Figures de styles

> > Figures de styles ; écrit le: 15 novembre 2011 par La rédaction

A figure of speech, from Latin figura, is a method of expression that differs from the ordinary use of language and gives expression to the particular subject. Also referred to as ‘figure of speech.’ While some authors make distinctions within the scope of the two expressions, everyday in fact synonymous.

Figures of speech, related to the origin to the art of rhetoric, are a feature of texts called ‘literary’, they are however, a common use in everyday interactions, written or oral, at least for some of them, as illustrated by the metaphors of Captain Haddock offensive example.

In general, figures of speech are at stake is the meaning of words (figures as a metaphor for substitution or understatement, the antithesis or oxymoron), or their sound (alliteration, paronomasia for example) or, finally, their order in the sentence (anaphora, gradation of the most important).They are characterized by the processing complex linguistic, stylistic involving the will of the speaker, and produces the desired effect on the listener, the context and the cultural reference as well.

Each language has its own figures of speech, their translations are often problematic loyalty over the desired image. Therefore, this article deals only with figures of speech in French.

Figures of speech are a vast complex of various processes and study difficult. Scholars have identified, from the Greco-Roman antiquity (with Cicero, Quintilian) hundreds of figures of speech and scholars have attributed the names and then tried to classify them (Fontanier Dumarsais).

Modern linguistics has renewed the study of writing processes by introducing new criteria, identification and classification, based in turn on stylistics, psycholinguistics, or pragmatics.The mechanisms of figures of speech are indeed investigated neurolinguistic and psychoanalysis.

Linguistic and stylistic figures of speech

Plurality of meanings

The formation mechanism figures of speech are difficult to conceptualize, there are many definitions of the concept. Modern linguistics retains three:

‘Effect of meaning produced by a particular construction of the language that differs from the most common use, figures of speech can alter the meaning of words, change the order of words in the sentence and so on. ‘

This pluralism of definitions leads to different and varied types. However most are based on three aspects: the effect sought by the sender and the receiver in the first place (eg surprise, laughter or fear) the process used, a participant aesthetic style (in fact, every writer uses a ‘figurative stock’ given), and finally the semantic dimension (the idea conveyed).Bacry emphasizes the importance of context, itself dependent on the cultural framework.

Figures microstructure and macrostructure

The types provided by the classic works are characterized by their heterogeneity. Modern writers explore alternative approaches and classify figures according to the ‘discursive level’ in which they operate by distinguishing between, on one hand, the microstructural figures (isolated on a specific element of discourse, often positioned at the sentence level) macrostructure and figures on the other (non-reportable segments on a specific element of discourse, beyond the limits of the sentence and the interpretation depends on the consideration of context). The size of the figures makes it possible to distinguish them: ‘As soon as the figures are complicated, they emerge more clearly, acquire property and become more rare,’ hence the singular refinement.

Some figures say macrostructure, are often composed of more minor figures: the irony, a figure difficult to classify, for example, or allegory, hypotyposis.Figures microstructural achieve localized effects and subtle. The distribution of figures of speech in the speech can be in the form of a spectrum is more complex: at the word level are the tropes). Then, some figures relate to the entire phrase as an oxymoron. They may also involve a full proposal (eg inversions). Finally, in the text one can find complex figures such as irony or hypotyposis. Highly technical figures or tropes such as chiasmus example may be more complex figures, spanning whole sentences, as hypotyposis, is characteristic that may involve a dozen figures ‘minor’.

Figures of speech are operating on two main language

One can imagine the operations leading to the formation of figures and effects defined by positioning them on a double axis which is constitutive of the language (described by Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson). The syntagmatic axis first materialized in praesentia figures, the discursive co-present in a speech (ega word is repeated, a word is compared, etc.). Here two or more objects refer to themselves within the strict limits of syntax and according to rules of morphology, phonetics, lexicology and grammaticality (meaning). This axis describes the figures that are given as in praesentia (linguistically present). The appeal made by these operations to the symbolic universe and extra-linguistic is very low, the image is contained in the sentence. Bacry summarizes the property of this axis from the point of view of the producer statement:

‘Every moment of a given sentence the speaker (…) make a choice among all the words that can be reconciled with the syntax of [the] sentence’

The paradigmatic axis (Figures in absentia) embodies elements no longer referred to the speech but everything around: enunciative universe, context, mixed feelings, symbols. Here the figure established strong relationships between elements in the speech (word, group of words, phonemes, morphemes) and items missing from it.The receiver must therefore represent the missing reference, asking him to implement his mental world and shared knowledge. This axis describes the figures say in absentia, virtual context. The image here is as strong as possible while the morpho-syntactic constraint is released. The figures represent the tropes operating exclusively on this axis.

There are mixed figures, operating on both axes, as metaphor or metonymy, which have a separate status.

Figures are operating on all linguistic signs

On the first grapheme, in fact several figures change the letters of the alphabet, such as methods Oulipian or palindrome,

Then the phoneme (accents, sounds, syllables, vowels and consonants, vowels and consonant groups, metrical feet). The main figures here are poetic and rhythmic order as alliteration and assonance (game sounds), the homéotéleute, grading as well.

The morpheme that is to say the words, phrases, particles and conjunctions, codes typographical, punctuation, etymology, and the hypotaxis, asyndeton etymologica or imagined.

Finally, the sow is the connotation, polysemy, the lexicon, the word, antonyms, synonyms, or paronymy on the semantic fields as well. This is the case of the most known: metaphor, comparison, oxymoron.

