Lexical stylistic devices
1. Lexical stylistic devicesLecture 4
2. Questions for discussionLinguistic
Galperin’s classification of lexical devices
verbal image is a pen-picture of a
thing, idea, person expressed in a
figurative way, i.e. By words used in their
E.g. a bridge for ‘transition from past to
future, from bad to good, from danger to
described as a complex phenomenon, a
double picture generated by linguistic
means, which is based on the co-presence
of different things active together:
direct thought – the tenor (T)
the figurative thought – the vehicle (V)
E.g. She (T) is a bird of passage (V)
the ground of comparison (G) – the similar
feature of T and V;
the relation between T and V;
the type of identification / comparison
(the type of trope)
is transient like a bird of passage
Galperin divides images into three
It was a feast of colour.
Aural (acoustic): He sprang to the
machine, which was now going pocketapocketa-queep-pocketa-queep.
Relational: a man of great dignity
8. Classification of lexical devices by I.R. GalperinGroup 1. Interaction of different types of
Dictionary (logical) and contextual meanings:
METAPHOR, METONYMY, IRONY
Primary and derivative logical meanings (of a
polysemantic word): ZEUGMA, PUN
Logical and emotive meanings: OXYMORON,
Logical and nominative meanings:
9. Classification of lexical devices by I.R. GalperinGroup
2. Intensification of a feature:
HYPERBOLE, SIMILE, PERIPHRASIS
Group 3. Peculiar use of set-expressions:
CLICHÉS; PROVERBS AND SAYINGS;
DECOMPOSITION OF SET PHRASES.
depending on the two types of logical
associations underlying the semantic
transference based on resemblance
(similarity). This type of transference is also
referred to as linguistic metaphor.
term ‘metaphor’ means transference of
some quality from one object to another.
Unlike in simile the ground of comparison is
never stated openly.
E.g. She is like a bird of passage (simile)
E.g. She is a bird of passage (metaphor)
metaphors contain only one vehicle:
E.g His life was a tragedy.
whenever one metaphorical statement,
creating an image, is followed by another,
containing a continuation, or logical
development of the previous one:
E.g. His life was a tragedy written in the
terms of knock-about farce.
to the degree of originality:
genuine metaphors which are absolutely
unexpected or unpredictable;
trite metaphors (= dead metaphors) which
are commonly used in speech and
therefore are sometimes even fixed in
dictionaries as expressive means of
14. PersonificationIs a variety of metaphor in which human
properties are attributed to lifeless (or
inanimate) objects – mostly to abstract
notions. The formal indication of
personification may be:
E.g. If you can meet with Triumph and
The use of pronouns he or she instead of it:
E.g. Life is hard and Nature takes sometimes
a terrible delight in torturing her children.
use of verbs and adjectives that
originally stand for the actions and
qualities of people:
E.g. The Tower Bridge raised its two arms.
The two objects may be associated together
because they often appear in common
situations, and so the image of one is easily
accompanied by the image of the other; or
they may be associated on the principle of
cause and effect, of common function, of
some material and an object which is made
to the relation between the
tenor and the vehicle the following types
of metonymy are differentiated:
1) The abstract stands for the concrete: But
then he did not really want any of these
people, did not want company for
company’ sake. What he really wanted
was Love, Romance, a Wonderful Girl of
contents: He sipped one more bottle (of
3) the material instead of the thing made: She
was glancing through his water colours.
4) the maker stands for the thing made: He
5) The instrument put for the agent: His brush
can be easily recognized.
6) A part is put for the whole (synechdoche):
There were long legs all around.
(каламбур) is the use of a word
which must be understood in two different
ways at the same time in order to make
sense, i.e. the use of a word in the same
relations to two adjacent words in the
context, the semantic relations being, on
the one hand, literal, and, on the other,
Ex.: The bread was baking, and so was I.
interaction of two well-known meanings of a
word or phrase. It is the clever or humorous
use of a word that has more than one
meaning, or of words that have different
meanings but sound the same.
e.g. It’s not my principle (‘general rule of
conduct’) to pay the interest (‘money paid
for use of money lent’), and it’s not my
interest (‘advantage, profit’) to pay the
principal (‘the original sum lent’).
Puns are often used in riddles and jokes.
contrast between the literal meaning and
the intended meaning: one thing is said and
the opposite is implied.
Ex.: It must be delightful to find oneself in a
foreign country without a penny in one’s
marked by intonation. It has an emphatic
stress and is generally supplied with a special
In “How smart of you!” where, due to the
intonation pattern, the word ‘smart’ conveys
a sense opposite to its literal signification. It
rather expresses a feeling of irritation,
displeasure, pity or regret.
must not be confused with
humour, although they have very
much in common. Humour always
causes laughter. But the function of
irony is not confined to producing a
24. EpithetIt’s a word or phrase that contains an
expressive characteristic of an object,
especially in order to give praise or criticism.
The epithet is based on metaphor and thus
creating an image. Ex.:
a thrilling story;
a cutting smile.
emotive and logical meaning in an
attributive word, phrase or even sentence.
The epithet is
the logical attribute is purely objective, nonevaluating. It is descriptive and indicates an
inherent or prominent feature of the thing.
Logical attributes indicate those qualities of the
objects which may be regarded as generally
qualities of the objects are subjectively
29. Semantic epithetsSemantic epithets may be further divided
into two groups:
a) those associated with the noun following;
b) those unassociated with the noun
a feature which is essential to the objects
they describe: the idea expressed in the
epithet is to a certain extent inherent in the
concept of the object. The associated
epithet immediately refers the mind to the
concept in question due to some actual
quality of the object it is attached to.
Ex.: dark forest, careful attention.
characterize the object by adding a feature
which may be so unexpected as to strike the
reader by its novelty.
Ex.: voiceless sands.
The adjective here does not indicate any
property inherent in the object ‘sand’. It imposes
a property on it which is fitting only in the given
circumstances. It may seem strange, unusual, or
32. Structural epithetsStructural epithets can be viewed from the
structural epithets may be divided into
epithets are ordinary adjectives.
Compound epithets are built like
A phrase and even a whole sentence
may become an epithet if the main
formal requirement of the epithet is
maintained in its attributive use. Ex.: a little
man with a Say-nothing-to-me expression
on his face.
35. OxymoronIt’s a device which combines in one phrase
two words (usu. noun + adjective) whose
meanings are opposite and incompatible.
Ex.: sweet sorrow; a deafening silence; a low
36. Antonomasia (переименование)It’s a device which consists in the use of a
proper name instead of a common name
or vice versa.
Ex.: Mister Know-all;
He is the Napoleon of crime.
Antonomasia is regarded as a subtype of
periphrasis and a subtype of metonymy.
37. EuphemismEuphemisms are indirect words and word
combinations that are used instead of a
harsher word or expression to gloss over or
conceal the notion that the latter word or
expression conveys. Eg.:
John ‘a toilet’