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Functional Styles






Functional styles are classified into bookish and colloquial. The group of bookish styles embraces the style of official documents, the style of scientific prose, the newspaper style, the publicistic style and the belletristic style. The croup of colloquial styles includes the literary colloquial style, the informal colloquial style and substandard speech style.

The speaker resorts to a certain functional style due to such extralingual factors: the character of the situation in which communication takes place (official, ceremonial, informal, private or other); the relations between the communicants (formal, official, friendly, hostile, spontaneous); the aim of communication (transference of specific information, emotional attitudes, establishment of business contacts, etc. ); oral or written communication. The style of official documents. This style aims at establishing, devel­oping and controlling business relations between individuals and organiza­tions. Being devoid of expressiveness, it is fully impersonal, rational and prag­matic. Its special language forms are rather peculiar. The graphical level of this style is distinguished by specific rules of making inscriptions, using capital letters and abbreviations. The lexical level is characterized by domination of bookish, borrowed, archaic and obsolescent words, professional terms and cliches, such as "aviso" (авизо), "interest-free" (беспроцентный), "fidejussor" (поручитель), "flagrante delicto" (на месте преступления), "status quo" (существующее положение), "квартиросъемщик", "подрядчик", "повестка дня", "довожу до вашего сведения ...", "справка выдана для предъявления ...", "прошу предоставить мне...", "выписка верна". The morphological features of the style are such: the usage of obsolescent mood forms (Subjunctive I and the Suppositional), wide use of non-finite forms of the verb, impersonal, antic­ipatory and indefinite pronouns. The syntactic level is distinguished by long and super-long sentences of all structural types, always two-member and non-elliptical, complicated by complexes of secondary predication, detach-ments, parenthetic insertions and passive constructions.

The style of scientific prose. This style serves as an instrument for Promoting scientific ideas and exchanging scientific information among peo-p e- It is as bookish and formal as the style of official documents, that is why


both styles have much in common. To graphical peculiarities of the style of scientific prose belong number- or letter-indexed paragraphing, a developed system of headlines, titles and subtitles, footnotes, pictures, tables, schemes and formulae. Л great part of the vocabulary is constituted by special terms of international origin. The sphere of computer technologies alone enlarges the word-stock of different language vocabularies by thousands of new terms, such as "modem", "monitor", "interface", "hard disk", "floppy disk", "scanner", "CD-ют drive", "driver", "fragmentation", "formatting", "software", "hardware", etc. Most of such terms are borrowed from En­glish into other languages with preservation of their original form and sound- 1 ing (модем, монитор, интерфейс, сканнер, драйвер, фрагментация, форматирование). The rest are translated by way of loan-translation (жесткий диск, гибкий диск) and in other ways (software -компьютерные программы, hardware - компоненты ЭВМ). Adopted foreign terms submit to the grammar rules of the Russian and Ukrainian lan­guages while forming their derivatives and compounds (модемный, сканирование, переформатирование). The scientific vocabulary also abounds in set-phrases and cliches which introduce specific flavour of book-ishness and scientific character into the text (We proceed from assumption that ... , One can observe that... , As a matter of fact, ... , As is generally

accepted, ... ,).

One of the most noticeable morphological features of the scientific
prose style is the use of the personal pronoun "we" in the meaning of '7".
The scientific "we" is called "the plural of modesty". Syntax does not
differ much from that of the style of official documents. ,

The newspaper style. The basic communicative function of this style is to inform people about all kinds of events and occurrences which may be of some interest to them. Newspaper materials may be classified into three groups: brief news reviews, informational articles and advertisements. The vocabulary of the newspaper style consists mostly of neutral common liter­ary words, though it also contains many political, social and economic terms (gross output, per capita production, gross revenue, apartheid, single European currency, political summit, commodity exchange, tactical nu-\ clear missile, nuclear nonproliferation treaty). There are lots of abbrevia­tions (GDP - gross domestic product, EU - European Union, WTO -\ World Trade Organization, UN - United Nations Organization, NATO -North Atlantic Treaty Organization, HIV - human immunodeficiency vi­rus, AIDS - acquired immune deficiency syndrome, IMF - International


Monetary Fund, W. W. W. - World Wide Web). The newspaper vocabular­ies of the Russian and Ukrainian languages are overloaded with borrowings and international words (інтерв'ю, кореспонденція, інформація, репортаж, ідеалізація, ідеологія, соціал-демократ, монополіст, ініціатор), that is why the abundance of foreign suffixes (-ция, -ация, -изация, -изм, etc. ) is a conspicuous morphological fpaturp of the Russian and Ukrainian newspaper style. One of unattractive features of the newspa­per style is the overabundance of cliches. A cliche is a hackneyed phrase or expression. The phrase may once have been fresh or striking, but it has be­come tired through overuse. Cliches usually suggest mental laziness or the lack of original thought.