However this is less of a defining criterion, since it rules out the effect and intent, as a way to identify or reveal what level of speech figures of speech involved. This classification is used mainly in education, teaching learning figures of speech most used, especially in the exercise of the comments made.

Style figures and processes

Apart from traditional methods of classification are figures of speech to the properties and nature unclassifiable. Often defined as ‘processes of style’ they form a virtually infinite and fine line, combining several aspects.First of all the specific writing of an author (his style) can define processes style often seen as figures of speech in its own right. For example, the imagery and colorful San Antonio itself is the assembly of numerous figures. Moreover, the ‘constraints’ Oulipian, the name of the Ouvroir of Potential Literature, which are figures of no effect and profit, but which are within the aesthetic manifesto of the movement (like an anagram or lipogram, etc.) are classified as figures of speech when they operate in simple manipulations of language. In themselves they are sufficient in themselves, in that they allow to test the flexibility of language.

The use of drawing, as in the case of calligrammes or letters-including pictures is another creative style, as well as the manipulation of the syntax:by deconstruction (Louis Ferdinand Celine writing for example), by automatic writing (the poem by Louis Aragon buoy for example), or hermetic (as in the poem by Stephane Mallarme entitled Homage), for broken or about to open. The use of puns also a wide range of stylistic effects. Finally, operations on the graphic material, such as onomatopoeia, changing the typeface (white typographical specific poetic novel), the use of non-standard punctuation or deleting punctuation (aesthetics of modern experimental poetry, called ‘white’ or include the New Roman) processes are often seen as figures of speech.



Greek rhetoric

Plato is the first to mention the figures of speech through his dialogues, especially the Gorgias and the Phaedrus.He is interested in allowing the speech to clarify his thoughts (the λόγος, logos) to best express the idea to communicate in a hermeneutic approach or midwifery. Plato distinguishes two rhetorical arts, the other one seriously sophisticated, the difference being in the proper use of logic and figures on the desired effect in the receiver (in the true rhetoric to convince, seduce the fallacy). Plato defined by that part of the construction figures of speech (the so-called arguments); over his constant use of images and analogies as the allegory of the cave, the exemplifications also make it aesthetically a usage model style, beyond a simple use of argumentative rhetorike teknik (Greek rhetorical technique).

That Aristophanes of Byzantium, which establishes the first lexicographic directory containing many figures. The speakers put out great force of argumentative and suggestive figures, such Demosthenes, Lysias and Isocrates.

Aristotle is itself the first in its rhetoric, to study the effect of figures of speech on the receivers, through three types of social persuasion through language, built around an effect is logical or emotional. His other work of renowned Poetics respect to the theatrical genre and the concept of imitation (mimesis in Greek) is still thinking about the illocutionary effects. He then defines the terms of a ‘language found seasonings’ acting either on rhythm or the melody or singing. Aristotle perceived by that major figures of speech, the obvious ones is because playing on the modulation of words (rhythm, melody and vocals). Aristotle is going to allow his followers – including medieval – classifying figures of speech through their effects.

Latin rhetoric

The Roman orators define a new rhetoric to meet the conditions prescribed in the public statement by the Protocol Latin. Echoing Aristotle, the Romans will make it more convenient rhetoric.

Cicero, in his book, including the founder of the invention, a speech effectively divided into three parts: narratio, and confirmatio peroratio. Each is explained by the implementation of specific figures related to the use of arguments and evidence. Two levels of impact are considered: the pathos, πάθος in ancient Greek, (playing on the feelings of the listener) and ἔθος ethos (the speaker is in a certain appearance). This gives rise to a range of capabilities held by the speaker to enliven his speech, including: the elocutio which corresponds to the choice of words and the mobilization of figures of speech. For Cicero, so they become a conscious instrument used by the issuer, in order to cause an effect in the receiver. Other works of the Roman orator continued reflection on the categories of speech: Brutus or Dialogue of illustrious speakers, speakers perfect and above the Topics which focus on arguments and their format, hence the figures will result so-called ‘topical’Family pictures and’ topoi ‘(clichés, platitudes …).

In the Rhetorica Herennius first hand the art of speaking, the anonymous author codifies the rhetoric and provides a method of formation of discourse, through, among others, figures of speech.

‘All styles of speech, style, high, medium, are simply embellished by figures of speech which will be discussed further. Arranged sparingly, they enhance the speech as would the colors. Placed too many, they overload ‘

It defines two types of figures of speech: the figures of words and figures of thought that the Romans called tropes (referring to the broad definition is to ‘turn’ the word in some way, to impose an image and a then strain). He distinguished a series of figures, he calls precisely, ranging from portrait to understatement. Some figures that they keep acquiring the name in our modern classifications (hyperbole, personification, comparison …).

