The Concept of Stylistic
According to Short (1996:1), stylistics is an approach to the analysis of (literary) texts using linguistic description. …stylistics spans the borders of the two subjects, literature and linguistics. As a result, stylistics can sometimes look like either linguistics or literary criticism, depending upon where you are standing when you are looking at it. From the above scholars’ definitions and descriptions, it can be said that stylistics is a linguistic approach to literature, explaining the relation between language and artistic function.
Every analysis of style is an attempt to find the artistic principles underlying a writer’s choice of language. Writers and texts have their individual qualities. Therefore, the features which recommend themselves to the attention in one text will not necessarily be important in another text by the same or a different author. We have to make ourselves newly aware for each text, of the artistic effect of the whole, and the way linguistic details fit into this whole.
Therefore, style includes a writer’s way of thinking about his/her subject and his/her characteristic way of presenting it for a particular reader and purpose by his/her way of linguistic choices. That means, style is not mere ornament; rather it conveys important details of meaning and evolution, which define the nature of a writer, his/her basic attitudes, his/her presuppositions, his/her moral stance, and his/her relation to his subject and his/her reader. Furthermore, the objective of literary stylistics is to investigate thematic and aesthetic values generated by linguistic forms, values which convey the author’s vision, tone and attitude, which increase the affective or emotive force of the message, which contribute to characterization and make fictional reality function more effectively in the thematic unity.
The Concept of Stylistic
To do stylistics, according to Simpson (2004:3) is to explore language, and more specifically, to explore creativity in language use and its contribution for meaning construction. Doing stylistics thereby enriches our ways of thinking about language and; exploring language offers a considerable purchase on our understanding of literary texts.
This method of inquiry has an important reflexive capacity insofar as it can shade light on the very language system it derives from; it tells us about the ‘rules’ of language because it often explores texts where those rules are bent expanded or stretched to breaking point. Coyle (1993:1082) further consolidate the idea that “it is self evident that literature is written in language and so in order to discuss literary texts and our understanding them, we must concentrate on the language of those texts, at least to some extent
A lexical category is a syntactic category for elements that are part of the lexicon of a language. These elements are at the word level. Leech and Short (1981:75) divides the checklist for the lexical categories into five points: general, nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.
- 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 association of words, as opposed to their referential meaning? Does the text contain idiomatic phases, and if so, with what kind of dialect or register 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 belong?
- Nouns –A noun is a member of a syntactic class that includes words which refer to people, places, things, ideas, or concepts, whose members may act as any of the following: subjects of the verb, objects of the verb, indirect object of the verb, or object of a preposition (or postposition), and most of whose members have inherently determined grammatical gender (in languages which inflect for gender). 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?
- Adjectives – An adjective is a word that belongs to a class whose members modify nouns. An adjective specifies the properties or attributes of a noun referent. Are the adjectives frequent? To what kinds of attribute do adjectives refer? psychological? Visual? auditory? color? referential? emotive? evaluative? etc. Are adjectives restrictive or non-restrictive? gradable or non-gradable? Attributive or predictive?
- Verbs – A verb is a member of the syntactic class of words that typically signal events and actions, constitute, singly or in a phrase, a minimal predicate in a clause, govern the number and types of other constituents which may occur in the clause, and 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?
- Adverbs – An adverb, narrowly defined, is a word belonging to a class of words which modify verbs for such categories as time, manner, place or direction. Are adverbs frequent? What semantic functions do they perform (manner, place, time, degree, etc)? Is there any significant use of sentence adverbs (conjuncts such as so, therefore, however, disjuncts such as certainly, obviously, frankly)?
The checklist for grammatical categories is divided into nine points: sentence type, sentence complexity, clause types, clause structure, noun phrases, verb phrases, other phrase types, word classes and general (ibid. 76-78)
- a. Sentence type – does the author use only statements (declarative sentence), 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?
- Sentence complexity – do sentence 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? Does 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)?
- c. Clause types – what types of dependent clause are favored: relative clause, adverbial clause, different types of nominal clauses (that- clauses, wh-clauses, 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)?
- Clause structure – is there anything significant about clause elements (e.g. 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)?
- Noun phrases – are they relatively simple or complex? Where does the complexity lie (in recodification by adjectives, nouns, etc, or in post modification by prepositional phrases, relative clauses, etc)? Note occurrence of listings (e.g. sequence of adjectives), coordination, or apposition.
- Verb phrases – are there any significant departures from the use of the simple past tense? For example, notice occurrences and functions of the present tense; of the progressive aspect (e.g. was lying); of the perfective aspect (e.g. has/had appeared); of modal auxiliaries (e.g. can, must, would, etc).
- h. World classes – having already considered major or lexical word classes, we may here consider minor word classes (‘functional words’): prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, determiners, auxiliaries, interjections. Are particular words of these types used for particular effect (e.g. the definite or indefinite article; first person pronouns I, we, etc; demonstrative such as this and that; negative words such as not, nothing, no)?
- 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 coordination (e.g. lists of nouns) tend to occur with two, three or more than three members?
this study has used selected categories, namely Lexical Categories and Figures of Speech in order to analyze the novel. These two categories are applied in the novel in three selected chapters; chapter -1, 7 and 16. Chapter -1 is selected because it introduces the major and minor characters and it is where the get way to the story.
Chapter- 2 is selected because it is where the title of the book, Cowries of hope which has some importance to the whole story is projected. Chapter -16 is the closing chapter and highlights essential thematic and stylistic aspects of the work.