Literal and figurative language

Literal and figurative language is a distinction within some fields of linguistic process analysis, in particular stylistics, rhetoric, and semantics .

  • Literal language uses words exactly according to their conventionally accepted meanings or denotation.
  • Figurative (or non-literal) language uses words in a way that deviates from their conventionally accepted definitions in order to convey a more complicated meaning or heightened effect.[1] Figurative language is often created by presenting words in such a way that they are equated, compared, or associated with normally unrelated meanings.

literal use confers meaning to words, in the feel of the meaning they have by themselves, outside any number of speech. [ 2 ] It maintains a reproducible mean regardless of the context, [ 3 ] with the intended meaning corresponding exactly to the meaning of the individual words. [ 4 ] Figurative use of terminology is the use of words or phrases that implies a non-literal meaning which does make sense or that could [also] be true. [ 5 ] Aristotle and later the Roman Quintilian were among the early analysts of rhetoric who expounded on the differences between literal and figurative lyric. [ 6 ] In 1769, Frances Brooke ‘s novel The History of Emily Montague was used in the earliest Oxford English Dictionary citation for the figural sense of literally ; the sentence from the fresh used was, “ He is a fortunate man to be introduced to such a party of fine women at his arrival ; it is literally to feed among the lilies. ” [ 7 ] This citation was besides used in the OED ‘s 2011 rewrite. [ 7 ]

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Within literary psychoanalysis, such terms are still used ; but within the fields of cognition and linguistics, the basis for identifying such a distinction is no retentive used. [ 8 ]

figural speech in literary analysis [edit ]

figurative terminology can take multiple forms, such as simile or metaphor. [ 9 ] Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia Of Literature says that figurative terminology can be classified in five categories : resemblance or kinship, vehemence or understatement, figures of heavy, verbal games, and errors. [ 10 ] A simile [ 11 ] is a comparison of two things, indicated by some connection, normally “ like ”, “ as ”, “ than ”, or a verb such as “ resembles ” to show how they are similar. [ 12 ]

Example: “His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry…/And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.” (emph added)—Clement Clark Moore[13]

A metaphor [ 14 ] is a figure of speech in which two “ basically unlike things ” are shown to have a type of resemblance or create a modern persona. [ 15 ] The similarities between the objects being compared may be implied preferably than directly stated. [ 15 ] The literary critic and orator, I. A. Richards, divides a metaphor into two parts : the vehicle and the tenor. [ 16 ]

Example: “Fog comes on little cat feet”—Carl Sandburg[17] In this example, “little cat feet” is the vehicle that clarifies the tenor, “fog.” A comparison between the vehicle and tenor (also called the teritium comparitionis) is implicit: fog creeps in silently like a cat.
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An strain metaphor is a metaphor that is continued over multiple sentences. [ 18 ] [ 19 ]

Example: “The sky steps out of her daywear/Slips into her shot-silk evening dress./An entourage of bats whirr and swing at her hem, …She’s tried on every item in her wardrobe.” Dilys Rose[20]

Onomatopoeia is a son designed to be an imitation of a legal. [ 21 ]

Example: “Bark! Bark!” went the dog as he chased the car that vroomed past.

Personification [ 22 ] is the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, [ 23 ] particularly as a rhetorical name .

Example: “Because I could not stop for Death,/He kindly stopped for me;/The carriage held but just ourselves/And Immortality.”—Emily Dickinson. Dickinson portrays death as a carriage driver.[23]

An oxymoron is a figure of manner of speaking in which a pair of diametric or contradictory terms is used together for emphasis. [ 24 ]

Examples: Organized chaos, Same difference, Bittersweet.

A paradox is a argument or proposition which is paradoxical, excessive, or confused. [ 25 ]

Example: This statement is a lie.

Hyperbole is a calculate of speech which uses an excessive or exaggerated statement to express strong feelings. [ 26 ]

Example: They had been walking so long that John thought he might drink the entire lake when they came upon it.

allusion is a mention to a celebrated character or event .

Example: A single step can take you through the looking glass if you’re not careful.
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An parlance is an construction that has a figurative intend unrelated to the literal intend of the idiom.

Example: You should keep your eye out for him.

A pun is an expression intended for a humorous or rhetorical consequence by exploiting different meanings of words .

Example: I wondered why the ball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Standard pragmatic model of comprehension [edit ]

anterior to the 1980s, the “ criterion pragmatic sanction ” model of inclusion was wide believed. In that model, it was thought the recipient would first attempt to comprehend the mean as if actual, but when an appropriate literal inference could not be made, the recipient would shift to look for a figural rendition that would allow inclusion. [ 27 ] Since then, research has cast doubt on the model. In tests, figurative terminology was found to be comprehended at the like accelerate as actual language ; and so the premise that the recipient role was first attempting to process a misprint mean and discarding it before attempting to process a figural entail appears to be false. [ 28 ]

Reddy and contemporary views [edit ]

Beginning with the solve of Michael Reddy in his 1979 solve “ The Conduit Metaphor “, many linguists now reject that there is a valid manner to distinguish between a “ literal ” and “ figurative ” mode of lyric. [ 29 ]

See besides [edit ]

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