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英语文体学

Chapter One

Style and Stylistics

1.1 Introduction

e.g.(1)

“Take an egg, and make a perforation in the base and a corresponding one in the apex. And then, apply the lips to the aperture, and by forcibly inhaling the breath, the shell is entirely discharged of its contents.”

“It fair beats all how folks do things nowadays. When I was a gal, they made a hole in each end and sucked.”

e.g.(2)

(1) My beloved parent has joined the heavenly choir.

(2) My dear father has passed away.

(3) My father has died.

(4) My old man has kicked the bucket.

分析:

(1) My beloved parent has joined the heavenly choir.

(This sentence is very pompous and sententious, elevating the event of John Smith?s death to a divine status, probably said with respect in a poem or a formal ceremony, addressing an audience of high social status or nobility.)

(2) My dear father has passed away.

(This sentence is still a bit formal, with sincere loving sentiment, expressing a kind of deep emotion fro his father’s death, addressing people of or above middle class status in a relatively formal occasion.)

(3) My father has died.

(This sentence is a everyday kind of expression with no emotions revealed, said in an informal occasion, addressing his peers or friends. )

(4) My old man has kicked the bucket.

(This sentence is slangy, said in a very informal occasion showing disrespect for his father.)

e.g.(3)

(1) Expectoration is forbidden.

(2) Please do not spit.

(3) No spitting.

(The three sentences state the same fact that : spitting is not allowed, but, they are of different styles.)

e.g.(4) (参见教材P.4)

(1) When his dad died, Peter had to get another job.

(2) After his father?s death, Peter had to change his job.

(3) On the decease of his father, Mr. Brown was obliged to seek alternative employment.

I.2 Definitions of Style

Some general senses of the word “style”:

(1) A person?s distinctive language habits, or the set of individual characteristics of language use.

e.g. Shakespeare?s style

Hemingway?s style

He nry James?s style

Mark Twain?s style

(2) Style may refer to a set of collective characteristics of language use, i.e. language habits shared by a group of people at a given time. Here the concentration is not on the individual of the speaker or writer, but on their similarities in a given situation.

e.g. Elizabethan style

the style of public speaking

the style of news reporting

(3) Style mar refer to a characteristic of “good” or “beautiful” literary writings.

e.g. ornate style , grand style

terse style , lucid style

plain style

(4) Style may refer to the effectiveness of a mode of expression, which is implied in the definition of style as …saying the right thing in the most effective way? or …good manners?, as a …clear? or …refined? style advocated in most books of composition.

Many different views of style from different scholars:

Le style, c?est I? homme meme. (Style is the man. )(Buffon)

Style as form. (Aristotle)(form and content )

Style as eloquence.(Cicero)(skill to use language persuasively)(the relation with rhetoric)Style as personal idiosyncrasy.(Murry)

Saying the right thing in the most effective way.(Enkvist)

Style is a set of individual characteristics. It is the man himself. (Enkvist)

Style as equivalence. (Roman Jacobson)(between form and function)

Style as the choice between alternative expressions. (Enkvist)

Style as deviation.(Mukarovsky & Spitzer)

Style as foregrounding. (Leech Mukarovsky)

Style as prominence.(Halliday)

Style is meaning potential. (Michael Halliday)

Style as the selections features partly determined by the demands of genre, form, themes, etc. (Traugott & Pratt)

Style as linguistic features that communicate emotions and thought.(Enkvist)(参见教材:P5-7)

Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics defines style as:

“the manner of expression in writing or speaking which changes at all times according to the actual situational elements, e.g., the participants, time, topic, etc. of the communicative event, from very formal to very informal.”(见教材P.5)

The Definition of style used in the textbook:

Manner indicating prominent linguistic features, devices or patterns, most (or least) frequently occur in a particular text of a particular variety of language. (见教材P.7)

分析:

e.g. (After a quarrel between the two lovers)

With a flow of words, she started to argue with him, then she checked herself and said calmly, “Listen, John, I imagine you?re tired of my company. There?s no sense in having tea together. I think I?d better leave you right here.”

“That?s fine,” he said. “Good afternoon.”

“Good-bye.”

