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PHONETIC MEANS OF STYLISTICS

(taken from  "Методичні вказівки до семінарських та практичних занять зі стилістики англійської мови для студентів IV курсу” (Видання 2) . Уклад. Воробйова О.П., Бойцан Л.Ф., Ганецька Л.В. та інш. - К.: Вид. центр КНЛУ, 2001. - С. 7-8.)

 

              Phoneme is the main unit of the phonological level. Its chief function is to differentiate meaningful units of the language. In contrast with the units of other language levels, phonemes have the expression side only, i.e. they are not twofold signs. As no phoneme can be stylistically marked in relation to another one, there are no EM on the phonological level. However, the English language can be characterized by certain patterns of sound arrangement. The use of these patterns (combinations and alterations of sounds in their syntagmatic succession) alongside with other language means may create various stylistic effects which give rise to SD on the phonological level.

            The patterns of sound arrangement fall into:

a)      versification, i.e. the art of writing poetry in keeping with certain rules based on language regularities and poets’ experience, b) instrumentation, i.e. the sum total of sound selection and combination modes which impart to the utterance a certain sound organization as well as emotional and expressive coloring.

There are three main models of sound arrangement in instrumentation:

1)      alliteration;

2)      assonance;

3)      onomatopoeia.

Sometimes euphony is added to this list. By tradition, euphony is understood as a  harmonious sounding of the utterance. It can be also regarded as an optimum concordance of sound and meaning in the utterance. In both interpretations euphony proves to be a generic notion which comprises various ways of sound arrangement: rhythm, rhyme, epiphora, anaphora, alliteration, assonance, dissonance, and other kinds of sound repetitions.

Alliteration is a deliberate reiterated repetition of the same (or acoustically similar) sounds and sound combinations. It is one of the most ancient SD of English poetry. An Old English poem was completely alliteral as there were obligatory sound repetitions in certain parts of the poem. Alliteration is also widely used in English folklore, in proverbs, sayings and set expressions, e.g. Praise is not pudding; Seldom seen, soon forgotten; Muck and money go together; Safe and sound.

Nowadays alliteration can be also found in book titles, e.g. Man and Mice (J.Steinbeck); Silver Spoon, Swan Song (J. Galsworthy). It is most frequent in modern poetry where it creates a certain melodic and emotional effect while enhancing the expressiveness of the utterance.

Assonance is a deliberate reiterated repetition of the same (or acoustically similar) vowels in close succession aimed at creating a specific sound and contential effect.

                                         Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

                                         How I wonder what you are.

                                         Up above the world so high,

                                         Like a diamond in the sky.

                                                                 (Children’s Rhymes)

Onomatopoeia is deliberate reiterated repetition of sounds and their combinations which, to a certain degree, imitates natural sounds. Onomatopoeia is basically the result of alliteration, e.g. Dreadful young creatures – squealing and squawking (D. Carter). Numerous examples prove the hypothesis of the correlation between the meaning of the word and its sound structure.

 

   

 
 
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