Quintilian in his oratory Institutions feeds reflections Medieval and Renaissance. It distinguishes figurae sententiarum and figurae verborum, namely: ‘figures of thought’ and ‘figures of speech,’ giving the word a seated figure is his rhetoric today. His face known as the ‘mnemonic hexameter Quintilian’ frame allows the use of effects and the relevance of arguments. It defines two types of figures: in a broad First, the figure is a particular form of discourse, which is the etymology of the figure and the trope. Second, in a strict or narrow sense it allows the author to change the poetic figures of speech. Indeed, for Quintilian, a figure induces a deviation from a norm of discourse, a non-conventional processing. He then throws the basics of style and suggests that the figure of speech is a thoughtful perspective and aesthetic adopted by the issuer, value of meaning in other words.These differences language he calls the ‘barbarians’ are generators of effects:

‘Some do not consider solecisms these three vices of language, and they call the addition, redundant, and the entrenchment, ellipse, inversion, anastrophe, claiming that if these figures are solecisms, it can be said the hyperbaton ‘

It defines levels of transformations leading to an increased sense. More generally, Quintilian will review all the figures known at the time, inherited from the Greeks. Quintilian distinguishes the pure language – the ‘specific words’ in his words – and the ‘metaphorical words’ which are a transformation:

‘The words are those that own retain their original meaning, the metaphors are those that are to where they are placed a direction other than that they have naturally. About the words used are those whose jobs are most secure. It is not without some danger that creates new;because if they are received, they add little to the discourse of merit, and if they are not, they give us the same ridiculous ‘

The Roman historian Tacitus, in his Dialogue of the speakers, as figures of speech related to the description in order to animate his portraits of Roman emperors (he created the hypotyposis particular). It creates sort of the narrative genre making use of images and harbinger of novels. The Treaty of the Sublime, attributed to Pseudo-Longinus is the birth of the concept of literary style, seen as free but required to cause aesthetic emotion. Longinus has a powerful influence on Classicism, particularly on Nicolas Boileau, who translated into French and discusses its contribution to Critical Reflections on Longinus (1694-1710). The latter defines the sublime as the essence of literary art and poetry, which must be raised to stand out from the spoken language and vulgar people, ‘the sublime delights, transports, produces a certain admiration mixed with wonder and surprise … When the sublime breaks out, it flips like lightning’. Longer true and conventional style is likened to ‘sublime’ (Racine, Malherbe …) and the images contribute significantly in building a beautiful style to evoke the noble ideas (including religious).

Middle Ages and Renaissance

La Pléiade

The Renaissance was a period rich in rhetorical treated. Gradually, the tropes and figures will be the subject of a new science: the grammar. The authors of the new Pléiade make use figures of speech such as personification or anaphora as in the third stanza of the poem from the Antiquities of Rome by Joachim Du Bellay:

Rome Rome is the only monument, Rome and Rome defeated seulement.Le Tybre alone, who fled to the sea, remains of Rome. O worldly inconstancy! What is firm is destruit time, and what is leaking, the weather resistance

The figures sound as purely poetic assonance and alliteration, are also used, following the principle of enrichment of the French language, exalted by Joachim Du Bellay in his treatise Defence and illustration of French (1549). At the same time, in 1539, the Edict of Villers-Cotterets requires the use of the French language, national language for all administrative acts. The Pleiades advocates the formation of a national language, French, with a flexibility and richness comparable to the Latin language. Therefore the poets around Du Bellay and Ronsard Pierre will continue to enrich the language, sometimes to excess, of neologisms and new images, breaking the stereotypes of the time. Moreover, the Pleiades is based on the notion of inspiration, in the words of Horace, and advocates the ‘innutrition ‘expression of their invention which is defined as the assimilate the words and images of the ancients and the adapt to the language of the poet, a creative imitation in the end.Nevertheless it is the renewal that are looking for poets, following the instructions of the author of Defense:

In addition Du Bellay, after making the defense wants to ‘illustrate’ the French language. This can occur as ornamentation, as Pierre Ronsard defined as:

‘The adorning and enriching of figures, charts, Tropes, metaphors, phrases and circumlocutions eslongnées almost all, or at least separate the trivial and vulgar prose (because the style is prosaic enemy capital of poetic eloquence), and illustrating comparisons suited florid descriptions, that is to say enriched trimmings, embroidery, tapestry and weaves poetic flowers, both to represent the thing for the ornament and glory of worms ‘

He points to the importance of direct figures of speech in the renewal of the language and the power of expression, in its clarity as well. They are the perpetrators of the Pleiades a source of abundance, copia.Pierre Ronsard and Du Bellay like to compare them with a floral or ‘groceries’ for them, the tropes are the language as if the text was a dish to taste.

Ramus and the College of Presles

Pierre de la Ramee (Ramus said) and his followers, and Antoine Omer Talon Fouquelin, founded in 1545 as the group of grammarians College Presles which, until 1562, publishes books study the rhetoric Ciceronianus titles they offer, among other things, a typology of the tropes and methods of eloquence. Antoine Fouquelin particularly in its French Rhetoric (1555) is one of the first in France to turn either to the value of the figures but by the nature of the figural mechanisms, we can say with Fouquelin, rhetoric is meant to scientific and classifier. It distinguishes between ‘figures of sentence’, the ‘reluctance’ and ‘correction’. We have already Fouquelin with a scientific attempt to name and classify figures and tropes by their language mechanism. For Chaim Perelman Ramus’removes the rhetoric of Aristotle’s two main parts, the invention and disposition, to give him the speech. ‘ Ramus thus allows a ‘rhetoric of figures.’

Classical Period

The Sublime

The strict codification of the rules especially drama and poetry, under the leadership of Nicolas Boileau theorists such François de Malherbe or lead to a first classification of figures of speech, whose main criterion is that they should not obscure the ideas of author but to express more clearly the message. The register must always remain the domain of the sublime, in keeping with the requirements of Longinus. Father Bernard Lamy mentioned him during the debate on the natural order of words and its relation to formal logic, in his rhetoric or the art of speaking, the figures of speech are the particular language of the passions. Ultimately, the strength of the impression they have on the listener is their ability to subvert the natural order of words in the sentence.Lamy is the case for the antithesis of hyperbaton, suspension, to the detriment of the clear exposition of ideas. Later Fenelon next Lamy, announced that the drought of French prose is because we respect too the natural order of ideas in the proposal, and we ostracized the figure of inversion, however, source of variety and eloquence, the style for him from then non-compliance of the linearity of speech.

