hidden in their root and their stylistic properties, a substantial part of the meaning of a literary text, whether prosaic or poetic, may be lost.

Thus, for instance, the mood of despair in O. Wilde’s poem “Taedium Vitae” (Weariness of Life) is felt due to an accumulation of epithets expressed by words with negative, derogatory connotations, such as: desperate, paltry, gaudy, base, lackeyed, slanderous, lowliest, meanest.

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