Uses of English and the Intensity of Communication in This Language

Uses of language will be discussed here to provide a functional view of English and to retain it in the analysis of representative texts with the aim to bring out their typical verbal features and communicative effect, and the influence of respective speech on the psychology and mind of the speaker. Uses of language can also give an idea of the development of the idiom of a language, the character of communication in it and of its challenge to the mind of the speaker.

The overview of the study of uses of English in this paper reflects a historical stage in the development of research into uses and functions of language in Eastern Europe. This was right about the time when Michael A.K.Halliday was publishing his first works in the functional theory of language (Halliday, 1973). It was the works  of this author that straightened out the terminology in this area of study; the terms 'functions of language' and 'uses of language' were defined, and the difference between them explained. My study in 1968-1970, which was presented as the first doctoral dissertation (Drazdauskiene, 1970)  had taken up with the concepts of Karl Bühler (1934), Roman Jakobson (1960) and Olga Akhmanova (1966) and initially showed the vagaries linguists and students of language tackled in Eastern Europe. The present paper represents the state of the art influenced by the conception of Michael A.K.Halliday and the terminology justified accordingly.

Uses of language are major functional semantic categories which identify definite stretches of discourse as texts typified sociolinguistically and socioculturally because they are defined by the specific goals of speech in typical contexts of situation9. Therefore a use of language may be defined as a socioculturally and pragmatically determined process of verbal communication created by the society of native speakers. It is context-bound and marked by an identifiable goal, temporarily prominent in the process of communication (Drazdauskiene, 1992, 8). Although uses of language is a question of the linguistics of the twentieth century developed almost simultaneously with the functional theory of language, a review of their historical background is required before a system of the uses of one language can be introduced and defined for the practical purposes of my research.

The title of the present paper poses the classical question why uses of language should be studied and what can be expected from such a study. The point of human interest in uses of language is not difficult to explain. Natural human language has been and has remained an expanse of an astonishing variety of units, relations, riddles and possibilities baffling to any learner of a foreign language and demanding a lifelong attention even from the native speaker (cf.: Halliday, 1975, 115). This complexity of natural human language and its complexity in use, which have created the metaphor of language as a game, have not been exhaustively studied. However, such a study is not quite possible because ‘language game’ surpasses the complexity of any known game: the possibilities of meaning are infinite, while the recurrence is also great and any exhaustive study of language in use may be beyond human power and finish. A study of uses of language in their numerous instances can be made credible and be of interest by a purpose set to it.

My familiarity with the linguistic theories of the twentieth century (traditional linguistics, structuralism, descriptive linguistics, transformational grammar and, most importantly, with functional linguistics), research into uses of English and dedication in learning English as a foreign language, as well as in teaching it and in translation, prompt the idea that it is meaning in usage rather than the concept of the system of language that has posed most questions to learners and linguists and that these problems have not been resolved. The system of language, never ultimately complete and finally treated as an ideal, is a credible concept in theory, the compass of which has given continuity to the greatest linguistic theory of the twentieth century (Halliday, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1990). However, the systemic study of language requires an inroad into semantics (cf.: Halliday, 1978, 85) to explain the complexity of meaning and the idiom of language (or its ‘deep structure’ (Halliday, 1978 85)). This means, to me, addressing that section of the system of language which stretches over the most delicate meaning and relations, and studying it in the ultimate stage of the formation of structural and systemic relations. This section of meaning in the system rests on standard structural relations but is above its routinised usage, relates to the socio-cultural and therefore historical heritage of language and is a road “less travelled by”. The systemic study of language is based on the concept of the function of language.

The study of meaning in the process of communication rests, on the contrary, on the use of language. Such a study focuses on minute variations and the delicacy of meaning as on its minor and major units. The study of language in use is preparatory for its systemic study. The use of language is subordinate to the function of language. However, the study of uses of language is not inferior to the study of functions of language, although their results differ. While planning the study of the phatic and other uses of English, I reasoned in line with the functional conception of language. The significance of the social functions of language to the extent that “they shed light on language” (Halliday, 1976, 9) has been acknowledged by Professor Halliday. In the conception of this author, social functions of language identify with uses of language, and “when we talk about ‘uses of language’, we are concerned with the meaning potential that is associated with particular situation types”, especially with those “which are of some social and cultural significance” (Halliday, 1978, 34). The present study of uses of language is exactly thus situation-based study of language and the results expected are to throw some light on the influence of actual verbal processes on language and thought. It is also to explain, to an extent, how the historically inherited potential meaning of language accumulates, is activated and regulates the user.

From the History of the Concept of Uses of Language

The identification of uses of language is connected with a classification of contexts in language’s use, which have been little analysed till quite recently. It was yet Ogden and Richards who observed that “the ordering of the different classes of occasions on which words may be used has never been seriously approached” (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 221; cf.: Halliday, 1976, 29). Since then there have been two approaches to the identification and classification of uses of language: one approach was through an interpretation of the constituents of the process of communication and the other was through a simple enumeration of instrumentally identified uses. In the first case, uses of language were associated with the contexts of word use and they were found fewer in number. In the second case, no association of word use with contexts had been considered and long lists of uses of language were given, because their identity depended mainly on the meaning of the synonyms which had been collected simply to name the countless purports of the employment of words. There had been no motivated distinction between the use of language and the function of language before Professor Halliday’s works (Halliday, 1973, 1976), either. In the review that follows, this distinction is observed bearing in mind contemporary knowledge of the subject.

Seeking no definitions, different authors identified a great many uses of language. Thus Wallwork identified eight uses of language (language used as phatic communion, for ceremonial purposes, as an instrument of action, to keep the records, to convey orders and information, to influence people, to enable self-expression and to embody or enable thought) (Wallwork, 1969, 12). Using the term the function of language and obviously following the list of uses of language proposed by Ingram, as quoted by Ogden and Richards (Ogden, Richards, 1923/19960, 46), the American sociologist Hertzler identified twelve uses of language (the identification /Naming/ function, the categorisation /Classification/ function, language as the means of perception, language as the means of thinking, language as the corpus of our facts, language in creative activity, language as technologist, language as a record and as human memory, language as the means of transmitting knowledge across Space and Time, language as the agency for conceptualising and adjusting to space and time, language as the medium for man’s grasp of the abstract and the supernatural, and language as a means of evaluation and orientation) (Hertzler, 1965, 39-57). Hertzler’s mere terms imply that his list of uses of language was introduced descriptively, without a uniform basis or deeper linguistic analysis and certainly without reference to any particular language, while uses of language are conceivable only as instances of purposeful employment of a concrete language.

To illustrate the extremes in the identification of uses of language, ideas of English speaking authors related to narrower areas of research might be considered. The British educationist Wilkins, for instance, increased the number of uses of language to over fifty (Wilkins, 1977). Singled out with no particular purpose and definition, the uses of language identified by Wilkins appear to be limited to the utterance structure and differ but slightly as does the meaning of the synonyms denoting them. For example, “we use language to approve, to praise, to disapprove, to condemn, to blame”, etc., etc. (Wilkins, 1977, 5). Similarly, an endless list of language functions, which would be uses of language in contemporary understanding, was proposed by John Holloway (Holloway, 1957, 124-126). Professor Halliday himself enumerates over a dozen of uses of language, the distinction of which he acknowledges, before he reiterates his conception of functions of language in its system: “in the structure of the adult language we can recognize … a generalized and integrated ‘interpersonal’ function which underlies these (i.e. the enumerated uses – MLD) and many more…” (Halliday, 1976. 23).

Such practice when uses of language had been identified by simple enumeration externally to language or ignoring the contexts of word use within the area of one language excludes the possibility of their treatment as functions of language (cf.: Halliday, 1976, 28). But even so, even if such categories were treated as uses of language, the concept would be unreliable, because such lists of the uses of language appear to be endless, “which no linguistic theory attempted to systematise” (Halliday, 1973, 41; 1976, 9, 29), and which are of no real interest. The predicament as described is the problem of the linguistics of the middle of the twentieth century, which described uses of language and functions of language indiscriminately as somewhat independent linguistic concepts interesting in their own right but having no theoretical value or stimulus to thought. The problem and approaches to functions of language had been different in the first half of the twentieth century. A view of this early stage of the development of the concept of functions of language may be gleaned from Georges Mounin’s paper (Mounin, 1967), provided we bear in mind the indiscriminately used term the function of language. This was the accepted term at that time, though later what had been called by this term was shown to be only uses of language.

The linguistics of the first half of the twentieth century encompassed mainly two directions in the development of the theory of functions of language - the phrase/utterance theory and the differential function theory. Up to the time of Karl Bühler’s work (Bühler, 1934), linguists had been mainly interested in the psycholinguistic aspects of language. But side by side with it and later, the phrase/utterance theory persisted. Georges Mounin mentions Révész, for instance, who, in 1939-1942 following Bühler, wrote of three functions of language - the imperative (to give orders, etc.), the indicative (to mean, to show, etc.), and the interrogative (to ask) (Mounin, 1967, 398). Révész treated language instrumentally and, apart from the mentioned, indicated such language uses as logical organisation of perception, thought development, insight, the expression of feelings, needs and wishes, the presentation of facts, the expression of questions seeking communication, as well as the transmission of aesthetic experience. But Révész laid emphasis on the communicative function as the basic function of language.

At about the same time, ignoring the expression of emotions and treating art as the need to express aesthetic feelings, another linguist, Buyssens, also found the communicative function to be the basic function in contrast to the thought development function outlined by Coleman. But Buyssens also contributed to the traditional treatment of what was then thought to be the functions of language. He called them the principal modes of information and identified “means to inform, to ask, to order, to call”, etc. (Mounin, 1967, 398-399). Mounin found similar analysis in Benveniste’s works, in which the positive, the interrogative and the imperative sentences had been singled out, marked by specific syntactical and grammatical features and covered by the concept of the modality of the phrase. Information, question and order were also found to be the means identifying social relations in the communication of messages by Prieto (Mounin, 1967, 399).

With the theory of the phrase/utterance so persistent among the outstanding linguists, Georges Mounin, quite reasonably, traced the origins of the theory of the functions of language in this guise back in the classical antiquity. He actually began his paper by stating that question/interrogation, response and order were singled out yet by Protagoras. Aristotle and the Stoics increased the number of categories, but gave precedence to the statement, the order and the desire. Aristotle’s distinction of the speaker, the person addressed and the subject of speech in his Rhetoric, was still closer to the contemporary understanding of the factors in communication process, which served to single out uses of language in the twentieth century. The influence of the ideas of the classical antiquity persisted till the end of the nineteenth century and carried on even to the beginning of the twentieth century (Mounin, 1967, 396).

The other trend, that of the differential function, finds its roots in Bühler’s work (Bühler, 1934). In the Chapter ‘Das Organonmodel der Sprache’ of his book Sprachtheorie, Bühler began his thesis by appreciating Plato’s idea that language is an instrument to transfer messages about things among people (Bühler, 1934, 24). Further Bühler considered the structure of a triangle which shapes itself when speech communication takes place: with the instrument (Organum) in the middle, the ends of the three respective branches stand for somebody, another person and things. The lines which connected the four points symbolised, for Bühler, semantic relations of complex linguistic signs. As an issue of these relations, a three-sided body of human speech outlined itself. The three aspects of human speech thus were found to be expression (Ausdruck), appeal (Appell) and representation (Darstellung) (Bühler, 1934, 28-29). Bühler made a mentioning of the dominating role of the representational function of language, but further asserted that every of the three relations between speech sounds, on the one hand, and the sender, the recipient and objects with circumstances, on the other, outlined the respective functions. These functions are: the expressive (der sprachliche Ausdruck), the appellative (der sprachliche Appell and the representational (die sprachliche Darstellung) (Bühler, 1934, 30-32).

Writing about the three sense functions of linguistic signs, Bühler noted how the three functions make up the instrumental model of language and retain their peculiar features. But Bühler had to have been aware of the great textual variety of speech, a major part of which was not encompassed by the three functions of language identified by him, because he made a special mentioning of textual genres representing art forms. Thus he noted the difference of such genres from scientific representation: “Poetry and rhetoric each has its own peculiarities which make them different from each other as well as from the epic and drama; their structural norms indicate certainly still greater difference from scientific representation” (Bühler, 1934, 32-33). Bühler thought that he had given the gist of the essence of the three functions of language in the simplest words complete. But his own attempt to specify and encompass art forms at least by mentioning them implied that he erred in terminology. If Bühler had written about functions of language, if his function had graphically represented “semantic relations of ... linguistic signs” (Bühler, 1934, 28), there would have been no need for him to specify the peculiar nature of poetry and rhetoric, the epic and drama as opposed to scholarly representation. If one identifies a function of language, one has to assume that it is realised by certain linguistic units. When the function of language is realised through the functioning of linguistic units or signs, as it is understood today, it is naturally inherent in all genres or texts to a major or minor degree. Such a notion of the function of language extends over only one language or over several languages of the same or similar degree of development. It is the scholar’s duty to identify its range in definite genres and texts in languages of a different degree of development. Therefore, the mentioning of genres generally becomes irrelevant. But if it is the function of speech or a use of language which is realised as a definite stretch or aspect of communication process, genres and texts may be drawn to the focus when a definite function of speech or use of language happens to dominate in them. But in this case the term should be different and the focus should be on only one language to illustrate the relevance of its uses. Bühler used the term Sprachfunktion and Sinnfunktionen der Sprachzeichen, thus verbally meaning the function of language. His digressions, however, obscured the point in his focus. Besides, his wholly theoretical consideration of the functions of language disconnected from any concrete language made it impossible for him to be thorough and exhaustive. This fallacy encumbered linguists up to Michael Halliday’s work and time.

