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Peculiar use of colloquial constructions



Ellipsis is a typical phenomenon in conversation, arising out of the situation. This typical feature of the spoken language assumes a new qual­ity when used in the written language. It becomes a stylistic device. An elliptical sentence in direct intercourse is not a stylistic device. It is simply a norm of the spoken language. Ellipsis, when used as a stylistic device, always imitates the com­mon features of colloquial language, where the situation predetermines not the omission of certain members of the sentence but their absence. It would perhaps be adequate to call sentences lacking certain members "incomplete-sentences", leaving the term ellipsis to specify struc­tures where we recognize a digression from the traditional literary sen­tence structure. Thus the sentences 'See you to-morrow, 'Had a good time?'

Aposiopesis is a device which dictionaries define as "A stop­ping short for rhetorical effect." This is true. But this definition is too general to' disclose the stylistic functions of the device. In the written variety, a break in the narrative is always a stylistic device used for some stylistic effect. It is difficult, however, to draw a hard and fast distinction between break-in-the-narrative as a typical feature of lively colloquial language and as a specific stylistic device. The only criterion which may serve as a guide is that in conversation the implica­tion can be conveyed by an adequate gesture. In writing it is the context, which suggests the adequate intonation, that is the only key to de­coding the aposiopesis. Aposiopesis is a stylistic syntactical device to convey to the reader a very strong upsurge of emotions. The idea of this stylistic device is that the speaker cannot proceed, his feelings depriving him of the ability to express himself in terms of language. Break-in-the-narrative is a device which, on the one hand, offers a number of variants in deciphering the implication and, on the other, is highly predictable. The problem of implication is, as it were, a crucial one in stylistics. What is implied sometimes outweighs what is expressed. In other stylistic devices the degree of implication is not so high as in break-in-the-narrative. A sudden 'break in the narrative will inevitably focus the attention on what is left unsaid. Therefore the interrelation between what is given and what is new becomes more significant, inasmuch as the given is what is said and the new—what is left unsaid. Aposiopesis is a stylistic device in which the role of the intonation implied cannot be over-estimated. The pause after the break is generally charged with meaning and it is the intonation only that will decode the communicative significance of the utterance.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1387

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