The Interaction of Different Types of Lexical Meaning

Interaction of dictionary and contextual logical meaning. The relation between the container and the thing. Interaction of primary and derivative logical meanings. The syntactical stylistic devices classification of syntactical stylistic devices.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
Дата добавления 17.10.2012
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1. Interaction of Dictionary And Contextual Logical Meaning

The relation between dictionary and contextual meanings may be maintained along different lines: on the principle of affinity, on that of proximity, or symbol - referent relations, or on opposition. Thus the stylistic device based on the first principle is metaphor, on the second, metonymy and on the third, irony

A metaphor is a relation between the dictionary and contextual logical meanings based on the affinity or similarity of certain properties or features of the two corresponding concepts. Metaphor can be embodied in all the meaningful parts of speech, in nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and sometimes even in the auxiliary parts of speech, as in prepositions. Metaphor as any stylistic devices can be classified according to their degree of unexpectedness. Thus metaphors which are absolutely unexpected, are quite unpredictable, are called genuine metaphors. e. g. Through the open window the dust danced and was golden. Those which are commonly used in speech and are sometimes fixed in the dictionaries as expressive means of language are trite metaphors or dead metaphors e. g. a flight of fancy, floods of tears.

Trite metaphors are sometimes injected with new vigour, their primary meaning is re - established alongside the new derivative meaning. This is done by supplying the central image created by the metaphor with additional words bearing some reference to the main word. e. g. Mr. Pickwick bottled up his vengeance and corked it down.

The verb «to bottle up» is explained as «to keep in check», to conceal, to restrain, repress. So the metaphor can be hardly felt. But it is revived by the direct meaning of the verb «to cork down». Such metaphors are called sustained or prolonged. Stylistic function of a metaphor is to make the description concrete, to express the individual attitude.

Metonymy is based on a different type of relation between the dictionary and contextual meanings, a relation based not on affinity, but on some kind of association connecting the two concepts which these meanings represent on a proximity

The proximity may be revealed:

1) between the symbol and the thing it denotes;

2) in the relations between the instrument and the action performed with this instrument;

e.g. His pen is rather sharp.

3) in the relation between the container and the thing it contains; e.g. He drank one more cup.

4) the concrete is put for the abstract;

e. g. It was a representative gathering (science, politics).

5) a part is put for the whole;

e.g. the crown - king, a hand - worker.

Metonymy represents the events of reality in its subjective attitude. Metonymy in many cases is trite.

e.g.:» to earn one's bread», «to keep one's mouth shut».

Irony is a stylistic device also based on the simultaneous realization of two logical meanings - dictionary and contextual, but the two meanings are in opposition to each other. The literal meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning. One thing is said and the other opposite is implied.

e.g. Nice weather, isn't it? (on a rainy day).

2. Interaction of Primary and Derivative Logical Meanings

There are special SDs which make a word materialize distinct dictionary meanings. They are zeugma and the pun. Zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context, the semantic relations being on the one hand literal, and on the other, transferred. e. g. Dora, plunging at once into privileged intimacy and into the middle of the room.

Zeugma is a strong and effective device to maintain the purity of the primary meaning when two meanings clash. The pun is another S.D. based on the interaction of two wellknown meanings of a word or a phrase. It is difficult to draw a hard and fast distinction between zeugma and pun. The only reliable distinguishing feature is a structural one: zeugma is the realization of two meanings with the help of a verb which is made to refer to different subjects or objects (direct and indirect). The pun is more independent. Like any S.D. it must depend on a context. But the context may be of a more expanded character, sometimes even as large as a whole work of emotive prose.

e.g. - Did you miss my lecture?

- Not at all.

Pun seems to be more varied and resembles zeugma in its humourous effect only.

3. Interaction of Logical and Emotive Meaning

Interjections and Eclamatory Words Interjections are words we use when we express our feelings strongly and which may be said to exist in language as conventional symbols of human emotions. In traditional grammars the interjection is regarded as a part of speech. But there is another view which regards the interjection as a sentence.

However a close investigation proves that interjection is a word with strong emotive meaning.

e. g. Oh, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers?

The interjection oh, by itself may express various feelings such as regret, despair, disappointment, sorrow, surprise and many others. Interjections can be divided into primary and derivative. Primary interjections are generally devoid of any logical meaning. Interjections such as: Heavens! Good gracious! God knows! Bless me! are exclamatory words generally used as interjections. It must be noted that some adjectives and adverbs can also take on the function of interjections - such as terrible! awfully! great! wonderful! splendid! These adjectives acquire strong emotional colouring and are equal in force to interjections.