Figures of speech and literary genres

At the same time develop the figures of style of thought, particularly with Molière, and more generally that of irony. The current marginal Preciousness world literature leading to new figures pun free and useless, however, some of which remain in the culture (hyperbole, understatement etc.).. L’Astrée of Honoré d’Urfé and Clelia, Roman history of Madeleine de Scuderi are the expressions of gender. The par excellence is commonly used by moralists such as La Bruyère, as well as figures from the hustle and the portrait (ethopée, mainly personification).Jean de La Fontaine excelled in turn to use the figures of construction that provide the flexibility to his Fables (accumulation, graduation) and those thinking of making the analogy and image (fable, gnomisme). The development of such arguments with the types of sermon and pamphlet, led the authors to uncover a variety of figures operating on the syntactic level (hypallage, preterition). Social development of the novel finally brings the number of figures contrast (oxymoron, antithesis) and analogy, including Margaret of Navarre and his prettiest, and Charles Sorel Francion, Madame de La Fayette, finally, with La Princesse de Cleves first book of its kind.

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

In the medieval period, many successive treaties and manuals of rhetoric attempting to propose a classification of the ornaments of speech. Bernard Lamy’s Rhetoric in the first or the art of speaking (1675) states that the strength of the impression that the figures have on the listener is their ability to subvert the natural order of words in the sentence.César Chesneau Dumarsais (Treaty of Tropes, 1730) describes the use of tropes in speech, supporting examples. The Scotsman Hugh Blair (Rhetoric, 1783), Gabriel-Henri Gaillard (Rhetoric des Demoiselles, 1807), Peter Manuel Fontanier his classic study of Tropes (1827), François De Caussade (Rhetoric and Literary Genres, 1881 ) and Paul Prat (Elements of Rhetoric and Literature, 1889) finally publish treatises on rhetoric that prepare modern analysis. Both authors are particularly significant in France: Dumarsais and Fontanier.

César Chesneau Dumarsais

César Chesneau Dumarsais tropes in his Treatise (1730), his major work, explains first what is the figurative style, and shows how this style is common, and in writings and in conversation, he describes the use of tropes in speech, his comments supporting examples. He calls a special kind of trope figure that changes the meaning. The figure is well, literally and in accordance with its etymology, the external shape of a body.It defines ‘trope’ (a concept not yet differentiated from that of figure of speech) as:

However, Dumarsais remains on the semantic aspect and n’entrevoit never, or rarely, the language mechanism at work in the figure of speech, and thus omits many of them. His contribution lies in the fact that he showed the universality of the figures, any type of production, written or oral, has in fact use of figures of speech ‘There is nothing so natural, so ordinary and so common that the figures in the language of men. ‘ He also popularized the idea that thoughts are generated and shaped by language.

Fontanier and Pierre Thomas De Quincey

Fontanier Pierre, editor of the famous comment of tropes From March, is the first theorist of figures of speech, through two reference books. In 1821 he published the classic textbook for the study of tropes, which is adopted as a textbook in public schools (for class of rhetoric).Then in 1827, in the figures of speech, he focuses the first to propose a scientific classification and there are seven classes. It reduces the tropes of three exemplary figures: metonymy, synecdoche and metaphor, but his interest lies in the fact that he was able to offer precise definitions for the figures recorded (and it includes 82 figures). His classification system is the first to be based on systematic and logical operations as the cause, the result, the container, the possession but also the feeling, the effect that the figure aroused in the receiver. Fontanier was able to describe a real theory of tropes – without being exhaustive in their listing – that has contributed significantly to modern classifications, such as Gérard Genette structuralist.

Thomas De Quincey, English essayist, published in his Essay on rhetoric, language, style (sum of essays published from 1828 to 1851) and referenced a modern theory of figures of speech. For him, style is ‘the incarnation of thought ‘, and his mind tends to significantly nascent phenomenological philosophy, the alder of empiricism. Nevertheless, De Quincey does not, strictly speaking, the classification system, but it opens the world of figures of speech, then considered by those tropes, the study of acts of thought which derives the style:

‘Sometimes the images are neither the simple clothes of a foreign thought, nor likely to be detached from the thought, but they are definitely the factor that builds the mind, because it adds to something else by giving that thought a third and distinct existence ‘

The figure is for him ‘a mind in motion.’ Organicist much of the art of writing, de Quincey considers the figures of speech such as referring to and providing access to the juncture (from Horace term denoting the ratio between sentences) of authors in their individual minds, their visions of the cosmos in short.Already close to the structuralist and Paul Ricoeur, he invented new concepts to the tropes that prefigure modern research, from the premise that it is their arrangement and layout in the sentence that determines their functions and motivate their rhetorical effects. Thus he speaks of ‘textile process,’ giving rise to the metaphor of the text as architectural fabric.

In the twentieth century

Experimentation: Surrealism and the Oulipo

In addition to authors and poets who naturally understand the potential of language to discover new turns of thought and language processing, the twentieth century saw the show different trends specialist at the confluence of new sociological theories, psychoanalytic and linguistic will reinterpret the formation mechanism figures out aesthetic vision. In general, throughout the twentieth century, ‘rhetoric was reduced to its most languages, in other words the theory of figures‘In defiance of the discourse itself and its social and relational dimension.

