Home Random Page



Have Resolved to Combine Our Efforts to Accomplish These Aims.


Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the City of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."


As is seen, all the reasons which led to the decision of setting up an international organization are expressed in one sentence with parallel infinitive object clauses. Each infinitive object clause is framed as a separate paragraph thus enabling the reader to attach equal importance to each of the items mentioned. The separate sentences shaped as clauses are naturally divided not by full stops but either by commas or by semicolons.

It is also an established custom to divide separate utterances by numbers, maintaining, however, the principle of dependence of all the statements on the main part of the utterance. Thus, in chapter I of the U. N. Charter the purposes and principles of the charter are given in a number of predicatives, all expressed in infinitive constructions and numbered:






The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. TO MAINTAIN international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to. Bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.


2. TO DEVELOP friendly relations' among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

3. TO ACHIEVE international cooperation on solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. TO BE A CENTRE for harmonizing the actions of nations; in the attainment of these common ends."

Here is another sample of an official document maintaining the same principles:

United Nations Economic Distr. Limited

and Social Council R/TAC/L. 89/Rev. 2

29 Nov. 1955.

Original: English


Technical Assistance Committee.

Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance

Review of the Programme for 1956

Australia and Egypt: revised draft resolution.


The Technical Assistance Committee,

RECALLING THAT according to Economic and Social Council resolution 542 (XVIII) the preparation and review of the Expanded Programme and all other necessary steps should be carried out in a way that TAC ought to be in a position to approve the over-all programme and authorize allocation to participating organizations by 30 November at the latest,

CONSIDERING THAT a realistic programme such as the Expanded Programme cannot be planned and formulated without prior knowledge of the financial resources available for its implementation,

CONSIDERING THAT TAC, with the assistance of such ad hoc subcommittees as it may find necessary to establish, will normally need about one week to carry out the task referred to in the resolution mentioned above, bearing in mind the necessary consultations with the representatives of the participating organizations,

1. ASKS the Secretary-General to seek to arrange each year that the Pledging Conference should be convened as early as possible taking due account of all factors involved;

2. DECIDES that the Secretary-General should in future work on the assumption that in carrying out the functions of approving the programme and authorizing allocations as required by Economic and Social Council resolution 542 (XVIII), the TAC will usually need to meet for oneweek;

3. REQUESTS further the Secretary-General to transmit this resolution to all States Members and non-members of the United Nations which participate in the Expanded Programme."

In no other style of language will such an arrangement of utterance be found. In fact, the whole document is one sentence from the point of view of its formal syntactical structure. The subject of the sentence 'The Technical Assistance Committee' is followed by a number of participial constructions—'Recalling'—, 'Considering'—, 'Considering'—, is cut off by a comma from them and from the homogeneous predicates— 'Asks', 'Decides', 'Requests'. Every predicate structure is numbered and begins with a capital letter just as the participial constructions.

This structurally illogical way of combining different ideas has its sense. In the text just quoted the reason for such a structural pattern probably lies in the intention to show the equality of the items and similar dependence of the participial constructions on the predicate constructions.

"In legal English," writes H. Whitehall, "...a significant judgement may depend on the exact relations between words. ...The language of the law is written not so much to be understood as not to be misunderstood." 1

As is seen from the different samples above, the over-all code of the official style falls into a system of subcodes, each characterized by its own terminological nomenclature, its own compositional form, its own variety of syntactical arrangements. But the integrating features of all these subcodes, emanating from the general aim of agreement between parties, remain the following:

1) conventionality of expression;

2) absence of any emotiveness;

3) the encoded character of language symbols (including abbreviations) and

4) a general syntactical mode of combining several pronouncements into one sentence.



1 Whitehall, H. Structural Essentials of English. N. Y., 1956, p. 64.




This brief outline of the most characteristic features of the five language styles and their variants will show that out of the number of features which are easily discernible in each of the styles, some should be considered primary and others secondary; some obligatory, others optional; some constant, others transitory. The necessary data can be obtained by means of an objective statistical count based on a large number of texts, but this task cannot be satisfactorily completed without the use of computers.

Another problem facing the stylicist is whether or not there are separate styles within the spoken variety of the language, and the analysis of these styles if it can be proved that there are any. So far we are of the opinion that styles of language can only be singled out in the written variety. This can be explained by the fact that any style is the result of a deliberate, careful selection of language means which in their correlation constitute this style. This can scarcely be attained in the oral variety of language which by its very nature will not lend itself to careful selection.

However, there is folklore, which originated as an oral form of communication, and which may perhaps be classed as a style of language with its own structural and semantic laws.

* * *

The survey of different functional styles will not be complete without at least a cursary look into what constitutes the very notion of text as a production of man's creative activity in the realm of language.

The word 'text', which has imperceptibly crept into common use, has never been linguistically ascertained. It is so broad in its application that it can refer to a span of utterance consisting of two lines, on the one hand, and to a whole novel, on the other. Therefore the word needs specification in order to make clear what particular kind of language product has the right to be termed text. The student of functional styles will undoubtedly benefit by looking at the text from an angle different from what he has hitherto been used to. When analysing the linguistic nature of a text it is first of all necessary to keep in mind the concept of permanence as set against ephemerality. Text, being the result of language activity, enjoys permanence inasmuch as it belongs to the written variety of language.

Text can be what it claims to be only if it possesses the quality of integrity, i.e. wholeness characterized by its gestalt (see p. 30). In other words, text must enjoy a kind of independent existence; it must be an entity in itself.