总结:So broadly speaking, we can say that, from the perspective of the content, the events and activities described, style is saying different things in different ways; from the perspective of the ways of expression used, style is saying the same thing in different ways; from the perspective of the users of language, style is different speakers using language in different ways; and from the perspective of the function of the text, style is the functions of texts for different purposes.

1.3 Definitions of Stylistics

(1) Stylistics is a branch of linguistics which applies the theory and methodology of modern linguistics to the study of style.

(2) Stylistics is the study of varieties of language whose properties position that language in

context. For example, the language of advertising, politics, religion, individual authors, etc., or the language of a period in time, all belong in a particular situation. In other words, they all have …place?.

Stylistics also attempts to establish principles capable of explaining the particular choices made by individuals and social groups in their use of language, such as socialisation, the production and reception of meaning, critical discourse analysis and literary criticism.

(3) Stylistics is a discipline that studies the ways in which language is used; it is a discipline that

studies the styles of language in use.

(4) 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”.

---- G. N. Leech: Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry (5) Stylistics is a branch of linguistics which studies the principles of choice and the effect of choice of different language elements in rendering thought and emotion under different conditions of communication. (I. R. Galperin)

(6) Stylistics is a branch of linguistics which studies style in a scientific and systematic way

concerning the manners / linguistic features of different varieties of language at different levels.

(见教材P8)

(7) Linguistics is the academic discipline that studies language scientifically, and stylistics, as a part of this discipline, studies certain aspects of language variation.

---- D. Crystal: Investigating English Style

(8) Stylistics “studies the features of situationally distinctive uses (varieties) of language, and tries to establish principles capable of accounting for the particular choices made by individual and social groups in their use of language.” (Crystal, 1980)

分析:e.g. Housewife to milkman:

Which sentence is appropriate?

a. Can you leave one bottle and four yoghurts tomorrow please?

b. Leave one bottle and four yoghurts tomorrow and don?t forget.

c. It would be greatly appreciated if you kindly leave one bottle and four yoghurts tomorrow.

d. Would you leave one bottle and four yoghurts tomorrow, just for m

e.

1.4 The Development of Stylistics

Lead-in Questions:

What do you know about the stylistic studies in China?

How does linguistic theories affect the studies on stylistics?

What do you know about the different schools of thoughts in stylistics?

In the West:

Modern stylistics got its development in the 19th and 20th centuries from rhetoric and from interpretation of literature.

Rhetoric (Aristotle)

英语文体学

Beginning (Charles Bally)

英语文体学

Development (L. Spitzer)

英语文体学

Flourish (Investigating English Style)

英语文体学

总的来看,现代文体学是现代语言学理论与现代文学批评理论的基础之上发展起来的一种研究形态,并且处于进一步的发展之中。

In China:

The first period:from the founding of the People?s Republic of China to the year 1976;

Wang Zuoliang(王佐良):“On the Study of English Style”

The second period: from 1977 up to the present time.

Achievements:

Introduction to English Stylistics---Wang zuoliang (1980)

A Survey of Stylistics--- Qin Xiubai (1986);

English Stylistics--- Cheng yumin (1989);

Stylistics—A coursebook for Chinese EFL Students--- Qian Yuan (1991)

A Study of Narratology and Fictional Stylistics---Shen Dan (1998)

Theoretical Stylistics--- Hu Zhuanglin (2000)

Essentials of English Stylistics--- Wang Shouyuan (2000)

English Stylistics--- Xu Youzhi (2005)

A Survey of Stylistics--- Liu Shisheng (2006)

A large number of articles on stylistics got published.

Founding of the Chinese Association of Rhetoric (1980)

Founding of China Stylistics Association (2004)

International Stylistics Conference held in 2006 indicated the development and achievement of stylistics in China.

1.5 The Scope of Study

General Stylistics

Literary Stylistics

Theoretical Stylistics

●General stylistics studies different varieties of language. It concentrates on the general

features of various types of language use, including literary discourses and other practical styles.

●Literary Stylistics: Crystal (1987) observes that, in practice, most stylistic analysis has

attempted to deal with the complex and …valued? language within literature, i.e. …literary stylistics?.