As a major concept in linguistic theory, the distinctive function, however, merited the attention of many a linguist. George Mounin maintained that Troubetzkoy was the first linguist to analyse functions of language in their guise as macro categories rather than phrase types. But Troubetzkoy’s theory of functions was presented closely following Bühler. Troubetzkoy singled out the representational, the expressive and the appellative functions. The representational function conveyed, to him, the representation of the state of things and of the object of talk. The expressive function conveyed various features of the speaker - his age, sex, health, even his complexion, his psychological state at the moment, as well as his geographical and social origin. The appellative function was a means for the speaker to initiate certain feelings in the hearer. Troubetzkoy observed the disproportion of these different functions in speech and ascribed the two latter functions to the province of stylistics (Mounin, 1967, 397-398).

Though the communicative function as the basic function was singled out by Révész and Buyssens at their time, their approach to the matter was yet from the grounds of the phrase theory. A different, i.e. more global thinking, also led other linguists to the theory of functions. George Mounin mentioned Whitney who asserted that language exists not only as an entity but, first and foremost, as a means of communication among people; it is also a means of the expression of thoughts and emotions (Mounin, 1967, 399). Without using the term function, Charles Bally and Edward Sapir wrote of the distinction of functions: Bally, for example, made a distinction between the intellectual and logical aspect of language, on the one hand, and the emotive or affective aspect, on the other, and called it stylistics. In his definition of language, Sapir singled out ideas/thoughts, emotions and wishes expressed by a complicated system of symbols, which is language. He also made a distinction between the expressive and the aesthetic functions (Mounin, 1967, 399-400). In his later works, Edward Sapir distinguished the communicative, the socialising and the cultural-accumulating functions of language (Sapir, 1969, 139-142).

Considering Ogden and Richards’s conception of language and meaning (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960), the symbolic and the emotive uses of words identified by them must be mentioned as a point of interest. Assuming that “symbols cannot be studied apart from the references which they symbolise” and that the expression of attitude is intrinsic in speech, Ogden and Richards found both the symbolic and the emotive functions present in each instance of the use of language (Ogden, Richards, 1923, 150; cf.: Halliday, 1976, 120).

Drawing on the constituents of the sign situation to encompass meaning in language in all its complexity and to interpret it adequately, these authors noted the plurality of the functions which language has to perform and singled out five distinct functions: 1)the symbolisation of references, 2)the expression of attitude to the listener, 3)the expression of attitude to the referent, 4)the promotion of effects intended, and 5)the support of reference (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 226-227). Mainly because Ogden and Richards considered the use of words and derived the identity of the above mentioned functions from the sign situation rather than from the context of situation, the function, in their conception, is intrinsic in language, not exterior to it. It is therefore the function of language. These authors did not, however, explicitly define either the function of language or the function of speech, but used both these terms and even made a mentioning of the multiple functions of speech, which they ultimately did not specify. They only noted that “no general literary device can be appropriated to the function of speech”, thus implying the flexibility of the function of speech in time and in direction.

Georges Mounin found that the American tradition, based on the behavioural conception, singled out only the communicative function of language. But even in this trend, major authors traced various features identifying other functions. The difference between the communicative and the expressive functions in Bloomfield’s work was outlined by the distinction between denotation and other senses, called connotations, of the linguistic sign, because connotations serve specifically the speaker’s characterisation in speech (Mounin, 1967, 400). Even in Morris’s work, what is called the means of meaning gives rise to the designatory, the evaluative, and the prescriptive components in addition to the formative component. And though these lead to the traditional phrase types, they mean that language is not homogeneous functionally.

In the 50s, the theory of functions was summarised by the Russian linguist Reznikov at the cross-roads of psychology, sociology, philosophy and linguistics. Reznikov singled out several functions of language, in his terms: the intellectual or logical/rational (language as a means of thinking and concept formation), the expressive (language as a means of the expression of emotions related to the message), the aesthetic (linguistic means of aesthetic expression), and the voluntary function (linguistic means of order, address, request, etc.). These functions were assumed to be related to the communicative function and to develop on its basis (Mounin, 1967, 400). In a decade, André Martinet proposed a similar synthesis of the functions: he found the communicative function to be the central, but also mentioned the aesthetic function, which would be difficult to analyse because it was closely related to the communicative and the expressive functions (Mounin, 1967, 401; cf.: Martinet, 1962).

The approach taking into consideration constituents of the context of situation was represented by fewer authors. Georges Mounin appreciated the completeness of the scheme of functions proposed by Roman Jakobson (Jakobson, 1960), in which six functions - the emotive, the referential, the phatic, the conative, the metalingual and the poetic - were identified on the basis of the enlarged number of constituents in the channel of communication, initially described yet by Bühler. In Jakobson’s paper, these constituents were, respectively, - the addresser, the context, the contact, the addressee, the code and the message. In his scheme, the emotive function focuses on the addresser and “aims at a direct expression of the speaker’s attitude toward what he is speaking about” (Jakobson, 1960, 354). The emotive function is said to be laid bare in interjections, but it employs numerous other means of expression and flavours all utterances on their phonic, grammatical and lexical levels (Jakobson, 1960, 354). The referential function means orientation toward and coverage of the context. It is the leading task of virtually all utterances. The phatic function means the utterances which primarily serve to establish, to prolong or to discontinue communication. These may be mere sounds, but also may be whole utterances (Jakobson, 1960, 355). The emotive function means orientation toward the addressee and finds its purest grammatical expression in the vocative and the imperative. It may be directed to the second person present in actual communication and in plays, but it may also be directed to the “third person” absent, as is the case in incantations. The metalingual function is the use of language to speak about language as is the case in scholarly communication or in ordinary conversation when the explanation of word meaning is required. The poetic function means orientation to the message itself; it means measured sequences of sounds and syllables in the language of poetry, but may also incidentally occur in ordinary speech within its very limited stretches. Although poetry is not limited to the poetic function in Roman Jakobson’s understanding, “measure of sequences is a device which, outside of the poetic function, finds no application in language” (Jakobson, 1960, 358). Generalising, Jakobson noted that verbal messages fulfilling only one function can hardly be found. “The diversity lies not in a monopoly of some one of these several functions but in a different hierarchical order of functions. The verbal structure of a message depends primarily on the predominant function” (Jakobson, 1960, 353).

Georges Mounin treated Roman Jakobson’s paper as the most significant paper on the subject in fifty years. However, minding the limited attention to certain functions and its excess to others, Mounin concluded that the mentioned article was the closing statement at a scientific conference permeated by Jakobson’s love for the Russian formalism of his early years. In Mounin’s view, it therefore gave only an excellent inventory of the problems connected with the theory of language functions that arose at a certain time (Mounin, 1967, 411).

The principal question that, apart from the review, Georges Mounin raised in his paper was the question whether a definite function is identified by linguistic features and the problem remains solved in the sphere of linguistics or whether the function is identified broadly and the problem extends over the boundaries of linguistics to the sphere of psychology and sociology. This was an important point at the time when the development of linguistics gave no grounds for the motivated distinction of uses of language and functions of language. Today it only means an attempt to delineate what is at present called the function of language, because uses of language cannot be identified by linguistic units alone. It was yet Ogden and Richards who noted that no concrete linguistic unit, i.e. “no general literary device can be appropriated to any one of the functions of speech; it is sure to be borrowed on occasion by the others” (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 224). That is why even the functions identified by Roman Jakobson were not proven by him to be functions of language in their contemporary understanding. They were only functions of speech or uses of language, and I intend to discuss this question further in the present chapter.

The point of interest in the present paper is uses of English. I have been renaming functions of language in several authors’ conceptions all along, because they had been so termed without empirical grounds. As has been mentioned above, uses of language identified on the basis of the factors making up the channel of communication and constituting the context of situation are usually fewer in number and are of greater interest. To continue, I shall refer to the six functions of language identified and called so by Roman Jakobson (see pp. 8-9 above). In the treatment of other scholars (cf.: Akhmanova et al, 1966; Halliday, 1973, 1976), it was found that the scheme of functions proposed by Roman Jakobson included functions of speech or uses of language rather than functions of language. Only in six years’ time after the publication of Jakobson’s paper, Olga Akhmanova declared that it was functions of speech that had been presented in his then new scheme. Akhmanova accepted the contextual factors constituting the channel of communication (the addresser, the context, the contact, the addressee, the code and the message) as reliable. Having altered the category of functions, Akhmanova in principle accepted Jakobson’s scheme but herself wrote about functions of speech. Akhmanova renamed some of Roman Jakobson’s functions, too. First, she called the referential function the intellectual-communicative. Second, Akhmanova renamed Jakobson’s poetic function and called it the metasemiotic function of speech, because she considered the measured sequences of sounds and syllables in Roman Jakobson’s conception to be the result of metasemiosis, i.e. of the process when the content and form of certain linguistic elements in a message function to produce a new content. This purport was found by Olga Akhmanova to be the issue of all instances of rhythm and rhyme analysed by Roman Jakobson (Akhmanova et al., 1966, 168-170). Moreover, Akhmanova found the term poetic overused and polymeaningful. Olga Akhmanova found the phatic, the emotive, the conative and the metalingual functions above criticism and included them as functions of speech into her work.

At the same time in the 1960s, an American linguist, Dell Hymes discussed the question of functions of speech in his two papers (Hymes, 1961, 1972 /1st published in 1964/). In his first paper (Hymes, 1961), this author assumed that functions of speech organise human language and give it sense, which the elements of the system cannot do by themselves. His first observation was that speech was a patterned activity, that the patterning of speech varied cross-culturally with respect to language itself, to the participants, to the speech situation and to cultural values (Hymes, 1961, 57-58). This concept of the interdependence of speech patterning with contextual factors, in the present-day terms, also implies the relevance of speech patterning to the function of speech. This author found it relevant to resort to such factors of communication as a sender, a receiver, a message, a channel, a code, a topic and a context and to refer to them in his discussion of functions of speech in different social systems (Hymes, 1961, 60). He mentioned that no such study yet existed. These factors of the process of communication relate Hymes’s work to the then recent paper of Roman Jakobson (Jakobson, 1960), although he has no explicit reference to it (cf., though, Hymes, 1972, 22-30).

Dell Hymes found four distinct functions and three correlated attitudes that might apply generally to all languages: separatist and unifying functions “associated with an attitude of language loyalty”, a prestige function “associated with language pride” and a frame of reference function “associated with awareness of a norm” (Hymes 1961, 62-63). These concepts have not lost their significance and can be profitably resorted to in the study of the use of language within the framework of several modern trends.

Having noted that language and linguistic activity vary from group to group and from person to person, Dell Hymes analysed what happens when two different languages are brought into contact in education. His first observation was that a person who is familiar with his first language would invariably resort to this knowledge when learning another language in school. He considered in detail how the knowledge of the first language can and should be used in education to describe the second language and thus facilitate learning.

The evolutionary aspect in Dell Hymes’s article concerns the concepts of the development of languages themselves and of the sufficient complexity of all languages denying the existence of primitive languages. He took these concepts for granted. But languages can be of different degrees of development and different aspects of language may develop differently in different societies (Hymes, 1961, 77; 1964, 32-33).

Dell Hymes found functions of speech to be universally equivalent, while linguistic change, earlier assumed to be a purely social matter, to be a question of culture. No advanced language structures were found “free from cultural bias” (Hymes, 1961, 76). As Dell Hymes himself indicated, his theoretical conception well applies to the teaching of languages.

Although Dell Hymes did not focus on the definition of the function of speech, his observations on the patterning of language in different functions, the dependence of patterning on a social group and on the development of language outline the concept of the use of language which is the same as the function of speech. This is acceptable theoretically even in today’s understanding.

Dell Hymes’s question of language and education includes a progressive idea of how functions of speech serve man in learning a language and how, depending on his attitude to language, man’s concept of the correctness of language may acquire significance (Hymes, 1961, 80). These ideas have not dated, although Dell Hymes’s works have been neglected. Questions of how language is internalised by a young child and how learning a language the child learns culture have been studied in depth by Michael A.K.Halliday (Halliday, 1975). The question of the patterning of language is my major concern in the present paper.

In his works published ten years later, Professor Halliday (Halliday, 1973, 1976) discarded the concept of the function of language which was identified exterior to the system of language. Although Halliday made no reference to Roman Jakobson’s paper, his concept of the function of language was too clearly defined to be mistaken. Thus, the correctness of Olga Akhmanova’s view of the identity of uses rather than functions of language in Jakobson’s scheme was indirectly confirmed. But, making reference to Bühler’s functions, Halliday argued that the difference between the conative and the expressive or emotive functions was merely psychological (Halliday, 1976, 27), and that the two functions were, in fact, one, the interpersonal, in his conception.

A similar consideration with respect to the emotive and the conative functions in Jakobson’s scheme was voiced almost twenty years later at the First Roman Jakobson Colloquium at the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (Winner, 1987). This author claimed that the roles of the addresser and the addressee are interchangeable in actual discourse and that encoding and decoding processes exist simultaneously in complementary relations. However, neither functions of language nor uses of language were considered in this context, and the conclusion was that “the important question of the relation of this scheme to encoding and decoding aesthetic texts, characterised by self orientation, polysemy and norm violation”, remained “an important open area of investigation” (Winner, 1987, 273-274). This is an obvious case when the same verbal phenomena may be treated as different evidence in different works. In the study and analysis of poetry, the distinction of the addresser and the addressee as the encoder and decoder indicates differential roles (cf.: Arnold, 1981) and, it must be admitted, is an open area of investigation. But this assumption does not resolve the question of the functions and uses of language, which is my present concern.

