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THE METALANGUAGE OF LINGUOSTYLISTICS
In the European philological tradition there have always existed phenomena regarded as linguostylistic concepts proper. They are: tropes which are based on the transfer of meaning, when a word (or a combination of words) is used to denote an object which is not normally correlated with this word, and figures of speech whose stylistic effect is achieved due to the unusual arrangement of linguistic units, unusual construction or extension of utterance.
There is a considerable number of terms which can serve to denote different tropes and figures of speech. Most of these terms go back to ancient rhetoric where all the stylistic devices were thoroughly investigated and provided with names and definitions. In the course of time some terms used in Greek and Roman philology have disappeared whereas new ones were introduced. The meanings of some terms have changed. Thus, the Greek "metaphora" was used by Aristotle in a very broad sense, close to the modern meaning of the term "trope", that is, it embraced metonymy, synechdoche, hyperbole and simile.
Theoretically speaking, the division into tropes and figures, which can be traced back to classical philology, is characteristic not only of Russian but also of English and American philological traditions. A Russian anglicist, however, is bound to be faced with certain metalinguistic difficulties. The fact is that the English term "figure of speech" is often indiscriminately used to denote any stylistic device, including metaphor (this is how "metaphor" is defined, for instance, in one of the dictionaries of literary terms published in the U.S.A.: "a metaphor is a figure of speech in which one object is likened to another by speaking of it as if it were that other" - Standard College Dictionary. N.-Y. # 1963). The term "trope", which was widely employed in the XVIII century in almost the same meaning as the Russian "троп", has practically fallen out of use.
Nevertheless we are convinced that the distinction between tropes and figures is not only a question of metalanguage. It concerns the ontology of linguostylistic phenomena, their essential features. We regard tropes and figures of speech as basic linguostylistic categories whose study should be based on their numerous realitions in speech.
Expressive means of a language are those forms and properties that have the potential to make the utterance emphatic or expressive. They don’t change the semantic structure. They only add some degree of emotive force to the utterance structure. These can be found on all the levels – phonetic, phonographical, morphological, lexical or syntactical.
A stylistic device is a literary model in which semantic and structural features are blended so that it represents a generalized pattern.
All stylistic devices belong to expressive means, but not all expressive means are stylistic devices. Thus, phonetic phenomena, such as pitch, stress, pausation, tempo are all expressive means without being stylistic devices: I do know you. I’m really angry with that dog of yours (Intensifiers). According to Professor Galperin a stylistic device is such a generative model which through frequent use in language is transformed into a stylistic device (e.g. metaphor). It’s like an algorithm used for an expressive purpose.
A convergence of expressive means and stylistic devices is the accumulation of several expressive means and stylistic devices of the same or different levels of language, promoting the same idea or emotion in the same context.
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