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The notions of expressive means and stylistic devices

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Expressive means of a language are those phonetic, lexical, morphological and syntactic units and forms which make speech emphatic. Expressive means introduce connotational (stylistic, non-denotative) meanings into utterances. Phonetic expressive means in­clude pitch, melody, stresses, pauses, whispering, singing, and other ways of using human voice. Morphological expressive means are emotionally co­loured suffixes of diminutive nature: -y (-ie), -let (sonny, auntie, girlie, streamlet)- The range of emotional suffixes is much wider in synthetic lan­guages than in English. Compare the following:

Suffix Ukrainian language words Russian language words
- ок дубок, деньок дубок, денек
- ик коник домик
- иця, - ица водиця водица
-ичка, -ечка, -очка водичка, пічечка, сіточка водичка, печечка, сеточка
- инка сніжинка снежинка
-очок, -ечка, - ечко дубочок, книжечка, словечко дубочок, книжечка, словечко

 

То lexical expressive means belong words, possessing connotations, such as epithets, poetic and archaic words, slangy words, vulgarisms, and interjections. A chain of expressive synonymic words always contains at least one neutral synonym. For example, the neutral word money has the following stylistically coloured equivalents: ackers (slang), cly (jargon), cole (jar­gon), gelt (jargon), moo (amer. slang), moolah (amer. slang), mopus (slang), oof (slang), pelf (bookish), rhino (conversat. ), spondulicks (amer. slang), cash (conversat. ), boot (slang), brads (conversat. ), chuck (amer. slang), lettuce (slang), lolly (slang), ante (slang), bread (slang), dumps (conversat. ), beens (slang), blunt (slang), crap (slang), dough (conversat.), etc. A chain of expressive synonyms used in a single utterance creates the effect of climax (gradation): "Знову дзвеніли, бриніли, сурмили комарі, допікали, дошкулювали, діймали, жерли, гризли" (Ю. Яновський).

То syntactic expressive means belong emphatic syntactic constructions. Such constructions stand in opposition to their neutral equivalents. The neu­tral sentence "John went away" may be replaced by the following expres­sive variants: "Away went John" (stylistic inversion), "John did go away" (use of the emphatic verb "to do"), "John went away he did" (emphatic confirmation pattern), "It was John who went away" ("It is he who does it" pattern). Compare: «Зто знают все» (neutral) = «Все зто знают!» (exclamatory) = «Кто же зтого не знает?» (rhetorical). A number of Russian and Ukrainian expressive syntactic structures have no identical equiv­alents in English. It concerns impersonal sentences, denoting natural phe­nomena and physical conditions of living beings (Темнеет. Вечереет. Петру не спится. Что-то гнетет), infinitival sentences (Бить беде! Не бить тебе моим мужемі К кому обратиться за помощью?), generalized-personal statements (Что посеешь, то и пожнешь. С кем поведешьсяу от того и набереться).



The notion of stylistic devices. Stylistic devices (tropes, figures of speech) unlike expressive means are not language phenomena. They are formed in speech and most of them do not exist out of context. According to principles of their formation, stylistic devices are grouped into phonetic, lexico-semantic and syntactic types. Basically, all stylistic devices are the result of revaluation of neutral words, word-combinations and syntactic structures. Revaluation makes language units obtain connotations and stylistic value. A stylistic de­vice is the subject matter of stylistic semasiology.


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