The distinction of functions and uses of language is an important theoretical question and the point is of significance in the present consideration. It has been dealt with in linguistic literature. In his paper Les Fonctions de la Langue et de la Parole (Horalek, 1964), Karel Horalek considered Bühler’s supplemented system of functions of language attempting to identify functions of language by their relation to the means of expression. He found it to be the correct way. In this case, functions of language were identified by their proximity to the verbal means of expression, while functions of speech were said to be related to text and to the expressive components of physical and physiological nature (Horalek, 1964, 43). Thus, the mental function, as an aspect of the communicative function, was found to be a purely linguistic function (Horalek, 1964, 43), as was the linguistic manifestation of the individuality of the author in literature (Horalek, 1964, 44). However, Karel Horalek’s analysis lacked the systemic approach to language and to its functions. One of the major fallacies persisted in linguistics - no concrete language was systematically analysed for the purpose and no significant improvement in the conception made.

In the second half of the twentieth century, Bühler and particularly Jakobson’s sets of language functions were analysed, criticised and supplemented by numerous authors from different countries and schools of orientation. For instance, what Kaintz had said about the necessity to distinguish primary and secondary functions of language in Bühler’s system (Horalek, 1964, 43), was reiterated by Martinez Garcia with respect to Jakobson’s functions (Garcia, 1975, 134-135ff). Moreover, the system of the three functions of language (der Ausdruck, der Appell und die Darstellung) identified by Bühler was found insufficient for the sphere of poetry by Mukarovsky (Horalek, 1964, 42), who added the fourth function - the aesthetic, to it. Jakobson had included the poetic function, but Garcia found Jakobson’s poetic function groundless and lacking the adequate factor in the process of communication (cf.: Garcia, 1975, esp. pp. 140-144), which was the right observation. The above mentioned criticism presents only a very limited review of approaches to the widely known schemes of Bühler-Jakobson’s functions, with criteria and categories yet requiring development. It is nevertheless important. But the essential question is the difference between functions of language and uses of language, which I have not yet discussed.

Uses of Language vs Functions of Language and Their

System in English

As has been mentioned above, the function of language has been defined by Professor Halliday. In his conception, the function of language is a macro semantic component in the system of language. It is an abstract semantic category to which minor semantic categories and linguistic units down to the word are subordinated. Michael Halliday outlined a system of functions of language derived from a study of the development of speech of an English speaking child. One may suppose therefore that the semantic system of language comprising three macro semantic components or functions of language - the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual basically referred to the English language. However much one would emphasise the relevance of this concept to the language of the present research or only to the languages of a similar degree of development, Halliday interpreted the system of language in a universal sense (cf., especially: Halliday, 1978) and defined the functions of language accordingly. The ideational function of language is the function encompassing the expression of experience and logic; the interpersonal function of language is the function which encompasses the expression of personal attitudes, various kinds of interpersonal relations and social interaction, while the textual function of language is the function encompassing the expression of textual organisation or of the operational component of language (Halliday, 1976, 20-28). These are the functions that enter and make up the semantic system of language, of the English language, one is tempted again to say. All the three functions of language are realised virtually in every utterance in English simultaneously because “a word may express one type of meaning, its morphology another and its position in sequence another; and any element may have more than one structural role, like a chord in a fugue which participates simultaneously in more than one melodic line” (Halliday, 1976, 24). But verbal elements realising the different functions of language differ.

Such an integrated tracery of language functions in the system of language is not arbitrary. In Halliday’s works, it has been derived from different models of the child’s language. Otherwise stated, it has developed out of various uses of language or its social functions. Thus, uses of language may be said to make the empirical foundation for the functions of language. In this sense, uses of language merit attention and may be prospectively investigated (cf.: Halliday, 1976, 25).

In my research into the uses of English, I resorted to the six functions of speech, which Olga Akhmanova derived from Roman Jakobson’s functions of language. Since the function of speech and the use of language denote the same verbal phenomenon, I called them uses of language, thus conforming with Professor Halliday’s terminology. I have defined the use of language as a socially determined verbal activity customary to a society, which is context-bound and marked by an identifiable goal, temporarily prominent in the process of communication. Its verbal identity is flexible, with only a few kinds of patterned units that are recurrent in identical contexts of situation. It is the function of language that is identifiable by definite semantic components and linguistic units, - the criterion that was so ardently emphasised by Georges Mounin (see p. 10 above). Uses of language cannot be identified by linguistic units specifically and exceptionally even in case of one language. Features of their identity extend over a whole system of language, the spheres of sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.

To continue with the definition of the use of language, it has to be reiterated that it is defined by three criteria: 1)the goal or purpose/purport of language use, not to be mixed with intentions or word meanings nor with the purport and semantic components of the utterance, 2)its contextual conditions, and 3)the temporary dominating role of such speech in the process of communication. When one use of language is found dominating in a set of texts, their verbal features can be identified as relative to that use of language. The sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic criteria enter into focus when the meaning and sense of texts realising concrete uses of language come to be analysed. On the one hand, such criteria exclude the identity and identification of the use of language by mere words in an enumeration, such as “to command, to direct, to prohibit, to allow, to warn, to threaten”, etc., etc. (Wilkins, 1977, 5) or “to influence actions and feelings, ..., to avoid awkward silences, ..., to deceive, to silence, ..., to enter pleas, to give testimony, ..., to take oath, to pray, to give thanks, and remit sins, ..., to give commands, warnings and instructions, to make requests and to express wishes ...” (Holloway, 1951, 124-125). On the other hand, the above mentioned criteria delimit the concept of the use of language with respect to that of the function of language. Moreover, they identify the use of language as a measurable stretch of speech in time and space rather than as a purely instrumental case of language use, (which may be related to single utterances). It is of this inadequacy in the identification that Halliday warned in his works (Halliday, 1976, 28), when he mentioned purely instrumental uses identified externally to language.

Before introducing the background concepts of the present research, the Jakobson-Akhmanova’s systems of functions have to be referred to, because they formed the starting point in the research which has founded the present conception. Since none of the functions identified by Roman Jakobson had been explicitly defined, it is difficult to review them according to the above mentioned criteria attempting to outline the use of language in his concept. But the fact remains that none of the functions in Jakobson’s scheme were shown to form a section in the semantic system of any language. So they cannot be treated as functions of language, and Olga Akhmanova was right in altering the category of the function used by Roman Jakobson as well as in treating them as the functions of speech. If we treat Jakobson-Akhmanova’s functions as uses of language, it may be possible to show that they can jointly contribute to the three semantic components in the system of language (Halliday, 1973, 1976, 1978) as the empirical basis of the functions. But uses of language should be investigated as individual entities in a concrete language. My principal reference has been to Halliday’s works, who explained the nature of the semantic system of language/English through its three major components - the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual. Since my own research data of the phatic and other uses of language have been derived from English, my further discussion will concern the English language. Since now on what was indefinitely called functions of speech by Olga Akhmanova, because her work was theoretical and the concepts remained little explained, will be treated here as uses of English.

A few words on the set of uses of language chosen as the starting point in the present paper. Minding the functions identified by Roman Jakobson, which were renamed by Olga Akhmanova, and excluding the conative because it had been singled out on psychological grounds (Halliday, 1976, 27), the initial set of uses of language employed for research purposes with the aim to seek a system of the uses of English was the following: the phatic, the referential, the emotive, the metalingual and the metasemiotic.

To begin with the phatic use of language. This use of language may be defined as the speech with the purpose to establish, maintain and terminate verbal contact. It is typical of the situations of meeting and parting and of those promoting mere sociability by the use of the word to arrest the interlocutor’s attention and to prepare him for the ensuing information, if and when it follows, rather than to forward plain instruction or initiate an instantaneous exchange of information. In other words, this is the introductory and closing speech in almost every situation at the beginning and the end of speech acts as well as the speech in the situations of leisure and entertainment. In the present study, the frequency of the phatic use of language and its other features have been identified by its spread in English speaking society. The mentioned contexts of situation determine this use of English so definitely that the content of speech in them is virtually never treated as information (cf.: Hockett, 1958, 585; Quirk, 1969, 62-63). Judging exteriorly, this use of English is marked prosodically, semantically and structurally by the triviality and uniformity of its topics and its patterned character. This character of the phatic use of English is retained even in scholarly papers (cf. the language of dedications, acknowledgements, partly, of prefaces and forewords). Whatever referential element there is in it, it serves basically the purpose of contact establishment and termination. Thus prefaces in scholarly books and even introductions, however informative, primarily decide whether the reader will read through or drop the book (cf.: Drazdauskiene, 1992, 37-41; 1993).

One of the most obvious features of the phatic use of English is the regularity of its topical content. The typical themes of the phatic use of English are health, weather, family members, friends, acquaintances and interlocutors, interests, hobbies and forms of engagement (books, concerts, trips, etc.), the immediate environment and objects in it, and a few others. Taboo topics are income, social status, education, and religion, and politics for the Americans (cf.: Mahaffy, 1888, xff, 109; Stevenson, 1992, 109-110). But, depending on the social status and engagement of the speaker, as well as on the closeness of social relations between the interlocutors, topics of the phatic use of English may vary indefinitely and be actually infinite (cf.: Mahaffy, 1888, 164). But the instability of the topics and their random development in the phatic use of English are as common as in general conversation (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 103-104, 115).

The context of situation is also a decisive factor in the acceptability of the topic in the phatic use of English. The beginning of all speech acts in almost all contexts of situation as well as in situations of entertainment are so typically marked by the phatic use of English that even unconventional remarks may be perceived as the phatic. In linguistic literature, this has been illustrated by the quotation “I just killed my mother-in-law” as a non-committing remark, which was met with a smile and a ‘Fine. I hope you’re enjoying yourself’ (Condon, 1966, 89). It is true, this is an extreme example from somebody with a robust sense of humour, but the fundamental tradition of the phatic use of English is so powerful that the typical contexts of situation obscure the denotative meaning of the actual words and their literal sense is not analysed by the participants. The meaning of the words spoken in such cases does not derive “from the words, but from the fact of saying them in a particular context, at a particular time, without respect to what the participants might understand by a literal meaning of the words” (Wallwork, 1969, 4). The tone of voice in which the words are spoken is very important and additional to the context of situation, and this finally resolves the question of literal verbal appropriateness in the phatic use of English.

The force of the context of situation is so great in the phatic use of English and, for that matter, of any other language, that utterances with singular meaning happen to be sometimes used as if they were formulae of verbal etiquette. What is most remarkable is that their literal incongruity does not preclude their perception in the contextually determined sense. This is illustrated in linguistic literature by the known anecdote of a Frenchman and a German who kept exchanging a surname and the formula Bon appétit! on subsequent meetings as if both of these were formulae, which was confirmed by the ultimate exchange of the two units between them. A less known anecdote would be an actual happening to a Vietnamese boy who, faltering in his Russian on the train Peking-Moscow, used the formula Thank you in Russian when he had to apologise. Whatever the humour of the issue, the polite intentions of the Frenchman and the Vietnamese were obvious in both cases, under the force of the circumstances or, in our terms, of the context of situation.

Again, and this cannot be overlooked, what has been said does not mean that the phatic use of language is meaningless. When the context of situation and the tone of voice obscure the literal meaning of the words spoken, the speaker’s personal traits and inclinations are reflected in speech. This is an absolute issue in all instances of the phatic use of English and a condition sine qua non realising the expository power of any language, which happens to be used in a socialising talk. The speaker’s identity is so significantly expressed in the phatic use of language that this use of language may and, within profound traditions, has been exploited as a means of coming to know one’s company, detecting a stranger and even ensuring safety (cf.: Pollock, Sheridan et al, 1955, 220; Goldberg, 1957, 59).

In this context, I dare disagree with Bronislaw Malinowski when he says: “It would be even incorrect, I think, to say that such words (i.e. enquiries about health, comments on the weather, affirmations of some supremely obvious state of things, etc., - M.L.D.) serve the purpose of establishing a common sentiment, for this is usually absent from such current phrases of intercourse, and where it purports to exist, as in expressions of sympathy, it is avowedly spurious on one side” (Malinowski, 1923/1960, 313). But the above mentioned flow of phrases in which meaning is irrelevant and which are exchanged with relaxed attitude at a village fire or in a drawing room, resting from work or accompanying “some mere manual work by gossip quite unconnected with what (the speakers) are doing” (Malinowski, 1923, /1960, 313), are so insignificant on one condition only, and that is when only close acquaintances or relations are involved. Hence is the irrelevance of meaning and absolutely peaceful attitude. The presence of at least one stranger would radically alter the situation and the sense the phrases carry. In whatever conditions, the phatic use of language does make sense, and this is one of its major merits. Moreover, there is the stylistic significance of the phatic use of language in speech and in fiction, which has not yet been touched upon, but it has already been mentioned and studied (cf.: Hockett, 1958, 585; Mounin, 1967, 409; Doughty, 1971, 22; Drazdauskiene, 1990; 1992). This is a vast sphere of the meaning and sense that the phatic use of language lends to exploit to creative writers, and there is hardly a work of the fiction of the twentieth century in which this has not found some reflection.

