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INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE OF STYLISTICS 1. What is stylistics? 1) D. Crystal: Linguistics is the academic discipline that studies language ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • 1.       What is stylistics?
  • 1)      D. Crystal Linguistics is the academic
    discipline that studies language scientifically,
    and stylistics, as a part of this discipline,
    studies certain aspects of language variation.
  • Investigating English Style
  • 2)      G. N. Leech Stylistics is a linguistic
    approach to literature, explaining the relation
    between language and artistic function, with
    motivating questions such as why and how more
    than what.

  • Style in Fiction
  • A Linguistic Guide to
    English Poetry
  • 3)      W. V. Peer Stylistics is developed from
    Russian Formalism via Prague Structuralism,
    following the concept of estrangement-deviation
    from normal usages. Stylistics
    and Psychology

  • 4)      Halliday Linguistics is not and will
    never be the whole of literary analysis, and only
    the literary analystnot the linguistcan
    determine the place of linguistics in literary
    studies. But if a text is to be described at all,
    then it should be described properly by the
    theories and methods developed in linguistics,
    whose task is precisely to show how language
  • Descriptive Linguistics in Literary Studies
  • 5)      H. G. Widdowson Stylistics involves both
    literary criticism and linguistics, as its
    morphological making suggests the style
    component relating it to the former and the
    istics component to the latter. Stylistics is a
    means of relating disciplines and subjects, as
    shown in the following diagram
  • Disciplines linguistics
    literary criticism
  • ? ?

  • Stylistics

  • ? ?
  • Subjects (English) language
    (English) literature
  • Style and the
    Teaching of literature

  • 6)      H. H. Zhang Stylistics is an intensive
    study of literary text on an advanced level, by
    making out the particular effect of the
    particular choice of language in literary
  • 2.       What is style?
  • According to Thomas S. Kane in Writing Prose
  • Style is a pattern of linguistic features
    distinguishing one piece of writing from another,
    or one category of writings from another.
  • 1)   Style includes the writers way of thinking
    about his subject and his characteristic way of
    presenting it for a particular reader and
  • 2)    Style results from linguistic choices,
    which effectively express the writers unique
    thought and feeling.
  • 3)     Style is a means of discovery for both
    writer and reader.
  • 4)  Style sharpens expressive meaning as well as
    referential meaning, intensifying the tone of
    writing, making prose more persuasive.

  • 5)      Style is not mere ornament rather it
    conveys important subtleties of meaning and
    evaluation, which define the nature of the
    writer, his basic attitudes, his presuppositions,
    his moral stance, and his relation to his subject
    and his reader.
  • According to David Crystal in Investigating
    English Style
  • There are four commonly occurring senses of the
    term STYLE
  • 1) the language habits of one person Shakespeare
    James Joyce Hemingway UNIQUENESS.
  • 2) the language habits shared by a group at one
    time the Augustan poets, the Old English
    heroic poetry.
  • 3) say the right thing in the most effective
    waygood manners clear or refined style.
  • 4) evaluation and description of literature in
    literary criticism or appreciation good
    effective beautiful writing.
  • According to G. N. Leech in Style in Fiction,
  • there are some controversial views of style

  • 1).Dualism between form and meaning style as
    choices of Manner rather than Matter, of
    Expression rather than Content as a way of
    writing or a mode of expression originates
    from Aristotles literary theory.
  • a.       Style as the dress of thought, claimed
    by Renaissance and rationalism, makes it some
    kind of adornment of thought or meaning. The
    Aesthetics of form (parallelism, alliteration)
    tends to attract the readers attention more than
    the meaning does, as seen in poetic lines.
  • a.       Style as manner of expression, as
    Richard Ohman put it, A style is a way of
    writing in which the words on the page might
    have been different, or differently arranged,
    without a corresponding difference in substance.
  • 2).Monism It is like body and soul form and
    content to me are one (Flaubert Dec. 12,1857)
    originates from Platos literary theory.
  • As argued by David Lodge, in Language of Fiction
    (1966), it is impossible

  • a.  to paraphrase literary writing
  • b. to translate a literary work
  • c. to divorce the general appreciation of a
    literary work from the appreciation of its style,
  • for the inevitable loss of the hidden,
    metaphorical meaning.
  • 3).Pluralism analyzing style in terms of
    functions, characterized by Hallidays three
    major functions of ideational, interpersonal
    and textual.
  • 3.       What is the main purpose of stylistics?
  • 1) to analyze language habits----to identify,
    from the general mass, those features restricted
    to certain kinds of social context
  • 2) to explain why such features have been used
    as opposed to others
  • 3) to classify these features into categories
    based upon a view of their function in the social
  • By features we mean particular choice of words,
    sequence of words, or way of utterance, so-called
    stylistically distinctive features

  • 4.       How is stylistics related to psychology?
  • Writing is an imitation of human thought
  • 1).the function of punctuation---segmentation---ro
    om for feedback
  • In speech, a tone unit constitutes a single
    chunk of information and to a considerable
    extent, the speaker is free to segment his
    utterance into such chunks as he likes. But the
    choices he makes will make a difference to the
    decoding of the message. Consider, for example,
    what happens when the following sentence is split
    respectively into two and three tone units (the
    acute accent indicates a rising tone)
  • ?
  • (6a) Next WEEK Im starting a job in LONDON.
  • ?
    ? ?
  • (6b) Next WEEK Im starting a JOB in LONDON.
  • Sentence (6b) would only be uttered by someone
    for whom getting a job was a piece of news in
    itself for example, by someone who had been out
    of work. But the choices available in one case
    may not available in another

  • ?
  • (7a) Next MONDAY Im spending the day in
  • ?
    ? ?
  • (7b) Next MONDAY Im spending the DAY in
  • The organization of written language into
    graphic units is rather similar. The contrast
    between (6a) and (6b) can be captured in writing
    by the use of an extra punctuation mark
  • (8a) Next week, Im starting a job in London.
  • (8b) Next week, Im starting a jobin London.
  • But because graphic units tend to be longer than
    tone units, (8b) seems unusually emphatic, and
    perhaps the normal written rendering would have
    no internal punctuation at all
  • (8c) Next week, Im starting a job in London.
  • Note that the absurdity of (7b) is matched by an
    oddity in the written form of
  • (9) Next Monday, Im spending the dayin

