Home ADVANCED LEVEL MARKERS OF STYLE

MARKERS OF STYLE

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Definition

Markers of style are features of a discourse which enable us to identify or recognize its style. The markers of style are sometimes known as LINGUISTIC LEVELS.

The markers of style are categorized into five Linguistic levels that are;

  1. Graphological/ graphitic level
  2. Phonological/phonetic level
  3. Grammatical/structural level
  4. Lexical level
  5. Semantic level

1. GRAPHOLOGICAL LEVEL

This is the study of features of words. These are;

a) Paragraphing, capitalizing, punctuation and underlining

b) Italicization (to attract attention)

c) The use of diagrams

d) The choice of size of words (thick, bold, small, colour of words)

e) Blanketing of additional information ()

f) The use of abbreviations e.g. sth=something

g) The use of references e.g. fig. 45.3 or pg. no 35 are references

h) The use of numbers, listing letters of alphabet etc.

2. PHONOLOGICAL LEVEL

The study of patterns of sounds and it includes the following;

a) Pattern of rhythm, rhymes, pitch movement

b) Intonation (by capitalizing or italics in writing form)

c) Onomapoeiaic features e.g. bang, crush and drip

d) Pronunciation of words

3. LEXICAL LEVEL

Refers to the formality a Language employs.

The collocations of lexical words/items e.g. draw and picture (collocate in one variety=finest)

They include features like;

a) Reduplication (tick tock)

b) Clipping (shortened words e.g. telephone=phone)

c) Blending i.e. Brunch=(breakfast+lunch)

d) Acronyms e.g. UWT, NATO, OAU, etc.

e) Euphemism i.e. in Religious Language, for example.

Note; all these are used to attract attention and shortening.

4. GRAMMATICAL/STRUCTURAL LEVEL

This deals with grammatical rules both in morphological and syntactical levels. These are;

a) Sentence analysis

The type of sentence, length of sentence and incomplete sentences

b) Kinds of verbal groups

c) Choice of tenses

d) Choice of words and classification of words

e) Choice of clauses or phrases

5. SEMANTIC LEVEL (MEANING)

Here we deal with meaning beyond a single lexical item.

It includes all figures of speech e.g. smile, metaphor, irony, personification, metonym, synecdoche etc.

Note:

The above are markers of style or Linguistic levels, these markers of style help to identify different PROVINCES by looking the above features or characteristics of style. These provinces include the following;

DIFFERENT PROVINCES THAT ARE IDENTIFIED BY LOOKING THE MARKERS OF STYLE

LANGUAGE OF CONVERSATION

Common features of conversational style;

It is non-formal Language

It uses intimate, casual situations etc.

a) Syntactical features of conversational style;

Interjections e.g. My God! Oh! Come on! Etc.They are used to express emotions

Contractions e.g. what’s the matter? He’s ill, aren’t they? Don’t etc.

Attention getting devices for example; you see, listen now, well, see here, look here etc.

Hesitation (silence) or hesitation fillers like er…….um……erm……oh………. etc.

Question tags e.g. he is ill, isn’t he?

Shortened/minor sentences e.g. see you here, sorry to be late, coming just now etc.

Questions with short answers For example; Qn; Do you like fish? Answer; No! or not!

Incomplete sentences are common e.g. Teacher; why did you fail in your exams? Student; you know, I usually………I try to ……..but……..

Sentences begin with coordinating conjuctions e.g. and he did or but I do.

Repetitions are common e.g. now this girl, she is my best friend.

Randomness of the subject matter etc.

b) Phonological features of conversational style

It emphasizes intonation on certain words or phrases, using a louder volume or high pitch. For example, I am NOT talking to you. I am talking to HIM

Dialect pronunciation of words e.g. this=Is or dis and that=zat or zet.

The great use of onomatopoeic words and sound e.g. “whoosh” or “birr”

The use of paralinguistic devices e.g. moving the arms, head and racial muscles as a part of communication.

The use of intimate noise and changes of voice type or accent in order to humour.

c) Lexical features of conversation style

It avoids specialized terms such that words tend to be very simple in structure as it makes use of popular Language.

There are some ambiguities in sentences e.g. “that is the biggest one” which is unintelligible without further explanations.