Surrealism is the movement founder of a modern poetic reinterpretation of figures of speech. Based on the axiom that language has to be reinvented, the surrealists are routinely used analogies and tropes, cut off from any conventional reference semantics. Games on the sounds or spellings will enable them to form new kinds of texts to be taken over by the second innovative movement in this area: the Oulipo. Language laboratory experiment, the authors of the Oulipo will create an entirely new line of figures based on the concept of duress as the method most n S (from the ‘S 7 method’ developed by Jean Lescure in 1961), combinatorial literature – which enabled Raymond Queneau writing Hundred Thousand Billion Poems – but also poems based on Boolean set theory.The authors Oulipians thus form a new class of graphic figures (lipogram, anagram) or morpho-syntactic (palindrome), revisiting old techniques often ignored by conventional literature, leading to generate new kinds of texts and even new genres. Georges Perec wrote What a bike handlebar chrome at the back of the court? that offers multiple uses of figures of speech. The collective work Literature also offers a potential list of new faces and Oulipian constraints that reveal the plasticity of the figures of speech.

Rediscovery: Gerald Antoine and Henri Morier

The twentieth century confirms the rediscovery of figures of speech and rhetoric. For Bernard Dupriez, this rediscovery is done in two steps. ‘In France, the first step towards a revival in the study of figures of speech in 1959. Gerald Antoine, who was then professor at the Sorbonne, proposed to study the great writers in terms of their processes. ‘

The second step is the publication of the Dictionary of poetics and rhetoric of Henri Morier, proposal ranking among the most complete. Henri Morier, a history professor of French at the University of Geneva, founder of the Poetry Center, performs with his dictionary, in fact, a major work from Pierre Fontanier. Its ambition is to reinvent the rhetoric in a more technical aspect, enlightened by the discoveries and advances in modern language. It unearths such as missing figures and attempts to define each process.

Figures of speech and language

The linguist Roman Jakobson, creator of the functions of language and communicative scheme, considers that the figures of speech make use of referential and the poetic function of language. There are also two poles: the ‘pole metaphorical’ and ‘metonymic pole’, dominating the whole structure of language and allowing respectively to make selections and combinations. This dual concept has resulted to the axes of the phrase and the paradigm.

Similarly, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur in The Rule of Metaphor (1975) examines the creative process leading to cognitive metaphor, which represents the prototype of all other figures, the original transformation in short. Ricoeur is at the origin of a new design, more universal, of metaphor, more interdisciplinary. He said the metaphor reflects a cognitive process not leading to a single linguistic phenomenon transport direction, but especially related to the imagination or memory.

Μ The Group has provided, in the 1970s, a typology of all rational rhetorical figures, collected in the book General Rhetoric. The group ‘the school of Liège’ is indeed composed of linguists Jacques Dubois, Francis Edeline, Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, Philippe Minguet, F. Worse, Hadelin Trinon and is a transdisciplinary approach, they are the first to theorize as figures of speech processes translatable in all art, the notion of ‘visual semiotics’.For these authors, figures of speech are ‘metabolism’, generic concepts to a similar group in all the figures available, the term for ‘any kind of change either in words or in sentences.’ Their typology is based on the basis of four basic operations: deletion, addition, deletion, addition, permutation. They have forged new concepts to group figures, identifying four types of linguistic operations possible: métaplasme (phonetic or morphological change of a word that alters its integrity by addition, deletion, substitution or permutation), the métataxe (modification syntax of a statement that alters the integrity of the addition, deletion, substitution or permutation) and the metalogical (modification semantics of a statement that alters its internal coherence and its reference value by addition, deletion or substitution).


Structuralism, with Roland Barthes, leads to formalize a poetic (reflection built on creative writing) focused on the context. Figures of speech appear neologism created by, seen as articulations of speech implementing, in an expository, the subjectivity of the author. Gérard Genette in his works Figures (3 volumes) to study the assembly of stylistic devices in large textual collections resulting in isolation of the major trends of genres. Barthes’s contribution lies mainly in a single criterion classification as holding a double transformation. There are two main types of figures: the metabolism (substitution of one signifier to another, such as puns, metaphors and metonymy) and parataxes (modifications of the relationship between signs such as anaphora, ellipses and anacoluthon). Barthes makes a linguistic definition of figure of speech: ‘The figure of speech is defined as an operation that, from a simple proposition, change some elements of this proposal.’This view of figure of speech is largely mechanistic and structural transformation taking place along two dimensions: the nature of the relationship (playing the content, the signified) and the nature of the operation (playing on the form of the signifier). From there, Barthes describes two plans necessary for the effect of style: operations encompassing rhetorical figures of diction and construction figures from the old rhetoric, but by implementing four basic transformations are: the addition, the deletion, substitution and exchange and relationships: identity, difference, similarity and opposition. This plan is based, at the most basic level, the concept of sowing and will be taken over by Algirdas Julien Greimas (Structural Semantics, 1966) and Jean Cohen (Structure of poetic language, 1966). The scope of the contribution of Barthes and the structuralists in general is their desire to reduce the facts of language mechanisms essential in connection with the sexual theories of Sigmund Freud.The particular nature of the relationship (identity / difference) means for example, Barthes in the Oedipus complex and explains the effect on the receiver. Nevertheless, we can blame in the sense of Barthes relativism, psychologism of his vision of a phenomenon that belongs to the final aesthetic field and the creative act.

Modern research

Modern research is characterized by a wide variety of approaches and a concern for operational classification of the figures. Catherine Fromilhague are called the ‘new rhetoric’.

Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958), in their arguments reminiscent of the Treaty of argumentative value of the figure, according to the theory of Aristotle, the figure becomes a fundamental (rather than an ‘ornament’ optional) the act of enunciation, even incorporating a range transphrastique (beyond the sentence). They also ask that any figure of speech is a summary of argument: for example, the metaphor condenses analogy.

The study group Romania, consisting of P. Servien and S.Marcus, the Bulgarian Julia Kristeva also question the notion of difference, preparing the work of the group μ. Gui Bonsiepe (Visual / Verbal Rhetoric, 1965) offers him a division of the figures as ‘syntactic’ and ‘semantic’.

Olivier Reboul he tries to Introduction to Rhetoric (1991), a major academic book. It looks, after exposing several centuries of rhetoric and speech coding, to reconcile inherited from Aristotle’s argument – which seeks to persuade – and the figures of speech, which forms the style. Reboul proposes to revise the definition of figures of speech alone (not including all the figures). It defines these as ‘A method of style to express themselves in ways both free and codified’ rejecting the notion of difference as constitutive of the figure, he says ‘free’ because the speaker ‘s is not required to use them to communicate and ‘codified’ as each figure is a ‘known structure, identifiable, transferable’, And always related to pathos.

George Molina, in his Dictionary of Rhetoric (1992), develops a methodology similar to that of Henri Morier. It is the source of the distinction between those figures is microstructure (as in ‘this morning on the subway, a mammoth was sitting next to me’) and those being macrostructure (‘This girl is really beautiful’ by example).

Michel Meyer History of rhetoric from the Greeks to the Present (1999) is a philosophical and historical figures of speech, as part of the argument, the basis of rhetoric.

Definition and characteristics

Principle: a deviation from the normal use of language

The author (from the Latin auctor, auctoris) is, etymologically, ‘one who increases, that moves.’ The contribution of the writer comes in part from his style, that is to say of all means of expression he uses in his remarks and that reflect his personality, that sums up the famous formula Buffon:’Style is the man.’ This way of writing own is based in particular on the use of figures of speech, from Latin figura, word for an object. These are deviations from the common language. The author amplifies his speech through the use of figures, including the use of imagery, but not only. Pierre is the first Fontanier who developed the theory of the figure-gap. Many figures of speech also have interest to act on the rhythm, the syntactic construction or repetition. We can identify two such figures of speech in verse:

The term ‘Black Sun of Melancholy’ allows Nerval to image two ideas. There is indeed an oxymoron, is combining two words with opposite connotations (‘sun’ and ‘black’) and metaphor (analogy between the ‘black sun’ and ‘melancholy’, a disease of boredom), which allow the reader to perceive the sensitivity of the author and his mental world, marked here by the strangeness and the pain of living.Consequently, the figure of speech is an essential component in a writer’s style, but also, more generally, in any speaker and within language itself:

‘The formation of figures of speech is indivisible itself, which all abstract words are obtained by some injustice or any transfer of meaning, followed by a forgotten original meaning. ‘

Name: the ‘figure of speech’ to ‘figure style’

The term ‘figure of speech,’ from Latin figura, is itself the union of two tropes:

‘The term’ figure of speech ‘is a set of two contiguous figures of speech, metaphor and metonymy: the’ style ‘was once a punch to burn the wax characters, then say’ style ‘instead of Writing is a metonymy (the tool in place of use); figure just figured, ‘drawing’So there is derivation of meaning, metaphor, as we move from one idea to its representation. ‘

Common usage confused because the expressions of ‘figures of speech’ and ‘figures of speech’ but some writers distinguish between the two. Thus, in his Elements of Rhetoric, Jean Jacques Robrieux distinguished figures of speech, which play a ‘role persuasive’ and form a class of functional processes, figures tell other non-rhetorical and that can be ‘poetic, humorous and vocabulary. ‘ The distinction between academic also figures of speech, for persuasion, stylistic figures, for the ‘ornament of speech.’

Yet behind the figure of speech is one of the components of the elocutio, part of the art of rhetoric that attaches to the style and ornaments of speech. For Cicero it is characteristic of the speaker and ‘adapt to what the invention provides appropriate words and phrases.’So the most literary rhetoric. The figure of speech is the place of a good expression and ornament (‘ornatus’). According to classical rhetoric, speech, and on word choice and composition of phrases (the phrases or ‘cola’ must be balanced), the rejection of archaisms and neologisms, the use of metaphors and figures adapted About to (provided they are clear, otherwise it is fault of expression), and finally, the pace must be flexible and the service of meaning. Rhetoric in Herennius and recommends ‘the elegance, the arrangement of words, the beauty.’ Figures of speech (or ‘schematic’ in Greek) comes thus the quality of the speaker. They provide a fun first (or ‘delectatio’) as ‘apparent merit [is] to depart from common usage,’ according to Quintilian, but are primarily used persuasion and argumentation. Thus, the concept of ‘figure of speech’Is to be considered within the broader category of figures of speech.

Employment written and oral

The figure of speech is specifically a writing process – as distinct from the ‘standard formula’ – which involves ‘effort’ of the speaker to form the figure, it intends style in short, and the ‘effect ‘the speaker who uses his sensitivity. Figures of speech are defined as a subset of the style, consists of deviations from the common use of language, a remarkable job of words and their arrangement. They concern and a special relationship between the ‘signifier’ (the word) and ‘signified’ (meaning). Figures of speech are always present, however, out literature and even in non-poetic expression as shown by George Lakoff. For example, in metonymy journalism: ‘The Elysee has indicated.’They are even more in the spoken language, which seeks to attract the attention of the receiver and use the processes of irony, puns, clichés, phrases frozen or shortcuts in the expression language as imagery ‘It’s pouring.’ However, for Bernard Dupriez, ‘it is only occasionally that the figures are changing the language.’

