Redefining Neutrality in Language and Discourse

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Abstract


This paper explores some aspects of functional stylistics with relation to discourse analysis. The basis of every stylistic research is the identification of a set of linguistic elements that determine stylistic variation in a context of speech. Without this basis, every unit of speech may be considered only optionally marked with no ground for the estimation of its relative significance or communicative value. It is argued in the paper based on the theory of ‘timbre strings’ (Konurbaev 2015) that contextual neutrality is primarily functional rather than purely stylistic in nature. Linguistic elements marked in the dictionary as stylistically marked may remain neutral in the context of stylistically comparable elements as is the case with the Bible or other context heavily fraught with inherently connotative elements. Every instance of stylistic markedness or neutrality can be determined against the broad stylistic background of the context under investigation. Intonation and timbre may serve as a good marker of stylistic hierarchy of elements in speech.

Marklen E Konurbaev

marklen@konurbaev.ru
The Lomonosov Moscow State University Lenin Hills, 1st Humanities (building 51), Moscow 119899, Russian Federation

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