Hyperbole are used as well as slangs, colloquial expressions and idioms

d) Graphological features

Written conversations are called a prose dialogue or Direct speech

In a prose dialogue we can find the following features

  1. Italics, bold, capital letters, underlined words to show unusually stress or emphasis
  2. Exclamation markers to show emotion E.g. God!
  3. Dots or dashes to show hesitation E.g. John ……,I mean ……

Qn. Attempt a stylistic analysis of the text below

Text A

Well, GEE…. Yeah, I mean, I’d sure like the HELP, I mean…….I WISH I could give you a lift, but I haven’t gotten any GAS in my automobile right now, Er, I guess you would take a CAB.

Answers

Province: social interaction/public relations

Medium: spoken

Formality: informal

Dialect: American English

The text above is an example of spoken informal American English belonging to the field/province of social interaction or public relations.

Evidences

a) Lexical features

Words like Gas, CAB, automobile (these are lexical markers of conversational American English).

Well, I mean, yeah, I guess (these are also lexical markers of spoken American English)

b) Geographical evidence

Contractions E.g. I’d, haven’t etc.

Hesitation and hesitation markers e.g. silent pause i.e. …… like in GEE…..er……

Capital letters like HELP, WISH, CAB etc.

c) Structural evidences

Personal style

Haven’t gotten- is the grammatical marker of American English.

SCIENTIFIC LANGUAGE (TECHNICAL STYLE)

Scientific Language is the one that implies a type of scientific English written by scientists for the consumptions of other scientists.

Generally, the Language of science concentrates on FACTS and OBJECTIVITY.

It is normally found in the text books and notes concerning various Academics such as Biology, Physics, Geography, Mathematics etc. it is also found in professional Journals, Magazines, Articles etc.

a) Graphological features of the scientific Language

  1. Much use of diagrams, figures, tables, frequent use of numbers, formulas, graphs, charts, maps etc.
  2. Uses a lot of chemical symbols and other symbols like KH2, H2O, Zn, H, H2SO4 etc.
  3. Clear headings
  4. If it is a report, there is a frequent numbering and arranged in a well format.

b) Grammatical features of a scientific Language

It uses complex sentences with a lot of post-modifiers for clarity. It may also use pre-modifiers

Note, modifiers tend to be specific and give a good description for the item concerned.

Noun phrases tend to be very difficult because the types of nouns used are very abstract like “signal”-that is abstract noun in nature.

It employs the passive finite form of a verb and this is used for the need of being impersonal.

They normally do not mention a doer (agent).

Simple past tense is very common e.g. it was discovered that………

The Bunsen burner was at………..

Auxiliary verbs are found though not in their normal uses.

Frequent repetition of lexical words so as to avoid the use of pronouns

Frequent use of the word “it” as an indefinite subject e.g. it was discovered that……..

c) Lexical feature of a scientific Language

  1. It employs a lot of borrowed terms like Botany, Biology, Zoology etc.
  2. Most of the terms in scientific Language tend to be Esoteric.. Esoteric means less known to people at all unless those of the same field/knowledge.
  3. Emotive loss of extra meaning in scientific Language.

Attempt a stylistic analysis of the text below;

Text B

Boil tomatoes in hot water, peel and chop.

Peel and chop finely the onion, chilies and garlic.

Heat 3tbsp. Oil in a frying pan.

Answers

Province- domestic science (cookery)

Medium-written

Formality-formal

The text above is a formal written recipe (a set of instructions for cooking)

Evidences

a) Lexical evidences

Boil, chop, peel, frying pan, heat (are lexical markers of recipe)

b) Graphological evidence

Enumeration of the instructions

Abbreviations e.g. 3tbsp

c) Structural evidences

Infinite forms of the verbs like boil, chop, peel etc. are structural markers of a scientific Language i.e. cookery.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS (WRITTEN LEGAL LANGUAGE)

General features

No ambiguity in legal documents

Legal Language does not change easily because it is for reading

a) Graphological features of legal Language

It uses numbering and listing system

Employs the use of headlines and sub-headlines

There is a clear paragraphing (using few sentences)

It uses simple punctuations in order to avoid ambiguities

Divisions into the sections of the initial words

Capitalization of the initial words

Underlined or written in special script

b) Grammatical features of a legal Language

It uses very long and complex sentences

It uses very long and complex post modifiers

Verbal phrases tend to be simple e.g. “shall” and “will”

Frequent modification of nouns

There is no questions and very few commands

No use of pronouns and other references and avoid ambiguity

Repetitions of similar items in order to avoid ambiguity i.e. noun could be repeated rather than using he, she, they etc.

