The lexical emotive means and stylistic devices

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Oxymoron is based on the interaction of logical and emotive meanings. It presents a combination of two contrasting ideas.

The oxymoron reveals the contradictory sides of one and the same phenomenon. One of its components discloses some objectively existing feature or quality, while the other one serves to convey the author’s personal attitude towards the same.

The structure of oxymoron is extremely varied. By most critics it is regarded as an attributive syntagma.

As soon as an oxymoron gets into circulation it loses its most characteristic feature of bringing two opposite ideas together and becomes a phraseological unit.


In the presented research we have tried to concentrate our major attention to the emotional impact created by some of the SD-s (together with the others) frequently met in the headlines of the newspapers. It can be concluded that the use of different stylistic devices combined together creates the particular and distinctive style of the newspaper headlines. Moreover, it indicates not only the newspaper style, but also emphasizes the identity of the English language linguistic regularities.

Stylistic devices make your speeches, essays etc. more interesting and lively and help you to get and keep your reader’s / listener’s attention.

The stylistic approach to the utterance is not confined to its structure and sense. There is another thing to be taken into account which, in a certain type of communication plays an important role. This is the way a word, a phrase or a sentence sounds. The sound of most words taken separately will have little or no aesthetic value. A word may acquire a desired phonetic effect only in combination with other words. The way a separate word sounds may produce a certain euphonic effect, but this is a matter of individual perception and feeling and therefore subjective. However there exist psychological works on the theory of sound symbolism. They checked the associations, which the tested people have with the definite sounds. Statistics shows that their answers coincide very often.

Verier St Woolman, one of the founders of the theory of sound symbolism claimed that a certain sound when pronounced clearly and strong has special meaning and feeling. For example the sound [d], when repeated often may produce an effect of something evil, negative and wicked. The sound of a word, or more exactly the way words sound in combination, often contributes something to the general effect of the message, particularly when the sound effect has been deliberately worked out. This can easily be recognized when analyzing alliterative word combinations or the rhymes in certain stanzas or from more elaborate analysis of sound arrangement.

The aesthetiс effect of the text is composed not only with the help of sounds and prosody, but with the help of sounds and prosody together with the meaning. The sound side of the belles-letters work makes a whole with rhythm and meaning and can’t influence the reader separately.

To influence aesthetically the sound part of the text should somehow be highlightened. An author can increase an emotional and aesthetic effect of his work through choosing the words, their arrangement and repetitions. Let’s see what phonetic SDs can secure this function.

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