Stylistics: Studying literary and everyday style in English

Dan McIntyre, Hazel Price

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Stylistics is often defined as the linguistic study of style in language. Style arises from motivated choice and choices have consequences. Stylistic analysis necessitates both linguistic description and an assessment of the interpretative consequences of whatever choice has been made. This chapter introduces some of the key areas and practices within stylistics, focusing particularly on how these areas and practices relate to the concept of foregrounding. Foregrounding occurs when our linguistic expectations are not met. It is caused by two phenomena: linguistic deviation and linguistic parallelism. Semantic foregrounding exploits expectations about lexical or sentence-level meaning. The chapter discusses particular issues that are crucial to contemporary conceptualisations of stylistics. It aims to clarify what objectivity means and how this impacts on stylistic analysis. The chapter discusses the distinction between literary and non-literary stylistics, and the notion of objectivity in stylistic analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of English Languages Studies
EditorsPhilip Seargeant, Ann Hewings, Stephen Pihlaja
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351001724
ISBN (Print)9781138913455
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks in English Language Studies


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