It uses past tenses

c) Lexical features of a Legal Language

Archaic words/phrases i.e. reference items used to ensure clear identification of things e.g. hereby, herein, hereto, witness.

Verbs are usually not archaic in form

Complex prepositions are common e.g. in accordance with, in respect of, in ties of, the ground that etc.

Very rare use of adjectives

Use of passive voice

Collocations are commonly used

Adverbs of degree are not present in a legal Language

Verbs like deem, recognize, accept, agree are common.

Nouns like premier, proposal, condition, warrant, defendants, are commonly used. Most of them are abstractly e.g. proposal, declaration, condition etc.

Latin words are used e.g. declaration, stabled, registered, judicial, etc.

RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE

Here we base on the Language from Christianity. It is a formal variety in nature.

a) Graphological features of a Religious Language

It is in the arrangement of short lines like poetry.

Readers must pause after reading aloud each line

Paragraphs of the Language of Religion are not short, they are poetry like in stanza, rhythmical sounds also can be observed.

b) Grammatical features of a Religious Language

Frequent use of vocative phrases and imperatives for addressing e.g. Oh!, My God!, Lord hear our cry etc.

Relative clause is very common

Restricted to the use of present tense

It employs the use of suffixes e.g. –eth, -est etc.

There is the use of regular prepositions before the noun e.g. our father who art in the heaven.

It uses long sentences

It uses archaic expressions e.g. thou, thee, thy etc.

The use of complex nominal phrases e.g. Oh, God!, Almighty who has exalted thine only son.

LANGUAGE OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

It is the one that covers activities from seminars and lectures of discussion and formal speeches. The speech can vary from one specific area/activity to another. It can be formal or informal.

The speech can vary use lexical features to in order to capture the audience in some ways (to convince them, entertain, to clarify certain issues etc.)

General features/characteristics of a Language of public speaking

  1. Heading
  2. Greetings-starts at the highest to the lowest rank.
  3. Details-each paragraph shows the speech markers e.g. firstly, in addition etc.

Specific features/characteristics of a Language of public speaking

a) Grammatical features of public speech

The use of very long and complex sentences with coordinates.

Structural parallelism (incorporating “us” inductive pronoun).

Example: we are not a peaceful nation

We are not reasonably people in nature.

We have to unite for our cause.

Comparatives, prepositional phrases are common features

Hyphen (for uncertain of an after-thought).

b) Lexical features of a public speech

Borrowed words are commonly used.

The speaker may choose to use archaic words

Special lexical items may be used.

c) Semantic features of a public speech

Proverbs are likely to be used; especially the elders use it much.

Figurative Language is used e.g. metaphor, smiles, personification etc. these are important because they add color and humour.

d) Phonological features of public speech

There is the difference between a speech which is spoken without use of notes and speech in a written form (read speech). For example, hesitations i.e. well…..knows and contractions i.e. don’t etc. as well as sentence meaning together.

TEXT C

Yes sir……..I……that is…..No, sir……it wasn’t my fault, sir……OW!

Answers

Province-social interaction

Medium-spoken

Formality-informal

It is informal spoken English in the field of social interaction.

Evidences

Yes, No (are lexical markers of interactive English).

“sir” is a lexical marker of social setting that is the speaker is inferior to the audience.

Graphological evidences;

Hesitation e.g. I…….that is …..No (are markers of Graphological features of spontaneous Language).

Contractions e.g. wasn’t

Repetitions like the word “sir” which has been repeated several times

Some words are in capital letters to show where emphasis is placed e.g. OW!

LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISEMENTS

An advertisement refers to the business contact between two parts through a chosen media. The chosen media can either be a radio, TV, Magazine, newspapers, posters, tracks etc.

AIMS OF ADVERTISEMENTS

  1. To give information to the mass or the consumers
  2. To persuade people in different ways e.g. buying commodities
  3. To entertain the customers or people in general
  4. To warm
  5. To sell something or services

TYPES OF ADVERTISEMENT

There are two main types of advertisements which include the following;

DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS

These are the types of advertisements which aim at creating market. They are short advertisements in nature so as to reduce expenses/costs.

