Theoretical Background of language: English stylistics
In order to understand what practical English stylistics is, study a text and ask yourself questions like why particular features of language have been used and not others.
Stylistics are used to determines the form of language as being used and the effects of that particular variety used
Stylistics also helps us to understand that language has several varieties which are distinctive to each other
Stylistics also makes us appreciate that when using language one must learn to respond with the appropriate variety according to the circumstances.
Through stylistics we learn to analyze speaking and writing habits.
Through stylistics we learn to explain why people use language the way they do in different situations e.g news reporting.
Meaning of style
- Style is the manner of expression in speaking and writing
Style can also be know as the various ways of saying something
- Variation in Language Use
Language variation varies depending on the status and social situation
Variation can also be brought about by degree of formality
Style can vary depending on the oral written. Style also varies from one period to another.
- Style is a set of linguistic features characterized by the language aspect of a person
- Style is comparing a set of gestures with another in terms of deviation from the norm for instance, semantic rule and phonological rule
- Style can also refer to literally language for instance satire, irony and sarcasm
Requirements before stylistics analysis
- Beware of the structure that a language has
- Be aware of the kind of social variation that language features have
- Must have techniques that can used to put down stylistic features in a systematic manner
Two categories o stylistics
- Literary stylistics
It is done on the purpose of commenting on the quality of a text. It also assists in understanding the meaning of a text.
In literary stylistics one goes ahead to give additional information that will assist in understanding the text
- Linguistic stylistics
Linguistic stylistics deals with identification of language patterns in written text and spoken. Here the question of why particular elements of language have been used arises.
Importance of stylistics devices
It is assists in cultivating a sense of appropriate language use
Helps establish discourse peculiarity
Sharpens our understanding and appreciation of literary works
Helps us achieve adaptation during translation
Helps one in giving a fair judgment in a piece of work
Terminologies used in language stylistic
Any bit of speech or writing that you can single out from a particular piece of writing
Common core features-
Levels of stylistic features
- Phonetic/Graphetic level of
- Phonological/Graphological level
- Grammatical Level
- Lexical Level
- Semantic level
- Phonetic/graphitic features
Graphetic contains features that help to foreground a text eg (italics, underlining, bolding, irregular spelling, capitalization, font size)
Phonetic features comprises of spoken languages e.g voice quality
- Phonological/Graphological level Language
In graphologial level of you consider features like punctuations, spellings, spacing of words
In phonological you consider repetition of sounds, intonation, stress, rhythm and rhyme
- Grammatical level
Divided into different components
- Intersentential relationships
Look at the various devices used to link sentences in grammar for instance logical word (firstly), contrast words (however), result words (therefore) and comparison words (likewise, similarly) among other.
Look at the sentence in terms of length (short and long sentences)
Simples sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and complex compound sentences
For instance, those that uses interrogative sentences
Look at the different types of English clause I.e phrases
- Word typology
The internal structure of a word. i.e word fixation-compounded words (carbohydrate), suffixes and prefixes
- Lexical level
Look at individual words and their pattern of combination
-nature of vocabulary (use of simple or difficult words, vocabulary is archaic or modern, words used are concrete or abstract)
-lexical relations that exists between words (use of synonyms, antonyms, use of unique words, use of borrowed words e.g Kikuyu word in an English text)
- Semantic level
The meaning of the entire text
Dimensions of Linguistic features
They are divided into two.
- Dimension according to user
- Dimensions according to use
Dimensions According To User
They include factors that arise from a person
- Factors of individuality-handwriting, lexical levels-words that one is fond of using.
- Dialect-include word pronunciation
- Time factor-The choice of vocabulary is highly dictated and effected by the period in which the particular text us produced
- Similarity features-similarity features are normally temporary.
Conditions/dimensions with use
- Medium-medium of communication affects the way language is used. Spoken and written language use different language features compared to written language.
- Nature of participation-different language is used in a monologue and dialogue,
Features of province-identify user to a particular profession, occupational,
Status- corresponds with the social standing of an individual. Status affects lexical and grammatical level.
Modality-comprise of specific features that are chosen deliberately to produce an overall conversionalised format of language (a report, letter, speech….)
Questions that can help one analyze a text
- What does the text tell us about the person using it? (Individuality)
- Does it tell you about where the person is from? (Regional dialect)
- Which social class does the person belong to? (status/social dialect)
- Which period of English was the text written (Time)
- Does the text involve speaking or writing? (Discourse medium)
- How many participants are there in text participation (monologue or dialogue)
- Which specific act are the users engaged in? (Province)
- What social relationship exists between the users (status)
- Is there a specific format that is being used (Modality)
- Was the user deliberately manipulating certain features in the language use (Similarity)
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