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English Stylistics Class 2014. Syntactical SDs and EMs


Syntactical SDs and EMs: climax, anticlimax, antithesis, attachment, asyndeton, polysyndeton, break-in-the-narrative, chiasmus, detachment, ellipsis, enumeration, litotes, parallel constructions, question-in-the-narrative, represented speech, rhetorical questions, suspense, inversion, repetition.

Climax- a sentences arrangement, in which each following word is logically more important and emotionally stronger.

Ex: Better to orrow, better to beg, better to die!

Anticlimax- opposite to climax, a sudden change of thought  from the lofty to ridiculous by adding a weaker element to one strong ones mentiones before

Ex: The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money." - Mark Twain -


Antithesis- two points of sharp contrast set one against the other, generally in parallel constructions: Antagonistic features are more easily  perceived in similar structures

Ex: Setting foot on the moon may be a small step for a man but a giant step for mankind.

Attachment- the utterance is separated by a full stop from the first as if in the afterthought.The second part appears as an afterthought and is often connected with the beginning of the utterance with the help of a conjunction which brings the latter into the foregrounded opening position.

Ex: She and that fellow ought to be the sufferers, and they are in Italy.

Asyndeton- A rhetorical term  for a writing style that omits conjuctions between words, phrases, or clauses

"He was a bag of bones, a floppy doll, a broken stick, a maniac

Polysyndeton is a stylistic device in which several coordinating conjunctions are used in succession in order to achieve an artistic effect. Polysyndeton examples are found in literature and in day-to-day conversations.

Ex: “And Joshua, and all of Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had.”

Break-in-the-narrative-  a sudden breaking off of a thought in the middle of a sentence, as though the speaker were unwilling or unable to continue.

Ex: In your letter, last week, you made some reference to a- to a- fund of some kind...it's- well-risky...

Chiasmus a sudden change from active voice to passive, or vice versa: two syntactical constructons are parallel, but their words change places.

Ex: “Never let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You.”


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