Stylistics also attempts to establish principles capable of explaining the particular choices made by individuals and social groups in their use of language, such as socialisation, the production and reception of meaning, critical discourse analysis and literary criticism.
Other features of stylistics include the use of dialogue, including regional accents and people’s dialects, descriptive language, the use of grammar, such as the active voice or passive voice, the distribution of sentence lengths, the use of particular language registers, etc. In addition, stylistics is a distinctive term that may be used to determine the connections between the form and effects within a particular variety of language. Therefore, stylistics looks at what is ‘going on’ within the language; what the linguistic associations are that the style of language reveals. * |
Early twentieth century
The analysis of literary style goes back to Classical rhetoric, but modern stylistics has its roots in Russian Formalism, and the related Prague School, in the early twentieth century.
In 1909, Charles Bally's Traité de stylistique française had proposed stylistics as a distinct academic discipline to complement Saussurean linguistics. For Bally, Saussure's linguistics by itself couldn't fully describe the language of personal expression. Bally's programme fitted well with the aims of the Prague School.
Building on the ideas of the Russian Formalists, the Prague School developed the concept of foregrounding, whereby poetic language stands out from the background of