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There is a variety of periphrasis which are called euphemistic.

Euphemism, as is known, is a word or phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conventionally more acceptable one, for example, the word 'to die' has bred the following euphemisms: to pass away, to be no more, to depart, to join the majority. So euphemisms are synonyms which aim at producing a deliberately mild effect.

Euphemisms may be divided into several groups according to their spheres of application. The most recognized are the following: 1) religious, 2) moral, 3) medical and 4) parliamentary.


Hyperbole is deliberate overstatement or exaggeration, the aim of which is to intensify one of the features of the object in question to such a degree as will show its utter absurdity.

In order to depict the width of the river Dnieper Godol uses the following hyperbole:

"It's a rare bird that can fly to the middle of the Dnieper."

4. Compositional patterns of syntactical arrangement:

The structural syntactical aspect is sometimes regarded as the crucial issue in stylistic analysis, although the peculiarities of syntactical arrangement are not so conspicuous as the lexical and phraseological properties of the utterance.

Structural syntactical stylistic devices are in special relations with the intonation involved.

When viewing the stylistic functions of different syntactical designs we must first of all take into consideration two aspects:

1. The juxtaposition of different parts of the utterance.

2. The way the parts are connected with each other.

In addition to these two large groups of EMs and SDs two other groups may be distinguished:

1. Those based on the peculiar use of colloquial constructions.

2. Those based on the transferred use of structural meaning. Stylistic Inversion

Word order is a crucial syntactical problem in many languages. Stylistic inversion aims at attaching logical stress or additional emotional colouring to the surface meaning of the utterance.

Stylistic inversion in Modern English should not be regarded as a violation of the norms of standard English. It is only the practical realization of what is potential in the language itself.

The following patterns of stylistic inversion are most frequently met in both English prose and English poetry.

1. The object is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

2. The attribute is placed after the word it modifies (postposition of the attribute). "With fingers weary and worn... "

3. a) The predicative is placed before the subject as in "A good generous prayer it was."

or b) the predicative stands before the link verb and both are placed before the subject as in "Rude am I in my speech..."

4. The adverbial modifier is placed at the beginning of the sentence, as in "Eagerly I wished the morrow."

5. Both modifier and predicate stand before the subject, as in "In went Mr. Pickwick."

Detached constructions

Sometimes one of the secondary parts of the sentence by some specific consideration of the writer is placed so that it seems formally independent of the word it logically refers to. Such parts of structures are called detached. They seem to dangle in the sentence as isolated parts.

The detached part, being torn away from its referent, assumes a greater degree of significance and is given prominence by intonation. For example, "Sir Pitt came in first, very much flushed, and rather unsteady in his gait. "

Parallel construction

Parallel construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures - the syntactical whole and the paragraph. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence, as in:

"There were, ..., real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china cups to drink it out of, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast in. " (Dickens)

Parallel constructions may be partial or complete. Partial parallel arrangement is the repetition of some parts of successive sentences or clauses. Complete parallel arrangement, also called balance, maintains the principle of identical structures throughout the corresponding sentences, as in

"The seeds ye sow - another reaps,

The robes ye weave - another wears,

The arms ye forge - another bears." (P.B.Shelley)

There are two main functions of parallel construction: semantic and structural. On the one hand a parallel arrangement suggests equal semantic significance of the component parts, on the other hand, it gives a rhythmical design to these component parts, which makes itself most keenly felt in balanced constructions.

Chiasmus (Reversedparallel construction)

Chiasmus belongs to the group of stylistic devices based on the repetition of a syntactical pattern, but it has a cross order of words and phrases. The structure of two successive sentences or parts of a sentence may be described as reversed parallel construction, the word order of one of the sentences being inverted as compared to that of the other as in:

"As high as we have mounted in delight

In our dejection do we sink as low. " (Wordsworth)

This device is effective in that it helps to lay stress on the second part of the utterance, which is opposite in structure.


Repetition is an expressive means of language used when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotion. It shows the state of mind of the speaker, as in the following passage from Galsworthy:

"Stop!" - she cried, "Don't tell me! / don't want to hear; I don't want to hear what you've come for. / don't want to hear. "

The repetition of / don't want to hear is not a stylistic device; it is a means by which the excited state of mind of the speaker shown. This state of mind always manifests itself through intonation, which is suggested here by the words, she cried.