Literary stylistics studies variations characteristic of different literary genres. It concentrates on the unique features of various literary works, such as poem, novel, prose, drama, etc., with the purpose of promoting literary texts as communicative acts.

The scope is sometimes narrowed to concentrate on the more striking features of literary language, for instance, its …deviant? and abnormal features, rather than the broader structures that are found in whole texts or discourses.

For example, the compact language of poetry is more likely to reveal the secrets of its construction to the stylistician than is the language of plays and novels.

In Literary Stylistics, we read the text closely and with attention to the features, under the headings of lexis, grammar, phonology or sound patterns. When we have obtained a detailed account of all these features, we correlate them or bring them together in an interpretation of the text.

We try to link “what is being said ” with “how it is being said”, since it is through the latter that the writers can fully express the many complex ideas and feelings that they want to convey. ●Theoretical Stylistics studies the theories, the origins, the trend, and the historical

development of stylistics as well as characteristics of different branches of stylistics. It also studies the relationship between stylistics and other branches of learning.

1.6 The Need for Stylistic Study

(1)Style is an integral part of meaning.

Without the sense of style we cannot arrive at a better understanding of an utterance.

分析:

e.g. P oliceman: What?s your name, boy?

Black psychiatrist: Dr Poussaint. I?m a physician.

Policeman: What?s your first name, boy?

Black psychiatrist: Alvin.

(2)Stylistic study helps cultivate a sense of appropriateness

* Who speaks what language to whom and when.

* Proper words in proper places make the true definition of a style.

-- Swift

First, a certain style is determined by the characteristics of the USER of language, such as the age, sex, education, socio-regional or ethnic background.

Second, it?s related to the characteristics of the USE of language in situation:

# role-relationship between addresser and addressee (degree of intimacy)

# medium of communication (speech or writing)

# setting: private or public

# purpose for which language is used

(to inform, persuade…)

e.g. (1)

Dear Sir,

I must apologize for the delay in replying to your letter of the 30th of December…

(2)

Dear Jane,

I?m terribly sorry not to have got round to writing before now …

Other examples are the use of taboo words or slangy expression in an otherwise dignified context:

e.g. In order to get ahead in the modern western world, sometimes you have to be willing to eat shit .

e.g. In the opinion of many students, the dean…s commencement address stank (to be very unpleasant or bad) .

e.g. Having learnt that you won the first prize in the speech contest, I have come in person to congratulate you, my friend, on your success.

(This sentence would sound most bookish if spoken on an informal occasion.)

Even synonyms have their varying stylistic overtones.

e.g. (1) steed (poetic);

horse (general)

nag (slang) ;

gee-gee (baby language)

(2) domicile (very formal, official)

residence (formal);

abode (poetic);

home (general)

(3) cast (literary, biblical)

throw (general)

chuck (casual, slang)

(4) diminutive (very formal)

tiny (colloquial)

wee (colloquial, dialectal)

美国著名社会语言学家D.H.Hymes 认为语言交际能力包括语法上的正确性、形式上的可行性、现实中的真实性和场合上的得体性。

如何说话才得体呢?

要想说话得体,不但要注意说话场合,还要考虑对方的年龄、身份、受教育程度、与说话人的亲疏关系、东西方文化差异等因素。

(1) 场合: Language is like dress. We vary our dress to suit the occasion.

分析:

e.g. At a recent meeting the Municipal Bureau of Education awarded three middle-school teachers the title of “top-notch teachers”.

(2) 年龄

Excuse me, could you please tell me how to get to...?

Excuse me, is this the right way to...?

Excuse me, would you possibly (or by any chance) be able to tell me how to get to...?

(3) 身份

e.g.

(1) The policeman said to the judge, “I apprehended the alleged perpetrator.”(那警察对法官说:“我逮捕了那个犯罪嫌疑人。”)

(2) In a bar the policeman said to his colleagues,“I collared this creep.”(在酒吧那个警察对同事说:“我揪住了这个兔崽子。”)

(4) 受教育育程度

说话要看对方的教育程度。如果对方文化程度很低或根本就没受过教育,对他讲话时你必须用一般的口语体。反之,如果对方是一位学者,如果你用俚语跟他说话,也会令其不快。请看下面一段对话,谈话的一方是书生气十足的作家,言谈中使用的均是专业术语、难词和文绉绉的词。而另一方则是一位农夫,说的都是浅显易懂的家常话。

“You find the nettles (荨麻) very difficult to eradicate (拔除)?”(The peasant said he found them hard to keep down.)

