Quantitative and qualitative deviations from norm in decoding stylistics. The importance of deviations.
Strictly, deviation refers to divergence in frequency from a norm or the statistical average. Such divergence may depend on:
the breaking of normal rules of linguistic structure (whether phonological, grammatical, lexical, semantic) and so be statistically unusual/infrequent
the over-use of normal rules of usage, and so be statistically unusual in the sense of over-frequent
Deviation is particularly associated with poetic language, but also is found in advertising language.
The definition of style itself as a deviation from a norm is rather unsatisfactory, since there are as many norms as there are varieties of language, non-literary, as well as literary.
Levin. External deviation measures the language of the text against the norms outside it. Internal d. refers to the features within a text that differ from the expected, set up by the norm of the text itself, what is also known as defeated expectancy.
The presence of a deviation is felt by the reader on the basis of probabilistic prognosis. His or her prognosis may be defeated in a quantitative or qualitative way. Thus, there are two types of deviations: quantitative and qualitative
The quantitative deviation is represented by repetition, that is a significant accumulation of elements of any kind surpassing their average distribution. The violation of rules and constraints controlling a given code are always partial. Their effect is mostly transmitting connotations and the hierarchy of meanings.
A qualitative deviation with a contrast for traditional and situational nomination is present in every kind of trope: metaphor, metonymy, periphrasis.
No text can deviate too far from the expectations of its possible readers, otherwise it becomes unreadable. On the other hand, deviation is necessary. A linguistic deviation, as G. Leech views it, is a break of the normal process of decoding: it leaves a gap, as it were, in one’s understanding of the text. The deviation can be rendered significant and expressive if by an active effort of his imagination the reader finds some deeper connection which compensates for the superficial incompleteness.
In what follows attention will be concentrated on the relevance of norm and deviation from norm in decoding stylistics.
This is a problem fast becoming the major focus of interest in stylistics because much of the expressive affective or aesthetic emphasis added to the cognitive information conveyed by a text depends upon it*. This emphasis constitutes the information of the second kind, which in its interaction with that of the first kind (cognitive) determines style.
As a writer does not possess the extra-linguistic means of stressing his meaning such as intonation, loudness of voice, gestures, his ),means of adding emphasis to information conveyed is a special organisation of material, including various types of deviation.
Nor any particular instance of creating linguistic prominence by deviating from it will be stylistically relevant, unless it stresses something important in the meaning of the text.
The problem of norm has many possible solutions and many aspects. The most important, however, is the relative and probabilistic nature of the norm, a deviation from Standard English may correspond to a norm of a secondary order - that of a dialect, or a functional style or a register, in the norm of a text new variations take place. The presence of a deviation is felt by the reader on the basis of probabilistic prognosis. His prognosis may be defeated in a quantitative or qualitative way. That is there are quantitative and qualitative deviations. Both are changes in the code according to the demands of the message. The quantitative deviation is for instance represented by repetition, that is a significant accumulation of elements of any kind surpassing their average distribution. The violation of rules and constraints controlling a given code are always partial. Their effect is mostly transmitting connotations and the hierarchy of meanings.
A qualitative deviation with a contrast for traditional and situational nomination is present in.every kind of trope: metaphor, metonymy, periphrasis and so on.