> Traditional examples of cliches are expressions such as it takes the biscuit, back to square one and a taste of his own medicine.

• Current favourites (in the UK) include the bottom line is ..., a whole different ball game, living in the real world, a level playing field,and moving the goalposts.

• Cliches present a temptation, because they often seem to be just what is required to make an effect. They do the trick. They hit the nail on the head. They are just what the doctor ordered. [See what I mean?]

• Here is a stunning compilation, taken from a provincial newspaper. The example is genuine, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. [That's a deliberate example!]

By their very naturecabarets tend to be a bit of a hit and missaffair. And Manchester's own 'Downtown Cabaret' is ample proofof that. When it was good it was very good, and when it was bad it wasawful. Holding this curate's eggtogether was John Beswick acting as compere and keeping the hotchpotch of sketches and songs running along smoothly.And his professionalism shone throughas he kept his hand on the tillerand steered the shown througha difficult audi­ence with his own brandof witticism. Local playwright Alan Olivers had previously worked like a Trojanand managed to marshal the talentsof a bevy ofManchester's rising stars.

Syntax of the newspaper style as well as syntax of any other bookish svle is a diversity of all structural types of sentences (simple, complex, com-


 




pound and mixed) with a developed system of clauses connected with each other by all types of syntactic connections. The coating of bookishness is creat­ed by multicomponent attributive noun groups, participial, infinitive and gerundi-al word-combinations and syntactic constructions of secondary predication.

Advertising newspaper materials (ads) may be classified and non-clas­sified. Classified ads are arranged topicwise in certain rubrics: "Births", "Deaths", "Marriages", "Sale", "Purchase", "Здоровье", "Меняю", "Сниму", "Услуги", "Знакомства", etc. Non-classified ads integrate all top­ics. Ads are arranged according to stereotyped rules of economizing on space. Due to this all non-informative speech segments are omitted intentionally, e. g.: Births. On November 1, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, to Barbara and John Culhane ~ a son. Здоровье. Антицеллулитный массаж. Пр. Ильича. 7а. Т. 345-44-65.

Graphically, the newspaper style is notable for the system of head­lines. The headlines have formed themselves into a specific genre. They com­bine three functions: gripping readers' attention, providing information and evaluating the contents of the article. To perform these functions newspaper headlines must be sensational, expressive and informative. Sentences in head­lines tend to be short, one-member or elliptical, affirmative, negative, inter­rogative and exclamatory.

The publicistic style. This style falls into the following variants: the ora­tory style (speeches, lectures and reports), the style of radio and TV pro­grams, the style of essays and journalistic articles. The most essential feature of the oratory style is the direct contact of the speaker with the audience. To establish and maintain this contact, the speaker continuously resorts to vari­ous language means of address: ladies and gentlemen, honourable guests, dear colleagues, dear friends, etc. Public speeches, radio and TV com­mentaries are crammed with syntactic stylistic devises of repetitions (direct, synonymic, anaphoric, epiphoric, framing, linking), polysyndeton, and parallel­isms. These devices aim at making information persuasive. Journalistic arti­cles and essays deal with political, social, economic, moral, ethical, philosoph­ical, religious, educational, cultural and popular-scientific problems. The choice of language means depends on the subject described. Scientific articles and essays contain more neutral words and constructions and less expressive means than articles and essays on humanitarian problems.

The belletristic style. This style attracts linguists most of all because th< authors of books use the whole gamma of expressive means and stylist! devises while creating their images. The function of this style is cognitive


esthetic. The belletristic style embraces prose, drama and poetry. The lan-ua%e of emotive prose is extremely diverse. Most of the books contain the authors' speech and the speech of protagonists. The authors' speech embod-es all stylistic embellishments which the system of language tolerates. The speech of protagonists is just the reflection of people's natural communica­tion which they carry out by means of the colloquial style. The language of drama is also a stylization of the colloquial style when colloquial speech is not only an instrument for rendering information but an effective tool for the description of personages. The most distinctive feature of the language of poetry is its elevation. The imagery of poems and verses is profound, implicit and very touching. It is created by elevated words (highly literary, poetic, barbaric, obsolete or obsolescent), fresh and original tropes, inversions, repe­titions and parallel constructions. The pragmatic effect of poetic works may be enhanced by perfected rhymes, metres, rhymes and stanzas.

The colloquial styles. These styles comply with the regularities and norms of oral communication. The vocabulary of the literary colloquial style comprises neutral, bookish and literary words, though exotic words and colloquialisms are no exception. It is devoid of vulgar, slangy and dialectal lexical units. Reduction of grammatical forms makes the style morphological­ly distinguished, putting it in line with other colloquial styles. Sentences of literary colloquial conversation tend to be short and elliptical, with clauses connected asyndetically.

