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Lecture 3 Phonetic Stylistic Devices and Graphical Means.

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default Lecture 3 Phonetic Stylistic Devices and Graphical Means.

Post by log Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:33 pm

Lecture 3 Phonetic Stylistic Devices and Graphical Means.
1. Onomatopoeia
2. Alliteration
3. Rhyme
4. Rhythm
5. Graphical Means
The stylistic approach to the utterance is not confined to its structure and sense. There is another thing to be taken into account which, in a certain type of communication plays an important role. This is the way a word, a phrase or a sentence sounds. The sound of most words taken separately will have little or no aesthetic value. A word may acquire a desired phonetic effect only in combination with other words. The way a separate word sounds may produce a certain euphonic effect, but this is a matter of individual perception and feeling and therefore subjective. However there exist psychological works on the theory of sound symbolism. They checked the associations, which the tested people have with the definite sounds. Statistics shows that their answers coincide very often.
Verier St Woolman, one of the founders of the theory of sound symbolism claimed that a certain sound when pronounced clearly and strong has special meaning and feeling. For example the sound [d], when repeated often may produce an effect of something evil, negative and wicked.
The sound of a word, or more exactly the way words sound in combination, often contributes something to the general effect of the message, particularly when the sound effect has been deliberately worked out. This can easily be recognized when analyzing alliterative word combinations or the rhymes in certain stanzas or from more elaborate analysis of sound arrangement.
The aesthetiс effect of the text is composed not only with the help of sounds and prosody, but with the help of sounds and prosody together with the meaning. The sound side of the belles-letters work makes a whole with rhythm and meaning and can’t influence the reader separately.
To influence aesthetically the sound part of the text should somehow be highlightened. An author can increase an emotional and aesthetic effect of his work through choosing the words, their arrangement and repetitions. Let’s see what phonetic SDs can secure this function.
1. Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia is a combination of speech sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature (wind, sea, thunder, etc. – splash, bubble, rustle, whistle) by things (machines or tools, etc. - buzz) by people (singing, laughter, yawning, roar, giggle) and animals (moo, bleat, croak - frog). Therefore the relation between onomatopoeia and the phenomenon it is supposed to represent is one of metonymy: that is it can be used in transferred meaning – tintinnabulation-the sound of bells
There are two varieties of onomatopoeia: direct and indirect.
Direct onomatopoeia is contained in words that imitate natural sounds, as thud, bowwow, ding-dong, buzz, bang, ‘cuckoo. These words have different degrees of ‘imitative quality. Some of them immediately bring to mind whatever it is that produces the sound. Others require some imagination to decipher it.
e.g. And now there came the chop-chop of wooden hammers.
Indirect onomatopoeia is a combination of sounds the aim of which is to make the sound of the utterance an echo of its sense. It is sometimes called "echo writing". Indirect onomatopoeia demands some mention of what makes the sound, as rustling of curtains in the following line. And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain. An example is: And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain" (E. A. Poe), where the repetition of the sound [s] actually produces the sound of the rustling of the curtain.
Indirect onomatopoeia is sometimes effectively used by repeating words which themselves are not onomatopoetic but they contribute to the general impact of the utterance: in the poem Boots by R. Kipling soldiers’ tread is shown -
We’re foot-slog-slog-slog-sloggin’ over Africa –
Foot-foot-foot-foot –sloggin’ over Africa.
(Boots – boots – boots – boots – moovi’ up and down again!)
Onomatopoeia helps to create the vivid portrayal of the situation described, and the phonemic structure of the word is important for the creation of expressive and emotive connotations.
2. Alliteration and assonance
Alliteration is a phonetic stylistic device which aims at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance. The essence of this device lies in the repetition of similar sounds, in particular consonant sounds, in close succession, particularly at the beginning of successive words: " The possessive instinct never stands still (J. Galsworthy) or, "Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before" (E. A. Poe). Alliteration is also used to name the repetition of first letters: Apt Alliteration’s artful aid.(Charles Churchill).
Alliteration has a long tradition in English poetry as Germanic and Anglo-Saxon poems were organized with its help. (Beowulf)
Assonance is the repetition of similar stressed vowels within the line or stanza.
“… Tell this soul, with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aiden,
I shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore… (E. A. Poe)”
Alliteration, like most phonetic expressive means, does not bear any lexical or other meaning. However it supplies the utterance with a certain nuance of the meaning [d]. That’s why alliteration is regarded as a musical accompaniment of the author’s idea, supporting it with some vague emotional atmosphere which each reader interprets for himself.
