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CLASSIFICATION OF LEXICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES.
The problem of classification of tropes has existed for centuries going back to antique schools of rhetoric.
But the majority of scholars have not been interested in presenting tropes as a generalized system.
Most authors propose purely subjective classifications.
Some of them describe tropes and other stylistic devices in an alphabetical order.
Some split them into 2 groups: metaphor and metonymy.
I.R. Galperin's classification of lexical stylistic devices (adopted in our course) is based on the 3 following criteria:
Group 1. Interaction of different types of lexical meaning:
Dictionary (logical, literal) and contextual (figurative) meanings:
Metaphor, Metonymy, Irony.
Primary and derivative logical meanings (of a polysemantic word):
Logical and emotive meanings:
Logical and nominative meanings:
Group 2. Intensification of a feature:
Hyperbole (intensification of quantity, size, emotions, etc.),
Simile (intensification of affinity),
Periphrasis (intensification of an inherent property).
Group 3. Peculiar use of set expressions (interplay of their primary and contextual meanings, mainly when decomposed):
Clichés, Proverbs, Epigrams, Quotations, Allusions, Decomposition of set phrases.
Lexical stylistic devices are also classified according to the degree of originality into trite and genuine.
Genuine devices are original, full of imagery.
Trite devices are ready-made, fixed in dictionaries clichés. Imagery seems faded there.
Such cases are mainly dealt with in lexicology.
E.g. a root of the quarrel (trite metaphor).
ZEUGMA AND PUN.
Zeugma (Gk. zeuguana 'joining, uniting') or syllepsis is the blending together of two or more semantically incompatible word groups, having an identical lexical item (usu. a polysemantic word), into a single construction where this item is used only once.
E.g. … it was a perfect purgatory of dust and confusion and gritting of teeth and soft, sweet and low profanity. (Twain)
In the resultant cluster the identical lexical item is in the same grammatical (syntactical) but different semantic relations with the adjacent units, which pertain to semantic spheres inconsistent with each other.
Thus, without being repeated the lexical unit is used in a literal and in a transferred meaning.
E.g. With tears in her eyes and a Gucci bag she appeared at the door of his apartment.
Function. The effect produced by zeugmatic combinations is humorous or ironical.
Zeugma is an accepted stylistic device in English literature, in Russian it is beyond the literary norm.
Pun – the use of a word in such a manner as to bring out different meanings or applications of one polysemantic word,
– or the use of words alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning (homophones, paronyms), often with humorous intent.
It is also called wordplay, play on words, quibble, paronomasia, (Latin, from Gr. paronomazein ‘to call by a different name, to name besides’: para ‘besides’ + onomazein – ‘to name’).
Alongside the English term 'pun', the international (originally French) term calembour is current.
E.g. It is not my principle ('general rule of conduct') to pay the interest ('money paid for use of money lent'), and it is not my interest ('advantage, profit, or generally, thing in which one is concerned') to pay the principal ('the original sum lent') (a polysemantic word and homophones).
E.g. She was too beautiful for wards (a ward sounds nearly the same as words, i.e. paronyms).
Function. The creation of a jocular atmosphere caused by the intentional mistreatment of the meaning of the lexical unit either by the speaker.
E.g. – I beg your pardon.
– I am not offended.
The majority of jokes are based on pun.
The distinction between zeugma and pun
Both zeugma and pun are based on polysemy and create a humorous effect.
The distinguishing feature is mainly a structural one as
-zeugma is always a structure with two adjacent elements linked with the central element which is used only once; while
-pun 1) is more independent as it needs a broader (than a structure) context for its decoding and there need not necessarily be a word in the sentence to which the pun-word refers; 2) pun-words often recur.
Moreover, pun is more varied as besides polysemy it rests on the use of homophones and paronyms.
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