Stylistics, sometimes called linguostylistics, is a branch of general linguistics. It deals mainly with two interdependent tasks: a) the investigation of the inventory of special language media which secure the desirable effect of the utterance and b) certain types of texts (discourse) which due to the choice and arrangement of language means are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of the communication.
The types of texts that are distinguished by the pragmatic aspect of the communication are called Functional styles of language (FS); the special media of language which secure the desirable effect of the utterance are called stylistic devices (SD) and expressive means (EM).
The first field, i.e. functional styles discusses such most general linguistic issues as oral and written varieties of language, the notion of the literary (standard) language, the constituents of texts larger than the sentence, the generative aspect of literary texts, and some others. FSs should be distinguished from varieties of language. The main difference is that the written and oral varieties of language are merely forms of communication which depend on the situation in which the communication is maintained, i.e. on the presence or absence of an interlocutor, whereas FSs are patterns of the written variety of language calculated to secure the desired purport of the communication.
The second field of investigation, i.e. SDs and EMs touches upon such general language problems as the aesthetic function of language, synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea, emotional colouring in language, the interrelation between language and thought, the individual manner of an author in making use of language and a number of other issues.
In dealing with the objectives of stylistics, certain pronouncements of adjacent disciplines such as theory of information, literature, psychology, logic and to some extent statistics must be touched upon. This is indispensable; for nowadays no science is entirely isolated from other domains of human knowledge; and linguistics, particularly its branch stylistics, cannot avoid references to the above mentioned disciplines because it is confronted with certain overlapping issues.
We have defined the object of linguostylistics as the study of the nature, functions and structure of SDs and EMs, on the one hand, and the study of the functional styles, on the other.
A functional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. A functional style is thus to be regarded as the product of a certain concrete task set by the sender of the message. Functional styles appear mainly in the literary standard of a language.
The literary standard of the English language, like that of any other developed language, is not so homogeneous, as it may seem. In fact the standard English literary language in the course of its development has fallen into several subsystems each of which has acquired its own peculiarities which are typical of the given functional style.
It is a notion which refers to the emotional content of an expression as well as to the degree to which this expression reflects the personality of the individual creativity of a language user. The notion УexpressiveФ overlaps with 3 other notions: УaffectiveФ, УconnotativeФ (иметь побочное/второстепенное значение (о слове , дополнительно обозначать что-л.), УemotiveФ.
УAffectiveФ implies that the choice of words reflects the userТs attitude to the context of communication.
УConnotativeФ suggests emotional association with words
УemotiveФ refers on the emotional effect on the reader/listener. But expressiveness always broader than emotiveness.
It reflects the ability of the language to convey (выражать, передавать) multiple layers of meaning.
It presupposes that the language user compares a phenomenon with his/her system of values and places this phenomenon along the respective (соответствующий) scale.(: fat Ц too rude, plump Ц pleasantly, overweight)