When used as a stylistic device, repetition acquires quite different functions. It does not aim at making a direct emotional impact. On the contrary, the stylistic device of repetition aims at logical emphasis, an emphasis necessary to fix the attention of the reader on the key-word of the utterance. For example:

"For that was it! Ignorant of the long and stealthy march of passion, and of the state to which it had reduced Fleur; ignorant of how Soames had watched her, ignorant of Fleur's reckless desperation ... - ignorant of all this, everybody felt aggrieved." (Galsworthy)

Repetition is classified according to compositional design. If the repeated word (or phrase) comes at the beginning of two or more consecutive sentences, clauses or phrases, we have anaphora, as in the example above. If the repeated unit is placed at the end of consecutive sentences, clauses or phrases we have the type of repetition called epiphore. Repetition may also be arranged in the form of a frame: the initial parts of a syntactical unit, in most cases of a paragraph, are repeated at the end of it. This compositional design of repetition is called framing.

Another variety of repetition may be called synonym repetition. This is the repetition of the same idea by using synonymous words and phrases which by adding a slightly different nuance of meaning intensify the impact of the utterance.


Enumeration is a stylistic device by means of which homogeneous parts of an utterance are made heterogeneous from the semantic point of view. For example:

"Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and his sole mourner. " (Dickens)

The enumeration here is heterogeneous; the legal terms placed in a string with such words as 'friend' and 'mourner' result in a kind of clash, a thing typical of any stylistic device. Here there is a clash between terminological vocabulary and common neutral words. In addition there is a clash of concepts: 'friend' and 'mourner' by force of enumeration are equal in significance to the business office of 'executor', 'administrator', etc. and also to that of 'legatee'.


Suspense is a compositional device which consists in arranging the matter of a communication in such a way that the less important, descriptive, subordinate parts are amassed at the beginning, the main idea being withheld till the end of the sentence. Thus the reader's attention is held and his interest kept up, for example:

"Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw. " (Charles Lamb)

Sentences of this type are called periodic sentences, or periods. Their function is to create suspense, to keep the reader in a state of uncertainty and expectation.

Suspense and climax sometimes go together. In this case all the information contained in the series of statement-clauses preceding the solution-statement are arranged in the order of gradation.

The device of suspense is especially favoured by orators. This is apparently due to the strong influence of intonation which helps to create the desired atmosphere of expectation and emotional tension which goes with it.

Suspense always requires long stretches of speech or writing.

Climax (Gradation)

Climax is an arrangement of sentences (or of the homogeneous parts of one sentence) which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance as in:

"It was a lovely city, a beautiful city, a fair city, a veritable gem of a city. "

A gradual increase in significance may be maintained in three ways: logical, emotional and quantitative.

Logical climax is based on the relative importance of the component parts looked at from the point of view of the concepts embodied in them. This relative importance may be evaluated both objectively and subjectively.

Emotional climax is based on the relative emotional tension produced by words with emotive meaning, as in the first example, with the words 'lovely', 'beautiful', 'fair'.

Emotional climax is mainly found in sentences, more rarely in longer syntactical units. This is natural. Emotional charge cannot hold long.

Quantitative climax is an evident increase in the volume of the corresponding concepts.

The indispensable constituents of climax are:

a) the distributional constituent: close proximity of the component parts arranged in increasing order of importance or significance;

b) the syntactical pattern: structure of each of the clauses or sentences with possible lexical repetition;

c) the connotative constituent: the explanatory context which helps the reader to grasp the gradation, as no ... ever once in all his life, nobody ever, nobody and others.

Climax, like many other stylistic devices, is a means by which the author discloses his world outlook, his evaluation of objective facts and phenomena. The concrete stylistic function of this device is to show the relative importance of things as seen by the author, or to impress upon the reader the significance of the things described by suggested comparison, or to depict phenomena dynamically. Antithesis

In order to characterize a thing or phenomenon from a specific point of view, it may be necessary not to find points of resemblance or association between it and some other thing or phenomenon, but to find points of sharp contrast, that is, to set one against the other, for example:

"A saint abroad, and a devil at home. " (Bunyan) "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. " (Milton) Stylistic opposition, which is given a special name, the term antithesis, is of a different linguistic nature: it is based on relative opposition which arises out of the context through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs, as in: Youth is lovely, age is lonely, Youth is fiery, age is frosty; (Longfellow)

Antithesis has the following basic functions: rhythm-forming; copulative; dissevering in their own peculiar manner.