  • 2).the significance of sentence
  • 3). periodic structure---producing tension and
  • Any sentence has a periodic structure if
    anticipatory constituents play a major part in
    it, as seen in the following pairs
  • (1)    The truth is that they have suffered
    through negligence.
  • (2)    That they have suffered through negligence
    is the truth.
  • (3)    Sophia sailed into the room with her eyes
  • (4)    With her eyes ablaze, Sophia sailed into
    the room.
  • Parenthetical dependent constituents belong to
    the anticipatory category
  • (5)    Sophia, with her eyes ablaze, sailed into
    the room.
  • This sentence, with its parenthetical adverbial,
    is to be classed with (4) as periodic structure
    rather than with (3).
  • The element of suspense clearly depends on the
    size of the anticipatory constituent the longer
    the constituent is, the greater the burden upon
    the memory, and the greater the tension.

  • 4). loose structure---producing relaxation and
  • If, on the other hand, the burden is reduced on
    the readers immediate syntactic memory by
    avoiding major anticipatory constituents, a loose
    structure is built.
  • (6)    This morning I was troubled with my Lord
    Hinchingbrokes sending to borrow 200 of me but
    I did answer that I had none, nor could borrow
    any for I am resolved I will not be undone for
    any body, though I would do much for my lord
    Sandwich, for it is to answer a bill of exchange
    of his and I perceive he has made use of all
    other means in the world to do it, but I am
    resolved to serve him, but not ruin myself.
  • A loose sentence, like this one, can be very
    complex (in terms of number of words, number of
    clauses, etc) without causing difficulties of
  • Looking back over the history of English prose,
    we can say that the most neutral style of writing
    is one that combines both anticipatory and
    trailing elements, and thus achieves a balance
    between art and nature.

  • 5).the last is the most important for written
    language---end-focus/climax principle
  • Governed by the principle of end-weight , we will
  • It is advisable for us to be able to
    tell documentary English
  • from spoken English.
  • to To be able to tell documentary English
    from spoken English is
  • advisable for us.
  • Instead of
  • That he was prepared to go to such
    lengths astounded me.
  • we choose to write
  • I was astounded that he was prepared
    to go to such lengths.
  • The tendency to place new information toward the
    end of the clause is called the principle of
    end-focus. The part where new information is
    introduced is marked by NUCLEAR STRESS, which is
    the focal point of the tone unit, especially on
    the last lexical item, or content word

  • (1a) She completely DENIED it. (2a) Hes
    gradually IMPROVING.
  • (1b)She denied it COMPLETELY.(2b)Hesimproving
  • Lets relate (1a) and (1b) to the following
    questions respectively
  • (3a) Did Joan admit the offence? No,
  • (3b) Did Joan deny the offence? Yes,
  • Plainly, (1a) is the appropriate answer for (3a),
    and (1b) for (3b), because in (3a) the denial
    is the new information, whereas in (3b) it is
    already assumed in the question, and is therefore
    given information.
  • End-focus has important implications in syntax,
    where the ordering of the elements of the message
    is largely determined. It can, for example,
    influence the choice between active and passive
  • (4a) John wrote the whole BOOK.
  • (4b) The whole book was written by JOHN.
  • As a matter of fact, end-focus is more important
    in writing than in speech, because in the absence
    of intonation signals, the only thing we can rely
    upon as a signal of information focus is
    syntactic order.

  • In other words, the reader naturally looks for
    new information at the end of the graphic unit,
    which can be tried out on the following
  • (5a) Instead of morphine, the patient was given
  • (5b) Instead of morphine, opium was given to the
  • 6).the first is the most important for spoken
  • This principle accounts for some syntactic
    inversions and dislocations characteristic of
    ordinary speech
  • That dinner you cooked last nightI really
    enjoyed it
  • Got a cold have you?
  • Relaxation you call it!
  • The same factor accounts for frequent disregard
    in spoken English of the end-focus principle for
    example, the last sentence quoted would be
    pronounced ?
  • RELAXATION you call it!
  • 7).simple and complex sentences
  • A succession of simple sentences leaves only
    sequence to play with.

  • The complex form gives and withholds information,
    subordinates some ideas to other more important,
    coordinates those of equal weight, and ties into
    a neat package as many suggestions, modifiers,
    and asides as the mind can attend to in one
    stretch. Compare the following
  • (1a) Jim threw the ball. The ball broke a window.
    The noise attracted
  • the owners attention. The owner scolded
  • (1b) Throwing the ball, Jim broke a window. The
    noise attracted the
  • attention of the owner, who scolded him.
  • (1c) When Jim threw the ball and broke the
    window, he was scolded
  • by the owner, whose attention was
    attracted by the noise.
  • There are occasions where simple sentences are
    just what is needed
  • (2a) She saw there an object. That object was the
    gallows. She was afraid of the gallows. (Joseph
    Conrad, The Secret Agent, Ch 12)
  • The dramatic force of this step-by-step
    revelation would be dissipated in a complex
    sentence such as She saw there an object she was
    afraid ofthe gallows or The object she saw
    therethe gallowsfrightened her.
  • Contrast the very different effect of

  • (3) The tireless resilient voice that had just
    lobbed this singular remark over the Bella Vista
    bar window-sil into the square was, though its
    owner remained unseen, unmistakable and achingly
    familiar as the spacious flower-boxed balconied
    hotel itself, and as unreal, Yvonne thought.
    (Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, Ch 2)
  • The two passages contrast in ordering
  • (2a)working from the person (She) to the
    percept(the gallows), and
  • (3) working from the percept (thevoice) to
    person (Yvonne).
  • This is incidental to the contrast between
    simplicity and complexity the difference between
    experiencing events one by one, and experiencing
    them as an articulate and complex whole.
  • 8).coordination and subordination
  • Often a subordinate clause is less salient in the
    sense of expressing information which is at least
    partially known or presupposed in advance. In the
    following sentence, for instance,
  • When Jim threw the ball and broke the window, he
    was scolded by the owner, whose attention was
    attracted by the noise.