Alliteration heightens the general aesthetic effect of the utterance when it has connection with sense. Now it’s used only as a subsidiary device. Its role is an expressive one – alliterated words indicate the most important concepts. It’s often used in emotive prose, newspaper headlines, titles, proverbs and sayings: Sense and Sensibility; Pride and Prejudice; safe and sound; part and parcel etc.
3. Rhyme
Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combination of words. Rhyming words are generally placed at a regular distance from each other. In verse they are usually placed at the end of the corresponding lines.
Identity and similarity of sound combinations may be relative. Thus, the first criterion is the identity of sound. Form this point of view we distinguish between full rhymes and incomplete rhymes. The full rhyme presupposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable (heart – part, flood-blood).
Incomplete rhymes are divided into two main groups: vowel rhymes (ассонансы) and consonant rhymes (консонансы). In vowel rhymes the vowels of the syllables in corresponding words are identical, but the consonants may be different as in (advice-compromise). In consonant rhymes, on the contrary, consonants are identical and disparity in vowels, as in (wind-land, grey-grow).
The second criterion: morphological characteristics. Compound (broken) rhymes - when one word rhymes with a combination of words; or two or even three words rhyme with a corresponding two or three words, as in "better – forget her". The peculiarity of rhymes of this type is that the combination of words is made to sound like one word - this device will inevitably give a colloquial and sometimes a humorous touch to the utterance. Compound rhyme may be set against what is called eye - rhyme, where the letters and not the sounds are identical, as in love - prove, flood - brood, have - grave. It follows that compound rhyme is perceived in reading aloud, eye - rhyme can only be perceived in the written verse.
III the way the rhymes are arranged within the stanza: couplets – when the last words of 2 successive lines are rhymed – aa; cross rhymes – перекрёстные - abab; framing or ring rhymes – опоясывающие - abba.
IV according to their position: e.g. internal rhyme – the rhyming words are placed not at the ends of the lines but within the line:
“I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers.” (Shelley)
The rhyme has 2 functions, which are realized simultaneously: disserving (it breaks the line into 2 distinct parts, making the reader to pause) and consolidating (consolidates the ideas expressed in 2 parts).
4. Rhythm
Rhythm is the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, more or less regular. As a SD rhythm is a combination of the ideal metrical scheme and its variations governed by the standard.
It exists in all spheres of human activity and assumes multifarious forms. It stirs up emotions whatever its nature or origin, whether it is musical, mechanical or symmetrical as in architecture.
It’s not only a regular pattern of sounds or movements; it’s also any regular pattern in nature or in life. Rhythm can be perceived only provided that there is some kind of experience in catching regularity of alternating patterns.
Rhythm has a great importance not only for music and poetry, but also for prose. In prose rhythm is closely connected with the metre, i.e. different metrical patterns. The rhythm of prose is based on the succession of images, themes and other big elements of the text; repetition, parallel constructions, chiasmus- перекрестный/ реверсированный повтор, similar syntactical patterns. The unit of measure here is not a syllable but a structure, a word-combination, a sequence of phrases, sentences and supra-phrasal units.
Rhythm intensifies the emotions. It contributes to the general sense, helps to get the flow of thoughts and humour of the author. In poetry it conveys the mood, emotions and feelings, sharpens the thought of the author and his characters. Rhythm adds specific importance to some ideas and feelings, it helps to create reality in text. It has expressive, symbolic and graphic functions. It can imitate movement, behaviour and even setting. It foregrounds some particular words, thoughts, ideas, feelings, and vice versa obscures others, thus adding a per’spective to the text.
5. Graphical EMs
Graphical EMs serve to convey in the written form those emotions which in the oral speech are expressed by intonation and stress, in written form they are shown mostly with the help of punctuation and deliberate change of a spelling of a word.
“A detective! I never ‘eard of such a thing! What d’yer come ‘ere for if yer want to be a detective. ‘Ere, yer not big enough, ‘cos yer’d ‘ave to be a pleeceman first before they’d let yer be a detective, and they’d never ‘ave yer as a pleeceman. ” (J.D. Priestley,“ Angel Pavement”)
Woman, without her, man is nothing.
All types of punctuation can be used to reflect the emphatic intonation of the speaker. Such ‘emphatic’ punctuation is used in many syntactical SDs: aposiopesis (break-in-the-narrative) [You’ll just come home, or I’ll …], rhetorical questions, su’spense etc.
The changed type (italics, bold type) or spelling multiplication (laaarge) are used to indicate the additional stress on the emphasis word or part of the word.
There is no direct connection between the graphical SDs and the intonation they reflect, for their choice is too inadequate for the variety and quality of emotions recurrent in intonation.
Hometask: Galperin pp. 123-135, Kucharenko pp. 10-13, ex. 1, p.13. Арнольд с. 275-315.
СРС: get samples of basic phonetic SDs on separate cards.


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