ELSSOC explores Stylistics with academic experts


photo grabbed from the official Facebook page of UST Department of English

ENGLISH LANGUAGE Studies Society (ELSSOC) revisited the importance and essence of stylistics in literature through their recent event titled “STYLE LANG!: A webinar on Stylistics” on Wednesday.

The event highlighted three experts from different universities in Metro Manila who shared their own interpretations and ideas on Stylistics in different areas.

Lalaine Yanilla-Aquino, a professor from the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters, discussed the basics of Stylistics and how it is applied in literature.

Aquino explained how Stylistics can be used for identifying the authors of the piece and finding different meanings in a literary piece.

“Some theories claim that meaning is inherent in the text, but some theories claim that meaning resides in the reader,” she said.

Aquino also mentioned that to understand Stylistics, the reader must observe metacognitive reading.

“Metacognition is knowing about knowing, it is while you are reading you monitor whether you understand the text or not,” she said.

Overlooking the stylistic features of a book causes the readers to miss out on some meanings included in the book, Aquino said.

English instructor Abigail Deabanico discussed that to properly analyze in Stylistics, one must know the form, identify the pattern, identify what is foregrounded, remember what was the figurative language and lastly, identify the effect of the use of language.

Deabanico also suggested that the readers write their assumption first and what they felt and liked about the text after reading it. The stylistic analysis follows to verify the assumptions of the readers, she added.

Meanwhile, Assoc. Prof. Jose Cristina Pariña from De La Salle University-Manila focused on Literary Stylistics and explained the differences of a text-driven and a theory-driven analysis.
She said that theory driven should be focused on text and be treated as one of the many language data with different phenomena to arrive at a better interpretation than to focus on the text itself.

“When you take up syntax sometimes you are just flooded with all of these rules, but the end of it all there has to be an interpretation as to why syntax was used in such a way,” she said.

“That is also the same way for text-driven Stylistics analysis, you have to come up with an interpretation as to why the author came up with such a language,” she added.

However, she emphasized that it is not important what the writer will use, but it should always lead to an interpretation.

She also included in her discussion an analysis of the nursery rhyme “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” showing how it was changed to accommodate children.

“STYLE LANG!: A webinar on Stylistics” is presented by UST-ELSSOC which aims to understand more about the featured field of linguistics in Stylistics. F

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