“They disseminate (散播) themselves most luxuriantly (茂盛地),”the writer said. ( The peasant replied that they spread like the dickens.)

“But they have their utility in the economy of Nature,” the writer said.

The peasant replied that nature was welcome to them as far as he was concerned.

The writer then remarked that it was most salubrious (宜人的) weather, and the peasant agreed that it had been a fine day. But the writer was afraid, he said, that the aridity (干旱) of the season was deleterious (有害的) to the crops, and the peasant replied that his potatoes were doing badly. After that, the peasant thought, it occurred to him that they did not speak the same language. (5) 与说话人的亲疏关系

请看下面几句话,它们表达的是同一个意思,即说话人想要借对方的自行车。

①Lend me your bike.

②I want you to lend me your bike.

③Will you lend me your bike?

④Can you lend me your bike?

⑤Would you mind lending me your bike?

⑥Could you possibly lend me your bike?

而过于有礼貌,又会使人觉得说话人卖弄言辞、心存挖苦或虚伪讨好。比如说话人用“There wouldn't I suppose be any chance of your being able to lend me your bike for just a few minutes, would there?”

(6) 文化差异

e.g. (1) “Oh,you speak very good English.”这位同学听到他的表扬感到不好意思,连忙说:“No, no, not at all. You are overpraising me.”这位外籍教师听了她的话十分不理解,于是二话没说,拂袖而去。

e.g. (2) 一位学生到外籍教师家拜访外籍教师问他:“Will you have a cup of coffee?”学生按

照汉语的习惯回答“Thank you”来表示同意。他的回答使外籍教师困惑不解。

e.g.(3)某学生到外籍教师家参加晚会,见她疑制的衣服很漂亮,于是赞美道:

“Well, I didn’t expect you could make such a pretty dress.”不料,她听了中国学生这句“赞赏”的话十分不快。

(3)Stylistic study sharpens the understanding and appreciation of literary works

In literary production, a writer is constantly involved in making choices. Generally there are two kinds of choices: first, the breaking of normal rules of linguistic structure, which we call deviation; second, the overuse of a particular linguistic feature, which is named overregularity (repetition, parallelism). These two strategies cause the effect of foregrounding, which is a distinctive feature of literary texts.

It’s not so much what he said as the way he said it.

Stylistic analysis, by starting with linguistic facts, relates description to interpretation and formal features to their artistic function. It thus forms an essential part of literary critical activity. With stylistics as a powerful tool of literary analysis, we are liable to get a better understanding of literary pieces.

分析

e.g. (1) …a grief ago? (Dylan Thomas)

1) Syntactically after …a? , there should be a countable noun which can be pluralized (as day--days, room--rooms) , not an uncountable noun which can not be pluralized (as happiness --*happinesses, grief-- * griefs ).

2) Semantically ago usually modifies a noun to do with time, such as …day , week, month, year? , which form a normal paradigm with the frame …a __ ago?. Grief , however, is a term that has to do with emotions, like …joy, tenderness, happiness?, wh ich form an abnormal paradigm with the frame …a----ago?.

The author is thought to write in this way in order to measure time in terms of emotion. Normal Expression :a day ago ;a week ago;a month ago;a year ago

Abnormal Expression :a grief ago ;a joy ago ;a tenderness ago;a happiness ago

(4) Stylistic study helps achieve adaptation in translation

Nida’s definition of translation:

Translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style.

As for translation of different types of writing, the key word is "equivalence". Concretely speaking, there are four aspects of "equivalence", they are:

1. Equivalence of semantic message of source language and target language.

2. Equivalence of stylistic message of source language and target language.

3. Equivalence of cultural message of source language and target language.

4. Equivalence of response of source language readers and target readers.

分析:

e.g. (1) Grasp all, lose all.