This deviation from the ‘standard language’ leads, however, limits of acceptability for a figure of speech. While the figure is too different from the standard it falls into the register of solecisms. But the meaning is also a limit: in fact, the sentence can be grammatically correct but asémantique (no meaning). The poetic expression ‘inventing’ forms, it escapes the restrictions. Some good examples of surrealist texts, as these verses:

In yesterday’s post you télégraphierasque we are dead with the sad factor hirondelles.facteur a coffin under your brasva does wear flowers in my letter to draw from it.

The same is true of anacoluthon as in the last stanza of The Albatross by Charles Baudelaire: ‘Exiled on the ground amid boos / / His giant wings prevent him from walking.’ Nonetheless, to assess a figure compared to this standard should define a ‘zero degree of writing’ as Roland Barthes and use language, which is not possible since each speaker’s tone about its subjectivity own. It is within the literary texts they encounter in particular figures of speech used for their aesthetic function and their effect on the ‘signified’: each kind has its specific figures or favorites. The novels make use of descriptive or allusive process as analepsis or digression, poetry focuses figures playing sounds (alliteration, homéotéleute) or images (metaphor, personification) when the drama of the theater used for its figures mimicking oral or phrases to modulate the intensity of the action.However, many figures of speech are transverse to all genres and all periods.

Many functions

Figures of speech provide a richer served by the formal originality they have, is ‘the effect of meaning.’ They have such a remarkable power of suggestion in the case of metaphor (‘My wife’s hair savannah’, André Breton, compared with informative expression: ‘My wife has brown hair’) as they can hit the Spirit in the shortcut that is the combination of opposites in the oxymoron (‘The superfluous is very necessary,’ Voltaire) or produce a comic effect with the Zeugma (‘You should love and dust,’ Zazie) . They represent an effort of thought and language as explained by Littre, and are:

Other figures can create the emotion of the reader by the effect of stress produced as in anaphora (‘Paris! Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated!’De Gaulle) or the game sounds in alliteration (‘ the red spittle of the grape, ‘Rimbaud). In other cases, interest will be purely aesthetic, as in the recovery of the juxtaposed anadiplose:

As sown in the field is full green, green is greening up in the pipe, the pipe bristles on the cob flourishing

Thus, figures of speech are to be put on the same level as other linguistic features such as rate processes (period poetic cadence in prose), processes the syntax (choice of coordination or subordination), semantic processes and logic (syllogism, tautology, semantic fields, etc..) or the processes of versification (rhyme, syneresis / dieresis, etc.)..

Typology and classification

The classification of figures of speech are complex and still controversial approaches. For example, to classical rhetoric, after the Greeks and Latins, the figures fall within the discursive topoi as for style, a figure is based on use and a mechanism but also the effect.There are also other classifications, most original and from academics. The types provided by the classic works or textbooks are characterized by their heterogeneity in effect. They agree, however, most often in certain groups from linguistic processes such as analogy, substitution, etc. sound recovery.

Figures playing on the meaning of words

– Guillaume Apollinaire, Hunting horns

– Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil, LXIX. – Music

– Paul Valery, Charmes, marine Cemetery

– Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, Part Two

– Victor Hugo, The Reaping, to passive obedience

– Guillaume Apollinaire, Spirits, The Song of the unloved

– Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil, The Albatross

‘[…] And Ruth wondered what ,[…] God, what a harvester of eternal étéAvait, walked away, casually jetéCette golden sickle in the field of stars’

– Victor Hugo, The Legend of the Centuries, Booz asleep

– Jean de La Fontaine, The Hare and the Frogs

– Guillaume Apollinaire, alcohols, fall sick

– Louis Aragon, unfinished novel, At each station of dust …

– Corneille, Le Cid, Act I, Scene 4

– Corneille, Le Cid, Act III, Scene 4

– Du Bellay, Les Regrets, Only the River …

– Ronsard, on the death of Mary, V – As seen on the month of May la_branche Rose

– The Fountain, The sun and frogs

– Jacques Prévert, Paroles, The Time of the nuclei

Figures on playing instead of words

– Du Bellay, The Antiquities of Rome, 30

‘Since the right is in the abyss, since gives the scepter to the crime, Because all rights are betrayed Since most proud of are bleak, since displays at the corner of bornesLe dishonor my country … ‘

– Victor Hugo, cats, Book Two, V: Since the righteous into the abyss

‘Long as endless son, the long pluieInterminablement through the gray, green tiles line with his long gray son, Infinitely, rain, long rain, rain. ‘

– La Fontaine, The Dairy and Milk Pot

– Corneille, Le Cid, Act I, Scene V

– Victor Hugo, The Legend of centuries, the knights-errant, Eviradnus, XI: A little music

– Victor Hugo, Les Chansons streets and timber planting season. Evening

– Victor Hugo, The Reaping, Lux

– La Fontaine, The Raven and the Fox

– Victor Hugo, The Legend of centuries, the knights-errant, Eviradnus, XI: A little music

– Louise Labe, Former Poets from France

– Arthur Rimbaud, poetry, Ravens

– The Fountain, Death and the Woodcutter

Figures and playing sounds that are more specifically of poetry

‘While the red spittle of mitrailleSifflent all day by the infinity of the sky blue or green Qu’écarlates near the King which mocked, battalions in mass drowning in the fire; ‘

