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Stylistics: Course Outline

ENG 321

Aims & Objectives

  • This paper trains and prepares students to tackle the original text of the great masters of English language so that their dependence on prepared notes, critics may be lessened.
  • This subject introduces the tools of linguistic analysis and trains the students to handle these tools to be used in literary and linguistic analyses.
  • To introduce students to the study of original text
  • To provide a ladder to the study of native English Literature
  • To introduce the tools of linguistics and literary criticism, to the study of literature

Course Outline


  • What is stylistics? Other methods of literary criticism
  • Stylistics as a bridge between linguistics and literary initiation


  • Literature as text and literature as discourse
  • The nature of literary communication
  • Literature as foregrounded language


  • The theory of deviation and its application to the study of poetry:
  • Lexical Deviation
  • Grammatical Deviation
  • Phonological Deviation
  • Semantic Deviation
  • Dialectal Deviation
  • Deviation of Register
  • Deviation of Historical Period


  • Repetition
  • Schema
  • Trope

Course Outline


  • Patterns of Style
  • Verbs
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Pronouns
  • Modals


  • Parallelism
  • Scheme as foregrounded repetitions of expressions e.g. Verbal repletion and its poetic effects, Rhythm and Rhyme. New concepts of meter such as measure
  • Tropes as foregrounded irregularities of content: Figurative language i.e. metaphor, oxymoron, synecdoche, irony, hyperbole, litotes etc.
  • Exercises in the use of poetic devices.


The appreciation of any short story and a novel with reference to concepts such as conflict, the narrative voice,  Irony etc. (Refer to other methods of literary analysis)

  • Teaching study skills for English literature: reading strategies, stylistic analysis, interpretation of texts in the class
  • Reviewing novels, and writing literary appreciation of short stories and poems. Book reviews assigned as assignments. Seminars discussing literary works from a stylistics point of view.

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