Koroteeva Valentina Vladimirovna, valentina.shilova77@gmail.com
Morphological Expressive Means Outline
Task 1 Adjectives
Adverbs: functions
Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions
Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions
Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions
Adverbial modifiers
Task 2 Adverbs
Task 3 Numerals
Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary
Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary
Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary
Task 4 Paradigmatic Morphology
Task 4 Paradigmatic Morphology
Syntagmatic Morphology
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: affixation
Syntagmatic morphology: parallelism and repetition
Syntagmatic morphology: parallelism and repetition
Task 5 Syntagmatic Morphology
Категория: Английский языкАнглийский язык

Stylistics of the English Language 8. Morphological Expressive Means Outline

1. Koroteeva Valentina Vladimirovna, [email protected]

Stylistics of the
English Language 8
Valentina Vladimirovna,
[email protected]

2. Morphological Expressive Means Outline

Paradigmatic morphology:
Syntagmatic morphology:

3. Adjectives

the adjective can get transposed from one
lexico-grammatical group to another (e.g. from
relational, or classifying, to qualitative, or
“Wordsworth honored himself by his simple
adherence to truth, and was very willing not to
shine; but he surprised by the hard limits of his
thought. To judge from a single conversation,
he made the impression of a narrow and very
English mind; of one who paid for his rare
elevation by general tameness and conformity.”
[English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson]

4. Adjectives

the violation of valency rules in adjectival
‘white rush’ instead of ‘white swan’
[Yeats, Leda and Swan, from Arnold 2010]
‘Intelligent Business’
[A Coursebook in Business English, Pearson Education Limited, 2013]

5. Adjectives

the comparative or superlative affixes are
attached to those adjectives that normally
do not allow it:
“You cannot be deader than the dead.”
[Hemingway, from Arnold 2010]
“Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than
[Dr.Suess, Happy Birthday to You]

6. Adjectives

the violation of the superlative degree formation
“With unabated bounty the land of England blooms
and grows; waving with yellow harvests, thickstudded with workshops, industrial implements, with
fifteen million of workers understood to be the
strongest, the cunningest, the willingest our Earth
ever had; (…)”
[Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present]
‘The orangemostest drink in the world.’
“He was the most married man I’ve ever met.”
[from Arnold 2010]

7. Adjectives

substantivized adjectives often get
stylistically marked in the context:
“When the Impossible Happens:
Adventures in Non-Ordinary
[a book by Stanislav Grof (2006)]
“The English country gentleman
galloping after a fox – the
unspeakable in pursuit of the
[Oscar Wilde]

8. Adjectives

the use of adjectives to convey the attitude of a
speaker to the subject matter (e.g.irony,
‘What is not in dispute is that witnesses heard
voices raised, and that at some point Mr.A and
myself both fell, entwined, down the stairs,
landing in the hall at exactly the moment when, as
luck would have it, the front door opened to admit
the first of Mr.A’s guests, my right honourable
friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.’
[Robert Harris, PMQ, (2000)]

9. Adjectives

the transposition of other parts of speech
into the adjective creates stylistically
marked pieces of description:
‘A camouflage of (…) dirty-jeaned drabness
covers everybody and we merge into the
[Marshall, from Znamenskaya 2005]

10. Adjectives

the transposition of adjectives into nouns:
“Hello, wonderfuls!
People often message and email me to
ask which of my books I would suggest.”
[C.JoyBell C., American author, cjoybellc.blogspot.ru]

11. Task 1 Adjectives

“You are the bestest friend I’ve ever met.”
“Then, bending from the sky,
With infinite affection
And infiniter care
Her (Nature’s) golden finger on her lip
Wills silence everywhere.”
[Emily Dickinson, At night Nature takes care of the world]
“...The fine, the large, the florid — all off!” [Galsworthy]
“Curioser and curioser!” cried Alice. [L.Carroll]
“There was something she read once,
something that she thinks was supposed to be
about politics, but seems to describe their
predicament exactly: ‘When the old is dying,
and the new cannot be born, a variety of
morbid symptoms appears.’” [Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]

12. Adverbs: functions

to mark time/manner/frequency/degree, etc. in
an expressive manner:
“It was then that Mr.A disclosed that he had
misled us.”
[Robert Harris, PMQ (2000)]
to convey the psychological and emotional
condition of the speaker:
“Surprisingly, the ground rushed away under his
feet and he all but lost his balance.”
[A.Thorpe, The Glow (2005)]

13. Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions

while performing an attributive function,
adverbs can
indicate relational modification: mentally retarded,
socially acceptable
and doing so, be part of a euphemistic expression,
expressing the tolerant attitude of the speaker:
volumetrically challenged instead of “plump/obese”

14. Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions

the grammatical meaning of degree can get
transposed into the stylistic meaning of
conveying the attitude of a speaker to the
subject matter:
“The comment was, as usual, robust; some might
say robust in the extreme.” (indirect
disapproval or indignation at the person who
made such a comment)
[Robert Harris, PMQ, (2000)]

15. Adverbial modifiers: stylistic functions

with the adverb ‘perhaps’ the grammatical
function of expressing uncertainty can get
transposed into the stylistic function of
showing mild/wary criticism:
“I was in his company for about an hour, but
find it impossible to recall the largest part of
his discourse, which was often like so many
printed paragraphs in his book – perhaps the
same – so readily did he fall into certain
commonplaces (a trite remark).”
[English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson]

16. Adverbial modifiers

a chain of semantically heterogeneous
adverbs can raise the emotive charge of
the phrase:
‘an absurdly, incomprehensibly and
untypically long lecture’
[Shakhovskiy, 2013]

17. Task 2 Adverbs

“The dialogue, though, is as nothing compared to the
noisy babble of self-interrogation that goes on in her head
almost every minute of the day. Would she like a baby?
(Probably, although…) Would she like one now? (Maybe,
but…) Does she want one with Paul? (Sometimes,
when…)”[Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]
“Maybe he was trying to wind her up. Maybe he was
trying to sound surer than he felt and it just came out that
offensive, arrogant way. Maybe he was high on
[Janice Galloway, The Bridge, (1996)]

18. Numerals

are employed to achieve the effect of
‘It was such a noise as if 3 volcanoes and 3
thunderstorms worked out
[Shakhovskiy, 2013]

19. Numerals

can convey some symbolic meaning
creating a riddle:
“She cannot imagine what it must be like to
be him, to have this one simple thought,
this faith, that renders everything else in
his life – his work, his family (a wife and
two boys, both with eleven first names), his
friends and his favourite TV programs –
temporarily insignificant.”
[Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]

20. Numerals

can be used for the sake of persuasion:
“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my
career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26
times, I've been trusted to take the game
winning shot and missed. I've failed over and
over and over again in my life. And that is
why I succeed.” [Michael Jordan]
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90%
how you react to it.”
“But, even then, its temperature would be so
low that it would take about a million million
million million million million million million
million million million (1 with sixty-six zeros
after it) to evaporate completely.”
[S.Hawking, A Brief History of Time (1988)]

21. Task 3 Numerals

“There’s an angry-looking man
behind the end of the bar in
Costello’s and he’s saying to a
customer, I don’t have a tinker’s
damn if you have ten pee haitch
dees. I know more about
Samuel Johnson than you know
about your hand.”
[Francis McCourt, ‘Tis (1999)]

22. Prepositions

the use of prepositions can be stylistically
marked and reveal the change in attitude to
the subject matter:
“He was very sorry that Dr.Channing, a man to
whom he looked up - no, to say that he
looked up to him would be to speak falsely,
but a man whom he looked at with so much
interest – should embrace such views.”
[English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson]

23. Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary

Stylistic morphology focuses on the grammatical
forms and grammatical meanings that are peculiar
to particular sublanguages, explicitly or implicitly
comparing them with the neutral ones common to
all the sublanguages.
Paradigmatic morphology is concerned with the
phenomenon of transposition within various word
classes/parts of speech:
when a grammatical meaning which serves to indicate
logical relations within a sentence gets transposed
and acquires an emotive/expressive/stylistic
connotation in a new context;

24. Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary

Paradigmatic morphology studies
deviations in:
Nouns – number, case, lexico-grammatical
Gerunds - number, lexico-grammatical
Verbs – tense and modality;
Adjectives – comparative and superlative
forms, lexico-grammatical groups (syntactical
valency), substantivisation;

25. Paradigmatic Morphology: Summary

Adverbs - acquisition of additional emotive or
stylistic connotations in the context through
repetition or transposition;
Pronouns – the case of personification and
depersonification; the opposition “I-s/he”,
“We-They”, the plurals of majesty and
Numerals - functions of exaggeration,
persuasion, creating a symbolic meaning;
Articles – the use of indefinite and definite
articles with proper nouns, gerunds,
sentences, pronouns;
Prepositions – function of marking the attitude.

