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Stylistics and social categories
Submitted to: Mr. Waheed
Submitted by:Iqra Tehseen (939)
Hira Tallat (949)
A manner of doing something
Related to style
• The study of the literary styles of particular genres or writers
• linguistics: academic discipline
• Stylistics: part of this discipline, A branch of applied
literary style of particular genres or writers.
• Manner of expression in writing
• The aesthetic function of language
• Expressive means in language
• Synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea
• Emotional coloring of language
• A system of special devices , called stylistics devices
The Need for the Study of Stylistics
• Integral part of meaning.
• A sense of appropriateness.
• Literary Stylistics
• It aims to account for how texts project meaning
• How readers construct meaning
• Why readers respond to texts in the way that they do
• To show why and how the text means what it means
• How the text is unique in itself.
• This is a literary device used to indicate a question to which
no answer is expected: the answer is implied in the question.
• It is an art of discourse.
• It studies and employs various methods to convince,
influence the readers.
Common Examples of Usage of Rhetoric
• How this idiot does get elected?.
• “Why don’t you leave me alone?”
• Great emphasis on the subjective or personal experience of
• Nature was also a major theme.
• According to: Pater
“The addition of strangeness to beauty”
• Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats
• The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose
and criticize people's stupidity or vices.
• To ridicule folly or vice.
• Its purpose is constructive.
• Social and political criticism.
• Amendment of vices by correction.
• The study of the meaning of language as opposed to its form
• The hidden meaning lying behind the overt.
• Subtext is the unspoken thoughts
• the underlying or implicit meaning
• a message which is not stated directly but can be inferred
• metaphorical meaning
Example of subtext
• Richard: Here we go, some nice peanut butter sandwiches.
• Son: I am allergic to peanut butter.
Richard: surprised, continues to spread the butter.
• Richard: Since when?
Text: Son is allergic to peanut
Subtext: Richard is a terrible father.
• The way in which linguistic elements (words and phrases) are
arranged to form grammatical structure.
• A dramatic or literary form of discourse
• In which a character talks to himself or herself
• Reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener.
• A drama or literary work
• The main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme
• Inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.
• It makes a comparison, showing similarities between two
Common Examples of Simile
• Our soldiers are as brave as a lion.
• Her cheeks are red like a rose.
• He is as funny as a monkey.
• The water well was dry as a bone.
• He is as cunning as a fox.
• A device whereby an inanimate object is given a human
• A talking rock.
• A narrative poem
• Written in four-line stanzas,
• The Anonymous medieval ballad, "Barbara Allan,"
exemplifies the genre.
• Thoughts of a single person directed outward.
• Diction is the choice of specific words
• To communicate meaning, emotion.
Stylistics analysis should be….
Subdisciplines of stylistics
• Literary stylistics
poetic speech that has its own specific laws.
• Interpretive stylistics
Perception, central meaning
• Linguistics stylistics
• Discourse stylistics
Spoken or written conversation
• Comparative stylistics
The crossroads of two languages, or two literаturеs
• Stylistic lexicology
Comparative stylistics (Rickett)
• A wide experience of life
• Generous sympathies
• Slight humour
• A wide experience of
• A polished style
• Acidity in humour
• Phonological level: the study of the sound system of the
• Graphological language: the writing system of a language
• Morphological language: it relates to the study of the
formation of the words
• Syntectical /grammatical: rules for ordering and connecting
words into sentences
• Semantic level: it studies the overall meaning of a text
• Pragmatic level: is concerned with our undestanding of
language in context.
• Pragmatics is the study of how we don’t say what we mean.
• Lexical level: choice of specific lexical items in a text , their
Examples of pragmatics
When a diplomat says yes, he means “perhaps”
When he says perhaps, he means “no”
When he says no, he is not a diplomat
When a lady says no, she means “perhaps”
When she says perhaps, she means “yes”
When she says yes, she is not a lady
Function of stylistic devices
Stylistic devices make your speeches
• More interesting
• Help you to get and keep your reader’s / listener’s attention.
• To explore creativity in language
The careful use of language to express
Ernest Hemingway writing style
• Distinctive style
• Emphasis on nouns
• A master of dialog
Henry James writing style
• At first, James' style was straightforward and realistic.
• The illusion
• Long passages of description
• Relying heavily on extremely long sentences and excessively
• James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic
and contain a representation of life.
• Emotive, forceful, factual, descriptive, graphic
Chaucer writing style
• Humour, irony, satire
• Vigour, clarity, concreteness,
• Chaucer is a matchless narrator in verse
• His method of narration is dramatic action
• Action , dialogue, gestures and costume are all there as in
• Vigorous , easy, lucid, direct
Writing style in the age of Pop
• Town poetry
• Artificial and conventional style
• Narrative forms
• Plain and direct expression were avoided
• Bombastic and artificial phraseology
• Dominance of the heroic couplet
• Colloquial vocabulary
• Sentences are loosely constructed
• Showed great attention to the minutest details
Swift writing style
• Social dialects are varieties distinguished according
to the social groups who use them.
• Two people growing up in the same geographical
area, at the same time, may speak differently due to
• These social dialects are called sociolects
Factors of social variation
• Social dialect differences tend to be reflected
more often in phonology and grammar than in
• People's actual usage might lie below the level of
Distribution of social dialects
• Social class
• It is decided according to their occupations, their educational
backgrounds, their incomes, their residence types and/or their
• On these basis they are given social status e.g.
• Every social class has a particular way of speaking
• E.g. In British language postvocalic r is not pronounced
after a vowel whereas in North America people will
• In New York not all speakers eliminate r as it is related to
• Language variation also takes place when the
ethnicity or race varies among speakers
• One common source of distinctiveness in ethnic
dialects is the influence of foreign languages spoken
as a first language by an individual or by his or her
parents and grandparents
• E.g. English spoken by African American English
speakers. The variety spoken by them is African
American Vernacular English (AAVE)
• AAVE differs from standard English in terms of
pronunciation (lef han) vocabulary and grammatical
structures ( No “s” for third person singular: she love
• absence of the copula, e.g. You crazy
• The use of a double negative construction e.g. He
don’t know nothing
• Within the same social class, differences may correlate with
the age of the speakers
• Age-related variation in language may reflect either age-
grading or change in progress
• Age-grading in different age groups:
• When children first learn their language, they learn language
in the way of their mother and/or primary caretakers
• Adolescence is the period when children move away from
their family and to express themselves as individuals
• Adolescents tend to lead with an increased use of vernacular
and linguistic variables to differentiate themselves from the
• Adults have been shown to be more conservative in their use
of linguistic variables
• This has been attributed to the desired use of standard
language which is used in the workplace
• Adolescents tend to use more slang and swear words, but
these features recede as they become adults.
• Although middle-aged adults have conservative speech as
mentioned above, older adults tend to have less formal
• Older women who have passed the years of childbearing
shed some of the conservatism in their speech
• Similarly, older men who are past the age of retirement and
no longer in the workforce also have less formal speech
because of reduced social pressure to conform
• Language tends to change with gender as well. It is generally
shown by researchers that females use less swearing words
or taboos as compared to men. E.g. women in Norwich,
England use non-standard [Èn] as the suffix in walking
• Additionally the speech of females tend to be more formal as
compared to male speakers. They select formal variety and
some researchers have suggested that it is because they
want to upgrade their social status
• But this is not always the case. The lower class female
speakers will use more taboo and swearing words as
compared to the high class female speakers
• Another factor which influences male/female is mixed or
• Another aspect of social differentiation which can affect
language use even when class, ethnicity, age and gender are
held constant is social network
• A measure of association patterns within a community