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ERIC Number: ED157392
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Target Structure and Rule Conspiracies: Syntactic Exploitation.
Stanley, Julia Penelope
Any theory of stylistics sets itself the task of accounting for choices made by a speaker/writer among theoretically available and more-or-less equivalent linguistic structures. This task is a stumbling-block in the way of most attempts to construct a theory of style because there is no consistent method of defining 'available structures' and identifying 'equivalent structures.' Linguists have begun to apply the corollary concepts of 'target or surface structures' and 'rule conspiracies' to syntactic structures. This study concentrates on the uses of one such target structure in English, the MODIFIER + NOUN construction. Treating MODIFIER as a target 'slot,' it is noted that many different kinds of linguistic units can occupy it and that this 'attributive' slot is used to control the information available to readers/hearers. Choice of this target structure has three effects: (1) some information is deleted; (2) certain propositions can be buried, and (3) whatever occurs in that position is cast as 'attributive.' Using a transformational analysis to constrain the possible choices, and contrasting the MODIFIER + NOUN target with another, NOUN + MODIFIER, it is shown that 'equivalent structures' create stylistic differences not only in their effects on readers/hearers, but also in the kind and amount of information conveyed. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Theory of Rhetoric Conference. (Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 5-6, 1978)