The vocabulary of the informal colloquial style is unofficial. Besides neutral words, it contains lots of words with connotative meanings. Expres­siveness of informal communication is also enhanced by extensive use of stylistic devises. The speaker chooses between the literary or informal collo­quial style taking into account the following situational conditions: aim of com­munication, place of communication, presence or absence of strangers, per­sonal relations, age factor, sex factor, etc.

One of the variants of the informal colloquial style is the dialect. Dia­lects are regional varieties of speech which relate to a geographical area. The term dialect used to refer to deviations from Standard English which were used by groups of speakers. Political awareness has now given linguists toe current concept of a dialect as any developed speech system. Standard English itself is therefore now considered to be a dialect of English - equal in status with regional dialects such as Scottish or social dialects, or Black En-8Hsh. The concept of dialect embraces all aspects of a language from gram-^зі" to vocabulary. Nowadays linguists take a descriptive view of all lan-


;uage phenomena. They do not promote the notion of the superiority of Stan-lard English. This is not to say that Standard English and Received Pronunci-ition are considered equal to dialectal forms, but certainly attitudes are be-

:oming more liberal.

Writers have for centuries attempted to represent dialectal utterances in their work. Shakespeare often gave his yokels such items. Snout the tinker in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" says "Bv> lakin, a parlous fear". The novelist D. H. Lawrence represented the Nottinghamshire dialect in many of his novels by interspersing Standard English with utterances such as "Come into th'ut" spoken by Mellors in "Lady Chatterley's Lover". Some contempo­rary regional dialect forms are ones which have remained as such after being eliminated from what is now Standard English. An example of this is the Scottish kirtle which was replaced in Standard English during the Old English

period by skirt.

The lowest level in the hierarchy of colloquial styles is occupied by sub­standard or special colloquial English. At the first glance, substandard English is a chaotic mixture of non-grammatical or contaminated speech pat­terns and vulgar words which should be criticized without regret. However, a detailed analysis of these irregularities shows that they are elements of a system, which is not deprived of rationality. For example, the universal gram­matical form ain't is a simplified substitute for am (is, are) not, was (were) not, have (has, had) not, shall (will) not. there is (are, was, were) not: "І ain't sharin' no time. 1 ain't takin' nobody with me, neither"

(J. Steinbeck).

"It ain't got no regular name" (E. Caldwell).

"All 1 say ain't no buildings like that on no Florida Keys" і

(E. Hemingway). Economical means of substandard English coexist with redundant or ple^

onastic forms and contaminated syntactic structures: "Then let's us have us a drink" (T. Capote). "1 think it more better if you go to her, sir" (S. Maugham). "1 wants my wife. I needs her at home" (W. Faulkner). "Dey was two white mens 1 heerd about" (W. Styron). "Young folks and womens, they aint cluttered" (W. Faulkner). "1 want you guys should listen to Doc, here" (J. Steinbeck). "I used to could play the fiddle" (T. Capote). Substandard English speech abounds in obscene words marked in dictic naries by the symbol "taboo", vulgarisms (bloody buggering hell, danme


home-wrecking dancing devil), slangy words (busthead = inferior or cheap whisky, liquor, or wine which results in hangover; cabbage = money, ban­knotes, paper money; frog-eater = a Frenchman; a pin-up girl = a sexually attractive young woman, usually a movie celebrity, a model or the like) and specific cliches (dead and gone, good and well, lord and master, far and away, this here ...).

Substandard English is used by millions of people in English speaking countries. It is a conspicuous indicator of low language culture and educa­tional level. Being introduced into books, it becomes a picturesque means of protagonists' characterization. Russian and Ukrainian substandard languages have the same features. Compare: гренки, феномен, беспрецендентный. более моложе, мы хочем, я поняла, мы живем на 245 квартале, белые розы: что с ними сделал снег и морозы, библиотека для детей централизованной системы, подъезжая к станции, с меня слетела шляпа. It is not an easy thing for a translator to provide sufficient equiva­lence of translation in case with substandard languages. He must be a great expert on both the source and target language substandard resources.

The binary division of functional styles into bookish and colloquial is gener­ally accepted in the soviet and post-soviet stylistic school. In British stylistic theories we also meet two general terms which cover the whole set of partic­ular functional styles: Standard English and Substandard English. Standard En­glish embraces all bookish substyles and the literary colloquial style. Substan­dard English includes the informal colloquial style and special colloquial English. The term Standard English, as viewed by the British scholars, refers to a dialect which has acquired the status of representing the English language.







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