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The style of official documents

This functional style is not homogeneous and is represented by the following substyles or variants:

1) the language of business documents;

2) the language of legal documents;

3) the language of diplomacy;

4) the language of military documents.

Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication:

· to state the conditions binding two parties and to reach agreement between two contracting parties and to avoid misinterpretation (the state and citizen, citizen and citizen).

Genres: Language of business documents, legal documents


· conventionality of expressions, patterns (opening adresse, preamble, central clauses, signature, seals, dates)

· special language: officialese – special system of clichés, set expressions, highly literary formal words (I beg to inform you, on behalf of, we remain, hereto)

· terms (depend on the sphere) (immovable property, designated depository)

· encoded character of language; conventional symbols and contractions (MP, Gvt, Dept, inc, £)

· use of words in their logical dictionary meaning

· specific use of “shall” in treaties

· words with emotive meaning are not to be found, except those which used in business letters (Dear Sir, yours faithfully)

· compositional patterns, thus business letters have a definite compositional patterns (heading, giving the address of the writer, the date, the name of the addressee and his addresse)

· a general syntactical mode of combining several pronouncement into 1 sentence; the whole document in one sentence

Code of the official style falls into a system of subcodes, each characterized by its own terminological nomenclature, its own compositional form, variety of syntactical arrangements, but the features of all subcodes remain following (ПЕРЕЧИСЛИЛА ВЫШЕ)

Colloquial style

Colloquial style is divided into upper colloquial, common colloquial and low colloquial. The latter two have their own peculiar features connected with region, gender, age of the speaker.

Genres: upper colloquial, common colloquial, low colloquial

Aim: to socialize (group identity)

· characterized by the lack of planning, spontaneity, informality of the communicative situation

· vocabulary: phrasal verbs and colloquial vocabulary (dad, kid), set phrases, idioms

· normal non-fluency, prop words (gizmo, thingamabob) (слова - заменители)

· the use of diminutive forms or endearments (piglet, kitty, chubby)

· direct word order in questions

· double negatives


1) information is compressed

2) contracted forms (won’t, don’t)

3) abbreviations (zoo, pub)

4) apokoinu constructions (omitting)

5) ellipsis

6) break-in-the-narrative (обрыв речи)

7) omitting auxiliary verbs

8) relaxed pronunciation (gimme, wanna, wuddaya, meetcha)

9) Phonetic expressive means (Pitch (high/low), Melody (rising/falling), Stress, Pause, Tempo, rhythm (slow/fast), Manner (whispering, sing-song, drawling out), Sound symbolism (emotions, colour, associations)

Belles - Letters Style (general characteristics)

According to I.R. Galperin, this is a generic term for three substyles:

1) the language of poetry;

2) emotive prose (the language of fiction);

3) the language of the drama.

Each of these substyles has certain common features, and each of them enjoys some individuality. The common features of the substyles are the following:

1.The aesthetico-cognitive function (aims at the cognitive process; calls forth a feeling of pleasure) (a function which aims at the cognitive process, which secures the gradual unfolding of the idea to the reader and at the same time calls forth a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction which a reader experiences because he is able to penetrate into the author's idea and to form his own conclusions).

2. A complicated multi-level semantic structure;

3. Intertextuality as SD: allusions

4. the reader is a co-creator of a literary work not only on the rational, but also on emotional level: empathy

5. Implicitness: imagery is one of the ways to create implications

6. The use of words in contextual and often in more than one dictionary meaning

7.Definite linguistic features:

•Genuine, not trite, imagery, achieved by purely linguistic devices.

•The use of words in different meanings, greatly influenced by the lexical environment.

•A vocabulary which will reflect to a certain degree the author's personal evaluation of things or phenomena.

•A peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax.

•The introduction of the typical features of colloquial language to a full degree (drama), to a lesser degree (in prose), to a slight degree (poetry).

The belles-lettres style is individual in essence. This is one of its most distinctive properties.


