Stylistics of the English Language 11 Koroteeva Valentina Vladimirovna,
Detachment: Functions
Detachment : Functions
Emphatic Constructions
Emphatic Constructions: Functions
Task 1 Detachment, Zeugma, Emphatic Constructions
The principle of Interaction and The technique of Convergence
Convergence (Stylistics)
Task 2 Convergence
Task 2 Convergence Analysis
Convergence (Syntax)
Syntactical Transposition
Syntactical Transposition: types
Syntactical Transposition: types
Syntactical Transposition: types
Rhetorical Questions: Functions
Syntactical Transposition: types
Syntactical Transposition: types
Syntactical Transposition: phraseological schemes (Shmelev D.N.)
Syntactical Transposition: phraseological units
Syntactical Transposition: phraseological units
Syntactical Stylistic Means (Summary)
Check Yourself Test
Check Yourself Test
Check Yourself Test
Category: englishenglish

Stylistics of the English Language 11.Outline

1. Stylistics of the English Language 11 Koroteeva Valentina Vladimirovna, [email protected]

2. Outline

Syntactical Stylistic Means
Major principles at work on the
sentence level:
Interaction – Zeugma, Detachment,
Emphatic Constructions
Interaction and Convergence
Syntactical “transposition”

3. Zeugma

a figure of speech in which a word,
usually a verb or an adjective,
applies to more than one noun,
blending together grammatically
and logically different ideas:
‘[They] covered themselves with dust
and glory.’
[Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer]

4. Zeugma

helps to produce a dramatic effect:
“Who sees with equal eye, as God
of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now
a world.”
[Alexander Pope, Essay on Man ]

5. Zeugma

lends an ironic/humorous twist to
the utterance:
“We were partners, not soul
mates, two separate people
who happened to be sharing a
menu and a life.”
[Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses]

6. Zeugma

adds vividness and conciseness to
“She lowered her standards by raising
her glass,
Her courage, her eyes and his
[Flanders and Swann, Have Some Madeira, M’Dear]

7. Detachment

words, phrases or syntactical structures which
interrupt the main sentence without affecting it:
‘In those days – up to the age of 23, in actual fact – he
lived with his parents on Princedale Avenue, on the
outskirts of Latham (about twenty minutes on foot
from where he was living now, already well into his
[Adam Thorpe, Glow (2005)]
marked phonetically (pauses) and set off by
graphical means - brackets, dashes or commas
relatively independent of the sentence they are
inserted in

8. Detachment: Functions

specifies and characterizes the details of the
‘The whole point, he thought, is that it’s
related to pleasure which is incoherent
-- no, illogical. ’
[Adam Thorpe, Glow (2005)]
may have an evaluative meaning:
‘She was lovely: all of her – delightful.’
[Theodore Dreiser, The Financier (1912)]

9. Detachment : Functions

intensifies the fact contained in a
message; gives it a lively and palpable
‘And sometimes with the sensation a cat
must feel when it purrs, he would become
conscious that Megan's eyes -- those
dew-gray eyes -- were fixed on him with a
sort of lingering soft look.’
[John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga (1922)]

10. Emphatic Constructions

“do” as a predicate intensifier
the subject intensifier - it is smb/smth
who/that +verb…:
“It is Glenn who was responsible for that.”
the object intensifier - it is (to) that/smth
(there) that +subj+verb…:
“It is the work he did that attracted her.”
the adverbial intensifier - it is then that…/ it is
by/with/through smth that…:
“It is through struggle that he achieved his

11. Emphatic Constructions: Functions

lend intensity or contrast to a
certain part of the sentence
give an emotive charge to the

12. Task 1 Detachment, Zeugma, Emphatic Constructions

‘That evening it was Dave who read to the boys their bedtime story.’ [D.Carter]
‘ It was when my brother P.G.Pig was born that my mother
broke her own rule.’ [Hilary Mantel, Destroyed (2003)]
‘It is the night-time that I like best. After 8:00 I know where
he is, I know my father is safe.’ [Kate Pullinger, My Mother, My Father, and
Me (1997)]
He easily made money and friends.
“Night came. I was a good child and an ambitious one, and I
did what I was told, though when I was sleepy the prayers
and the times tables got mixed up. Three sevens are twenty
one. Hail, holy queen, mother of mercy. Four sevens are
twenty eight. Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. Five
sevens are thirty-five. To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, mourning and weeping in this vale (юдоль,
долина) of tears.” [H.Mantel, EWL, 87]

13. The principle of Interaction and The technique of Convergence

interaction is a general principle
convergence is a particular stylistic
technique within the branch of
decoding stylistic

14. Convergence (Stylistics)

the co-occurrence at a point in a
text of a cluster of several stylistic
devices in order to foreground a
particular idea or produce a
desirable effect
the term was first used by Michael
Riffaterre (1924-2006)

15. Task 2 Convergence

“Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise”
(oblique, sloping)

[Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), American poet,]