As the definition of the phatic use of English states (see p. 16 above), my concept of this use of language is quite inclusive and covers a great variety of instances of language use. Indeed, I tend to include the beginning and the end of all speech acts, whether spoken or written, and even lengthy stretches of conversation, whether in routine situations or in leisure contexts and entertainment, under this heading, provided speech in the above mentioned contexts contributes to the maintenance of verbal contact and reveals certain typical patterning. The patterning may be contextual, thematic and lexicogrammatical. Thus, I find the phatic use of English realised in conversation, in correspondence, in rhetoric and even in scholarly treatises. The phatic use of English has relevant contexts in all these kinds of language use by virtue of them having merely the beginning and the end, when such uses are treated as speech acts. Thematic similarity of the phatic use of English in texts representing these areas of communication is reflected by the currency of such topics as gratitude, introductions, relevant background stories, weather, health, immediate environment and others. Its lexicogrammatical patterning might also be shown, provided the relevant texts are chosen from the above mentioned contexts. One has only to consider the material. I shall begin this consideration by analysing a conversation which is a specimen of the introductory phatic use of English.

In the conversation10 below two sisters speak, who had not met for quite a time. The meeting takes place at a party given by Louise who is the hostess and Sarah’s senior. Louise is an Oxford graduate, well off in a marriage of convenience and has neither children nor regular work to keep her busy. Giving parties is one of her engagements. The sisters meet mainly at parties.

... I rang. This must have been the right thing to do, because

Louise herself opened the door, and had obviously been standing

in the hall waiting to do so. It was such a shock to see her that I

had nothing to say.

She too looked taken aback, though not in any obvious way:

‘Why, Sarah,’ she said very loudly, ‘how enchanting to see you,

how very kind of you to come.’

‘How very kind of you to ask me,’ I said.

‘It must be months since I last saw you.’

‘It is. It was September.’

‘Oh yes, September. It was at my wedding, wasn’t it?’

‘That’s right. At your wedding.’

‘It seems a long time ago.’

‘Yes, it does, doesn’t it?’

We then paused a little to take breath in this scintillating

exchange. She was looking very marvellous by any standards,

wearing a kind of creamy-coloured wool dress in a curious

towelling texture, neither knobbly nor hairy but a mixture of

both. /.../

Having thus taken her in, I could not say less than ‘Well,

Loulou, you’re looking very beautiful.’

‘Am I?’ she said. ‘You look very pretty yourself. You’ve got

your hair different.’

‘Not very. It’s only up, not down.’ At this point I noticed

Stephen swimming up in the background, so I turned to greet

him. /.../ ‘Hello, Sarah,’ he said, ‘come along in and take your

things off, you mustn’t let Louise keep you standing about here

in the hall.’

‘Find her a drink,’ said Louise, as the doorbell rang again...

(Margaret Drabble. A Summer Bird-Cage. Chapter 8).

The fact that the context in the above extract demands the phatic use of language requires no comment. This use of language belongs here by definition. The goal of speech is another positive factor which ensures the phatic use of language. The speech in the above context has the goal to vocalise the presence of the guest, to express verbally some reason of the meeting and motivate some way the rarity of meetings, because it is sisters who are forced to communicate at the moment. This goal dominates in their speech up to the point of the remark of the drink, which initiates action and alters the context11. Thus we have a complete set of the factors which condition the phatic use of language. But this is not a playful, non-committing exchange of words at a party on invitation. The exchange is too obviously patterned topically and verbally to be at least marginally sincere for the sisters’ encounter. The author makes the characters exchange fixed verbal stereotypes regular in the phatic use of English and keep to the topic of the rarity of the meetings and the looks of the speakers. It is the regular phatic use of English in all aspects but slightly overemphasised between the sisters. This is because they had been meeting rarely and only on social occasions. Hence appears the irony and, especially, the observant ironic comment of the author on the scintillating exchange.

The quoted novel by Margaret Drabble is rich in the phatic use of English, used realistically without irony or with it. But to illustrate how patterning applies to the phatic use of English and how its goal to make a person’s presence civil by words is realised, a realistic English conversation will be quoted:

Mrs.Ch.: Hallo, Mr.Gray. Fancy seeing you here.

Mr.G.: Ah good morning, Mrs Charlton. Yes, I often drop in here

for coffee on Saturday morning. Do you mind if I join you?

Mrs.Ch.: Of course not. But do take that great coat of yours off, or

you won’t feel the benefit.

Mr.G.: Mm, I suppose you’re right. It’s still pretty cold out, isn’t


Mrs.Ch.: It’s the damp that gets you. That’s why I’ve got this back of

mine. I simply can’t get rid of it. I was only saying to Dr.

Reeney yesterday that it’s four weeks on Thursday since I

first felt it coming on.

Mr.G.: Well, I hope he’s given you something for it?

Mrs.Ch.: Oh yes, he’s a wonderful doctor, Dr.Reeney. Such a nice man, too. I have to go in to the Orthopaedic three times a week, you know. So what with that, and trying to run the house, and looking after Harold (He’s never ill) and coping with the children... And now, on top of it all, Tom’s gone down with the flu again.

Mr.G.: Oh dear, I am sorry.

Mrs.Ch.: Yes. It’s nothing serious of course. But Harold and I can’t help worrying he’ll go and start getting behind again at school and just when he was doing so well. At least I can’t help worrying. Harold never worries. That’s Harold all over. Ooh, look who’s just come in! Mr.Bremner. ...

(Recorded conversation. Speakers: Mr.J.M. and Miss C.M.L., Great Britain. - November 1967).

This conversation takes place at a casual meeting of two acquaintances, which is a sufficient context for the phatic use of English. What is notably present without exaggeration and irony in this conversation is verbal interest in the companion, his pleasure, convenience and even his physical state. Hence the question for permission to keep the person’s company, the remarks on the heaviness of the coat, on the weather and health. The way how naturally the questions and remarks follow one another, how much concern and interest are expressed by them attracts attention. When the woman ventures a longer say about herself, the man is very supportive in encouraging her to continue by his relevant questions. Therefore the kind attitude to the companion and concern for his pleasure dominate in this conversation, while its content is fairly superficial, exactly suited to the pleasure of the exchange of words and the pleasure of sharing interests.

Since the topics of talk fall within those typical of the phatic use of English, one can speak of topical patterning in the conversation. But what is also typical of the phatic use of English and present here is its lexicogrammatical patterning. The simplest syntactical structures and the simplest vocabulary prevail in the conversation. What is more, certain stereotyping is notable and is even more prominent than in ordinary conversation (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 108, 114). Although the two conversations above have been taken from different types of discourse - one is fictitious, while the other is realistic, typical syntactical patterns are recurrent in both. (Cf.: It was at my wedding, wasn’t it? and It’s still pretty cold out, isn’t it? It must be months since I last saw you and’s four weeks on Thursday since I first felt it coming on. ...come along in and take your things off, you mustn’t let Louise keep you standing about here in the hall and But do take that great coat of yours off, or you won’t feel the benefit). This allows one to assume that verbal stereotypes are recurrent in the phatic use of English, and the following are among the frequent ones: It’s very kind of you. That would be lovely. That sounds like a (very) good idea. I am glad to see/hear... Do you mind if... ...if you don’t mind. That is to say, and others. But the stereotypes in the phatic use of English do not mean merely mechanical speech habits as they do not free the mind from selection and decision making. Even if the pattern itself is automatically chosen, there remain such verbal choices as nominal and pronominal reference, qualifying and evaluative words, and intonation, which test and discipline the mind of the speaker, indicate his taste and ability to discriminate instantaneously.

Single clichés also appear in the phatic use of English. Cf., for example, Fancy seeing you here, in the above conversation and such clichés as to put one’s feet up or stuck up thing in the missing part of the same conversation. But clichés are not as repulsive in the phatic use of English as they are in literary uses of this language (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 114) because they are slipped in non-commitally, call for a pause for further consideration of the subject and often imply good humour of the speaker. Thus, clichés get reborn as it were in conversation in the phatic use of English.

Modality is another verbal means which has a patterned expression and is indispensable in the phatic use of English. Mood and modality, which is an expression of probability and attitude by a verb class in English, have been singled out as the basic elements of interpersonality in this language and, specifically, in the clause (Halliday, 1976, 21). While the phatic use of English is the principal instance of the actual representation of the abstract meaning of interpersonality in the language’s system, the expression of modality matters in every utterance in the phatic use of English. Structures with modal verbs primarily render interpersonal meaning in this use of English: the modal verb must, for instance, is often used to express the usual probability (for example: It must have been Mike.You must be crazy. must have an awful lot of people round all the time must be quite happy in the house. You must be here with the theatre, aren’t you?): in the latter three cases the role of these utterances is to signal an expectation of a comment and to stimulate conversation. The same modal verb is used to emphasise what the speaker takes upon himself (for example: I must say I wondered..../ liked it / that even if D. waited, etc.), with a strong point on the person’s timidity in speech, and to soften the directness of the statement, or to express mock obligation or necessity (for example: I must tell her that I saw you... Oh, then you must see Mary. I must go, S., see you next week.), which is also conducive to conversation. The other modal verbs are used in their usual sense, as, for example, to express possibility, ability or disability by the modal verb can (She can be terrible. I can’t face the look of my flat, I really can’t. Then I can’t think who it can have been.) and thus to comment or encourage further talk by favourable emphasis, with a sense approximating the effect of hyperbole.

What is syntactically significant about modality expressed by the modal verbs in the phatic use of English is the stereotypical patterns in which these verbs are usually used. These patterns are the simplest transitive constructions with or without the object clause (for example, I must say I / that... You might (at least) bother to look / to respond... It must be very odd. I would if I could. I wouldn’t like to..), but they form ready patterns. The patterns do not simplify very much the strain on the mind of the speaker because he has to decide upon the right modal verb, the pronominal reference and the correct collocations if the structures include them. Moreover, refinement in distinction between such modal verbs as should and would, which is required even in common contexts in genuine English, while is almost forgotten in international English, makes an extra delicate point in the expression of modality in the phatic use of English. Cf., for example the meaning of should in the following conversation between two characters the first of whom is distressed by her relations with a boy:

‘... What does he mean? I don’t know what he means.’

I thought hard and quick.

‘Perhaps he’s just telling you he’ll be there so you can go too.’

‘Do you think so?’

‘Look, Gill, how should I know?’

‘Perhaps he’s warning me not to go? which do you think, is he

warning me not to go or expecting me to go and meet him there?’

‘I really don’t know.’ I repeated, touched but a little

embarrassed by her questioning: I didn’t see how she could expect me

to understand Tony if she didn’t /.../

‘I should think that perhaps it means that he would like you to

go,’ I said finally. I didn’t really think so but I didn’t have the nerve to

suggest the other thing. ‘When did you last see him?’

(Margaret Drabble. A Summer Bird-Cage. Chapter 5).

Strictly speaking, this would not be a case of small talk, rather a conversation representing the so-called ‘artistic communication’ (for this term see: Stoskus, 1969), which is such an instance of the phatic use of language, in which the speakers cover their actual thoughts and intentions and consciously avoid a statement of truth, while the artistic skill of their pretence depends on their social milieu (cf.: Toelle, 1994, 30). The above conversation would identify thus with the phatic use of English of this kind, and the author’s comment supports the present assumption. In the first utterance, the meaning of should is its regular meaning of obliging necessity in the circumstances and it appears in the usual question. But in the second utterance, it is used in a slightly formal yet very correct expression of an opinion, which and other discriminating uses of should and would mean a special note of courtesy or ‘elegant variations’ to the English and which are virtually gone from international English (Fowler, 2009, 528-529). So subtle aspects of meaning are one of the greatest challenges that the expression of modality entails to a participant in the phatic use of English. Although patterned, the expression of modality in the phatic use of English requires intellectual discipline from the speaker as it demands the ability to discriminate among the subtlest shades of meaning and to make instantaneous decisions in the choice of patterns and the modal verbs.

But modal verbs are not the only means to express modality in the phatic use of English. The other means are subjective statements of supposition (I suppose so. I suppose you’ve got one too / I came all the way from Paris myself.... I suppose I must have known. I thought I’d probably go. I think it’s unspeakably hideous.), which introduce a tentative note that is always welcome in conversation as an encouragement. Statements of this kind also tend to form certain stereotypical patterns which make the syntax of the phatic use of English somewhat fixed but which do not liberate the speaker from responsibility. Modality is also expressed by the use of parenthetic words, of the adverbs probably, perhaps and similar lexical units. The appropriate expression of modality in the phatic use of English demands a responsive and ready mind and by its sense contributes to the development of conversation.