  • We may enunciate a general principle of
    subordination (which is not without its
  • If A is subordinate to B, then A is the
    circumstantial background against which B is
  • But as with other rhetorical principles, this
    principle of subordination may be violated
  • Curleys fist was swinging when Lennie reached
    for it.
  • (John Steinbeck, Of Mice and
    Men, Ch 3)
  • The second clause of this sentence descrbed the
    turning point in the fight between Lennie and
    Curley, and yet Lennies action is backgrounded
    by its subordinate status. On the face of it,
    Steinbeck would have done better to write
    something like As Curleys fist was swinging,
    Lennie reached for it. But what he did write
    fits in very well with his overall strategy in
    the novel, that of absolving Lennie of
    responsibility for his actions. By downgrading
    Lennies part in the fight, he makes it seem an
    inadvertent and blameless reaction to Curleys

  • A more complex example of a similar kind is this
  • The system worked just fine for everybody,
    especially for Doc. Daneeka, who found himself
    with all the time he needed to watch old Majorde
    Coverley pitching horseshoes in his private
    horseshoe-pitching pit, still wearing the
    transparent eye patch Doc. Daneeka had fashioned
    for him from the strip of celluloid stolen from
    Majors orderly room window months before when
    majorde Coverley had returned from Rome with an
    injured cornea after renting two apartments there
    for the officers and enlisted men to use on their
    rest leaves. (Joseph Heller,
    Catch 22, Ch 4)
  • There seems to be something rather perverse about
    the structure of this sentence the elements
    which we feel deserve to be in the foreground are
    subordinated, and therefore backgrounded. The
    sentence begins with the subject, verb and
    complement of the main clause, and then
    nose-dives into a chain-like structure of
    subordinate clauses (especially non-finite
    clauses), each dependent on its predecessor.

  • The syntactic chaining expresses a chain of
    bizarre relationships between one character and
    another, in keeping with the eccentric design of
    this novel, in which characters and events are
    linked through apparently irrational
    peculiarities of behavior.
  • 5.       What is involved in the methodology of
    the study?
  • 1).linguistic description.
  • 2).stylistic analysis
  • so as to minimize the intuitive element in
    criteria of analysis
  • a. comparison and contrast in the course of
    observation of linguistic description of a
    literary text
  • b. quantitative study of frequency and
  • c. linguistic deviation from the
    norm---foreground as against the
  • 6.       What are the preliminary conditions for
    the study of stylistics?
  • 1).awareness of prescriptive grammar
  • 2).strong sense of English rhetoric

  • 3).basic knowledge of phonetics, phonology,
    lexicology, syntax, graphology and semantics
  • 4).understanding of literature as the three
    dimensional rather than two dimensional
  • 7.       How is stylistics applied to the
    teaching of English?
  • 1).       lexical level paraphrase
  • 2).       syntactic level structural
  • 3).       adverbial mobility
  • 4).       sentence type
  • 5).       sentence complexity
  • 6).       sentence length
  • 7).       theme and form
  • 8).       the nature of literary stylistics as
    applied linguistics
  • 8. What is true of the English language?
  • A complex of many different varieties of
    language in use in all situations in many parts
    of the world

  • a. Spoken English and written English
  • b. Regional English and dialects
  • c. Conversation and radio commentary
  • d. Newspaper reporting and TV news report
  • e. English of religion and legal documents
  • f. English of consultation and argumentation
  • As an educated speaker of English, each of us is
    multilingual, for in the course of developing our
    command of language we have encountered a large
    number of varieties and have learned how to use
  • 9. What do we need to communicate successfully?
  • 1).A sharpened consciousness of the form and
    function of language, its place in society, and
    its power.
  • 2).The acceptability of the way to convey our
    ideas, the linguistic appropriateness and
    correctness, about which the native speakers of
    English have a great deal of intuitive knowledge.

  • 10. What can we benefit from an awareness of
    differing varieties of the language?
  • 1).to analyze our speaking and writing habits
    and those of others,
  • 2).to discover and describe the patterns which
    differentiate varieties of language from each
  • 3).to explain why people speak in a certain way,
  • 4).to determine what alternative forms of
    expression they choose to use or to ignore in
    particular situations.
  • 5).to find out particular effects or shades of
    meaning expressed in an
  • utterance.
  • 11.   What is the task of our study of
  • identify the entire range of linguistic
    features people intuitively feel to be
    stylistically significant and to specify a
    precise way of talking about them.
  • outline a method of analysis allowing us to
    organize these features in such a way as to
    facilitate comparison of any one use of language
    with any other.

  • 3).to decide on the function of these features by
    classifying them into categories based on the
    kind of extra-linguistic purpose they have.
  • 11.   What are supposed to be the distinctive
    qualifications of a stylistician?
  • 1).awareness of the kind of structure language
    has, and thus the kind of feature that might be
    expected to be of stylistic significance,
  • 2).awareness of the kind of social variation that
    linguistic features tend to be identified with,
  • 3).mastery of a technique of putting these
    features down no papers in a systematic way to
    display their internal patterning to maximal
  • In short, a clear idea of what is likely to be
    significant and what to do with his
    observationsto interrelate his observations
    within the framework of some theory and piece
    together any general pattern of linguistic

  • 1.       What is the focus of our interest in
    linguistic observation?
  • Frequency and distribution of linguistic features
    for quantitative analysis
  • 2.       What are the supposed levels of
  • 1).phonetic and graphic
  • the study of the characteristics and potential
    utility of human vocal noise
  • the study of written or printed shapes of human
    vocal noise.
  • Stress is laid on the physical characteristics of
    the language
  • 2).phonological and graphological
  • the study of sound system of a given language
  • the study of a languages written system, or
  • Stress is laid on the contrasts made within the
    linguistic systemrepetition of segmental sounds
    in a specific distribution, patterns of rhythm,
    intonation and other non-segmental elements,
    distinctive uses of punctuation, capitalization,

