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The grasshopper and the cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run

From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;

That is the grasshoppers he takes the lead

In summer luxury, - he has never done

With his delights, for when tired out with fun

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a long winter evening, when the frost

Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The crickets song, in warmth increasing ever

And seems to one, in drowsiness half lost,

The grasshoppers among some grassy hills (J. Kits).

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The notion of stylistic function

As we have already stated above, stylistics treats all language units from the point of view of their stylistic, expressive potential; in other words the main subject of stylistic investigation is the stylistic function of language units. The stylistic function is defined as an expressive potential of language units which occurs as a result of correlation of these language units in the context and secures (alongside with the rendering of logical content of the text) the transference of expressive, emotional, aesthetic and evaluative information encoded in the text. Stylistic function exists, figuratively speaking, as a reflection of imaginary perception of the world, imagery thinking that is inseparable from the emotional evaluation. Stylistic function can be characterological, descriptive, emotional and evaluative. Let us explain the nature of emotional and evaluative stylistic function on the morphological level. Thus the Ukrainian suffixes -, -, , -, -, - impart the diminutive, affectionate meaning to a word: , , , , ; suffixes , - the meaning of rudeness and disrespect: , .

Stylistic function is a flexible feature of a language unit and is subject to modification within a certain context. Thus Ukrainian and English lexemes little and that are traditionally positively charged express the meaning of disrespect, condemnation, doubt in the following abstracts:

 

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Fight your little fight, my boy

Fight and be a man.

Dont be a good little, good little boy

being as good as you can

and agreeing with all the mealy-mouthed, mealy-mouthed

truths that the sly trot out

to protect themselves and their greedy-mouthed, greedy mouthed

cowardice, every old lout. (D. Lawrence)

Stylistic function is closely connected with the notion of connotation and denotation. Imagery, expressive, emotional and evaluative connotations of the language unit play an important role in the realization of the stylistic function.

 

The notion of connotation and denotation

The term connotation is derived from the Latin connotatio that meant to have additional meaning. In a broad sense connotation is a certain kind of additional information parallel to the denotative (logic, factual) information that enables a language unit to perform a certain stylistic function. Connotation or connotative meaning consists of the emotional, expressive, evaluative components.

E.g. the words girl, maiden, less, chick, baby, young lady have the same denotative but different connotative meaning.

The existence of the connotative component within the semantic structure of word is the result or imagery and associative conceptions which enable a word to participate in the structure of tropes and figures of speech, to create images and to be used for secondary nomination.

E.g. , ,

Connotations can be traditional and occasional. Traditional connotation is the general, widely used and understandable for all or almost all native speakers associations that are evoked by the language unit. Compare for example: English and Ukrainian

 

golden crown golden rule

hart of gold

golden boy/girl

Occasional connotation is created by a certain author of a literary work and is based on personal, subjective perceptions and associations:

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Connotation creates a specific modality of the text elevated, solemn, bookish, ironic, intimate, colloquial, impersonal, official, etc. According to the object of expression connotative meanings can be classified into:

- emotional (, , , , , dove, lovely, honey);

- evaluative, positive or negative (good, bad, lousy, chick, , );

- qualitative (balmy, flavoured, stinking, nectar, mash, , , , );

- quantitative (, , hefty chap, baby mouse).

There are lexical units that incorporate several types of connotative meaning: , , .

The notion of context

The basis of the theory of context constitutes the thesis that text is not a simple linear arrangement of words. Text is a highly organized structure the elements of which have value not only as separate entities but also in their interrelations with other elements both inside and outside the text. In general sense context can be defined as an environment of a linguistic unit that facilitates the realization of certain properties of this unit. Two types of context are generally differentiated: linguistic and extra linguistic, the latter being understood as a situation of communication. Situational context can be

1. Single: some utterances are meaningful only in one single context and meaningless in all the other, e.g.:

 

Pooh's found the North Pole, said Christopher Robin. Isn't that lovely They stuck the pole in the ground and Christopher Robin tied a massage on to it: "North Pole discovered by Pooh"(A. Miln).

2. Typical: some utterances that may even violate the norms of the literary language can be meaningful only under certain conditions.

3. Social and historic.

Linguistic context is a set of conditions in which the meaning of language unit is unambiguously realized: e.g. the hand of the clock, a piece for four hands, a farm hand. The main function of the linguistic context is to eliminate the polysemy of the word. Sometimes the linguistic context causes the phenomenon of desemantisation (take offence, take charge, take medicine, take notice).

However in certain contexts the reverse process can be observed so called hypersemantisation, the enrichment of the language unit meaning, so that the word acquires alongside with its direct meaning a transferred one. The context that extends the meaning of the language unit is called stylistic context.

We distinguish between stylistic micro context a sentence or utterance. Stylistic macro context super phrasal unity:

 

Once upon a time ago, about last Friday, Winnie the Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders. What does "under the name mean?" asked Christopher Robin. "It means he has the name over the door in gold letters and lived under it".

 

Stylistic mega context that coincides with the whole literary work. The usage of one and the same word or phrase in the text in various speech situations changes and enriches its meaning. Thus the word gains the status of image or symbol of a certain idea. For example the Ukrainian word is polysemantic and is used in all functional styles. But within the domain of stylistic contexts of a great number of works of Ukrainian writers and poets it is transformed into a system of complex images: , , , , , , , .

E.g. , - , ! ! . ̒, , . ͳ. . , , , ...(. . ).

The notion of stylistic context is closely connected with the effect of unexpectedness and anticlimax. An unpredicted language unit appearing within the stylistic context against readers expectations breaks the even flow of the text, attracts readers attention and becomes foregrounded.

 

E.g. No sun no moon!

No morn no noon

No dawn no dusk no proper time of day

No sky no earthly view

No distance looking blue

No road- no street- no tother side the way

No end to any Row

No indications where the Crescents go

No top to any steeple

No recognition of familiar people!

No warmth- no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,

No comfortable feel in any member;

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds.

November! (T. Good).

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