8. "Give me an example," I said quietly. "Of something that means something. In your opinion." (T.C.)
9. "I got a small apartment over the place. And, well, sometimes I stay over. In the apartment. Like the last few nights." (D.U.)
10. "He is a very deliberate, careful guy and we trust each other completely. With a few reservations." (D.U.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What types of connecting syntactical units do you know? Which of them are used to create additional information and achieve a specific effect?
2. Speak about asyndeton and its functions.
3. Discuss polysyndeton. Give some examples from your reading.
4. What is attachment? When and where is it used? Have you met it in your reading?
Lexico-Syntactical Stylistic Devices Antithesis.
Climax. Anticlimax. Simile. Litotes. Periphrasis
Syntactical stylistic devices add logical, emotive, expressive information to the utterance regardless of lexical meanings of sentence components. There are certain structures though, whose emphasis depends not only on the arrangement of sentence members but also on the lexico-semantic aspect of the utterance. They are known as lexico-syntactical SDs.
Antithesis is a good example of them: syntactically, antithesis is just another case of parallel constructions. But unlike parallelism, which is indifferent to the semantics of its components, the two parts of an antithesis must be semantically opposite to each other, as in the sad maxim of O.Wilde: "Some people have much to live on, and little to live for", where "much" and "little" present a pair of antonyms, supported by the ' contextual opposition of postpositions "on" and "for". Another example: "If we don't know who gains by his death we do know who loses by it." (Ch.) Here, too, we have the leading antonymous pair "gam - lose" and the supporting one, made stronger by the emphatic form of the affirmative construction - "don't know / do know".
Antithesis as a semantic opposition emphasized by its realization in similar structures, is often observed on lower levels of language hierarchy, especially on the morphemic level where two antonymous affixes create a powerful effect of contrast: "Their pre-money wives did not go together with their post-money daughters." (H.)
The main function of antithesis is to stress the heterogeneity of the described phenomenon, to show that the latter is a dialectical unity of two (or more) opposing features.
Exercise I. Discuss the semantic centres and structural peculiarities of antithesis:
1. Mrs. Nork had a large home and a small husband. (S.L.)
2. In marriage the upkeep of woman is often the downfall of man. (Ev.)
3. Don't use big words. They mean so little. (O.W.)
4. I like big parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy. (Sc.F.)
5. There is Mr. Guppy, who was at first as open as the sun at noon, but who suddenly shut up as close as midnight. (D.)
6. Such a scene as there was when Kit came in! Such a confusion of tongues, before the circumstances were related and the proofs disclosed! Such a dead silence when all was told! (D.)
7. Rup wished he could be swift, accurate, compassionate and stern instead of clumsy and vague and sentimental. (I.M.)
8. His coat-sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes. (D.)
9. There was something eery about the apartment house, an unearthly quiet that was a combination of overcarpeting and underoccupancy. (H.St.)
10. It is safer to be married to the man you can be happy with than to the man you cannot be happy without. (E.)
11. Then came running down stairs a gentleman with whiskers, out of breath. (D.)
12. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (D.)
13. Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron, and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses and little crowded groceries and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said "Whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches", by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men" and he would have meant the same thing. (J. St.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Comment on linguistic properties of sentences which are foregrounded in lexico-syntactical stylistic devices.
2. What do you know about antithesis? Why is it viewed separately from parallel constructions?
3. Have you ever met, in your home-reading, cases of antithesis in which the structure of a word was also used in the creation of the SD?
Another type of semantically complicated parallelism is presented by climax, in which each next word combination (clause, sentence) is logically more important or emotionally stronger and more explicit: "Better to borrow, better to beg, better to die!" (D.) "I am firm, thou art obstinate, he is pig-headed." (B.Ch.) If to create antithesis we use antonyms (or their contextual equivalents), in climax we deal with strings of synonyms or at least semantically related words belonging to the same thematic group.
The negative form of the structures participating in the formation of climax reverses the order in which climax-components are used, as in the following examples: "No tree, no shrub, no blade of grass that was not owned." (G.) It is the absence of substance or quality that is being emphasized by the negative form of the climax, this is why relative synonyms are arranged not in the ascending but in the descending order as to the expressed quality or quantity. Cf.: "Be careful," said Mr. Jingle. "Not a look." "Not a wink," said Mr. Tupman. "Not a syllable. Not a whisper." (D.)
Proceeding from the nature of the emphasized phenomenon it is possible to speak of logical, emotive or quantitative types of climax. The most widely spread model of climax is a three-step construction, in which intensification of logical importance, of emotion or quantity (size, dimensions) is gradually rising Step by step. In emotive climax though, we rather often meet a two-step structure, in which the second part repeats the first one and is further strengthened by an intensifier, as in the following instances: "He was so helpless, so very helpless." (W.D.) "She felt better, immensely better." (W.D.) "I have been so unhappy here, so very very unhappy." (D.)
Climax suddenly interrupted by an unexpected turn of the thought which defeats expectations of the reader (listener) and ends in complete semantic reversal of the emphasized idea, is called anticlimax. To stress
the abruptness of the change emphatic punctuation (dash, most often) is used between the ascending and the descending parts of the anticlimax. Quite a few paradoxes are closely connected with anticlimax.
Exercise II. Indicate the type of climax. Pay attention to its structure and the semantics of its components:
1. He saw clearly that the best thing was a cover story or camouflage. As he wondered and wondered what to do, he first rejected a stop as impossible, then as improbable, then as quite dreadful. (W.G.)
2. "Is it shark?" said Brody. The possibility that he at last was going to confront the fish - the beast, the monster, the nightmare - made Brody's heart pound. (P.B.)
3. If he had got into the gubernatorial primary on his own hook, he would have taken a realistic view. But this was different. He had been called. He had been touched. He had been summoned. (R.W.)
4. We were all in аll tо one another, it was the morning of life, it was bliss, it was frenzy, it was everything else of that sort in the highest degree. (D.)
5. Like a well, like a vault, like a tomb, the prison had no knowledge of the brightness outside. (D.)
6. "I shall be sorry, I shall be truly sorry to leave you, my friend." (D.)
7. "Of course it's important. Incredibly, urgently, desperately important." (D.S.)
8. "I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the address was like this: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Graver's Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America." "What's funny about it?" "But listen, it's not finished: the United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God - that's what it said on the envelope." (Th.W.)