  • 3).grammatical and lexical
  • the result of the organization of sounds and
  • to analyze the internal structure of sentences
    and the way they function in sequences.
  • to study the attributes of single lexical items
    (vocabulary) .the choice of specific lexical
    items in a text, their distribution in relation
    to one another, their meaning.
  • Form-meaning relationship is under serious
  • 4).semantic
  • the descriptive study of the linguistic meaning
    of a text over and above the meaning of the
    lexical items taken singly patterns of thematic
    development, the distribution of concepts in a
    text as a whole, the use of characteristic
    figures of speech, semantic correlations.
  • 3.       How different is the nature of meaning
    expressed at the semantic level from that at the
    lexical level?
  • Semantic contrasts are less systematic and
    definable, and are all-inclusive.
  • Vocabulary contrasts are relatively
    discontinuous, finite, and localized.

  • 4.       Why do we separate linguistic
    description into the abovementioned four levels?
  • To focus our attention more closely on a
    particular aspect of language organization
  • 5.       What are principles of scaling the
    importance of stylistic features?
  • Frequency and uniqueness (or salience) shown by
    contrast, which gives rise to quantitative
    description of the given text.
  • 6.       What are the major concerns of
    grammatical observation?
  • 1).       inter-sentential relationships
  • sentence-linking features
  • ellipsis, anaphora, the use of concord,
    lexical repetition, adverbial contrast,
    contrastive tone,
  • The most distinctive sentence-linking features
  • frequent use or absence of anaphora
  • the use of specific patterns of paragraphing

  • 2).       sentence typology and structure
  • complete sentences
  • major sentences (grammatically complete)
  • a.  simple
  • b.  compound
  • c.  complex
  • d.  mixed
  • minor sentences (grammatically incomplete
  • a.  a subordinate structure
  • b.  an element of clause structure
  • c.  a combination of elements of clause structure
  • d.  a non-finite construction
  • 3).       clause typology and structure
  • What are the major concerns of distinctive
    features at clause level observation?
  • a.  the proportion of nouns to verbs
  • b.  the frequency of pronouns as against nominal

  • a.  the frequency of clauses working as
  • b.  the frequency of nominal groups working in
  • c.  the ordering of elements of structure in
    relation to one another
  • d.  the frequency of inversion
  • e.  the frequency of the adverbial occurring
    initially, medially, or finally
  • f.   the proportion of adverbials as against
    other elements
  • 4).       group typology and structure
  • What is the advantage of the choice of nominal
  • over verbal groups?
  • Greater potentiality for modification
    creates stronger
  • stylistic contrasts in terms of complexity
  • 5).       word typology and structure

  • Apart from the message being communicated, what
    other kind of information does the utterance give
  • 1. Does it tell us which specific person used it?
  • 2. Does it tell us where in the country he is
    from? (Regional dialect)
  • 3. Does it tell us which social class he belongs
    to? (Class dialect)
  • 4. Does it tell us during which period of English
    he spoke or wrote it, or how old he was?

  • 5. Does it tell us whether he was speaking or
  • (Discourse medium)
  • 6. Does it tell us whether he was speaking or
    writing as an end in itself, or as a means to a
    further end?
  • (Simple v complex discourse medium)
  • 7.Does it tell us whether there was only one
    participant in the utterance, or whether there
    was more than one?
  • (Discourse participation)

  • 8. Does it tell us whether the monologue and
    dialogue are independent, or are to be considered
    as part of a wider type of discourse?
  • (Simple v complex discourse
  • 9. Does it tell us which specific occupational
    activity the user is engaged in?

  • 10.Does it tell us about the social relationship
    existing between the user and his interlocutors?
  • 11.Does it tell us about the purpose he had in
    mind when conveying the message?

  • 12.Does it tell us that the user was being
    deliberately idiosyncratic?

  • (Singularity)
  • 13.Does it tell us none of these things?

  • Exercises for legal English
  • 1.Punctuate the following extract I and add any
    extra punctuation to II you think necessary.
  • 2.Write out a version of each extract so that it
    can be read aloud.
  • 3.Replace some of the archaic and highly formal
    vocabulary with more modern, less formal
    substitutes. (Reshaping some of the grammatical
    constructions might be found necessary)
  • 4.Note any points in the extracts where a certain
    amount of ambiguity remains.
  • Precision and freedom from ambiguity are aims of
    legal language that may conflict with the aims of
    simplicity and intelligibility. Suggest ways of
    minimizing the conflicts, and also the priorities
    you think should be applied when conflict is

  • An excerpt from an endowment assurance policy
  • WHEREAS a proposal to effect with the Society an
    assurance on the Life Insured named in the
    Schedule hereto has been duly made and signed as
    a basis of such assurance and a declaration has
    been made agreeing that this policy shall be
    subject to the Societys Registered Rules (which
    shall be deemed to form part of this policy) to
    the Table of Insurance printed hereon and to the
    terms and conditions of the said Table and that
    the date of entrance stated hereon shall be
    deemed to be the date of this contract And such
    proposal has been accepted by the Society on the
    conditions as set forth in the proposal
  • NOW this policy issued by the Society on payment
    of the first premium stated on the Schedule
    hereto subject to the Registered Rules of the
  • WITNESSETH that if the Life Insured shall pay or
    cause to be paid to the Society or to the duly
    authorized Agent or Collector thereof every
    subsequent premium at the due date thereof the
    funds of the Society shall on the expiration of
    the term of years specified

