English Literary Language

Topics: Literary language, Newspaper, Literature Pages: 8 (2433 words) Published: May 4, 2011

List of Literature12


A literary language is a register of a language that is used in literary writing. This may also include liturgical writing. The difference between literary and non-literary (vernacular) forms is more marked in some languages than in others. Where there is a strong divergence, the language is said to exhibit diglossia. Classical Latin was the literary register of Latin, as opposed to the Vulgar Latin spoken across the Roman Empire. The Latin brought by Roman soldiers to Gaul, Iberia or Dacia was not identical to the Latin of Cicero, and differed from it in vocabulary, syntax, and grammar.[1] Some literary works with low-register language from the Classical Latin period give a glimpse into the world of early Vulgar Latin. The works of Plautus and Terence, being comedies with many characters who were slaves, preserve some early basilectal Latin features, as does the recorded speech of the freedmen in the Cena Trimalchionis by Petronius Arbiter. At the third Council of Tours in 813, priests were ordered to preach in the vernacular language — either in the rustica lingua romanica (Vulgar Latin), or in the Germanic vernaculars — , since the common people could no longer understand formal Latin. There is no hard and fast division between the literary and non-literary language. They are interdependent. The literary language constantly enriches its vocabulary and forms from the non-literary (vernacular, colloquial). It also adopts some of its syntactical peculiarities and by doing so gives them the status of norms of the literary language. The norm of usage is established by the language community at every given period in the development of the language.


Thus literary language is a historical category. I.R. Galperin defines the literary language as "that elaborated form (variety) of the national language which obeys definite morphological, phonetic, syntactical, lexical, phraseological, and stylistic norms recognized as standard and therefore acceptable in all kinds and types of discourse. It allows modifications but within the framework of the system of established norms." The literary language greatly influences the non-literary language. Many words, constructions and particularly phonetic improvements have been introduced through it into the English colloquial language. The English literary language was particularly regulated and formalized during the XVII and XVIII centuries. The influence over the non-literary language had its greatest effect in the XIX century with the spread of general education, in the XX century with the introduction of radio and TV. It is difficult to specify the characteristic features of the non-literary variety because it does not present any system. Thus the best way to understand it is to contrast the non-literary form to the existing form of the literary English. The publication of dictionaries does much to establish the literary language norms, but at the very moment the norm is established it begins to fluctuate. Sometimes we may say that two norms co-exist, but one of them will give way to its rival and either vanish from the language completely or remain on its outskirts. This is particularly the case with pronunciation norms. The object of lingo-stylistics is the study of the nature, functions and structures of stylistic devices (SD) and expressive means (ЕМ) оn the оnе hand, and the study of the functional styles, оn the other. А functional style of language is а system of interrelated language means which serves а definite aim in communication. А functional style is thus to bе regarded as the product of а certain concrete task set bу the sender of the message. Functional styles арреаг mainly in the literary standard of а language. The literary standard of...
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