When analyzing a text attention should be drawn to stylistic colouring of vocabulary. Stylistic coloring is characteristic of the words that have their typical sphere of use – sphere that is associated with them. Stylistic colouring depends on the language division into certain subsystems that are called functional styles of language. Stylistic colouring shouldn’t be confused with stylistic function. The first belongs to the language, the second – to the text. Neutral words form the bulk of the English vocabulary. But they are not considered as having a special stylistic colouring, whereas both literary and colloquial words have a definite stylistic colouring. Common literary words are used in writing and in polished speech. Literary units stand in opposition to colloquial units. This is especially apparent when pairs of synonyms are formed. (kid- child – infant). Stylistic difference may be of various kinds: it may lie in the emotional tension connoted in a word, or in the sphere of implication, or in the degree of the quality denoted. Colloq.words are emotionally more coloured than literary ones. The spoken language abounds in set expressions which are colloq. in character.
Speaking of colouring, the style of speech of a definite person is of great importance too. The usage of slangy words will seem more like a joke in the speech of elderly people, even in sentences with neutral words.
Expressive effect may be reached when a word of a different style unexpectedly appears in a neutral layer. … said my bro in his whining complaining platform voice.
So, words from different stylistic layers depending on the context may produce the same effect or on the contrary, words of the same functional style may have different stylistic functions. Words acquire stylistic colouring and other connotations in the typical for them communication conditions, where they are usually used and in correspondence with the linguistic functions in this sphere.
However, stylistic colouring is stronger when it’s out of the habitual speech sphere, against a background of the other vocabulary.
32. Word and its Meaning. Denotation & Connotation.
Arnold: A word is the major language unit which is the form of meaning and expresses emotions and attitudes. A word is polisemantic, that is it presents a number of lexical-semantic variations. Lexical meaning denotes notions, emotions or attitudes by the language system means. It’s difficult to find a clear-cut definition of a word because of its nature, difficulties in differentiation between a word and a morpheme, a word and a set phrase, problems connected with polycemy and homonymy, etc. Lexical valency is a potential ability of a word to be collocated with other words. Morphological – potential collocability with morphemes of word derivation and word changing. (ñëîâîîáðàçîâàíèÿ è ñëîâîèçìåíåíèÿ).Syntactical – ability to function in certain syntactic structures. Valency is usually realized in a context (the word takes one of its meanings).
Jakobson: Meaning = semantic invariant. The problem of meaning: interrelation between meaning and concept, m and sign, m and referent. In stylistic meaning is also viewed as a category which is able to acquire meanings imposed on the words by the context (contextual meanings). Semes – the smallest units of which meaning of a word consists. Lexical meaning refers the mind to some concrete concept of objective reality. Grammatical meaning refers the mind to relations between words or to some forms of words or constructions bearing upon their structural functions in the language-as-a-system. Polysemanticism is a crucial issue for stylistic studies. Every word leaves a door open for new shades and nuances and even for independent meanings. A word has a twofold nature (material and spiritual).
Three types of meaning: 1)logical m– names the precise feature of the idea, phenomenon or object by which we recognize the whole of the concept (also called referential or direct meaning). M can be primary and secondary (derived from primary. Contextual m-s are not components of the semantic structure of the word. Contextual m lives only in the context and disappears if the context is altered. A dictionary meaning is materialized in the context, contextual – born there. Every word has a potentiality for generating new m-s. 2)emotive m – point to the feelings and emotions of the speaker towards some objects of reality or to his emotions as such. The em. m bears reference to things through a kind of evaluation of them. (I feel so darned (óæàñíî) lonely – have no logical m, only em.m). Many words acquire an em.m only in a definite context. Then we say that the word has a contextual em.m. 3)nominal - indicate a particular object out of a class of similar objects. Its meaning is a derivative logical m. Such words as Smith, Everest, Black Sea, Thames are said to have nominal m.(proper names in grammar, capital letter). The log.m from which they originate may in the course of time be forgotten and thus not easily traced back. Logical m-s which nominate an object, at the same time signify the whole class of these objects. Nominal m-s which nominate an object are deprived of the latter function as they do not represent a class.
1) Denotational component – information that presents the subject of communication, its definition, but is not connected either with the conditions of communication or its participants. Denotat.meaning is related to extralinguistic reality. It’s obligatory. 2) Connotational component– information that somehow presents the conditions and the participants of the communication act. It’s not obligatory. Connotations may be: a) Emotive– expresses some emotions or feelings. Interjections are purely emotive words. It’s a special layer of language as these words have no direct meaning. They have typical features of emotionally coloured vocabulary: can be left out without changing the emotional colour of a phrase, absence of syntactical ties with other parts of a sentence, semantic irradiation (even one emotionally coloured word makes the whole phrase emotionally coloured. Some emotional words can point to a feeling in a general sense not naming its positive or negative character. (“Oh” may be happiness, sadness, surprise). Emotive vocabulary shouldn’t be mixed up with word naming emotions (grief, happiness) or emotional associations or reactions connected with the denotation of some words (death, tears, honour). b) Evaluative – expresses either a positive or a negative evaluation of the subject of communication. (time-tested method(+) – out-of-date method (-)) Words containing evaluative components are also called bias-words. (I’m firm(+), you are obstinate (slightly -), he is pig-headed (--)). Evaluative words are usually used in the description of public life or political events, often in their indirect meanings while its direct meanings are neutral. Evaluative vocabulary is widely used in publicistic style while it’s not common in scientific style and style of official documents. c) Expressive – a word has an expressive component if it underlines or intensifies what is expressed by this word or by other syntactically connected words. (she was a thin, frail, little thing – word thing instead of girl underlines how fragile she was). Emotionally coloured words are almost always expressive, But expressive words are far not always emotive. Expressiveness may be figurative (based on metaphoric transfer)(îáðàçíàÿ)and increasing (óâåëè÷èòåëüíàÿ) – such words are called intensifiers (adverbs all, ever, really, awfully, terribly). Intensifiers derived from emotive words usually refer to colloquial style. d) Collocative – a meaning which a word obtains due to its connection with another word (yellow – yellow press) Semantic associations (implications) should be differentiated from connotations. For example, a word woman the denotation: human+female+adult, but in some cultures a woman is also supposed to be tender, graceful, kind, talkative. These qualities are included into the implication of a word “woman” and are expressed in the meanings of derived words (womanly, womanish). Archaic words cause associations with the time when they were widely used. Names of exotic animals cause associations with the countries where they live