  • in the Schedule hereto or on the previous death
    of the Life Insured become and be liable to pay
    to him/her or to his/her personal representative
    or next-of-kin or assigns as the case may be the
    sum due and payable hereunder in accordance with
    the Table of Insurance printed hereon and the
    terms and conditions of the said Table (including
    any sum which may have accrued by way of
    reversionary bonus) subject to any authorized
    endorsement appearing hereon and to the
    production of this policy premium receipts and
    such other evidence of title as may be required
    be no duly constituted personal representative or
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  • In order to effect with the Society an
    assurance on the Life Insured named in the
    Schedule to the text, a proposal has been duly
    made and signed as a basis of such assurance. A
    declaration has been made agreeing that this
    policy will be subject to the Societys
    Registered Rules (which will serve as part of
    this policy), to the Table of Insurance printed
    on the paper, and to the terms and conditions of
    the Table. The declaration also agrees that the
    date of entrance stated on the paper will be
    considered as the date of this contract. And on
    the conditions as set forth in the proposal, such
    proposal has been accepted by the Society.This
    policy, issued by the Society after the payment
    of the first premium stated on the Schedule to
    the text subject to the Registered Rules of the
    Society, now witnesses the following terms and
  • 1.The Life Insured will pay or cause to be paid
    every subsequent premium to the Society or to its
    duly authorized Agent or Collector at its due
  • 2.When the term of years specified in the
    Schedule to the text expires, or when the Life
    Insured dies before the term expires, the funds
    of the Society shall be liable to pay the sum due
    to the Life Insured or the legal represent or
    next-of-kin of the Life Insured.

  • 3.The payment to the beneficiary will be effected
    according to the following Table of Insurance
    printed on the paper and the terms and conditions
    of the said Table (including any sum which may
    have accrued by way of reversionary bonus).
  • 4.The payment to the beneficiary will be effected
    at the same time on condition that any authorized
    endorsement will appear on the paper here and the
    beneficiary will produce the policy premium
    receipts and such other required evidence of
  • Upon the death of the Life Insured, it is
    possible that no duly constituted personal
    representative or nominee or assignee of the Life
    Insured will be able and willing to give a valid
    receipt for the sum payable. In that case, such
    sum may be paid to one or more of the next-of-kin
    of the Life Insured according to the decision of
    the Committee of Management. The receipt of the
    Life Insured will effectually discharge the
    Society from all liability under this policy.
  • In witness of the text, we, who are the Secretary
    and two of the Committee of Management of the
    Society, have attached our signatures to the

  • An excerpt from a hire purchase agreement
  • 7. Notwithstanding the termination of the hiring
    under Clause 6 the Hirer shall pay all rent
    accrued due in respect of the hiring up to the
    date of such termination and shall be or remain
    liable in respect of any damage caused to the
    Owner by reason of any breach by the Hirer of any
    stipulation herein contained and on the part of
    the Hirer to be performed or observed.
  • 8. At any time before the Owner shall have
    recovered possession of the goods and before the
    Hirer shall have terminated the hiring under
    Section 4 of the Hire-Purchase Act 1938 (as
    amended) the Hirer may on the payment to the
    Owner of the total amount of any installments
    then remaining unpaid of the rent hereinbefore
    reserved and agreed to be paid during the term
    and the further sum of ten shillings purchase the

  • Provided that such payment as aforesaid shall be
    a condition precedent to the exercise of the
    option to purchase so conferred (this agreement
    not being an undertaking by the Owner to sell the
    goods on credit or without such payment as
    aforesaid being first made) and accordingly any
    notice unaccompanied by such payment as aforesaid
    of an intention to exercise the said option shall
    be void and shall not constitute a binding
    agreement to purchase or sell the goods.

  • Revision of the excerpt from a hire purchase
  • 7. When the hiring under Clause 6 comes to an
    end, the Hirer will pay all rent accrued due
    concerning the hiring up to the date of such
    termination. The Hirer will also be liable for
    any damage caused to the Owner if the Hirer
    violates any stipulation contained here in the
    text. For the stipulations here are to be
    performed or observed by the Hirer.
  • 8. Under Section 4 of the Hire-Purchase Act 1938
    (as amended), the Owner will have the right to
    recover possession of the goods, and the Hirer
    will have the right to end the hiring. At any
    time before either of the abovementioned actions
    has taken effect, the Hirer may purchase the
    goods. The purchase will be conducted when the
    Hirer has paid to the Owner the total amount of
    any installments then remaining unpaid of the
    rent and the further sum of ten shillings. The
    rent is mentioned above

  • in the text, and is reserved and agreed to be
    paid during the term. The purchase option will be
    subject to the following conditions
  • 1.Such payment as mentioned above will be a
    condition precedent to the exercise of the option
    to purchase so conferred. (This agreement will
    not be an undertaking by the Owner to sell the
    goods on credit or without such payment. Such
    payment is first made as mentioned above.)
  • 2.Accordingly, without such payment as mentioned
    above, any notice of an intention to exercise the
    said option will be void, and will not constitute
    a binding agreement to purchase or sell the

  • The categories are placed under four general
    headings lexical categories, grammatical
    categories, figures of speech, and cohesion and
    context. Semantic categories are not listed
    separately, since it is easier to arrive at these
    through other categories we shall, for example,
    use our lexical categories to find out how choice
    of words involves various types of meaning. Since
    the purpose of the list is heuristic, there is no
    harm in mixing categories in this way. It is
    also in the nature of things that categories will
    overlap, so that the same feature may well be
    noted under different headings.

A Lexical categories
  • 1.GENERAL. Is the vocabulary simple or complex?
    formal or colloquial? descriptive or evaluative?
    general or specific? How far does the writer make
    use of the emotive and other associations of
    words, as opposed to their referential meaning?
    Does the text contain idiomatic phrases, and if
    so, with what kind of dialect or register (iii)
    are these idioms associated? Is there any use of
    rare or specialized vocabulary? Are any
    particular morphological categories noteworthy
    (e.g. compound words, words with particular
    suffixes)? To what semantic fields. do words

  • 2 NOUNS. Are the nouns abstract or concrete? What
    kinds of abstract nouns occur (e.g. nouns
    referring to events, perceptions, processes,
    moral qualities, social qualities)? What use is
    made of proper names? collective nouns?
  • 3 ADJECTIVES. Are the adjectives frequent? To
    what kinds of attribute do adjectives refer?
    physical? psychological? visual? auditory? color?
    referential? emotive? evaluative? etc. Are
    adjectives restrictive or non-restrictive?
    gradable or non gradable? attributive or
  • 4 VERBS. Do the verbs carry an important part of
    the meaning? Are they stative (referring to
    states) or dynamic (referring to actions, events,
    etc)? Do they 'refer' to movements, physical acts
    speech acts, psychological states or activities,
    perceptions, etc? Are they transitive,
    intransitive, linking (intensive), etc? Are they
    factive or non-factive (iv)?

