Lecture Notes in English Style
Language. Speech. Text.
(D…) Language is a system of associations (these are simple and complex signs) which exists in human minds but manifests itself in the acts of speech. As distinct from language, speech is not a purely mental phenomenon, not a system, but a momentary passing or fleeting1 psychophysiological action. This is a process of sending acoustic signals in the way perceptible to the recipients within a certain distance.
Language has communicative and self-expressive functions. Other widely recognised function is cognitive function. Communicative function arises from the necessity to exchange information. It is necessary for the social organisation. The main purpose of the cognitive function – acquiring previous experience. Acquisition of trivial2 experience, for example, by reading or listening we learn something gathered by generations. Learning, knowledge acquisition.
Language and speech
Speech is difficult to study as a system, as it is fleeting. We can better analyse the result of the acoustic signals => the text. It can be better analysed than the passing sequence of sounds. Stylistics deals with texts – mostly with texts – not with the flow of signals. Stylistics has some purpose of finding some evidence, proof to that the language is a system.
Types of Speech and their Sublanguages
Style is what differentiates a group of individual texts from all other groups of texts. Whatever text we came to analyse, we generally find in it such (1) language units that can be practically used in any type of text. Besides, we can observe such (2) units that can be found in certain other texts of a similar character, though not in all texts. And there are also (3) units (words, word combinations, sentence patterns) that belong exclusively to the text of individual group.
Division of units
1.Non-specific or neutral
Examples: go, very, water. There are no social limitations on the use of these words.
2.Semi-specific or relatively specific
Example: operation. This word belongs to some specific group of texts. It is used in banking, medicine, military and other areas.…
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