STYLISTICS is a branch of linguistics which applies the theory and methodology of modern linguistics to the study of STYLE. It studies the use of language in specific contexts and attempts to account for the characteristics that mark the language use of individuals and social groups.
Although stylistics sometimes includes investigation of spoken language, it is usually concerned with the examination of written language, particularly literary texts. The stylistic analysis of a text involves the description of a writer’s verbal choices which can be abstracted as style.
The word STYLE, from which “stylistics” is derived, has a number of definitions. For example, “Shakespeare’s style” may refer to some or all of the language habits of one person while “the style of legal documents” may refer to some or all of the language habits shared by a group of people at one time, or over a period time. “Style” in this term-paper refers to the characteristic variation in language use, further, the manifestation of a choice from the author’s language repertoire.
The author here particularly refers to J. K. Rowling who wrote the world-famous book serious “Harry Potter”. By interweaving various kinds of language used in different situations, Harry Potter serves as great source texts for us to analyze assorted stylistics features, and therefore, acquire a “sense of style”.
To sum up, I view this stylistic analysis as a device which will facilitate my sensitivity to language variation, and further, enhance my understanding of the ways in which impressions, effects and meanings are communicated by language in literary works.
Sample analysis 1 – (Lee Jordan doing the commentary for a Quidditch match) Introduction to the register
As regards to field, this was Harry’s first Quidditch game with his groom Nimbus Two Thousands. The Weasley twins’ friend, Lee Jordan, was doing the commentary for the match, closely watched by Professor McGonagall. The sample is mainly composed of Lee’s commentary.
As a live commentary given through a spoken media, this sample uses typical spoken language. In terms of tenor, the speaker is mainly Lee and the listener is all the other participants who attended this game. However, sometimes Professor McGonagall would also give Lee some warnings due to his subjective commentary.
To swimmingly understand this piece of writing, one needs to be familiar with all those words related to Hogwarts and Quidditch. For instance, Slytherin and Gryffindor are the name of the houses in Hogwarts which are also used to represent different teams, Quaffle, Bludger and Snitch refers to different kinds of balls used in the game. Chaser, keeper, beater and seeker refer to players with different positions during a match. And we can notice some special words which vividly reflect some phonological features like “oughta”, “coulda” and “outta”. You can get more information from the book “Quidditch Through the Ages”.
On the syntactic level, we obviously find all the sentences are short declarative sentences, some of which are not even complete sentences (including some broken words like “sc-” which supposed to be “score”).The text is quite coherent and sentences are closely related with each other. All these arrangements have reproduced the image vividly, which may bring the readers immediately to the present scene. Take the following segment as an example:
“nice dive around Flint, off up the field and — OUCH — that must have hurt”
Although everything is in written form, we can still find some phonological features. Some words and expressions are all capitalized like “OUCH” and “GRYFFINDOR SCORE”. We could spontaneously imagine Lee’s exciting sounds.
In the sample text, punctuation is another essential part for us to analyze. The intensively use of dashes in the text reflects a salient spoken style. Dash is considered a mark of informal writing. It may indicate a sudden...
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