For example;

CAR FOR SALE

A USED CAR RAV 4

4 WHEEL DRIVER FOR COMFORTABLE

JOURNEY, GET IT AT CHEAPER PRICE

YOU CAN’T TRUST: CALL 0752 844 758

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS

These are the types of advertisements which do not create market but they aim at informing only. They are normally long advertisements e.g. JOB VACANCIES.

PARTS OF AN ADVERTISEMENT

  1. BOLD HEADLINE: The name of an item advertised e.g. NIVEA LOTION
  2. STANDING DETAILS: The advantages and precautions of an item.
  3. BRAND NAME: e.g. CONTACT METL
  4. CONTACT ADDRESS: P.O BOX 3657 DAR ES SALAAM NO. 112867.

TYPES OF SELLS APPROACH

In advertisements, there are mainly two types of sells approach they include;

HARD SELL APPROACH

This is relatively direct and straight forward advertisement. It argues the consumers to buy a particular product and given one or more reasons as to why that particular product should be bought. E.g. Buy AHA because it is the cheapest and the best.

SOFT SELL APPROACH

This method employs more suitable and indirect method perhaps a beautiful girl appears on a TV screen, she touches every eye, all men admire, all women enjoy and it is because the girl uses a certain soap or deodorant or gets clothes from a particular shop.

FEATURES/CHARACTERISTICS OF ADVERTISEMENTS

Uses persuasive, understandable, memorable and unambiguous Language. If it is a poster it should be readable.

The use of repetitions e.g. STEEL, STEEL, STEEL

Employs artistic devices E.g. think once, think twice, think thrice

There is the use of descriptive Language E.g. scientific calculator

Turbo engine

Negatives are normally used to emphasize E.g. Don’t say a soap, say REVOLA, Nothing refreshes than MALTA GUINNES

The use of positive adjectives such as a new, the best, modern

Tend to use imperatives (command)

E.g. Go now

Buy today

The use of intensifiers is common

E.g. very, absolutely etc.

Superlatives are commonly employed

E.g. the cheapest

The finest

The fastest

Use of figures of speech such as

a) EXAGGERATION

There is only one place where PRADO cannot pass (sky)

b) PERSONIFICATION

Coca-Cola welcomes you home

IPP cares for you.

LANGUAGE OF A NEWSPAPER REPORTING

A newspaper is composed of various items

E.g. News items

Article

Imaginative writing

Advertisement

Announcement etc.

FEATURES OF A LANGUAGE OF NEWSPAPER REPORTING

  1. The presence of a Bold headlines
  2. Composed of one sentence paragraph to avoid boredom
  3. The sentences are in;

a) Present perfect

E.g. “Mtoto abakwa”

“A child is raped”

b) Infinitive in nature

E.g. Nyerere to visit Dodoma

CCM to refine oil

  1. Information is normally presented in an interesting way so as to stimulate the reader
  2. Information is compressed into a limited space hence the need for clarity as well as avoidance of ambiguity.
  3. Common words are common mostly used as not to discourage a reader from proceeding reading.

POSTERS

A Poster is usually a symbolic design or picture meant to tell a story or convey information attractively to people or learners.

Posters incorporate visual combinations of images, lines, color, and words.

They are intended to hold the viewer’s attention at least long enough to communicate a brief message, usually persuasive one.

Posters can be used to highlight subject matters or to stimulate interest

FEATURES OF EFFECTIVE POSTERS

Must be colored and dynamic in nature.

Must be placed at a strategic point.

Must be dramatic and simple

It carries few words as possible

Visually attractive in terms of color, design and letters used.

Must be clear and simple for message.

Must aim at one main purpose.

Must be large enough.

NB: One drawback in using posters is that their message is quickly blunted by familiarity. Consequently they should not be left on display for too long

SIGNS

Nowadays many people use signs in various places to give information or warning. E.g. SILENCE PLEASE—LIBRARY

Now write the signs that are likely to be used in the following places;

A BRIDGE AHEAD – HIGHWAY

MENU – HOTEL

NO SMOKING – PETROL STATION

SELF SERVICES – SUPERMARKET

LEAVE YOUR SHOES BEHIND – MOSQUE

SAVING ACCOUNT – BANK

UNDER 18/X – CINEMA

BY AIR MAIL – ON THE ENVELOP

SPEAK ENGLISH/DON’T PASS ON THE GRASS – SCHOOL

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