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Lexical Stylistic Devices

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Lexical Stylistic Devices
Metonymy, Epithet
Contextual and Transferred
Words in a context acquire
additional lexical meanings, not
fixed in dictionaries. They are
contextual meanings. Transferred
meaning is the interrelation between
dictionary and contextual meanings
of a word (SD).
What are the bases for SD?
• Metaphor is based on affinity
• Metonymy is based on
proximity (or symbol-referent
• Irony is based on opposition.
Definition of Metonymy
Metonymy is based on association
between dictionary and contextual
NB! In a metonymy the objects
(phenomena) have common
grounds of existence in reality.
NB! Common grounds
E.g.: cup and tea;
hand and worker;
Rome and Catholic belief;
big bucks and wealth;
underwear and reputation;
beard and elderly age (respect or
the White House and the USA;
Downing Street, 10 and the British
Government, etc.
Types of Relations in a Metonymy
• A specific thing for an abstract notion:
salad days, bottle, grave.
• The container instead of the thing
contained: Red Riding Hood, hall,
• The material for the thing made of it:
kid, bronze and clay.
Types of Relations in a Metonymy
• Instrument for the action: a good whip
(about a horseman),in Russian: кулак не
• The relation of proximity: The round
game table was boisterous and noisy.
• Result instead of the cause:
He (рыба) takes the death (глотает
гибельный крючок).
Types of Relations in a Metonymy
• A characteristic trait instead of the
person: Blue suit grinned, might even
have winked.
• An abstract notion meaning a feeling or
emotion instead of the person possessing
it: «Trouble, sir?» replied subservience,
as if at a loss to understand a sinister
Synecdoche is based on a particular kind
of metonymic relationship which may
be considered quantitative:
• A part stands for the whole or the whole
for the part: May I put a word in?
Wheels (a car), staged hand, hired
• An individual stands for a class: “… и
ликовал француз” .
It is a lexical SD in which a
proper name is used instead of
a common noun or vice versa:
He is the Napoleon of crime; Mr.
Murdstone, Scrooge, a ladykiller is Don Juan, a traitor may
be referred to as Brutus.
Two types of antonomasia
(based on
The Gioconda
smile. Look at
those Romeo
and Juliet. He is
a regular Sherlock Holmes.
(based on
He has sold his
Vandykes. I’ve
just listened to
Mozart. Do you
like Brahms?
Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
On little cat feet.
It sits looking
Over harbour and city
On silent haunches
And then moves on.
Walter de la Mare
Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks through the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
Walter de la Mare
From their shadowy coat the white breasts
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
An epithet is a colorful attribute
which characterizes a person, thing or
phenome -non.
Poetic epithet: a steel will.
Simple adjective: a steel knife.
Function: to reveal the emotionally
colored individual attitude of the author
towards the object described.
The structure of epithets
1. Metaphoric epithet: The ghost of a smile
appeared on Soames’ face.
2. Phrase epithet: She gave him her best goto-hell look, and backed away from the
3.Transferred epithet: unbreakfasted morn ing, a disapproving finger, silver-feathered
sleep. We heard the loud musicians play,etc.
Read the following:
1. Galperin I.R. STYLISTICS, pp.140-142.
2. Беспальчикова Е.В. Обучение анализу
текста // ИЯШ, 2002. - №2. - С.52-55 (blue
file in the Resource Center).
3. Ивашкин Н.П. и др. Практикум по
стилистике… - С.6-13.
4. Казакова Т.А. Практические основы
перевода. - СПб.: Союз, 2000. - С.259-265.
Do the following exercises:
1. ИЯШ, 2002, №2. - Pp.53-54 (27
2. Ивашкин и др. Ex. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, pp.1318.
Take your time!
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