The quantitative exuberance which is due to the use of overstatement is only one form of the exertion of speech in the phatic use of English. Another form would be simple verbosity which finds expression in the currency of some redundant utterances and especially of fillers-in. Since the phatic use of English is primarily a mark of civility, speaking as opposed to silence is important and is expected from the participants. This, however, does not mean ceaseless talk. Speaking in the phatic use of English complies with the rule of polite society conversation, which claims that listening politely is no less important than speaking (cf.: Campbell, 1903, 45). Since, however, man is not a digital word processor, his talk may naturally be non-fluent (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 104) and so it often is. But pauses in the phatic use of language, in which talking for the sake of talking is in fact the essence of the process, are not expected to be marked silence (the difference between pauses as physical necessity and pauses as a means of contrast to speaking in informal conversation has been comprehensively explained by the same authors (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 107). Therefore pauses, which may be due to hesitation in choosing a word, concentration in electing the best, i.e. polite and agreeable, form of a statement or to a natural wandering of the mind of the speaker, are very often voiced in any conversation (cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 107-108), the more so in small talk. Therefore fillers-in, i.e. utterances like I mean, you know, you see, in fact, as a matter of fact, sort of, well and others, not to mention semiarticulated noises, appear. They make conversation in the phatic use of English redundant but pleasant and natural. However, fillers-in in English are not any words of the kind illustrated above used in any sequence. There are certain typical conditions for their insertion and they make part of the idiom of English, which is tricky to foreigners. This phenomenon has been studied in linguistics (cf.: Dolgova, 1978; Crystal, Davy, 1979, 104-108; Local, Kelly, 1986) with interesting results, but this context requires only its essential understanding and, most importantly, an awareness of the functional and semantic significance of fillers-in in socialising conversation. I shall limit myself therefore to the above note on fillers-in in the phatic use of English identified as a typical verbal feature of this use of language.

Discounting the slight element of reference that is present in the phatic use of English, the expression of attitudes, emotional involvement and shared interests dominate in it. The pleasure of such conversation derives not a bit from emotive emphasis, in tone and vocabulary (cf.: very beautiful, very pretty, that great coat of yours, pretty cold, a wonderful doctor, etc. in the conversations quoted above). Overstatement expressed both prosodically and lexically is very common in the phatic use of English (cf.: They’re amazing. It’s perfect. It’s lovely. David thinks she’s awful. Cf. also: a marvellous flat, an adorable baby, a wonderful fur hat, a miraculous leather coat, totally unfilmable, etc), but due attention to it has been given in the discussion of the emotive use of English below (see pp. ). This is an aspect of hyperbole common in general English conversation (cf. Crystal, Davy, 1979, 114). But the frequency of overstatement in the phatic use of English brings out its significance. Since overstatement is positive as a rule, it is pleasant and encouraging to the participants. It stimulates social conversation considerably, but is naturally used only by the native speakers of English who are not prejudiced in the use of words. The people to whom words mean absolute commitment are less generous in their verbal expression and can carry on conversation in the phatic use of English with not a bit of strain and difficulty.

Conversation in the phatic use of English may and may not be “spurious on one side”, to quote Bronislaw Malinowski, but what cannot be denied is that words are used to make mutual presence civil and give pleasure to the participants. And when they are used thus, they signify a great deal about the speakers. Therefore, minding the simplicity of its syntax and vocabulary, and its refined sense as well as contextually dependent overtones of meaning arising basically from emotive colouring, I tend to believe that the phatic use of language exploits verbal resources in the transferred sense. This must be true at least in a sense, because inexpert speakers often complain of hypocrisy in this use of language, which is a blunter notion than the above mentioned concept of Bronislaw Malinowski.

Because of the verbal features identical with those in routine conversation, I have drawn analogies between the phatic use of English and other forms of discourse and ascribed most descriptions of weather, health, immediate environment, trivial background stories and similar subjects in English correspondence, for instance, to the phatic use of language. I have been especially confident in this matter because the letter writers’ remarks, such as “we ... have survived the loss of provincial gossip” (Oscar Wilde) or “All this I write, not to weary you with any of my personal grievances...” (William B.Yeats), confirm that the sense of certain stretches of text are not to be treated literally as information in correspondence. And there certainly is the stereotyped beginning and end of the English letter, in which all the parts - the salutation, the opening sentence or two, and the subscription serve nothing but the purpose of the phatic use of language. Taking it all together, I have identified even the standardised and the variable phatic use of English in correspondence.

The context, the purpose, temporary prominence and sense similarly identify the phatic use of language in English scholarly works. The context which determines the phatic use of English in this case coincides with the beginning and the end of the speech act. The beginning of a scholarly work is more marked than the end: the phatic use of English is concentrated at the beginning of scholarly works. One can expect such realisation of the phatic use of English merely because there are at least three parts (the foreword, the preface and the introduction), which function as the opening sections of a book in English, and there are publications in which all these three parts are included. Then there are independent sections in English books, such as acknowledgements, dedications, notes about the author, and blurbs, which perform or at least approximate the performance of the phatic use of English. What is more, is that older editions of English scholarly works also contain the end marks Finis or The End, the purest instances of the phatic use of language in written English.

Except for the text which confirms the copyright convention, acknowledgements, for instance, contain notes on personal relations of the author, which sometimes include very entertaining details. The fact that gratitude is nothing but a sign of courtesy pleasing the addressee requires no proof, and so the personal part of the acknowledgements in English books may be treated as the phatic use of language proper. Further, although the name mentioned in a dedication remains imprinted for eternity to commemorate the author’s devotion and gratitude to somebody in particular, the concrete function of the dedication is simpler. It expresses the author’s civil attitude and is meant to render pleasure to the addressee. Thus, both by the context, content and the purpose, it is an instance of the phatic use of language. Similar arguments would concern sections of prefaces and forewords when these parts of the English book include acknowledgements or notes on personal relations of the author.

Finally, however such texts have for centuries been the established parts in the English books, their presence does not mean that the contents of the books becomes better or worse for that. It rather means that the author is a sensitive living being and a sensible person. It also means that a book, which is an insensitive object, carries about itself the living man’s, i.e. the author’s, touch and his human characteristics. All these reasons suggest that the respective sections of the English book perform the function of the phatic use of language.

Moreover, there are typical verbal features of the phatic use of English in scholarly works and in correspondence. They include simple syntax and basic vocabulary, plus ample use of emotively coloured words. There is also a tendency to stereotyping in these kinds of discourse, and verbal stereotypes is one of the features of the phatic use of English in general. The simple syntax of the sentence is a feature that the phatic use of English in written texts shared with spoken language. But the simple syntax that is retained in the phatic use of English in correspondence, may be treated as the feature which makes these written texts equivalents of spoken language (cf.: Demetrij, 1978, 273-274; Palmer, 1939, xxxiii; Potebn’a, 1976, 303; Rozhdestvenskij, 1979, 9; Crystal, Davy, 1979, 74-75). The same applies to acknowledgements and prefaces in scholarly works, in which the phatic use of English owes traits of human attitude and spirit. This may probably mean that the simple syntax in the phatic use even of written English is retained in accord with the structure of spoken English, from which the phatic use of language originates.

It cannot be denied that thus my concept of the phatic use of English is really broad. Roman Jakobson, who wrote about the phatic use of language in general, found it manifested in a few typical phrases and fillers-in. Olga Akhmanova, who wrote about the contact establishing function of speech, argued in a private conversation that I “heaped up everything into the concept of the phatic use of English” including too much. I dare defend my concept of the phatic use of English and have given reasons at every point in my argument. Moreover, the question is not so much at which point one cuts the text or how long the text one ascribes to the phatic use of English may be. The important point is to understand the purpose of this use of language, its transferred sense and significance. The researcher has to be similarly guided in his identification of other uses of language.

As is obvious from the review of the topical and verbal features, another use of language subordinate to the phatic use of English is the emotive use of English. Partly and quite narrowly, the metalingual use of language is subordinate to the phatic use of English in the same way. The phatic use of English also subordinates the referential use of language. Whatever the semantic obscurity of the basic vocabulary in the phatic use of English, it always retains an element of reference which is often not transparent. Apart from the verbal testimony, one can always rely on the authorities who maintained that all adult uses of language contain an element of reference (cf.: Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 150; Halliday, 1973, 34; 1976, 18-20). Although reference is not important in the phatic use of English functionally and formally, psychologically and intellectually it does play a role. Therefore communication in the phatic use of English is carried out in the transferred sense as it were, vocally and contextually making the most of the otherwise unmarked units of this language.

The phatic use of language is one of the basic uses of English because of its wide situational spread and social elaboration (cf.: Mahaffy, 1888; Campbell, 1903; Post, 1945; Wright, 1948; Burke, 1993). Since in its oral form the phatic use of language is spontaneous, it trains conscious and subconscious mental reactions of the speaker, his intellectual discipline, speech habits and even the culture of behaviour. As the basic use of English for social interaction in general and contact maintenance in particular, the phatic use of English refines the verbal elements (mood, modality, personal reference, attitude markers and other respective modifiers) which enter, as ultimate semantic components, into the interpersonal function of this language. Since the phatic use of English is based on the functioning of macro units, the meaning of which is idiomatic, because it mostly consists of the sociolinguistic denotata of the context of situation, it develops the potential meaning of the English language.

The referential use of language may be defined as the speech used with the purpose of pragmatically motivated communication which may be instruction, management of affairs, exchange of information or recording and sharing of experience in ordinary situations of daily routine and in more specific situations of schooling, business transactions, scientific discussions, of mass media, correspondence and learned publications. This is to say that the referential use of language means all intelligent communication of immediate and intermediate reference in situations the kinds of which are as unlimited as the topics of pleasing society conversation. Unlike in the case with the phatic use of language, situation has little effect in determining the referential use of language. The referential use of language is determined by its purpose which may be and, in writing, is almost always stated. It is, in fact, the purpose of this use of language that affects the situation and adjusts it to the immediate needs. This is not to say, however, that there are no situations which are specifically developed for the referential use of language. Such would be the contexts of scientific conferences, classroom teaching, visits to the doctor’s and all instances of the perception of informative texts, with the exception of their very minor parts in which the phatic use of language may be prominent.

What has been said defines exactly and specifically the referential use of English because the purpose of this use of language may be less prominent and less decisive in less developed languages. The situations, too, may be less specified in quantity and quality. The referential use of English is topically unlimited. It is just that the context of situation may and often does influence the choice and application of the topic.

The vocabulary in the referential use of English is denotative, logical and orderly, all the verbal elements contributing to the clarity of purpose, meaning and view. It is true that, however, referential in character, conversation in the referential use of English is characterised by random development, deviance and incomplete verbal representation: the topic discussed may take unexpected turns or may be substituted for by other topics, while incomplete grammar, loosely coordinated clauses and ellipsis are frequent and typical of its utterances (cf.:Crystal, Davy, 1979, 110-115; Wardhaugh, 1992, 296-307; Verschueren, 1999, 37-46; Bradford, 1997, 29). But conversation, at least in Western societies, is also governed by what is known as the co-operative principle (Fasold, 1990, 129-133; Wales, 1991, 95), which, like tacit agreement, works for the coherence and effectiveness of this verbal exchange. Indeed, this is especially marked in oral English in its referential use.

Like in all languages, immediate verbal exchange in English is backed up and supplemented by the kinesics of the participants and by the actual extralinguistic context. Besides, questions like Do you mean...? Are you saying that... When you are saying ... do you mean that...? Thinking of what you meant when you said..., the question would be... Taking up with your word..., I wonder whether this is tested or only implied. ...but if I understand you correctly, I think you are saying..., etc. are common in a matter-of-fact English conversation. Minding such explicit verbal tests, one can be certain that the trustworthiness of the referential use of English in oral exchange is not only ensured but also backed by a certain honour code which is mutually respected. Most of the verbal features of English social conversation described above (see pp. 20-25) can be traced in English conversation in the referential use of this language.

But the splendour of the referential use of English is best revealed in written texts, whether learned or popular, which are notable for their clarity (cf.: Gowers, 1977, 16-18; Fulcher, 1927; Lucas, 1955, 67, 76, 106; Pinckert, 1981, 225) and logic12 of presentation, the organisation of which evidences the intellectual discipline and responsibility of the authors. As the texts selected for the present consideration13 indicate, the feature which is distinct irrespective of the form the referential use of English takes is the word and the collocation. Of the excerpts adduced above, text (D) illustrates simplicity in the choice of the English words best of all. Minding that this text is a fragment of a study of life in the English country house, the vocabulary is surprisingly simple. If the nouns were taken into consideration, their concrete character would have to be noted. Cf., for example, meals, the lord, visitors, a night, numbers, guests, crowds, people, the house, etc. The nouns are not only concrete; all of them are short and stylistically neutral; they belong to the basic word stock of English. Such a choice of words is an ideal in English usage (cf.: Fowler, 1994, 14-17). The verbs are as aptly chosen, because all the verbs in the text are the most frequently used verbs in English. Cf., for example, was eating, could be eaten, were, was, coming, to look after, to keep, to have, to serve up, and to feed. This is almost a complete list of the verbs from the text. The root meaning of the verbs explains why the text is so lucid and reads with ease. The phrasal verbs add lofty idiomatic meaning which simply embellishes the text. The noun the leftovers, which follows the pattern of the phrasal verb, is a transparent compound, the meaning of which adds vividness to the product denoted.

Many authors advised that verbs should be cared for as the source of the power of the sentence in English (cf.: Thomas, 1963, esp. 28-30), and too many substantives have been found disagreeable by most authoritative authors (cf.: Gowers, 1977, 52ff). In the example considered, the simple verbs make the point, strengthen every statement and make the English of the text vigorous. The effect is all the more powerful because the verbs in it are the most common verbs in the English language.

Like substantives in general, abstract words are desirably to be avoided giving preference to concrete words in English (cf.: Fowler, 1994, 15). Indeed, in the texts under consideration, abstract words are few and they do not combine together in collocations and sequences. Abstract words interchange with concrete words to form lucid collocations (cf. texts D and E). Two abstract words joined by the conjunction and is the longest word group that appears (cf. texts A and C). Even in text (B), which represents a philosophical study, there are no more than two abstract words joined by prepositions. This moderate use of abstract words adds much to the lucidity of the referential use of English.