1. Etymological survey of the English word-stock: definition of native terms, borrowing, translation loan, semantic loan. Words of native origin and their characteristics.

2. Foreign elements in Modern English. Scandinavian borrowings, classical elements - Latin and Greek, French borrowings, Ukrainian-English lexical correlations; assimilation of borrowings. Types and degrees of assimilation. International words.

3. Word-formation in Modern English: the morphological structure of a word. The morpheme. The principles of morphemic analysis. Types of morphemes. Structural types of words: simple, derived, compound words.

4. Productivity. Productive and non-productive ways of word-formation. Affixation. General characteristics of suffixes and prefixes. Classification of prefixes. Classification of suffixes. Productive and non-productive affixes, dead and living affixes.

5. Word-composition. Classification of compound words. Coordinative and subordinative compound words and their types. Conversion, its definition. Shortening. Lexical abbreviations. Acronyms. Clipping.

6. Non-productive means of word formation. Blending. Back-formation. Onomatopoeia. Sentence-condensation. Sound and stress interchange.

7. English vocabulary as a system. Definition of the term "synonym". A synonymic group and its dominant member. Problem of classification of synonyms. Different principles of classification: according to difference in denotational component of meaning or in connotational component (ideographic or stylistic synonyms); according to the criterion of interchangeability in linguistic contaxt (relative, total and contextual synonyms). Characteristic pattern of English synonyms. The sources of synonymy.

8. Homonyms. Classification. Origin of homonyms. The English vocabulary as an adaptive system. Neologisms.

9. Traditional lexicological grouping. Lexicogrammatical groups. Word-families.

10. The concept of polarity of meaning. Antonyms. Morphological classification of antonyms: absolute or root antonyms and derivational antonyms. Semantic classification of antonyms: antonyms proper, complementaries, conversives.

11. The theory of the semantic field. Common semantic denominator. Thematic or ideographic groups. Common contextual associations.

12. Hyponymy, paradigmatic relation of inclusion. Hyponyms, hyperonyms, equonyms.

13. Phraseology: Free word combination and phraseological word combination. The problem of definition of phraseological word combination. The essential features of phraseological units: lack of semantic motivation (idiomaticity) and lexical and grammatical stability. The concept of reproducibility.

14. Different approaches to the classification of phraseological units: semantic, functional (according to their grammatical structure), contextual.

15. Academician V.V.Vinogradov's classification of phraseological units. The degree of idiomaticity as an essential requirement for the classification:


a) phraseological combinations;

b) phraseological unities;

c) phraseological fusions.


16. Stylistic aspect of phraseology. Polysemy and Synonymy of Phraseological Units.

17. N.N.Amosova's concept of contextual analysis. Definition of fixed context. Two types of units of fixed context: a) phrasemes, b) idioms. Two types of idioms. S.V.Koonin's concept of phraseological units. Functional and semantic classification of phraseological units. Formal and functional classification.

18. Phraseological stability. Proverbs, saying, familiar quotations and cliches.

19. Grammar in the system of language. Morphology. Parts of speech. Language and Speech.
Linguistic levels. Practical and theoretical grammar. The main features of an analytical
language. Morphology and Syntax. Word. Morpheme.

20. Different approaches to the classification of words. Scerba's classification of words.
Notional and functional parts of speech.

21. Noun.

22. Article.

23. Verb.

24. Syntax. Types of sentences in English. Sentence: General. Actual division of the sentence. Communicative types of sentences.

25. Simple sentence: constituent structure. Simple sentence: paradigmatic structure.

26. Composite sentence as a polypredicative construction. Complex sentence. Compound sentence.

27. Semi-complex and semi-compound sentences. Sentence in the text.

28. General notes on style and stylistics. Expressive means and stylistic devices.

29. Stylistic classification of the English vocabulary.

30. Phonetic expressive means and stylistic devices.

31. Lexical expressive means and stylistic devices.

32. Syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices.


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 2361

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