The epithet is based on the interplay of emotive and logical meaning in an attributive word, phrase or even sentence, used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some of the properties or features of the object with the aim of giving an individual perception and evaluation of these features or properties.

Classification of Epithets
From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into:
1) simple (adjectives, nouns, participles): e.g. He looked at them in animal panic.
2) compound: e.g. apple - faced man;
3) sentence and phrase epithets: e.g. It is his do - it - yourself attitude.
4) reversed epithets - composed of 2 nouns linked by an ofphrase: e.g. «a shadow of a smile»;
Semantically according to I. Galperin.
1) associated with the noun following it, pointing to a feature which is essential to the objects they describe: dark forest; careful attention.
2) unassociated with the noun, epithets that add a feature which is unexpected and which strikes the reader: smiling sun, voiceless sounds.
Oxymoron is a combination of two words in which the meaning is opposite in sense.
e. g. speaking silence, cold fire, living death.
Close to oxymoron is paradox - a statement that is absurd on the surface. e.g. War is peace. The worse - the better.
Trite oxymoron. e.g. Awfully beautiful.
If the primary meaning of qualifying word changes the stylistic effect of oxymoron is lost. In oxymoron the logical meaning holds fast because there is no true word combination.
4. Interaction of Logical and Nominative Meaning
Antonomasia. It is the result of interaction between logical and nominal meaning of a word.
1) When the proper name of a person, who is famous for some reasons, is put for a person having the same feature.
e.g. Her husband is an Othello.
2) A common noun is used instead of a proper name, e. g. I agree with you Mr. Logic, e.g. My Dear Simplicity.
Intensification of a Feature
Simile. The intensification of some feature of the concept is realized in a device called simile. Similes set one object against another regardless of the fact that they may be completely alien to each other. The simile gives rise to a new understanding of the object. The properties of an object maybe viewed from different angles, f. e. its state, its actions, manners Accordingly, similes may be based on adjective - attributes, adverb - modifiers, verb - predicates etc.
Similes have formal elements in their structure: connective words such as like, as, such as, as if, seem.
Periphrasis - is a round - about way of speaking used to name some object or phenomenon. Longer-phrase is used instead of a shorter one. Some periphrasis are traditional.
e. g. The fair sex.
My better half.
Periphrasis are divided into:
1. Logical - based on inherent properties of a thing.
e. g. Instrument of destruction, the object of administration.
2. Figurative - based on imagery: metaphor, metonymy
e. g. To tie a knot - to get married; in disgrace of fortune - bad luck.
Euphemism is used to avoid some unpleasant things, or taboo things.
e. g. To pass away - to die.
Hyperbole is deliberate overstatement or exaggeration, the aim of which is to intensify one of the features of the object in question to such a degree as to show its utter absurdity. Like many SDs, hyperbole may lose its quality as a SD through frequent repetition and become a unit of the language as a system, reproduced in speech in its unaltered from. Here there are some examples:
e. g. A thousand pardons, scared to death, immensely obliged.
Hyperbole is a device which sharpens the reader's ability to make a logical assessment of the utterance. This is achieved, as in case with other devices, by awakening the dichotomy of thought and feeling where thought takes the upper hand though not to the detriment of feeling.
Peculiar Use of Set Expressions
The Cliche
A cliche is generally defined as an expression that has become hackneyed and trite. It has lost its precise meaning by constant reiteration: in other words it has become stereotyped. Cliche is a kind of stable word combination which has become familiar and which has been accepted as a unit of a language
e. g. rosy dreams of youth, growing awareness.
Proverbs are short, well-known, supposedly wise sayings, usually in simple language.
e.g. Never say never. You can't get blood of a stone.
Proverbs are expressions of culture that are passed from generation to generation. They are words of wisdom of culture - lessons that people of that culture want their children to learn and to live by They are served as some symbols, abstract ideas. Proverbs are usually dedicated and involve imagery. e.g. Out of sight, out of mind.
Epigram is a short clever amusing saying or poem. e.g. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Quotation is a phrase or sentence taken from a work of literature or other piece of writing and repeated in order to prove a point or support an idea. They are marked graphically: by inverted commas: dashes, italics.
Allusion is an indirect reference, by word or phrase, to a historical. literary, mythological fact or to a fact of everyday life made in the course of speaking or writing. The use of allusion presupposes knowledge of the fact, thing oк person alluded to on the part of the reader or listener.