– Arthur Rimbaud, Poems, Evil

– Paul Verlaine, Saturnian Poems, Melancholia – VI: My dream pet

‘This tour was the arrow the boldest, most crafted, most joinery, most rugged, ever let him see the sky through its cone lace’

– Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris

– Corneille, Le Cid, Act II Scene 2

– Guillaume Apollinaire, alcohols, Le Pont Mirabeau

Figures playing on the syntax

– Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal, L’Albatros

Figures playing on the speech

– Victor Hugo, Les Contemplations, Book VI, IV, ‘Look. I’m John. I saw some dark things ‘

‘I Do not attempt to describe how dark enthusiasm manifested itself in the insurgent army after the speech Biassou. It was a concert distorting cries, complaints, howls. Some beat their breasts, others faced their clubs and swords … ‘

– Victor Hugo, Bug-Jargal, ch. XXIX

– La Fontaine, The Fox and the Grapes

Tropes tropes and non-

Historically, figures of speech are tropes, an idea that The Encyclopedia of Diderot mentions. Tropes, however, gather a relatively small sample of figures such as metaphor and metonymy. These are mainly based on figures that make up the analogy and imagery. The distinction between tropes and non-tropes (figures that no ‘change of meaning’ does not seem appear) persists in teaching French to Pierre Fontanier. It differs because the tropes of tropes that are not defined in a negative way and calls ‘other than tropes’ and then introduced by a decline of rhetoric.The class of non-tropes includes most of the figures available and known generally. Fontanier the class according to the process that they implement. Patrick Bacry takes up this distinction that divides the sub-style figures: Figures for construction, the similarity of figures, figures in the neighborhood, figures of the order of words in the lexicon figures, figures and figures of the semantic content of the organization of discourse. Patrick Bacry but Michel Bernard Dupriez or Pougeoise, propose to classify them using a grid combining multiple criteria: the nature of the figure (what makes) the condition of its appearance (its placement within the discourse) , its effect at last.

Other rankings offered by modern linguistic analysis

Following the generative grammar

Modern linguistics using combinatorial analysis of language thus leads to a coherent system that allows a more comprehensive classification of figures of speech. This classification has two axes: one axis transformation itself sub-divided into ‘identical’ and ‘non-identical’Consisting of various possible operations on the sentence and the words involved in the figure, an axis of said level corresponding to the grammatical subject (‘ graphics ‘,’ sound ‘or’ morpho-syntax ‘) or semantic, which is the transaction processing. Operations resulting in figures of speech playing on the first three levels are redefining the ‘form’ of words and grammatical items: graphemes (the spelling of words, letters), phonemes (sounds) and morpho-syntax (word formation and their combinations) transactions involving the semantics (meaning) they play on the content and include wider tropes that bring together figures that transform the sense of a word in a figurative sense.

There are also charts the most original, often the result of an author. Richard Arcand for example, figures of speech. Allegory, ellipse, hyperbole, metaphor … is distinguished by its original position in the literary world. This class in fact the figures in a double entry ‘processes in Figures ‘(part of the ranking mechanism language implementation and leads to the corresponding figures) and the’ effects to the figures. ‘ It identifies and systematically the effects of receiving covered by the figures, his viewpoint as an appendix provides visibility to outstanding teaching a speech that was becoming too technical. Marc Bonhomme, there is a ‘degree of ambiguity’ inherent in any figure of speech. Author of the key figures of speech, he considers that the scope of the stylistic figure can not be understood without reference to the discursive act of enunciation.

By syntactic levels and effects illocutionary

In general, the discourse is a set of words that can be studied from various perspectives. It consists of a set of decomposable language levels in absolute terms, maintaining relationships morpho-syntax (grammar) and semantic (linguistic context): the word, the phrase (phrase), sentence (or proposal), the text. If this division is being debated, it remains the most accepted.Figures can be defined in their mechanisms and their effects, or according to the level (s) in which they operate. Thus, the figures of meaning operating on the word, the phoneme or morpheme, then the minimum level, in the case of paronomasia, the epenthesis, apheresis, syncope. Figures syntactic operate on groups of words and phrases, in so-called ‘phrasal’ (the phrase) in the case of épanorthose, the parallelism of the ellipse. Figures semantic operating on the intra-linguistic meaning (present in the text), in relationships of images, in the case of the oxymoron, the hypallage and metonymy. Figures referential act on these extra-linguistic context (outside the text), in relationships of images also often shift; case of irony, understatement. These four levels can, by crossing with the two axes defining the nature of the previous figures (present / absent), to achieve a particular effect by a particular mechanism, meaning a special meaning:a figure of speech.

The classification of figures of speech can also be done according to the criterion of the effects they produce in the recipient. Thus, there are four categories: attention (for a deviation from the norm, the figure hit the speaker, in the case of the inversion for example), imitation (imitation of a content of a text the shape given to it (the concept of imitative harmony), such as alliteration), enriches the connotation in the sense polysemy, as in the case of tropes. Moreover, most of the existing figures induces this type of effect and finally catachreses: Some figures are not for effect, because the deviation from the standard on which they rest is simply accepted by usage. This is the case of certain recognized metonymy and metaphors become cliches become indispensable as the expression ‘The wings of the aircraft’ based originally on a metaphor. Catachreses and enrich the language, from a job that was then figure of speech but become normative.

Fields figures of speech


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