· the unlimited possibilities of creative writing, which covers the whole of the universe and makes use of all language resources, made some scholars doubt that it can be qualified as functional style

· literary works create their own world. Each is a unique entity, a writer uses words to create a text that reflects his /her vision of life

Important: reader plays an important role; position of addressee

Emotive prose

Genres: Story, short-story, novel

Prose is written in the form of sentences and paragraphs

The substyle of emotive prose has the same common features as have been pointed out for the belles-lettres style in general, but all these features are correlated differently in emotive prose. The imagery is not so rich as it is in poetry, the percentage of words with contextual meaning is not so high as in poetry.Emotive prose features the combination of the literary variant of the language, both in words and in syntax, with the colloquial variant. But the colloquial language in the belles-lettres style is not a simple reproduction of the natural speech, it has undergone changes introduced by the writer and has been made "literature-like". In emotive prose there are always two forms of communication present - monologue (the writer's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters).). Emotive prose allows the use of elements from other styles as well. But all these styles undergo a kind of transformation under the influence of emotive prose. Passages written in other styles may be viewed only as interpolations and not as constituents of the style.

But all these styles under the influence of emotive prose undergo a kind of transformation. Passages written in other styles may be viewed only as interpolation and not as constituents of the style. Present day emotive prose is to a large extent characterized by the breaking-up of traditional syntactical designs of the preceding periods. Not only detached construction, but also fragmentation of syntactical models, peculiar, unexpected ways of combining sentences, especially the gap-sentence link and other modern syntactical patterns, are freely introduced into present-day emotive prose.


Genres: ballad, ode, pastoral, sonnet, limerick, epigram

Poetry is written in lines and stanzas

The substyle we shall consider is v e r s e. The language of poetry is characterized by its orderly form, which is based mainly on the rhythmic and phonetic arrangement of the utterances. The rhythmic aspect calls forth syntactic and semantic peculiarities. There are certain restrictions which result in brevity of expression, epigram-like utterances and fresh, unexpected imagery. Syntactically this brevity is shown in elliptical sentences, in detached constructions, in inversion, etc.


· Orderly form

· Rhythmic and phonetic arrangements

· Brevity of expression

· Inversion

· Fresh imagery

· Elliptical and fragmentary sentences

· Detached constructions

Rhyme (end rhyme: masculine: find-mankind; feminine: reason-season; internal (in the middle of the word, rhymes with the end), eye-rhyme); full rhyme, incomplete; vowel, consonant rhyme)

Metre Rhythm

1) 2 syllable feet: iambic (x/); trochee/троки (/x)- twinkle, twinkle little star; spondaic (//)- break. Break, break

2) 3-syllable feet: anapest (xx/); dactyl (/xx); amphibrach (x/x)

Number of feet: 1-monometer,2-dimeter, 3-trimeter,4-tetrameter,5 pentameter,6-hexameter. 7- heptameter, 8- octameter

• The stanza: the heroic couplet (2 iambic pentameters with rhyming pattern aa); The spencerian (9 lines, 8 iambic pentameter and 9th – iambic hexameter; ababbcbcc); ottava rima (8 iambic pentameters, abababcc); ballad stanza (iambic dimeters, abcb); sonnet (Shakespearean sonnet)

•Verse: accented(stressed)- only the number of stresses in the line is taken into consideration


What makes it stand out from other modes of writing, is that it meant to be performed.

Drama is written as dialogue along with stage directions, so the actors know exactly what to say and do while they are on stage.

The stylization of colloquial language is one of the features of plays which at different stages in the history of English drama has manifested itself in different ways revealing, on the one hand, the general trends of the literary language and, on the other, the personal idiosyncrasies of the writer. Thus the language of plays is a stylized type of the spoken variety of language. The analysis of the language texture of plays has shown that the most characteristic feature here is to use the term of the theory of information, redundancy of information caused by the necessity to amplify the utterance. This is done for the sake of the audience.

The language of plays is entirely dialogue. The author´s speech is almost entirely excluded except for the playwright´s remark and stage directions. The language of the characters is in no way the exact reproduction of the norms of colloquial language, although the playwright seeks to reproduce actual conversation as far as the norms of the written language will allow. This variety of belles-lettres style has used the norms of the literary language of the given period. So 16th century drama is much different from 20th century drama.





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