B Grammatical categories
  • 5 ADVERBS. Are adverbs frequent? What semantic
    functions do they perform (manner, place,
    direction, time, degree, etc)? Is there any
    significant use of sentence adverbs (conjuncts
    such as so, therefore, however disjuncts such as
    certainly, obviously, frankly) (v)?
  • I SENTENCE TYPES. Does the author use only
    statements (declarative sentences), or does he
    also use questions, commands, exclamations. or
    minor sentence types such as sentences with no
    verb)? If these other types are used, what is
    their function? 

  • 2 SENTENCE COMPLEXITY. Do sentences on the whole
    have a simple or a complex structure? What is the
    average sentence length (in number of words)?
    What is the ratio of dependent to independent
    clauses complexity vary strikingly from one
    sentence to another? Is complexity mainly due to
    (i) coordination, (ii) subordination, (iii)
    parataxis (juxtaposition of clauses or other
    equivalent structures)? In what parts of a
    sentence does complexity tend to occur? For
    instance, is there any notable occurrence of
    anticipatory structure (e.g. of complex subjects
    preceding the verbs, of dependent clauses
    preceding the subject of a main clause)?
  • 3 CLAUSE TYPES. What types of dependent clause
    are favoredrelative clauses, adverbial clauses,
    different types of nominal clauses (thatclauses,
    whclauses, etc)? Are reduced or non-finite
    clauses commonly used, and if so, of what type
    are they (infinitive clauses, ing clauses, ed
    clauses, verbless clauses)?

  • 4 CLAUSE STRUCTURE. Is there anything significant
    about clause elements (eg frequency of objects,
    complements, adverbials of transitive or
    intransitive verb constructions)? Are there any
    unusual orderings (initial adverbials, fronting
    of object or complement, etc)? Do special kinds
    of clause construction occur? (Such as those with
    preparatory it or there)?
  • 5 NOUN PHRASES. Are they relatively simple or
    complex? Where does the complexity lie (in
    pre-modification by adjectives, nouns, etc, or in
    post-modification by prepositional phrases,
    relative clauses, etc)? Note occurrence of
    listings (eg sequences of adjectives),
    coordination, or apposition.

  • 6 VERB PHRASES. Are there any significant
    departures from the use of the simple past tense?
    For example, notice occurrences and the functions
    of the present tense of the progressive aspect
    (eg was lying) of the perfective aspect (eg
    has/had appeared) o modal auxiliaries (eg can,
    must, would, etc).
  • 7 OTHER PHRASE TYPES. Is there anything to be
    said about other phrase types prepositional
    phrases, adverb phrases adjective phrases?
  • 8 WORD CLASSES. Having already considered major
    or lexical word classes, we may here consider
    minor word classes (function words)
    prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns,
    determiners, auxiliaries, interjections. Are
    particular words of these types used for
    particular effect (eg the definite or indefinite
    article first person pronouns I, we, etc
    demonstratives such as this and that negative
    words such as not, nothing, no) ?

  • 9 GENERAL. Note here whether any general types of
    grammatical construction are used to special
    effect e.g. comparative or superlative
    constructions coordinative or listing
    constructions parenthetical. constructions
    appended or interpolated structures such as occur
    in casual speech. Do lists and co-ordinations
    (e.g. lists of nouns) tend to occur with two,
    three or more than three members?

C Figures of speech, etc
  • Here we consider the incidence of features which
    are fore-grounded by virtue of departing in some
    way from general norms of communication by means
    of the language code for example, exploitation
    of regularities of formal patterning, or of
    deviations from the linguistic code. For
    identifying such features, the traditional
    figures of speech (schemes and tropes) are often
    useful categories.
    cases of formal and structural repetition
    (anaphora, parallelism, etc) or of mirrorimage
    patterns (chiasmus)? Is the rhetorical effect of
    these one of antithesis, reinforcement, climax,
    anticlimax, etc
  • 2 PHONOLOGICAL SCHEMES. Are there any
    phonological patterns of rhyme ...alliteration,
    assonance, etc? Are there any salient rhythmical
    patterns? Do vowel and consonant sounds pattern
    or cluster in particular ways? How do these
    phonological features interact with meaning?

  • 3 TROPES. Are there any obvious violations of, or
    departures from the linguistic code? For example,
    are there any neologisms (such as Americanly)?
    deviant lexical collocations (such as portentous
    infants)? semantic, syntactic, phonological, or
    graphological deviations?
  • Such deviations will often be the clue to special
    interpretations associated with traditional
    figures of speech such as metaphor, metonymy,
    synecdoche, paradox, irony t If such tropes
    occur, what kind of special interpretation is
    involved (eg metaphor can be classified as
    personifying, animizing, concretizing,
    synaesthetic, etc)? Because of its close
    connection with metaphor, simile may also be
    considered here. Does the text contain any
    similes, or similar constructions (eg as if
    constructions)? What dissimilar semantic fields
    are related through simile?

D Context and cohesion
  • Finally, we take a preliminary look at features
    which will be more fully dealt with in the
    following. Under COHESION ways in which one part
    of a text is linked to another are considered
    for example, the wan which sentences are
    connected, This is the internal organization of
    the text. Under CONTEXT we consider the external
    relations of a text or a part of a text, seeing
    it as a discourse presupposing a social relation
    between its participants (author and reader
    character and character, etc), and a sharing by
    participants of knowledge and assumptions.

