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the uses of language in numerous situations are studied by the theory of functional styles, or functional stylistics (V.V. Vinogradov, M.N. Kožina; I.V. Arnold, N.M. Razinkina and others).

There are a great many classifications of language varieties that use various criteria. There is also a lot of dispute on the number of styles in a language.

Speaking of functional styles (FS), I.V. Arnold suggested a classification of FS according the basic linguistic function they fulfill.

She started with a kind of abstract notion termed neutral style. It has no distinctive features and its function is to provide a standard background for the other styles. The other – 'real' styles can be broadly divided into two groups:

1.Colloquial styles: literary colloquial; familiar colloquial; low colloquial.

2.Literary bookish styles: a) scientific; b) official documents; c) publicist (newspaper); d) oratorical; e) poetic (lofty-poetical).

The function of colloquial styles is intercourse; of scientific prose and official documents – information; publicist (newspaper), oratorical and poetic (lofty-poetical) – influence.

I.R. Galperin in his definition of a functional style stresses the aim of communication. According to him, a FS is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication.

In English he distinguishes 5 functional styles and suggests their subdivision into substyles:

1.The belles-lettres style:

a) poetry; b) emotive (imaginative) prose or fiction; c) the language of the drama.

2.The publicist style:

oratory and speeches; b) the essay; c) articles.

3.The newspaper style: a) brief news items; b) headlines; c) advertisements and announcements; d) the editorial.

4.The scientific prose style: a) exact sciences; b) humanitarian sciences;

c) popular science prose.

5.The style of official documents: a) business documents; b) legal documents; c) the language of diplomacy; d) military documents

I.R. Galperin includes in his classification only the written varieties of the language. (With the only exception for such spoken varieties of publicist style as oratory and speeches).

Thus, he recognizes no colloquial style. The spoken language, according to him, by its very nature is spontaneous, momentary, fleeting.

Y.M. Skrebnev uses the term sublanguages in the meaning that is usu. attributed to functional styles. He maintains that the number of sublanguages and their styles is infinite. Y.M. Skrebnev rejects the idea of the complete classification of styles and believes that ‘there are as many sublanguages with their styles as you choose’ (including idiolects).

The scholar recognizes only the two major varieties of language use – formal and informal and colloquial.

The same does his follower V.A. Maltzev.

V.L. Naer’s classification includes seven styles:

official documents, scientific papers, professional technical, newspaper, publicist, belles-lettres, religious texts.

One of his merits consists in the fact that he was the only one among Soviet scholars to recognize the religious variety.



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