Analysis of Scales of Formality in Language

1084 WordsMar 17, 20145 Pages
Analysis of Scales of Formality in Language I. Introduction Language varies for many reasons. Dr. Martin Joos (1907-1978), a distinguished professor of German, defined five kinds of style found in native central English according to the scales of formality, which is also applicable for research into all the languages. Each style--the intimate, casual, consultative, formal and frozen--has its characteristic code labels and serves its unique social function. II. Description of scales of formality According to the scales of formality in language, the five styles can be further categorized into two categories. And they are respectively formal styles and informal styles. 2.1 Formal styles 2.1.1 Frozen style The label "frozen style" seems confusing at first sight. In fact it is language used in a text that is read and will be re-read. And the label serves Professor Joos well in his task of identifying the unique nature of literature, considered in terms of its function, its significance at tributes, and the nature of the creative process which makes it. So the frozen style can be regarded as a formative style. When it comes to suitability and specific examples, then we can see that literary texts, religious rituals, historic documents all exemplify frozen language. To name a few, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the Preamble to the US Constitution. 2.1.2 Formal style The overall tone of formal style is polite and impersonal. As for the suitability and examples, formal style is appropriate for official documents, computer documentation, scholarly articles and books, technical reports and letters with a negative message and so on. 2. 2 Informal styles Compared with the two formal styles (frozen style is more formal than formal style) above, there are three other language styles can all be categorized into the informal styles. 2.2.1 Consultative style As the

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