26. Task 4 Paradigmatic Morphology

“…and what about hallo Nellie the Elephant and
good-bye Ella Fitzgerald and what about having
to see Paul’s mum and dad all the time because
this would be their first grandchild <…>” [Nick
Hornby, Faith (1993)]
“It feels as though she and Paul have got stuck:
stuck in their north London flat, stuck in their
will-we-won’t-we childless state, stuck with the
same friends and the same restaurants and jobs
and things to do, and she cannot see what is
going to free them, propel them into the next
stage of their life together.”[Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]

27. Task 4 Paradigmatic Morphology

“‘And you’ll get used to the creaking’ ‘I
don’t want to get used to the creaking,’
Paul screams. ‘Why should I get used
to the creaking?’>
The man is right. They get used to the
creaking. The get used to other things,
too: cooking for three at dinner-time,
and watching Brian slide down on his
bottom until he can reach his steaming
food <…>”
[Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]

28. Syntagmatic Morphology

deals with forms, functions and
meanings of affix morphemes which
can be stylistically highlighted
often is based on the principles of
addition and repetition of affixes

29. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

diminutive suffixes enable the speaker to
communicate his/her positive or negative
evaluation of a subject (caressing, jocular
or pejorative):
“Yes, I, too, attended Hell-ton and survived.
And, no, at that time, I was not the
mental giant you see before you. I was
the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound
weakling. I would go to the beach, and
people would kick copies of Byron in my
face.” [Dead Poets’ Society, a feature movie by Tom
***-ling= a small, immature, or miniature version of what is
denoted by the main stem.

30. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the suffix –ian/-ean means “like
someone/smth” and usually conveys
positive or neutral connotations:
“I recognised the Mozartean technique
in the piece.”
‘He described a Dantean scene when
two 30 ft monsters fought to the
death.’ [Oxford Dictionary]

31. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the suffix –ish can be evaluative:
baldish, dullish, biggish, indicating
tactful manner ‘a biggish wart that should be
removed’ [Merriam-Webster]
as well as derogatory:
‘Her laughs are so mannish; slapping
the table as she cackles loudly.’

32. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the suffix –esque indicates style,
manner or distinctive character, and is
associated with exquisite elevated
style, or the style peculiar to the person
mentioned, – Dantesque, Turneresque,
Kafkaesque, Kafkaesqueness :
‘Turneresque sunset’ [Merriam-Webster]
‘He emerges from the horrors with a
Kafkaesque account of life in the
Chinese jails.’ [www.dictionary.com]

33. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the affixes –ard, -ster, -aster, -eer, are
of negative evaluation (and sometimes
a half-affix –monger): drunkard,
scandal-monger, black marketeer,
‘Many of the diamond dealers were black
marketeers, working all sorts of deals.’
[Cambridge Dictionary]

34. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the affix – ie can suggest a tender
attitude of the speaker:
(Comes beside Grace, and puts his
left hand caressingly round her
neck.) You see, dearie, she won't
look the situation in the face.”
[The Philanderer byGeorge Bernard Shaw]

35. Syntagmatic morphology: affixation

the use of a number of affixes with one word to lend
the utterance a humorous effect:
‘F*** bastards, parents,’ Colin complained one Monday
lunchtime. ‘You think they’re OK when you’re little,
then you realise they’re just like …’
‘Henry VIII, Col?’ Adrian suggested. We were beginning
to get used to his sense of irony; also to the fact that it
might be turned against us as well. When teasing, or
calling us to seriousness, he would address me as
Anthony; Alex would become Alexander, and the
unlengthenable Colin shortened to Col.
[Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011)]
***Reducing the name or lengthening it for the sake of
emphasis – Alexander – Alex – stylistically marked

36. Syntagmatic morphology: parallelism and repetition

the repetition of morphemes serves to
heighten a particular idea in the extract:
“His father, an ineffectual, inarticulate man
with a taste for Byron and a habit of
drowsing over the Encyclopedia
Britannica,(…) hovered in the background
of his family’s life, an unassertive figure
with a face half-obliterated by lifeless,
silky hair (…) ”
[F.Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise]

37. Syntagmatic morphology: parallelism and repetition

“Player: It's what the actors do best.
They have to exploit whatever talent is
given to them, and their talent is dying.
They can die heroically, comically,
ironically, slowly, suddenly, disgustingly,
charmingly or from a great height.”
[Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
by Stopppard, Tom (1967), p. 75.]

38. Task 5 Syntagmatic Morphology

“She unchained, unbolted and unlocked the
“… and Amory at quarter-back, exhorting in wild
despair, making impossible tackles, calling
signals in a voice that had diminished to a
hoarse, furious whisper <…> finally bruised and
weary, but still elusive, circling an end, twisting,
changing pace, straight-arming… falling behind
the Groton goal with two men on his legs, in the
only touch-down of the game.”[This Side of Paradise by
F.S.Fitzgerald, p.31]
“I don’t want to burst, she thinks later. Bursting
is hopeless, useless, a waste of time and energy.
Bursting achieves nothing; it just makes you sit
on roofs like a mad person.<…> Bursting s
undignified, and never helps you get what you
want.” [Nick Hornby, Faith (1993)]


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