Stylistics Essay

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What is stylistics? In the words of Short (1996, p.1), stylistics is “an approach to the analysis of 'literary texts using linguistic description”. Stylistics, from his submission deals with how literary and non-literary texts are analyzed through linguistic tools. As observed by Short, stylistics is both relevant in studying literary and non-literary texts. To understand stylistics, it is important to eliminate the artificial separation of language and literature. McRae (1997:120) criticizes the practice of treating literary study and language learning as separate subjects: Too often, in university systems all over the world, literature study is not related to language learning; one is considered something of a superior discipline, the other an inferior exercise (often entrusted to lower-level personnel). Language learning and literary study are interdependent and, in a specialist context, should be seen as complementary at all stages in the educational process. Widdowson (1975) sees stylistics not as a subject in its own right but as the link between two disciplines: linguistics and literary criticism. According to Widdowson’s model, the student may start from either language or literature and, passing through the intermediate stylistics stage, progress towards either linguistics or literary criticism. Brumfit and Carter (1986:3) also see a certain overlap between stylistics and literary criticism, the essential difference between the two being “the degree of detailed systematic attention given to the analysis of language” [Brumfit and Carter's italics]. Short and Candlin (1986:93) believe that the attention to language involved in stylistic analysis makes this approach particularly appropriate for nonnative speakers: The chief advantage is that, unlike English undergraduates, for example, foreign students have learned how to analyse sentences grammatically

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