No one knows for sure what it is. The scope of problems stylistics is to solve, its very object and its tasks are open to discussion up to the present day, regardless of the fact that it goes back to ancient rhetoric and poetics.
According to I.R. Galperin, the term STYLE is presumed (by various authors) to apply to the following fields of investigation: the aesthetic function of language; (reference to works of art, that is of poetry and imaginative prose) expressive means in language; (employed in spheres of speech that aim to impress: poetry, fiction, oratory, affective informal intercourse (colloquial speech), but hardly ever science, technology, business letters) synonymous ways of rendering one and the same idea;( possibility of choice, the possibility of using different words in analogous situations) emotional colouring in language;( A poetic declaration of love and a funeral oration are (different emotionally and, hence, stylistically. On the other hand, there are many text types quite unemotional, but still subject to stylistic investigation.) a system of special devices called stylistic devices;
the splitting of the literary language into separate systems called styles; the interrelation between language and thought; (although the speaker's intention may have been quite different from what was actually performed or the recipient may misinterpret the message). the individual manner of an author in making use of language.
Language, speech, and text. Language is a system of mental associations of elementary and complex signs (speech sounds, morphemes, words, word combinations, utterances, and combinations of utterances)with our mental picture of objective reality. Language is a psychological phenomenon of social significance. It exists in individual minds, but serves the purpose of social intercourse through speech (originally oral, nowadays to a greater extent written). Language is said to perform two dialectically interwoven functions: communicative and cognitive. The former appears to be the primary function (language arose from the needs of intercourse and social regulation). The latter is the secondary function, although it is of colossal Importance for the development of humanity: it is due to the existence of language that mankind has acquired its immense knowledge of the outside world. Language as a system of associations exists in human minds, but it manifests itself in acts of speech. As distinct from language, speech is not a purely mental phenomenon, not a system, but a momentary, fleeting psycho-physiological action, a process of sending acoustic signals (messages), perceptible to anyone within hearing. Since speech is fleeting, it can hardly be investigated by a system- hunting linguist, nor is it understood by an ordinary hearer: what we actually understand is not the process of articulating certain vowels and consonants, but its result - what was called by Allan Gardiner "text". While a person pronounces (aloud or even mentally) I live in this house, he or she accomplishes an act of speech, but as soon as the act is completed, there is no more speech. What remains, however, after the act of communication is what we remember and can reproduce if need be, to wit: the sequence of signs — ' I + live + in + this + house' — and that is what we call a text. 2. Sublanguages and styles
Stylistics, as the term implies, deals with styles. Style, for its part, can be roughly defined here as the peculiarity, the set of specific features of a text type or of a concrete text. Style is just what differentiates a group of homogeneous texts (an individual text) from all other groups (other texts). The idea - many of its constituents of language are not used in every sphere of communication, but delimited specific types of speech. ( ex water, morn, daddy, chap) Here, only two types of speech, two sublanguages are opposed: the colloquial...