  • 1 COHESION. Does the text contain logical or
    other links between sentences (eg coordinating
    conjunctions, or linking adverbials)? Or does it
    tend to rely on implicit connections of meaning?
  • What sort of use is made of cross-reference by
    pronouns (she, it, they, etc)? by substitute
    forms (do, so, etc), or ellipsis? Alternatively,
    is any use made of elegant variation the
    avoidance of repetition by the substitution of a
    descriptive phrase (as, for example, the old
    lawyer or her uncle may substitute for the
    repetition of an earlier Mr. Jones)?
  • Are meaning connections reinforced by repetition
    of words and phrases or by repeatedly using words
    from the same semantic field?

  • 2 CONTEXT. Does the writer address the reader
    directly, or through the words or thoughts of
    some fictional character? What linguistic clues
    (first-person pronouns I, me, my, mine) are there
    of the addresser-addressee relationship? What
    attitude does the author imply towards his
    subject3 If a characters words or thoughts are
    represented, is this done by direct quotation
    direct speech), or by some other method (eg
    indirect speech. free indirect speech)? Are there
    significant changes of style according to who is
    supposedly speaking or thinking the words on the

  • EXAMPLE 1From Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer
  • Our first impression of this passage is of a
    meticulously detailed setting of the scene for
    the story. The description is clearly etched, so
    that we can reconstruct, in our minds eye, the
    whole topography. But more than this, we have a
    vivid sense of the loneliness of the human
    observer, set apart from his surroundings, and of
    a mind energetica1ly stretching to subdue a
    dazzling experience outside the self, in a way
    that has innumerable counterparts elsewhere in

  • A Lexical features
  • Nouns
  • As a physical description, we expect the passage
    to contain a large number of physical, concrete
    nouns (stakes, bamboo, fences, fishermen, ruins,
    etc) but what is more striking is that these
    concrete nouns are matched by nouns which are
    more abstract in one way or another.
    Significantly, these tend to occur as heads of
    major noun phrases (lines of.. . stakes,
    system of... fences), so that concreteness is
    subordinated to abstraction (20, 21).
  • First, we may notice that almost half the
    concrete nouns refer to general topographical
    features which, as it were, divide the field of
    vision into geographical areas and points of
  • domain, ocean, islets, sea, shore, sky, river,
    earth, cloud, gulf etc.

  • Also contributing to the effect are what may be
    called abstract locative nouns, indicating
    geometrical features lines, division, end,
    track, head, line, edge, joint, sweep, curves,
    etc. All these nouns refer to objects of vision
    the other senses are excluded. Perhaps this is
    one reason why the observer seems to stand apart
    from the scene he experiences.
  • General
  • Other comments on lexis cut across word class
  • It is important to note that we are given not
    simply a description of a scene, but an account
    of the relation between the visual world and its
    observer, who strives to comprehend and interpret
    it. This relational emphasis is found in the
    repetition of the word eye itself, in abstract
    nouns implying perception (aspect, sign, glitter,
    ripple, glance, etc), and in verbs like tee,
    mark, and look. The passage is concerned not only
    with objects of perception, but with the process
    of perceiving them the occurrence of first
    person pronouns (over half of the personal
    pronouns are of this type) is a Symptom of this

  • On the other hand, Conrad avoids using verbs with
    a human agent. The eye, as if with a will of
    its own, becomes the subjectagent in as far as
    the eye could reach (1), My eye followed the
    light cloud (6), the only thing on which the
    eye could rest (4). The only example of an
    agentive verb with a human subject is I turned
    my head (3). Other verbs which could involve
    agency are deprived of their active meaning by
    being used in the passive participle form
    abandoned, anchored (55) whereas stative verbs
    are quite frequent resembling, looked, lie,
    shone, marked, etc (22). The general feeling is
    that the narrator, although acutely alive to his
    environment, is detached and powerless in the
    face of its immensity.

  • Another, related, tendency is in the occurrence
    of adjectives which express strangeness or lack
    of definition, often by the use of negatives
    half-submerged, mysterious, incomprehensible,
    unmarked, devious. To these may be added other
    negative expressions such as insignificance, no
    sign, without a tremor. Other adjectives, such as
    still, monotonous, stable, also have a negative
    element of meaning (not moving, not varied,
    not easily moved) stressing the uncanny
    featurelessness of the scene. These contrast with
    a few words which suggest a faint potential
    disturbance of the underlying calmness animated,
    glitter, gleams, ripple. There is a congruity
    between the eye to which things are
    imperceptible and the mind to which things are

  • B Grammatical features
  • Sentence length
  • It is perhaps significant, in this opening
    paragraph, that the sentences move to a peak of
    length in sentence (4), and thence slope down to
    the final brevity of (7). (The progression of
    sentence lengths in words is 6655 6188 61
    44 18.) The effect of placing the short
    sentence at the end is powerful whereas other
    sentences relate the setting to the observer,
    this one relates the observer to his setting, and
    thereby summarizes what has been implied in the
    rest of the paragraph. Since this sentence
    explains the context for what precedes, we might
    think it more natural to place it (deprived of
    the connecting words And then) at the beginning
    of the paragraph. But in that case the expression
    I was alone would have been banal it is only
    after we have felt the isolation of the speaker
    in all its particularity, and have seen the last
    vestige of human life disappear over the horizon,
    that we can understand the force of the simple

  • Sentence structure
  • Sentences (1)(6) are all quite complex, and have
    a certain similarity of structure. All except (6)
    have an introductory adverbial clause or phrase
    providing a point of orientation before we launch
    into a main clause. From here, each sentence is
    elaborated by coordination and subordination by
    progressive elaboration of trailing
    constituents, as if to imitate the movement from
    the observers eye towards the distance. Sentence
    (1) illustrates this characteristic reaching
    out effect. On my right hand establishes the
    observer as the point of reference. This sentence
    structure then develops as set out in Fig 3.1.
    Fig 3.1 shows six degrees of subordination (AF),
    each representing, s it were, a further step away
    from the starting point towards the remotest
    horizon, and even beyond (for the observers
    imagination takes him to the other end of the

  • Accompanying this progressive distancing, there
    is a distancing from graspable reality, an
    increasing emphasis on what cannot be known or
    explained resembling mysterious ...
    incomprehensiblecrazy of aspect as if abandoned
    ... no sign.... Other sentences have a similar
    type of structure, and tend to end in a similar
    evocation of vastness and remoteness, as the eye
    reaches its limit of vision under the enormous
    dome of the sky the monotonous sweep of the
    horizon as if the impassive earth had
    swallowed her up without an effort, without a
    tremor till I lost it at last behind the
    mitre-shaped hill of the great pagoda.