What has been said about the scarcity of abstract words in the best texts does not deny the currency of terms, which may be abstract words, in the referential use of English. Since the purpose of the referential use of language is to provide information and facilitate its exchange, the subject matter in this use of English is treated thoroughly, with professional responsibility but is often given an individual interpretation. This requires the accuracy and precision of expression, which, naturally, involves terms. Some terms are common words in the referential use of English, given exact definitions to specify their denotation. Cf., for example: a century, a nation, revolutions, a country, etc. in Text A; doubt, certainty, a branch of science, etc. in Text B; the capacities of the language, lucidity, formation, conception, word, meaning, etc. in Text C; ceremony, the lord, ranks, open house, wealth, etc in Text D, and imitations, modelled, a copy, variations, statues, etc. in Text E. To see the difference, one can compare the meaning of word and model in common usage and in the above quoted texts, i.e. in linguistics and in art history. In the Dictionary of Contemporary English, word is defined as “one or more sounds which can be spoken to represent an idea, object, action, etc”, whereas word as a linguistic term has been defined by Andre Martinet, for example, as “an autonomous syntagm formed of non-separable monemes”. More generally word as a term has been defined as “a series of speech sounds symbolising and communicating meaning without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use” in Glossary of Linguistic Terminology by Mario Pei. One can presume that this word is used in accord with its terminological definition in the above quoted book by Henry Bradley. One can find a similar difference in the definitions of the word model(ling). The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines the verb model as meaning “to form or shape (sth) in a soft substance”, whereas The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists defines modelling as “the three dimensional representation of forms, by means of some plastic material, usually modelling clay. The opposite of carving”. It is obvious that these common words mean something very definite and concrete when they appear as terms in scholarly texts in the referential use of English. But the quoted texts, although representing special fields, are addressed to the reader without much special knowledge. This is evident from the general narrative which employs common words as the general scientific vocabulary and contains some very ordinary statements. For example: “There came a time when ... a final u always dropped off when...”(Bradley). “The men described in contemporary documents as knights were a very miscellaneous class. Romantic literature ... has cast an unreal glamour over the figure of the medieval knight”(Stenton). “This theory may be carried further: I may exclude, not only events which no one observes, but events which I do not observe”(Russell).

Special terms are not very frequent in the above quoted books but they also appear. Even when scholarly texts in the referential use of English are meant for specialists, and the above quoted books are meant for the general reader, terms are usually defined by the author on their first appearance. For example: “The term ‘phonetic change’ is conveniently restricted to that kind of unconscious alteration of sounds which has just been described” (Bradley, 1919, 21). “The popular image of medieval retainers bears little relation to the actuality. They were not a string of followers in constant attendance on their lord, and had no place in the regular routine of the household. On the strength of a written contract and, in most cases, payment of a comparatively small annual retainer in exactly the modern sense, they agreed to fight for, and attend on, whoever retained them whenever he called them out” (Girouard, 1980, 20). “...and metopes (rectangles which could be plain, painted, or sculpted in relief)” (Woodford, 1992, 25). The illustrated practice in defining the terms in the referential use of English indicates the authors’ responsibility and concern for the readers, while their plain and explicit definitions show the authors’ proficiency. The treatment of the subject and the use of language the way that has just been described make even special studies of British and American authors very readable, while the authors’ individuality and style appreciated.

What has been said about the terms and abstract words in groups in the texts under consideration, introduces the question of the collocation in the referential use of English. Minding the analytical character of English, collocations of minimum length seem to be a regular case in this language. As is evident from the texts introduced above and other material analysed, collocations of two or three words, with or without the article, are the optimum collocations in English. Indeed, when words are formally joined together by means no other than their physical proximity, the geometrical law of a straight line being the shortest distance between the two points seems to apply to relations between words in the structure of the collocation in English. Cf., for example, a mixed constitution in Text (A); two kinds of theory of knowledge in Text (B); the long succession, the highest point, the ancient world in Text (C); necessary business, an open house, an essential part in Text (D), and older works, this sorry degeneration, slight variations, etc. in Text (E). In fact, most of the collocations are made of two notional words in the referential use of English in the texts given above.

With two words, with or without the article, in the collocation, the formal relations in it are straight and obvious. But when three notional words enter a collocation, such collocations divide into two pairs of words with one shared member, in the best texts in the referential use of English. Cf., for example, two civil wars dividing into two wars and civil wars; the Greek technical vocabulary dividing into the Greek vocabulary and technical vocabulary; an unattractive pasting together dividing into an unattractive pasting and pasting together, etc. It is only the collocation modern European languages in Text (C) that retains deeper motivated and partly synthetic relations in English, because this collocation does not divide into two pairs of words in proximate relations, rather into two pairs of words retaining motivated semantic relations of traditional terminology: modern languages and European languages.

Thus the formal criterion and semantic explicitness as the principles of collocation seem to apply generally to the collocation in the referential use of English. This is confirmed by the recent practice to hyphenate words in attributive collocations when their number exceeds three. Cf., for example, an early fifth-century-BC type of youth and the late fifth-century-BC ‘Venus Genetrix’ in Text (E). Treating the hyphenated words as one notion, the collocations become groups of three concepts, which divide into two pairs of concepts with one shared member. Such regularities do apply to and are observed in the best referential use of English rather than in scientific international English. Such would be an interpretation of the formal and analytically motivated semantic relations within the collocation in the referential use of English.

There are, however, interiorly motivated semantic relations within the collocation. Since the texts given above, which are used as specimens of the referential use of English, represent scholarly texts, collocations with the interiorly motivated bond are not frequent in them. Collocations are motivated basically extralinguistically in scholarly English. A few, however, can be found. Cf., for example, accurate distinctions and found it needful to express in Text (C). Taken out of the context, these collocations may be compared with their likely periphrases. A likely collocation which would often appear in similar contexts and incorporate the noun distinctions would be one with the adjective exact. But Henry Bradley uses accurate distinctions in the context in which he considers the cultivated language of the Greek thinkers. One may find a reason for such a choice if one considers the deeper bond in the collocations. Although the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the meaning of accurate as ‘careful and exact’, and ‘free from error’; according to the same source, the meaning of exact contains only the semes ‘correct in every detail’ and ‘free from error’. The subjective element of care is not retained in the meaning of exact. Turning back to the meaning of accurate and its interior relations with the noun distinctions, which means instances of being different and points of difference, one can very well see how and why the adjective accurate is used by Henry Bradley. The point in the bond which keeps the words in the collocation is the meaning of correctness and being free from error, as these relate to the differences. But in the context of the language of the Greek thinkers, accurate expresses not only that the distinctions were made exact, but that they also were expressed with the thinkers’ care. Similar results would be rendered by the analysis of found it needful to express. This is an important point to make minding the wisdom of the ancients and the sense of the complete text of Henry Bradley’s work. It is only noteworthy how deeply motivated the collocation’s bond may be and how much may be expressed with only two well chosen words. Such accuracy and precision in the choice of the words within the collocation are regular in the best referential use of English. It adds much to the discipline of the referential use of English and is its leading feature together with more or less limited directness, or courtesy of the author. This regularity in or the analytic clarity of the collocation in the referential use of English permits one to speak of the analytical semantics of English, to which more space is given in Chapter Three.

It is an accepted and known truth that written communication imposes more stringent regulations on the structure of the language than oral discourse, for obvious reasons14 (cf.: Turner, 1973, 199). The structure of the English sentence in the referential use also complies with the conditions of context, is complete and therefore extended, but not entangled, though all available sentence patterns are used. The transparency of the syntax is essential in the referential use of English, though this is expected in all uses of this language. Assuming that the structure of the English sentence and its elements are shared knowledge, the integrity of its elements and the explicitness of its meaning merit attention in the referential use15 of language. I shall therefore try to note what is typical of the English sentence as a whole in the referential use of this language.

Any written text is as lucid as the sentences in it are lucid. Indeed, lucidity16 is the essential feature of the English sentence. Although clarity of thinking and of language in general have been prescribed to students of English in virtually all composition manuals, it has to be considered here specifically with respect to the structure of the sentence for it is the sentence that is responsible for the clarity of the text.

The lucidity of written English in the referential use is considerably conditioned by the linearity of the sentence17. The linearity of the English sentence has been brought out by several linguists without specifically emphasising it. For example, the graphical representation of the English sentence given by G.H.Vallins (Vallins, 1956, 41-44) shows that the noun-verb-object structure is contiguous in English: these parts of the sentence add up to one another along a line in the forward direction. G.H.Vallins did not overlook the extension of all these parts of the English sentence and noted that each of them “may itself be a unit (that is a phrase or a clause) which itself contains other nouns, adjectives or adverbs” (Vallins, 1956, 41). But the extension of the principal parts of the sentence also takes linear shapes, whether one visualises it graphically like G.H.Vallins or considers the pattern mentally.

A similar pattern of the English sentence has been outlined by the English stylist George W.Turner when he considered its basic pattern and its stylistic variations (Turner, 1973, 75-77). He used the formula S.P.C.A. (i.e. subject, predicator, complement and adjunct) to sum up the normal order of clause structure in English (Turner, 1973, 76-77). It is obvious that the subject-predicate unit forms the shortest and the straightest line as a combination of sentence parts. The complement which is the object in the sentence, as a rule, extends the basic linear unit, while the adjunct adds up, also linearly, to the predicate or prolongs the complement line. Whichever the interpretation, the English sentence is structured by the principle of linear addition, which is made intricate by the conventions of usage, the semantics of the words and logic.

It is self-explanatory that the line-like pattern of the sentence in English is determined by the uninflected words which belong together in as much as they are placed together. The linear succession of the words in the sentence is therefore the only means of their combination in English, and the pattern does not alter when the prepositions are employed: the prepositions only make the syntactical relations overt. This is not to say, however, that the linear pattern of the English sentence means that the words combine in this language like beads, by physical proximity in position alone. To reiterate, like all languages, English is idiomatic, which means that the immediate relations among the words are not mechanical. Its idiomatic character is determined by the interior semantic bonds18 in syntactical units, and this is the principle which applies even to the use of prepositions. It would almost be true to say that the entangled and ring-like syntactical structures of the inflected languages are more overt than the supposedly overt and straight structures of the uninflected languages like English19. This is so because what the inflected languages manage by ring-like structures and mark overtly by the correlation of their inflections, the uninflected languages have to extract from the interior structure of their words, to comply with the conventions of usage and to retain the semantically and historically conditioned bonds covert in use. Whether interiorly motivated or not, the conventional collocations in more or less extended and often patterned clauses build the corpus of virtual meaning in any concrete language irrespective of its type. This amalgam of meaning had been known as the idiom of language and has been called the potential meaning of a concrete language in the present paper to preserve the conceptual integrity of the functional theory of language and to give this phenomenon an operational definition, borrowing the latter term from general semantics (see: Rapoport, 1958, 17-18).

As has been mentioned by the authors referred to above, all the principal parts of the English sentence may and, in the referential use, are often extended by clauses, which function, as a rule, in attributive or complementary relations. The English sentence also permits a transposition of its constituent parts (cf.: Turner, 1973, 75-77), for stylistic purposes, as a rule, and can incorporate additional elements, the meaning and role of which resemble asides. By asides I mean not only parenthetic words and phrases20, but also the fronting (examples 6-8) and especially the taken-along or embedded inversion (examples 8-12)21, which are semantically and structurally economical to the statement, and even connectives expressing logical focus22 and similarity-contrast (examples 21-22), comment (examples 23-27) or negative devices (examples 28-30)23 when these have the form of the phrase rather than that of a morphologically integrated expression. These elements refer either to a whole sentence or to its parts and function as detached marked-off units unaffecting the straight development of thought24. In contrast, attributive phrases and clauses25 function as elements tightly knit to various parts of the sentence, but again are marked off prosodically when in postposition and are clearly additional to the basic pattern of the sentence. But even these extensive complements do not distort its linearity. The clauses are digressive units, but also of linear structure, rhythmically and prosodically connected with the basic part of the sentence or set off from the principal clause to relate to the whole sentence. The fragile linearly built English sentence permits extended complements26 which can

build complex sentences27, because they are complete sense groups of linear structures themselves, integrated rhythmically. The significance of stress, pause, intonation and rhythm in the English sentence has not only been mentioned (cf.: Turner, 1973, 70) but also prescribed as an integral part of writing28. Thus, the English sentence preserves the clarity of its meaning in autonomous sense groups or dependent syntactical units, and the mind has to pulsate with the respective rhythm to take them in as segments of meaning , whether in reading or in writing English.

One final note would be that the English sentence remains straight even when it expresses conditional or causal meaning. Conditional sentences remain linear since they basically consist of only two constituents, even when these include complements29. Cause and concession expressed in the English sentence do not obscure its straight structure either because of the relative brevity and explicitness of the respective parts30. Moreover, clauses joint by the conjunction because are fairly rare even in written English, the fronted or middle clause headed by the conjunction since being a more frequent construction31, probably because it is not so heavy and less obliging. Besides, in texts of the best authors in the referential use of English causal relations, like all the reasoning, are often expressed by a succession of simple or moderately extended independent sentences, which create a vigorous narrative32. The pleasure the text below gives to the reader is not primarily and only from the information. It is rather from its selection and presentation in concrete and straight statements seemingly only adding new and new facts but composed so that every one of them opens up a new angle of vision or a turn of thought. The text ultimately gives not only an overview of the origins of English towns in a concrete historical period but also touches upon the related general questions of history, man’s participation in and his attitude to it. Apart from being informative, the text is lively and human.

