Образование за рубежом

Lecture 5

Phonetic and Graphic Expressive Means and Stylistic Devices

Stylistically marked phonemes do not exist. Consequently, there are no expressive means on the phonological language level. Nevertheless, specific combinations of sounds may create different speech effects and devices. Phonetic stylistic devices belong to versification and instrumentation types. Versification is the art of writing verses. It is the imaginative expression of emotion, thought, or narrative, mostly in metrical form and often using figura­tive language. Poetry is actually the earliest form of literature, and was creat­ed precisely to be spoken - in the days before many could read. Poetry has traditionally been distinguished from prose (ordinary written language) by rhyme or the rhythmical arrangement of words (metre). Here are some miscella­neous remarks about poetry made by writers and critics at various time. These remarks make an answer to the question "What is poetry?"

1. A poem has to be in lines.

2. A poem has to have rhymes.

3. A poem has to be in one of a number of set rhythms.

4. A poem has to have verses/stanzas.

5. The rhythms of poetry are quite different from ordinary speech.

6. A poem has to have a capital letter at the start of each line.

7. A poem has to have vivid, descriptive words.

8. A poem has to have imagery - similes, metaphors and other stylistic


9. The language used in poetry is a special kind of language.

10. Some words are not suitable in poetry.

11. Some subjects are not suitable for poetry.

12. Some subjects are more poetic than others.

The main concepts of versification are rhyme and rhythm. Rhyme is the accord of syllables in words: fact - attract, mood - intrude; news - refuse. Such an accord is met at the end of two parallel lines in verses. Rhyme is a sound organizer, uniting lines into stanzas. Rhyme is created according to several patterns. Vertically, there are such rhymes: adjacent (aa, bb), cross /H, ab) and reverse (ab, ba). According to the variants of stress in the words being rhymed, rhymes are classified into male (the last syllables of the rhymed words are stressed), female (the next syllables to the last are stressed) and dactylic (the third syllables from the end are stressed).

Rhythm is a recurring stress pattern in poetry. It is an even alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. Lines in verses are built with poetic feet. A foot is a combination of one stressed and one or two unstressed syllables. The most popular poetic feet are trochaic foot, iambus, dactyl, amphibrach, and anapest. A detailed description and bright examples of the mechanisms of versification can be found in theoretically oriented manuals of stylistics, such as I. Arnold. Stylistics of Modern English. - Moscow, 1990; I. Galperin. Stylistics. - Moscow, 1977 and others.

Instrumentation is the art of selecting and combining sounds in order to make utterances expressive and melodic. Instrumentation unites three basic stylistic devices: alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia.

Alliteration is a stylistically motivated repetition of consonants. The repeated sound is often met at the beginning of words: She sells sea shells on the sea shore. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper. Alliteration is often used in children's rhymes, because it emphasizes rhythm and makes memorizing easier:

Baabaa blacksheep

Have you any wool?

Yessir, no sir.

Three bags full.

The same effect is employed in advertising, so that slogans will stick in people's minds: Snap, crackle and pop. Alliteration is used much more in poetry than in prose. It is also used in proverbs and sayings (тише едешь, дальше будешь; один ссошкой, семеро с ложкой), set expressions, football chants, and advertising jingles.

Assonance is a stylistically motivated repetition of stressed vowels. The repeated sounds stand close together to create a euphonious effect and rhyme: The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. We love to spoon beneath the moon in June. Just like alliteration, assonance makes texts easy to memorize. Itis also popular in advertising for the same reason. Assonance is seldom met as an independent stylistic device. It is usually combined with alliter­ation, rhyming, and other devices:

Брожу ли я вдоль улиц темных,

Вхожу ль во многолюдный храм,

Сижу ль меж юношей безумных,

Я предаюсь своим мечтам.

(А. С. Пушкин)

Onomatopoeia is a combination of sounds which imitate natural sounds: wind wailing, sea murmuring, rustling of leaves, bursts of thunder, etc. Words which represent this figure of speech have aural similarity with the things they describe: buzz = жужжать, roar = грохотать, bang = бахнуть, hiss = шипеть, sizzle = шипеть на сковородке, twitter = чирикать, pop = xлопать, swish = pacceкamь воздуx, burble = 6opмomamь, cuckoo = куковать, splash = плескаться. Animal calls and sounds of insects are evoked onomatopoeically in all languages. For example, cock-a-doodle-do! is conventionally the English representation for the crowing of a cock. Interestingly, the Russians and the French represent this imitation as кукарекy and cocorico correspondingly, which is significantly different from the English variant, although logic tells us that the roster's cry is the same across the world. It means that onomatopoeia is not an exact reproduction of natural sounds but a subjective phenomenon.

Onomatopoeia is used for emphasis or stylistic effect. It is extensively featured in children's rhymes and poetry in general.

Expressiveness of speech may be also significantly enhanced by such phonetic means as tone. To the linguist "tone" means the quality of sound produced by the voice in uttering words. In a general sense, tone is the atti­tude of the speaker or writer as revealed in the choice of vocabulary or the intonation of speech. Written or spoken communication might be described as having a tone which is, for instance, ironic, serious, flippant, threatening, light-hearted, or pessimistic. Attitude expressed in tone may be rendered con­sciously or unconsciously. It could be said that there is no such thing as a text or verbal utterance without a tone. In most cases, tone is either taken for granted, or perceived unconsciously.

Basic notions of graphic expressive means are punctuation, orthogra­phy or spelling, text segmentation, and type. Punctuation is used in writing to show the stress, rhythm and tone of the spoken word. It also aims at clarifying the meaning of sentences. There are such common marks of punctuation: the full stop [ . ], the comma [ , ], the colon [ : ], the semicolon [ ; ], brackets [( )], dash [ - ], hyphen [ – ], the exclamation mark [ ! ], the oblique stroke [ / ], the iterrogative (question) mark [ ? ], inverted commas (quotation marks) [" "], suspension marks [...], the apostrophe [ ‘ ].

Miscellaneous remarkson punctuation.

• Many aspects of punctuation are ultimately a matter of personal prefer­ence and literary style.

• The general tendency in most public writing today is to minimisethe amount of punctuation used.

• There are also minor differences in practice between the UK and the USA.

• The suggestions made above are based generally on conventions in the UK.

• Double punctuation ["What's the matter!?"] is rarely used, except in very informal writing such as personal letters or diaries.

• The combination of colon-plus-dash [: — ] is never necessary. Some people use this [it's called 'the pointer'] to indicate that a list will follow, but the colon alone should be sufficient.

• The importance of punctuation can be illustrated by comparing the two following letters. In both cases, the text is the same. It's the punctuation which makes all the difference!

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are gener­ous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being, useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy — will you let me be yours? Gloria

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are gener­ous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to be­ing useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria

The full stop signals the end of a declarative sentence. It indicates a strong pause. It is used most commonly at the end of a complete sentence. Besides that, it may be used as an instrument for dividing a text or a sentence into very small segments to underline the dynamic character of events or to create a stylistic device of parceling. There are the following peculiarities in the usage of full stops:

Full stops are commonly placed after abbreviations:

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