Version 1:如果你样样都要抓, 就会一样都抓不到手。

Version 2:样样抓,样样差。(贪多必失)

In translation, attention should be paid to a careful understanding of the level of formality the original text belongs to.

(1)Old-fashioned formal English needs to be translated into old fashioned Chinese.

e.g.(2) To some scholars, instruction emanates from lecture or laboratory; to others it radiates from within. No scholar is so well taught as he who can teach himsel

f.

译文:学人中有受教于讲堂、实验室者,亦有教发之于内者。能自教自学,则学人中最上乘矣。

(2)Modern formal English needs to be translated into dignified modern Chinese:

e.g. (3) Although learning is judged to require from teachers (and sometimes indeed it does), real instructors may be found not so much in school or in great laboratories as in the student's own powers of insight.

译文:学识得之于导师是人所共见的,有时,也确乎如此。但是,真正的导师与其说出在学校或大实验室,不如说是凭学生本人的洞察力。

(3)General informal English needs to be translated into smooth modern Chinese:

E.g. (4) We think we learn from teachers, and we sometimes do. But teachers are not always to be found in school or in great laboratories. Sometimes what we learn depends upon our own powers of insight.

译文:大家都说我们是向老师求教,一般说来,这话不假。但是老师也并不只有在学校里或大实验室里才能找到。有时候,我们学到了东西,靠的是自己的心明眼亮。

(4)Colloquial English needs to be translated into colloquial Chinese:

e.g. (5) You know, people are always saying they learn from teachers! Ok, so they do, sometimes. But what I want to get across is this: You don't always find your teachers in schools or in labs, either. No sir! Sometimes you find the teacher right in your own eyes and ears and brains. That's where it's at!

译文:大家总是说教学教学,教师教,学生学。不错,有时候是那么回事。但是,依我说,老师也不是只有在学校里或者在实验室里才能找到,不是的!有时“老师”就在你自己脑袋里,在你耳朵里、眼睛里,就是这么回事!

e.g. (6) 他对小儿子说,“那时候,干一天活儿累得连炕都上不去,浑身疼得要命,睡也睡不着。”

译文1:He said to his little son, “At that time, I was so fatigued after a day?s drudgery that I found it very hard to mount the kang. My whole frame aching acutely, I couldn?t go to sleep however hard I tried.”

译文2:He said to his little son, “In those days, I was usually so done up after a day?s hard work that I could hardly get on the kang. As my whole body ached like anything, I simply couldn?t get to sleep even I tried to.

e.g.(7)

(1) It has been noted with concern that the stock of books in the library has been declining alarmingly. Students are requested to remind themselves of the rules of the borrowing and returning of books, and to bear in mind the needs of other students. Penalties for overdue book will in the future be strictly enforced.

查本馆图书锐减,学生当不忘本馆书籍流通之规则及他人之需。逾期不还者将受重罚。(2) The number of books in the library has been going down. Please make sure you know the rules

for borrowing, and don?t forget that the library is for everyone?s convenience. So from now on, we?re going to enforce the rules strictly. You have been warned!

图书馆的书籍最近大量减少,请大家牢记借书的规定,不要忘记图书馆是为了大家的方便。因此,从现在起,我们将严肃地执行规定。我们特作此警告!

e.g.(8) It is the opinion of my grandmother, God bless her, that all men should labor., and at the table, a moment ago, she said to me: You must learn to do some good work, the making of some items useful to man, something out of clay, or out of wood, or metal, or cloth.

原译:我亲爱的祖母,愿上帝保佑她,认为凡人都应该努力工作。适才进餐时她对我言道:你务必拜师学艺,制造一些于人类有益之物,使用泥土、木材、金属、布料来制造物品。

改译:我的祖母,愿上帝保佑她,认为人人都应该干活。刚才在饭桌上她对我说:你一定要学会一样好手艺,做些对人有好处的东西,用泥土做些什么,或者用木材,或者用金属,或者用布料做些什么。

Summary: In translation, it is far from enough to simply convey the original sense. Rather, the translated text must be adapted to the original in terms of language type and general effect.

A good translation should be able to exert on the reader of the target language an impact similar to that of the original text on the reader of the source language.