One feature of its syntax, that is the absence of sentences of cause and concession, generally necessary in scholarly reasoning, but complicating the statements and distorting their linearity, merits a special note. Instead of entangling herself with some such causal statement as “Like many towns, London, Southampton and Oxford found their beginnings on rivers because their accessible points always served as attractive sites for urban settlements”, this author formulates a general historical question (sentence 6). She then explains the convenience of the naturally accessible points on the river (sentence 7) in a short sentence with only two attributive clauses, making it impressive by a predicative attribute predestined, and continues with the origins of concrete English towns. In addition to the lively narrative, which owes much to the colourful verbs (encourages, came to be chosen, necessitated), idioms and metaphors (had seen to it, drive bargains, have spilled much ink, can look back over) and the inversion, this paragraph ends in a summary statement on the origins of English towns, which foregrounds a contrast of modesty and national pride (cf.: ‘Many of our greatest cities were but rural manors’ and ‘But all our modern towns and many others can look back over a long history of the Saxon past’). Thus, the excerpt of less than a page from a volume of English history not only informs the reader in an enticing manner and pleasing language but involves him into a discourse with the sensitive author of an appealing character, a trustworthy expert and an impressive writer.

It remains to be said that the strict word order of the English sentence and its linear structure demand clarity and intellectual discipline from the mind of the speaker using this language. Consequently, written English in the referential use is characterised by the discipline of its syntax, the potential of which is exploited by the best authors so that word order determines the style of a text, renders its coherence and emphasis even without the explicit connectives, and gives the impression of a live author. The text of such authors therefore is polymeaningful even in the referential use of English as it implies the author’s professional excellence, involvement and his linguistic proficiency.

Minding that attributive phrases and clauses, complements and adjuncts of all kinds preserve linearity in their structures, the English sentence in the referential use is an orderly linearly branched structure of moderate length. The length of the English sentence has been a far more irksome question to mediocre students and ignorant laymen than the pleasure its currency and effectiveness has rendered to the best authors and readers. In short, many and most authoritative authors have acknowledged the relevance of the sentence of moderate length in English (cf.: Gowers, 1977, 18; Lucas, 1955, 80; Warner, 1964, 181; Pinckert, 1981, 214 and others on brevity in English in general, and, on short sentence or its moderate length in English, cf.: Brooks and Warren, 1950, 323-325; Gowers, 1977, 14; Thomas, 1963, 248-249; McAuley, 1968, 129; Ullmann, 1973, 129-130; Pinckert, 1981, 64-65, 213). Many authors have confirmed its effectiveness in their works (cf. the authors quoted in the preceding part of this section). Some authors have been even so bold and confident as to estimate the optimum length of the English sentence33. It must be said that this is not only realistic but no less useful to the beginning students and authors than the rule of kicking the adjective habit, which justifies itself one hundred per cent and more.

The texts introduced above illustrate several other features of the referential use of English. One would be the structure of the narrative. As is obvious at a glance, except for one sentence in (C), the text in the referential use of English by the best authors is composed without any exterior means of combination, such as special connectives or linking constructions. In some cases, the structure of the sentence marks transition in the composition. Cf. the final sentences in (C) and (E): in the first instance the emphatic construction is a more obvious means to serve the function of transition to conclusions, while, in the second, the sentence structure in no way emphasises the summary. It is the content of the statement, which is evaluation, that singles it out in the context of the whole paragraph. In other cases, sentence length serves the summary function and marks the conclusion (cf. the last sentence in (D)). Since the excerpts are by different authors, these notes may be as good as generalisations. One may well suppose that overt connectives, although relevant and obvious, are for students’ compositions and average authors in English. The best authors have their sentences strung in such a way that the informative load and communicative effectiveness of composition depends on the conciseness and tightness of statements within a paragraph.

This tightness of the link among the statements is the result of logical consecutiveness, of the novelty of the point in every statement, of close succession of the statements, and of the use of the predicates in the active voice. The texts quoted in the above excerpts belong to the twentieth century referential use of English. As they represent scholarly studies, impersonality is expected in them by the prescription of some studies (cf.: Galperin, 1977, 307-310) but only one of the texts above, (B), employs a passive construction, combined with the modality expressing compulsion, in a very subtle way. One may assume, and with good grounds, that it is not true that the use of the passive voice distinguishes scholarly English, and that it is impersonal. This statement would not be true (cf.: Professor Galperin’s assessment: Galperin, 1977, 309-310), if one could prove the difference between scholarly English in the present understanding and scientific English: judging by recent research, the first is lively, vigorous and personal, while the second is somewhat restricted grammatically. However, although the passive voice occurs in scientific English, in the strict sense of this word denoting the genre, the reason for the employment of the passive is the need to name processes that go on without man’s interference or to view the model of reality under investigation from a credible distance. Therefore there is always a reason for the use of the passive in scientific English unless the author is a foreign user of English. Foreign users of English indeed have misconceptions of the obligatory passive in scientific English as the above references to Professor Galperin’s Stylistics indicate and, still more, as the native speakers of English, experts on usage, confirm (Close, 1981, 6).

Since the structure and role of paragraphing in the referential use of English has been a dull subject in college manuals and classroom instruction, and since there are landmark publications on the question (Halliday, Hasan, 1980, 1990), it suffices to say that the textual organisation of English in the referential use is as lucid, logical and orderly as the structure of its sentences.

A feature of stylistic value in the referential use of English would be the means of reference to the first and the third person. Three excerpts out of the five above (C, D and E) avoid reference to the first person, i.e. the author, altogether; because of the active constructions of the statements, all of them centre on different objects in the function of the subject. The narrative is so intense and vigorous that it does not give the impression of the impersonal author, although the author is not stated at all lexicogrammatically. But (A) and (B) use we/us to refer to the author, which is only one way of reference; the other would be the first person singular, which is very inspiring as it marks a strong personality. The choice of the first person pronoun, whether singular or plural, for the reference to the author is not prescribed in the referential use of English. Sometimes the pronoun one or the word author is used to denote the author, which marks the formal register.

The reference to the third person in the text varies and significantly marks the register or the degree of formality, too. In (A) foreigners are referred to with the third person plural pronoun they, while in (C) even Aristotle himself is referred to with the third person singular pronoun he. This adds familiarity to the otherwise neutral narrative. Reference to the third person shows a great variety in (D) and (E): with the exception of he in the first sentence in (D) in the function of a prop word, the third person is denoted by a great number of names, such as visitors, guests, crowds of people and the poor. In (E), the respective names are Orestes and Electra, brother and sister, youth, Venus Genetrix and older statues. The reference to the third person by the nouns adds precision and refinement to the referential use of English and enhances the degree of its formality (cf. esp. (D)).

The feature which is distinct irrespective of the form the referential use of English takes is the word and the collocation. Of the examples adduced above, text (D) illustrates subtlety in the choice of English words best of all. Minding that this text is a fragment of the study of life in the English country house, the vocabulary is surprisingly simple. If the nouns were taken into consideration, their concrete character would have to be noted. Cf., for example, meals, the lord, visitors, a night, numbers, guests, crowds, people, the house, etc. The nouns are not only concrete; all of them are short and stylistically neutral; they make part of the basic word stock of English. Such a choice of words is an ideal in English usage (cf.: Fowler, 1994, 14-17). The verbs are as splendidly chosen, because all the verbs in the text are the most frequently used verbs in English. Cf., for example: was eating, could be eaten, were, was, coming, to look after, to keep, to have, to serve up, and to feed. This is almost a complete list of the verbs from the text. The root meaning of the verbs explains why the text is so lucid and reads with ease. The idiomatic meaning of the phrasal verbs adds semantic depth which gives the text its genuine sophistication. The noun the leftovers, which follows the pattern of the phrasal verb, is a transparent compound, the meaning of which lends vividness to the product denoted.

What has been said about the length of the collocation and its interior analytical bond is partly shared by the referential and the phatic uses of English. It is just that collocations in the phatic use of English are more often conventional than analytically motivated. A part of the collocations in the referential use of English, especially in scientific texts, are extralinguistically motivated. But the general tendency, in the referential use of English, is toward a variety of syntactical patterns, together with analytically clear and semantically motivated collocations, while, in the phatic use of English, the general tendency is toward stereotypical syntactical patterns, together with conventional and cliché-like collocations. Otherwise these two uses of English are significantly different. If content is insignificant and treated superficially in the phatic use of English, it is very significant and treated in depth in the referential use of English. Conversely, the metacontent is significant in the phatic use of English, with various aspects of sociolinguistic and sociocultural meaning expressed, while the metacontent is much less significant in the referential use of English, basically with the author’s expertise and his sociolinguistic proficiency, his attitude to the subject matter and the reader expressed.

As the phatic use of English has been polished by representatives of cultivated society in Great Britain and the USA, so the referential use of English has been polished by their learned and best authors. But the difference in content has always been observed in these two uses of English. The focus on the content and the accuracy of its expression in the referential use of English has been known since the times of the Royal Society. Its polish has also gained much from the best stylists of the present century (cf.: Fowler, 1994; Gowers, 1977; Lucas, 1955; Warner, 1964; Hough, 1969). However, the role of the content as expected in the referential use of English has been shown to contrast with the content of conversation of Western tradition (cf.: Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 8, 250) and certainly with “polite noises” (cf.: Quirk, 1968, 249). The notion of this extreme contrast is credible because both the phatic and the referential uses of English incorporate the emotive use of this language, which may affect the content of the message, and to which we now turn.

The emotive use of language may be defined as the speech the purpose of which is the expression of relations with, attitudes, feelings and emotions to the object of speech and to the listener. In certain contexts attitude may also be expressed to oneself. Unlike the phatic and the referential uses of language, the emotive use of language is not an identifiable body of speech with an independent purport which dominates wholly in the process of communication. As has been mentioned above, the emotive use of language is incorporated into the phatic and the referential uses of English as a subordinate use of this language, and its realisation is confined only to the relevant expression of relations, attitudes and emotions.

As a subordinate use of English, the emotive use of language cannot be convincingly described without reference to the uses of language subordinating it, in respective contexts. It will be analysed first as incorporated into the referential use of English in the specimen of scholarly English which is given below:

The Conquest was a very terrible experience for the English.

The invasion had been organised as a joint-stock enterprise for

sharing out the rich, inviting lands of Britain. There were not

more than 5000 knights, among them Bretons and Flemings as

well as Frenchmen, to be enfeoffed by the Conqueror. That small

number with their armed retainers held down a population of a

million and a half: evidence of the backwardness of old English

society compared with the continent. Immediately after Hastings

the confiscation of Saxon estates began, and it went on gradually

all over the country until the Saxon landowning class was

completely displaced by the Norman barons. They formed a new

governing class clamped down upon the backs of the English: a

hard and ruthless military caste, with a code of their own, with

their own idea of law, and everywhere their stone castles going

up all over the land as symbols of their domination, their

watchfulness, amid an alien people. The English were outlawed

from power. For three centuries they were a submerged people.

The process was not inevitable; it need not have been so

savage; it could have been carried through with more justice.

Yet who can say that it was not in its ultimate effects beneficial?

To take one very striking point. In all the centuries before the

Norman Conquest, Britain had been again and again subjugated.

After the Conquest, never. For the Normans had transplanted a

strong, centralised state to this island. Moreover, it is obvious

that the country needed licking into shape, and that only an iron

hand could forge a unified nation out of the many elements that

had poured into the island. In fact, it is also clear that by the end

of the Saxon period only an alien governing military caste could

do it. It lay in the logic of history that the Normans should

provide that caste: theirs was the most highly organised state of

the day, just across the Channel. They brought with them their

own peculiar institutions which showed themselves capable of an

immense and flexible development when transplanted into new

territory. But it was our good fortune that the Conquest gave us

a long line of most vigorous and statesmanlike kings

(A.L.Rowse. The Spirit of English History, pp. 29-30).

This text represents a specimen of the referential use of English, which contains a very objective evaluation of a major event in the history of Great Britain. The author’s objective stance is basically seen in his consideration of the event from different aspects, uninfluenced by personal feelings or opinion. The character of the Conquest and of the army, the status of the old English society and that of Normandy, the actions of the invaders and their influence as well as the ultimate effects of the Conquest are stated in a matter-of-fact way in this short text. The author’s objectivity is especially obvious because he is equally aware both of the terror of the Conquest and of the submerged status of the people, on the one hand, as of the beneficial effects of the military discipline of the Normans, of their hard and ruthless government and the efficiency of their institutions, on the other. These various actions and events, the hard and the beneficial issues are rendered by impressive contrasts, which is achieved by a variety of sentence structures, but mostly by relatively short clauses in striking semantic and logical sequences. The restraint emotiveness of the text, which is expressed by a few adjectives and participles, adds to the objective stance of the author.

The experience of the English after the Conquest is rendered by several descriptive words, most of them devoid of emotive overtones. The adjectives terrible and savage are emotively coloured because they mean something extreme, causing great fear and horror, something fierce and cruel. But they denote exactly the hardly bearable state of the English and, without any exaggeration, express the author’s identification with the submerged society and his sharing in the feelings of those who directly suffered the Conquest. When the English are described as held down and as a submerged people, the author’s awareness of their state is emphasised. But when one considers the propositional content of the statements which include these qualifying verbal groups, one can perceive sympathy expressed in a subtle way. Similar overtones of meaning are rendered by the statement of antagonism, in which the going up of the stone castles is described. Most personal attitude and shared feelings are good-humouredly implied by the colloquial phrase clamped down upon the backs of the English, which expressly describes how hard the conquerors were on the English and what pressure they exerted on them. Thus modestly expressed emotive attitude exhausts the emotive use of English in this text, because the qualifying phrase a hard and ruthless military caste only reiterates the mentioned objective evaluations as overtones of meaning, while other descriptions merely state the facts.

