Pragmatics is not only a catalyst for effective communication in transmitting semantic content, but also an important factor in securing the desired effect. This is achieved by a skilful use of the language means, which is the prerogative of Rhetoric and Stylistics.
The aims of ancient Rhetoric were thoroughly pragmatic. It was developed in Crece in the VI-IV centuries BC as an art of persuasion within the theory of oratory. In ancient Rome Rhetoric was an art of good speaking, and in mediaeval Europe - an art of decorating speech. Theories of rhetoric were different but always pragmatic in essence.
Stylistics was born of Rhetoric, concentrating with the progress of time on rhetorical means and on belles-lettres writing. Modern Stylistics has incorporated significant phenomena and facts on all levels of language, in paradigmatics and syntagmatics, in language and speech, etc.
Stylistic studies focus on the relationship of three basic categories: the means, the functions and the effects - the relationship of a clearly pragmatic character. Stylistic theory is a matter of variation, and stylistic practice - a matter of choice; and any choice is made for purely pragmatic purposes.
At present, at a time of communicative linguistics, most stylistic entities are viewed in terms of pragmatics: the ways semantic content is transmitted, the variation in the forms of transmission, the supplementary information and the ensuing stylistic effects. So, the introduction of Pragmatics into stylistic research is not just another aspect of analysis. Pragmatics is the essence of Stylistics.
The stylistician is faced with 2 tasks as far as Pragmatics is concerned: 1) to investigate the pragmatic nature of stylistic phenomena, and 2) to study those stylistically marked linguistic means which are capable of most effectively materializing the Pragmatics of discourse, and the mechanism of such materialization. The two tasks are closely interrelated and are often inseparable.
Scientific Prose Style. | Familiar colloquial style. | Literary colloquial style | Familiar colloquial style | Publicist (media) style | The style of official documents | Stylistics of the author and of the reader. | Essential concepts of decoding stylistic analysis and types of foregrounding | Stylistics and Pragmatics | Pragmatics and the Speech Act Theory |