16. Task 2 Convergence Analysis

Message: the poetess is being ironic about the imperfect
human nature desiring the truth on the one hand and being
unable to bear it on the other
Phonographical level: in order to endow the verse with
philosophical-existential sense, the poetess uses
unconventional punctuation – no commas or periods;
capitalisation - the purpose of emphasis; t- and s-alliteration
and consonance
Lexico-semantic level: the idea of completeness of feeling
(all the Truth, too bright, delight, superb) is juxtaposed with
the idea of lack of something (slant, infirm); the use of
contextual antonyms (INFIRM delight – SUPERB surprise) to
highlight the incapacity of humans to encompass the Truth’s
superbness; Truth is personified to be placed on a level with
humans (the Truth’s surprise);
Grammatical level: elliptical construction – to foreground
the main idea (“too bright for our delight… surprise”); semimarked structure in the parallel first line (anaphora) - tell all
the truth, but tell it SLANT (an adjective is used instead of an

17. Convergence (Syntax)

a group of several syntactic elements, having a
similar function in the sentence and united by one
subordinating word or clause (ex., homogeneous
parts of the sentence):
“In Alaskan igloos, in Swiss chalets, and Spanish casas,
in tenements (a building divided into separate flats), palaces,
split level ranch houses – every place in the world
where men and children come home to sleep, or eat,
or brag of their exploits, or plan excursions, or be
comforted, housewives are concocting that comfort.”
[Arnold 2010, p.256]

18. Syntactical Transposition

the phenomenon when the
contextual meaning of the
syntactical structure contradicts the
grammatical meaning of the
structure in question is called
syntactical transposition
[adapted from Arnold 2010]

19. Syntactical Transposition: types

the affirmative/declarative utterance is
transposed to the interrogative, with the
connotation of surprise/doubt/disappointment
rendered (common in everyday speech):
“Erica: I can't believe it. Julianne is insecure?
Tom: Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.
Erica: But why? I mean, she is so competent and
she's so experienced.”
[Being Erica, a Canadian series, S04E02]

20. Syntactical Transposition: types

the interrogative utterance is transposed to the
affirmative forming the so called rhetorical
«Romanies are mothers and fathers, just like us.
Romanies want what they believe is best for their
children, just like us. (…) We are all Christians.
Indeed, without a permanent site, how will
Romanies ever be taught the responsibilities of
citizenship? How else will they be taught that law
and order guarantee their children a brighter
future than begging, horse-dealing and petty
[D.Mitchell, Black Swan Green, p. 289]

21. Syntactical Transposition: types

tag questions often represent
rhetorical questions:
“Today we read a stack of N-words
from the dictionary, one by one.
The Metro Gnome does make
speaking easy, as easy as singing,
but I can hardly carry one around
with me, can I?”
[D.Mitchell, Black Swan Green, p. 37]

22. Rhetorical Questions: Functions

attract attention to the message
convince the audience
convey the emotional tension
elevate the utterance
put emphasis on the idea

23. Syntactical Transposition: types

in science prose and media discourse some questions
resemble rhetorical ones, however, their function is to
provoke the reader’s thought rather than elevate the
“There is nothing more dangerous to contemplate than
World War III. It is worth considering whether part of
the danger may not be intrinsic in the unguarded use
of learning machines. Again and again I have heard
the statement that learning machines can not subject
us to any new dangers, because we can turn them off
when we feel like it. But can we? To turn a machine
off effectively, we must be in possession of information
as to whether the danger point has come.”
[N. Wiener.Cybernetics, from Arnold 2010]

24. Syntactical Transposition: types

the interrogative utterance is
transposed to the exclamatory, with
the expressivity highlighted:
“Wasn’t it wonderful!”
“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!”

25. Syntactical Transposition: phraseological schemes (Shmelev D.N.)

the affirmative utterances are
transposed to the negative ones:
“Did you give her my regards?” I
asked him. “Yeah.” The hell he did,
the bastard.
“Doesn’t it tempt you?” “Tempt me,
[J.Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, from Arnold 2010]

26. Syntactical Transposition: phraseological units

the imperative affirmative
utterances are transposed to the
negative ones:
“Catch him tripping!” - “Его на
ошибке не поймаешь.”
[from Arnold 2010, p.229]

27. Syntactical Transposition: phraseological units

the negative utterances are
transposed to the affirmative ones:
“If this isn’t Captain Donnithorne acoming into the yard!”
[G.Eliot, from Arnold 2010, p.230]

28. Syntactical Stylistic Means (Summary)

based on
4 major principles (inversion, repetition, omission,
the transposition of the meaning of the syntactical
structure in a certain context (rhetorical
the effect can be deduced from the broader
graphical means are important to consider
in order to understand the function of the
syntactical means used

29. Check Yourself Test

Surgeons must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the Culprit – Life!
[Emily Dickinson, American poet, (1830-1886) ]

30. Check Yourself Test

‘This was one of the differences
between the three of us and our
new friend. We were essentially
taking the piss, except when we
were serious. He was essentially
serious, except when he was taking
the piss. It took us a while to work
this out.’
[Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011)]

31. Check Yourself Test

“There were three of us, and he now made the
fourth. We hadn’t expected to add to our tight
number: cliques and pairings had happened long
before, and we were already beginning to imagine
our escape from school into life. His name was
Adrian Finn, a tall, shy boy who initially kept his
eyes down and his mind to himself. For the first
day or two, we took little notice of him: at our
school there was no welcoming ceremony, let
alone its opposite, the punitive induction. We just
registered his presence and waited.”
[Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011)]


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