  • Fig 3.1
  • On my right hand there were lines... (independent
  • ?
  • A resembling a . . . system... (participial
    clause modifying lines)
  • ?
  • B1incomprehensible...
  • B2 and crazy of aspect... (verbless clauses
    modifying system)
  • ?
  • C as if abandoned forever by some..,
    tribe(adverbial clause embedded in B,5)
  • ?
  • D now gone to the other end of the ocean
    (participial clause modifying tribe)
  • ?
  • E for there was no sign... (adverbial
    clause embedded in D)
  • ?
  • F as far as the eye could reach...
    (adverbial clause embedded in E)

  • NOTE The sentence is structurally ambiguous in
    certain respects, but the above analysis is the
    one which appears to match the sense. For
    instance, E is shown as subordinate to D, because
    for there was no sign... provides a reason for
    imagining that the tribe of fishermen have gone
    to the other end of the ocean.
  • Prepositions
  • The passage has an unusually large number of
    prepositions (9), particularly prepositions of
    place and direction, such as on and to, anti the
    preposition of(40). In fact, a large part of the
    syntactic complexity of the sentence comes from
    the use of prepositional phrases.

  • The role of of in particular, is to relate two
    noun-expressions together, and the former of
    these expressions is always an abstract noun if
    we include as abstract geometrical and
    topographical nouns like the straight line of
    the flat shore, the devious curves of the
    stream and collective nouns such as a group
    of barren islets, two small clumps of trees.
    What this suggests is that perception and
    cognition go hand in hand (as indeed they do in
    modern psychological theories) the eye does not
    passively record objects in the raw, but
    structures and schematizes them in cognitively
    coded groupings. For Conrad, this is as it should
    be that see means both to perceive and to
    comprehend is more than an accident of metaphor.
    In his struggle with the alien and threatening
    beyond-ness, a man must faithfully use his full
    sensibility, in which his senses and his
    understanding are indissolubly joined.

  • C Figures of speech etc
  • Quasi-simile
  • Although Conrad does not use conventional similes
    of the kind X is like Y, he uses a range of
    constructions which express or imply similitude
    resembling some mysterious system . . . (1)
    as if abandoned for ever. (1) suggesting
    ruins of stone walls . . . (2), looked solid .
    . . (2), Corresponding in their insignificance
    (4), as of a few scattered pieces of silver
    ...(5), as though the impassive earth had
    swallowed her up. . . (5), mitre-shaped (6).
    Unlike orthodox similes, a number of these
    constructions suggest an explanation which we
    know is not true. These, coupled with the element
    of mystery and unfathomability, strengthen the
    impression of a mind stretched to explore and
    understand. Again, the eyes exploration of the
    panorama is not inert, but active and
    imaginative looking at something means
    grasping what it looks like.

  • Metaphor
  • This analogizing faculty is also revealed through
    metaphor. The feeling that the vista, for all its
    peacefulness, is disquieting, comes to us partly
    through two diverse types of metaphor the
    civilizing metaphor which allows islands
    (already compared to man-made buildings) to have
    foundations (2), the sea to be stable (3), the
    sea and land to constitute a floor (3), and the
    sky a dome (3). Such metaphors indicate an unreal
    calm, because they render the immensities of
    nature in terms of things which are familiar,
    solid, and manmade. In contrast, other metaphors
    make reference to an animacy which seems to
    threaten by its very absence. Except for that of
    the tug being swallowed up, these metaphors are
    expressed through modifying adjectives. They are
    therefore subdued, and scarcely noticeable to a
    casual reader the animated glitter (2), the
    impassive earth (5), the devious curves (6)
    (the fact that the earth is impassive, or devoid
    of feeling, suggests that it has capabilities in
    that direction). These small hints of life give
    an uneasy impression that what is apparently so
    lifeless may have undisclosed resources of power
    and activity.

  • Other metaphors are associated with the
    observers eye unlike the observer himself, his
    eye behaves like an independent agent it
    reaches (1), it seeks rest from the vain
    task of exploring (4), and it follows the
    cloud of smoke of the tug (6). Although the
    metaphor whereby perception is equated with
    movement towards the object perceived is
    commonplace, the effect of making the eye, rather
    than the observer himself, the subject of these
    verbs is to disassociate the observer, as if in
    contemplative detachment, from the eye, which is
    restless and energetic. We sense the alienation
    of the man who experiences his surroundings
    without participation even his observations seem
    to come from some extrinsic impulse.

  • Schemes
  • The passage somehow communicates its visual
    experience not only with intense realization, but
    with a sense of wonder. This comes m part from
    patterns which have an emotively reinforcing
    effect, particularly pairings of like-sounding
    words and phrases larger and loftier (4).
    without an effort, without a tremor (5),
    fainter and farther (6). Rhythmic parallelism
    accompanies the parallelism of grammar. These
    couplings stress the dominant dimensions of the
    experience immensity, stillness, distance.
    Occasionally consonant and vowel repetitions are
    employed in a way which lends force to semantic
    connections solid, so still and stable (2),
    sun shone smoothly (2). There is onomatopoeia in
    the alliteration, assonance, and quickening
    rhythm of animated glitter (/ x x x / x) and
    imperceptible ripple (x x / x x / x). The
    speedingup effect is caused partly by the number
    of unstressed syllables, partly by short vowels,
    and partly by the brevity of the stop consonants
    /p/ and /t/. We may contrast these with the
    broadening, expansive effect of the long vowels
    and monosyllables in enormous dom