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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Approaches and methods:-Stylistics

There is another reason why texts are natural focus for our study:within a text is possible to be more specific about how language serves a particular artistic function.Here we touch on the purpose of studying style,and hence on the nature of the stylistics......
                                       Stylistics,simply defined as the (linguistics)study of style,is rarely undertaken for its own sake,simply as an exercise in describing what use is made of language.We normally study style because we want to explain something,and in general ,literary stylistics has,implicitly or explicitly ,the goal of explaining the relation between language and artistic function.The motivating questions are not so much what as why and how from the linguist's angel,it is 'Why does the author here to choose to express himself in the particular way?From the critic's viewpoint,it is "How is such-and-such an aesthetic  effect achieved through language?We should scarcely find the style of Henry James worth the studying unless we assumed it could tell us something about James as a literary artist.Style being a relational concept,the aim of literary stylistics is to be relational in a more interesting sense than that already mentioned:to relate the critic's concern of aesthetic appreciation while the linguistic's concern of linguistic description.(We use the term "appreciation" to comprehend both critical evaluation and interpretation,although it is with interpretation that stylistics is more directly concerned)..
                                            A Question which is often asked in this connection is "At which end do we start,the aesthetic or the linguistics?".But this question assumes that the task of the stylistics is to provide a hard and fast technology of analysis,which is not the case.The image used by Spitzer of the "Philological circle",the circle of understanding,is more appropriate.Spitzer argued that the task of linguistics-literary explanation proceeded by the movement to and fro from llinguistic details to the literary center of a work or a writer's art.There is a cyclic motion whereby linguistic observation stimulates or modifies literary insight,and whereby literary insight in its turn stimulates further linguistic observation.This motion is something like the cycle of theory formulation and theory testing which underlies scientific method.There is no logical starting point,since we bring literary the text simultaneously two faculties.However imperfectly developed:our ability to respond to it as a literary work and our ability to observe its language.
                                                                 For completeness,it must be mentioned that stylistics can have other goal than this.Some of the more rigorous statistical studies of style have had the purpose of discovering the author of works of doubtful attribution.Such investigations have tended to concentrate on linguistic traits which may not necessarily be artistically relevant,such as range range of vocabulary,sentence length or frequency of certain conjunctions,on the principle that a writer's genuine "thumbprint" is more likely to be found in unobtrusive habits beyond conscious artistic control.....
                              The forewarns us of the issue of selection which all be taken up in chapter 2...In studying style,we have to select what aspects of language matter,and the principle of selection depends on the purpose we have in mind.The authorship "detective" will try to identify features of text which remain constant whatever the artistic or other motives of the writer,whereas in literary stylistics,features determined by artistic motivation are of primary interest.Not surprisingly,then literary stylistics and attributional stylistics have tended to move in different orbits..................

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