Syntactical Stylistic Devices Classification of Syntactical Stylistic Devices

They include: stylistic inversion, detached constructions, parallel constructions, chiasmus, suspense, climax, antithesis.

Stylistic Inversion. The English word order is fixed. Any change which doesn't influence the meaning but is only aimed at emphasis is called a stylistic inversion. Stylistic inversion aims at attaching logical stress or additional emotional colouring to the surface meaning of the utterance. Therefore a specific intonation pattern is the inevitable satellite of inversion.

The following patterns of stylistic inversion are most frequently met in both English prose and English poetry.

1. The object is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

2. The attribute is placed after the word it modifies, e. g. With fingers weary and worn.

3. The predicate is placed before the subject, e.g. A good generous prayer it was.

4. The adverbial modifier is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

e.g. My dearest daughter, at your feet I fall.

5. Both modifier and predicate stand before the subject, e. g. In went Mr. Pickwick.

Detached constructions. Sometimes one of the secondary members of the sentence is placed so that it seems formally inderpendent of the word it refers to. Being formally inderpendent this secondary member acquires a greater degree of significance and is given prominence by intonation. e.g. She was gone. For good.

Parallel construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro - structures dealt with the syntactical whole and the paragraph. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of sentence.

Chiasums is based on repetition of syntactical patterns, but it has a reversed order in one of the utterances.

e.g. She was a good sport about all this, but so was he.

Suspense - is a compositional device which is realized through the separation of the Predicate from the Subject by deliberate introduction between them of a clause or a sentence. Thus the reader's interest is held up. This device is typical of oratoric style.

Climax (gradation) - an ascending series of words or utterances in which intensity or significance increases step by step.

e. g. Every racing car, every racer, every mechanic, every ice - cream van was also plastered with advertising.

Antithesis is a SD based on the author's desire to stress certain qualities of the thing by appointing it to another thing possessing antagonistic features. e. g. They speak like saints and act like devils.

Enumeration is a SD which separates things, properties or actions brought together and form a chain of grammatically and semantically homogeneous parts of the utterance.

e. g. She wasn't sure of anything and more, of him, herself, their friends, her work, her future.

Syntactical Stylistic Devices Based on Peculiar Linkage

Asyndeton is a deliberate avoidance of conjunctions in constructions in which they would normally used.

e.g. He couldn't go abroad alone, the sea upset his liver, he hated hotels.

Polysyndeton - is an identical repetition of conjunctions: used to emphasize simultaneousness of described actions, to disclose the authors subjective attitude towards the characters, to create the rhythmical effect.

e. g. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect.

Gap - sentence - link It presents two utterances the second is brought into the focus of the reader's attention.

e. g. She and that fellow ought to be the sufferers, and they were in I tally.

Syntactical Stylistic Devices Based on Peculiar Use of Colloquial Constructions

Ellipsis, break in the narrative, represented speech.

Ellipsis - is the omition of a word necessary for the complete syntactical construction of a sentence, but not necessary for understanding. The stylistic function of ellipsis used in author's narration is to change its tempo, to connect its structure.

e. g. You feel all right? Anything wrong or what?

Aposiopesis (Break - in - the narrative). Sudden break in the narration has the function to reveal agitated state of the speaker.

e. g. On the hall table there were a couple of letters addressed to her. One was the bill. The other…

There are 3 ways of reproducing character's speech.

1) direct speech;

2) indirect speech (reported speech)

3) represented speech.

Represented speech There is also a device which coveys to the reader the unuttered or inner speech of the character, his thoughts and feelings. This device is also termed represented speech. To distinguish between the two varieties of represented speech we call the representation of the actual utterance through the author's language «uttered represented speech», and the representation of the thoughts and feelings of the character unuttered or inner represented speech.

Question in the narrative. Changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a stylistic device. A question in the narrative is asked and answered by one and the same person, usually the author. It becomes akin to a parenthetical statement with strong emotional implications. e. g. For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush - for Greece a tear.

As is seen from these examples the questions asked, unlike rhetorical questions do not contain statements.

Question in the narrative is very often used in oratory. This is explained by one of the leading features of oratorical style - to induce the desired reaction to the content of the speech.

interaction container syntactical stylistic

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