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This branch of stylistics, more aptly called paradigmatic

onomasiology ('science of naming') is interested in

the forms and

general types of naming objects. Paradigmatic onomasiology treats manifold

problems of choice of nomination. From the viewpoint of the

paradigmatic approach, language as a whole is a multitude of

paradigms. Whenever a language user starts to speak, he always has

to decide how to name the situation, what features of the object should

be labelled, and in what way, by what lingual means.

When treating questions of semasiology (science of meanings) and

onomasiology (science of nomination) one must take into account the

following considerations:

1. Linguistic units (words, phrases, sentences, etc.) do not have im-

mediate and stable connections with objects and situations (events) of

reality: they only correlate in our minds with general ideas of objects

and events.

2. Since there is no constant connection, no stable interdependence

between words, phrases, sentences and the surrounding world, it is only

natural that one and the same object may be called different names by

different speakers and in different situations.

Paradigmatic semasiology and onomasiology establish a classification

showing semantic types of transfer of names and logical laws underlying them.

The first distinctive feature. Semasiology, for its part, pays little

or no attention to the differentiation of levels: semantically identical phenomena may occur in morphemes, words, phrases, sentences.

Only phonemes do not concern semasiology, as they do not have

extralingual meanings of their own.

The second distinctive feature. onomasiology and semasiology specially deal with

'renamings', 'transfers of names', i.e. with whatever brings about a radi-

cal change in the substance of the text.

Every trope, as distinct from a usual, traditional, collectively accepted

denomination of the object demonstrates a combination, a coincidence of

two semantic planes (actually, of two different meanings) in one unit of

form (one word, one phrase, one sentence). A trope, then, is a linguistic

unit (word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, text) with two senses, both felt

by language users.

As already mentioned, tropes serve to create images that combine

notions and as a result express something different from them both. A cardinal property of an image is its genetic and ontological independence

from lingual expression.

One of these stylistic notions that do not match the system of

paradigmatic onomasiology is the epithet. The term is used everywhere

and, of course, has a perfect right to exist. But it is not a purely

onomasiological term, nor a semasiological one either, since it has syn-

tactic limitations: it is known that an epithet is an expressive attribute

or adverbial modifier. No subject, object, or predicative can be an epi-


Now we can discuss our classification. Figures of replacement (tropes Hyperbole, Meiosis, Metaphor

Irony)are first of all divided into two classes: figures of quantity and figures of


The former consist of two opposite varieties: overstatement (hyper-

bole), i.e. exaggeration, and understatement (meiosis), i.e. weakening.

Figures of quantity demonstrate the most primitive type of renam-

ing. Their basis is inexactitude of measurement, disproportion of the

object and its verbal evaluation.

Hyperbole. This trope — exaggeration of dimensions or other proper-

ties of the object — is an expression of emotional evaluation of reality by

a speaker

Meiosis, or understatement. This trope is the logical and psychological

opposite of hyperbole. It is lessening, weakening, reducing the real

characteristics of the object of speech. In other words, it is a device serving

to underline the insignificance of what we speak about. (penny,)

Litotes. Litotes is expressing an idea by means of negating the

opposite idea. (not without his assistance -.

What is the result? The result is double negation, and from mathematics

we know that two minuses make a plus.


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