The integrity of the text presupposes the subordination of certain parts to one particular part which reveals the main idea and the purport of the writer. It has already been stated that a text consists of units which we called supra-phrasal (see p. 194). These units are not equal in their significance: some of them bear reference to the main idea, others only back up the purport of the author. It follows then that supra-phrasal units can be classified as predicative and relative. The interrelation between these will show what kind of importance the author attaches to one or other part of the utterance.

The theory of communication has brought about new concepts regarding the information imparted by different texts. It will be of use to distinguish between the following terms: meaning, signification and content. We shall reserve the term 'meaning' for the semantics of a morpheme, a word or of a word-combination. The term 'signification' is here suggested to refer only to the sentence and supraphrasal units. The term 'content' should be reserved for the information imparted by the whole of the text.

It follows then that the information contained in a text is its content. However, the content is not a mechanical summing up of the significations of the sentences and the supra-phrasal units. Likewise, the signification of a sentence or of a supra-phrasal unit is not a mechanical summary of meanings of the constituents, i.e. of the words or word-combinations. The integrating power of the text greatly influences the signification of the sentences, depriving them of the independence they would enjoy in isolation. The same can be observed in the sentence, where the words to a greater or lesser degree lose their independence and are subjected to sometimes almost imperceptible semantic modifications. To phrase the issue differently, the content of a text modifies the significations of the sentences and the meanings of the words and phrases. The integrating power of the text is considerable and requires careful observation.

The information conveyed by a text may be of different kinds; in particular, two kinds of information might be singled out, viz. content-conceptual and content-factual.

Content-conceptual information is that which reveals the formation of notions, ideas or concepts. This kind of information is not confined to merely imparting intelligence, facts (real or imaginary), descriptions, events, proceedings, etc. It is much more complicated. Content-conceptual information is not always easily discernible. It is something that may not lie on the surface of its verbal exposition. It can only be grasped after a minute examination of the constituents of the text provided that the reader has acquired the skill of supralinear analysis. Moreover, it may have various interpretations and not infrequently reveals divergent views as to its purport.

It follows then that content-conceptual information is mainly found in the belles-lettres language style. Here it reigns supreme although it may also be encountered in some other functional styles and particularly in diplomatic texts.

Content-factual information is that contained in what we have al-


ready named matter-of-fact styles, i.e. in newspaper style, in the texts of official documents and in some others.

The classification of information into content-conceptual and content-factual should not lead to the conclusion that texts of a scientific nature, for example, are deprived of concepts. The word 'conceptual' has multi-dimensional parametres, i.e. it can be applied to different phenomena. Scientific treatises and monographs are undoubtedly characterized by original concepts, i. e. theories, hypotheses, propositions. But these concepts are explicitly formulated and need no special stylistic inventory to decode them. Whereas the concepts contained in works of art (to which the functional style of belles-lettres belongs) are to be derived from the gestalt of the work. Taken by itself, such a division of information may appear unconvincing, inasmuch as too many interpretations of the word 'conceptual' can be suggested. But its aim, be it repeated, is to emphasize the crucial difference between what is more or less clearly stated in verbal chains and what is only suggested and therefore needs mental effort to get at what is said by the unsaid.

In conclusion we suggest the following procedures in stylistic analysis which will facilitate the process of disclosing the kind of information contained in the given text.

The first procedure is to ascertain the kind of text being dealt with. This procedure may be called the taxonomic stage of analysis. Taxonomy is the science of classification. It states the principles according to which objects are classified. There is an immediate need to get a clear idea as to what functional style this or that text belongs. Furthermore, the taxonomical analysis will bring to mind a definite model of a text in the given style. Sometimes it is not enough to state that the text belongs to, let us say, the style of official documents. It is necessary to specify what kind of a document is being analysed. Thus, it is very important to find out whether the text is a memorandum, or a note, or a protest, or a pact, etc. If the text is one that belongs to the belles-lettres style, it is necessary to point out what kind of a text it is, viz. a poem (what type), a story, a novel and further, within it, a description, a portrait, a conversation (dialogue), the author's narrative, his speculations, etc.

The second procedure, which may be called the content-grasping stage, aims at an approximate understanding of the content of the given text. It does not claim to be a complete and exhaustive penetration into the hidden purport of the author. The conceptual information will be disclosed at later stages in the analysis.

However, this superficial grasping of the general content is an important stage, it should stand out against a deeper understanding of the information the text contains in the broad meaning of the term.

The third procedure, which might be called semantic, has as its purpose the close observation of the meanings of separate words and word combinations as well as of the significations of the various sentences and supra-phrasal units. This stage of the analysis predetermines the lines of further analysis which will reveal the deeper information. In maintaining this procedure it is vitally important not to lose sight of the fact that, as has been pointed out before, the meanings of words and the sig-

nifications of the sentences and SPUs are liable to modifications under the integrating power of the whole of the text, its gestalt. It is advisable at this stage of analysis to consult dictionaries inasmuch as dictionaries will show the polysemy of the words, thus enabling the student to distinguish a simultaneous realization of two or more meanings of aword in the sentence.

The fourth procedure,which should be called the stylistic stage,aims at finding out what additional information might be imparted by the author's use of various stylistic devices, by the juxtaposition of sentences within a larger frame of utterance, that is, in the SPU, and also by the interdependence of predicative and relative SPUs.

The fifth procedure,which conventionally might be called the functional stageof analysis, brings us back to the second one, i.e. the content-grasping stage. This analysis sets the task of investigating the conceptual information contained in the whole of the text. In maintaining this stage of analysis the student should assemble the previously acquired data and make a kind of synthesis of all the procedures.

There is no hierarchy in maintaining analysis procedures but the 'suggested sequence has proved to be the most efficient in getting a deeper insight into what constitutes the notion text.

Date: 2015-12-18; view: 1028

<== previous page | next page ==>
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2023 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.015 sec.)