In the last paragraph, in which the circumstances of the beneficial effects of the Conquest are explained, the author reasons expressly. The accent on the hardness and ruthlessness of the conquerors is gone, and the phrase needed licking into shape figuratively expresses a broad-minded view on the subject by its meaning “to make presentable, efficient and properly trained”. Even the meaning of an iron hand only moderately expresses the hard oppression, because its usefulness in many aspects is further emphasised. This paragraph is nicely framed up by two concepts naming the principal gains in which the Conquest was beneficial - the fact that Britain has never been subjugated ever since and its good fortune in being given “a long line of most vigorous and statesmanlike kings”. The manliness and a strong character of the author are written all over these statements as their overtones. The metacontent of the text is therefore confined to the expression of restrained emotions, and makes this, like other referential English texts of the authors who thus express themselves, bear a touch of the character of a free man.

The emotive use of English as it appears incorporated into the phatic use of English is of a different character. Emotive attitude is overstated in the phatic use of English because, whether directed to the object of discourse or to the listener, its aim is to please the hearer and create the most favourable conditions for talk. But emotive attitude in the phatic use of English may differ in kind, and this derives from the lexicogrammatical features of this use of language.

As has been mentioned in earlier studies (cf.: Charleston, 1960; Drazdauskiene, 1974; 1990, 1992), emotively coloured utterances are of two basic types in the phatic use of English - those with the structurally and those with the semantically expressed emotive colouring, i.e .exclamations and statements. Like in the functioning of language in general, in this use of English the structure and vocabulary converge in the expression of emotiveness, but the vocabulary is more significant in the statements. It is an obvious fact that the structure of exclamations and statements in the phatic use of English is that of the simple sentence. Their effectiveness derives from their brevity, (and this has been noted as a typical feature of familiar conversation in general. Cf.: Crystal, Davy, 1979, 110). The role of interjections, which are more frequent in exclamations and short responses, is obvious and may be passed at mentioning. It is less significant than that of the adjectives and adverbs in emotively coloured utterances in the phatic use of language, however. This is so because the meaning of interjections is superficial as it derives from physical rather than intellectual reaction. Such adjectives, as lovely, wonderful, marvellous, fabulous, enchanting, fantastic, terrific, admirable, frightful, horrid, awful, and others of this kind are frequent in familiar socialising conversation in the phatic use of English. Since the state of things is never treated analytically in the phatic use of English, these adjectives usually overstate the quality by their colloquial sense and frequency.

It is not always that such adjectives express an overstatement, however. One can come across numerous laudatory statements in studies in stylistics and literature in the referential use of English, in which the same adjectives are used in their literal sense. Cf.: (1)Pretty marvellous, really, I suppose. (2)Mark Antony’s speech in the Forum does not strike one as wholly sincere; but it is a marvellous speech. (3)She got a very good second as it is, which is pretty remarkable on the amount of work she did. (4)Constance commands a remarkable personal rhetoric, a power of expressing passion. Even without more extensive contexts and without the sources identified, the same adjectives of subjective qualification in the second sentences of these pairs (sentences. 2 and 4) have an obvious grounded sense because they belong to the referential use of English34. It is not so with the adjectives of subjective qualification in the phatic use of English (sentences 1 and 3), where anything may be fantastic, admirable, marvellous, charming or enchanting. All that such adjectives thus convey is a high degree of emotiveness and a positive attitude. Therefore one has grounds to assume that such emotive exaggeration for the sake of impression and sociability is a true case of overstatement in English.

The above statement does not mean, however, the freedom of collocation in the phatic use of English no matter how close synonyms the evaluative words are. Since the focus in the present paper is on the influence of language on the mind of man and since the collocation of words is one of the trickiest tests on thought to discipline it, some space will be given to the regularities of the collocation of the seemingly unrestricted use of the vocabulary in the phatic use of English, even though the material has considerably been drawn from fiction35. There are very few adjectives of subjective qualification current in the phatic use of English the collocability of which is quite unlimited. They include the all-purpose nice36, the widely applicable good and lovely, although the last one seems to be essentially a women’s word37. It is the general meaning of these words, i.e. ‘pleasant’, ‘acceptable and satisfactory’, and ‘enjoyable and attractive’, respectively, as well as their relatively monosemic character that do not significantly restrict their collocability in small talk. There is a difference, however, in the collocability of such evaluative adjectives as wonderful, marvellous, fascinating, fantastic, fabulous, splendid, charming, etc., and their opposites, such as awful, horrible, horrid, ugly, stupid, etc., though they basically differentiate between good and bad.

To consider the collocation of the emotive-evaluative adjectives wonderful and marvellous, one has to remember their typical uses38 in the phatic use of English, in which the emotive use is prominent. Minding that the quoted utterances, like all the illustrative examples on the emotive use of English, have been picked from texts of imaginative literature of about 800-1000 pages and from conversation of about 50 hours running in formal contexts, the currency of these adjectives is not too great. As the examples indicate, the adjective wonderful usually functions in its meaning of something ‘good, pleasant, enjoyable’ rather than in the meaning of something ‘causing wonder, remarkable’. The current meaning generalises the sense of wonderful to permit its predicative and attributive functions, to apply to persons and things. But the seme of appreciation is obviously given prominence over that of qualification in the meaning of wonderful. Its use is therefore regular when speaking about a person’s looks (1), general character (3) and feelings (2).In attributive uses (4,5), the same meaning of general appreciation is retained. But the use of this adjective is not commonly extended to objects of distinct value.

The adjective marvellous is still more general as it means something ‘wonderful, excellent’. As the examples indicate, it is used basically predicatively of the general impression of man or his looks, and emphasises the degree of emotive evaluation, rather than the identity of a quality, which is not part of its meaning. The adjective marvellous is therefore less precise than wonderful and is not frequent in attributive uses (cf., though: a marvellous idea/opportunity). Probably because of the more definite seme of quality in its meaning, the adjective wonderful is more frequent in the emotive use of English in small talk than the adjective marvellous which tends to imply obvious exaggeration not based on fact. Although semically the adjective marvellous covers the meaning of wonderful, it is not as specific and is definitely emotive in character. Both these adjectives express only subjective qualification but their collocability and application are not unlimited.

The adjectives fascinating and charming are as close in their meaning because the first means ‘having great attraction or charm’, while the second something ‘very pleasing and delightful’. Their quality semes have but a slight difference and the meaning of degree is high in both. Although the seme meaning ‘charm’ identifies fascinating with charming, the first is typically used of objects (cf.: a fascinating story/remark; something makes/sounds (sth) fascinating) attributively and predicatively, while the second of subjects and objects, generally attributively (cf.: a charming little girl/song). While being both of subjective qualification, this pair of adjectives tends to be used in the general sense of something attractive and pleasing with a strong emphasis on degree. Their collocation is limited, however, by the semic implication of the animate subject in the meaning of charming, which is not present in the meaning of fascinating and limits its use only to things. Probably because of a high degree of emotive meaning, these adjectives tend to function in informal rather than formal conversation. The use of the adjectives fabulous and splendid would qualify in a similar way because they both mean excellent and wonderful qualities by exaggeration, therefore contain a sense of informality and are limited to the respective contexts. In collocation, they both apply to the inanimate. The fact that the cognitive meaning of the adjectives of subjective qualification has been modified by emotive use was known to Stephen Ullmann (Ullmann, 1973, 53).

With the adjectives beautiful, perfect and smart functioning in their distinct and definite meanings and standing apart from the adjectives of subjective qualification, the analytic consideration of the negative adjectives of subjective qualification, such as awful, terrible, ugly, hideous, miserable and others would show that limitations in their collocation are analogous to those applying to the adjectives of positive subjective qualification explained above. It remains to add that identifying elliptical exclamations and existential predicative structures permit the greatest freedom in the use of the adjectives of subjective qualification (cf.: How terrific/frightful, deadly, absurd, etc. It’s/was amazing/interesting/hopeless/filthy/ugly, etc.). The meaning of degree being prominent considerably in most of these adjectives, the syntactical structures complement the freedom of their use. In such syntactical relations anything may qualify as anything because there are no attending constraints arising from the attributive and completive bonds. It is only the context of situation that restricts the use of the adjectives of subjective qualification, especially of the negative ones, in the quoted syntactical structures.

What has been shown about the limitations on collocation and contextual use of these seemingly non-committing adjectives of very general meaning and of a high degree of emotive colouring must have implied the constraints that the emotive use of English lays on the speaker, especially when this use of language is incorporated in the phatic use of English. If one extricates oneself from the concrete words and plain linguistic facts, the following conclusion offers itself. To participate in English conversation realising the phatic use of language, otherwise, in small talk, in which the emotive use of language is significant, does not mean to be well emotionally disposed, still less, to be emotional or smile ceaselessly, and scatter emotively coloured words, even though positive in meaning, randomly. To make conversation in English would require, especially from a foreigner, a measured and restraint attitude and a discriminating mind which can select the best and most appropriate words with ease, plus the grace to conceal the mental effort when and if it is spent in making instantaneous decisions on words when one socialises in respective contexts. There is nothing or very little random and accidental even about the least committing words in a language like English. In its combination with the emotive use of English, the phatic use of this language becomes challenging because it combines the ability to speak pleasingly with the historical-cultural tradition in social customs and behaviour. The phatic use of English has a historical tradition in Anglo-Saxon society39 and it has been developed by the people of class, whether by birth or education or both, who have never been scatterbrain or insensitive to human needs and qualities. The emotive use of English in small talk therefore trains the speaker’s intellectual discipline.

The emotive use of language appears as a subordinate use in all other uses of English but is less prominent in some of them. The significance of emotive vocabulary in the referential use of English has been hinted at in considering the initial illustrative examples above. The least ambitious but comprehensive consideration of the emotive use of language in rhetoric, or the quasi-referential use of English, and in imaginative literature, or the metacommunicative use of English, would require a major study. A review of the realisation of the emotive use of English in these spheres has to be excluded from the present paper, the more so that it has been studied to a considerable degree under different headings and within different theoretical frameworks.

In utterances of specific structure, which are known as exclamatory sentences, emotive overstatement is of a similar character in the phatic use of English. Cf.: How awful! Aren’t they lovely! What an adorable baby! Utterances of this kind are less striking, however, because they are short and indicate only a moderate lead to further conversation. But overstatement in the phatic use of English goes beyond the utterances in which overstated emotiveness is expressed semantically and structurally. Such are the utterances with overstatement expressed by the noun and the verb. Cf.: I haven’t seen David for ages, have you? It’s miles out of your way, absolutely miles; it’ll cost you a fortune to take me back first. I’ve been dying to show it to someone. I’d give the world to be able to write a book like that. Utterances of this kind remind one of figurative overstatement, and approximate hyperbole in its classical sense, when this kind of exaggeration was in line with other cases of the transference of meaning that were identified as a single trope and termed metaphor by Aristotle (Aristotle. Poetics, 21. 1457b, 5-15 // Aristotle, 1954, p. 251).

Although they differ literally, the sense of overstatements in emotively coloured utterances in the phatic use of English is sociability and, specifically, a welcoming attitude and encouragement. They are typical only of familiar conversation in the phatic use of English. In formal and otherwise correct social conversation, the tone is more subdued in the phatic use of English and the expression is more moderate40. The adjective good is common with some speakers, and the expression It’s very kind of you contains almost the highest degree of emotive colouring. In such contexts, the use and meaning of the adverb very acquires real significance. Therefore I’ve enjoyed our talk so much or I’ve been completely thrilled would be almost marginally emphatic expressions in correct conversation in the phatic use of English. Even so, if it is a lady talking, she could say thrilled if only she had heard something from her companion “that could be truthfully described as thrilling”, recommends the redoubtable Emily Post (Post, 1945, 10).

This note on the differentiated degree of attitude brings the moderate expression of emotiveness in English to the fore. The conclusive statements in the previous paragraph have led to minding the meaning of adjectives used in English. This is indeed a point in English, the language in which adjectives have been treated with caution. Even extreme statements on this account have been known, when giving advice on word selection in the referential use of English in writing: “Do not use a word unless you know its exact meaning”; “When in doubt, strike the adjective” (Henderson, 1930, 265ff), or “To avoid vague adjectives, kick the adjective habit” (Pinckert, 1981, 47), have been plain pieces of advice from the authors concerned with the quality of English41. The best authors did observe such dicta, whether known to them in such a direct form or not. Therefore moderate emotiveness should be considered a feature of the best English, as has also been found true of the referential use of English in the specimens analysed above.

The point of moderate emotiveness leads one to a consideration of understatement in English. The traditional definition of understatement treats it as an expression of “an affirmative via negative of its contrary” (Wagner, 1968, 133). It is significant for the subtle shades of evaluative meaning that conceal what otherwise would be a blunt expression of the obvious, and the British have been known to be sensitive to blunt speaking42. For instance: I was rather annoyed (= extremely annoyed). She put it somewhat rudely (= pretty rudely). That’s rather silly (= very nasty). This is not bad (= very good). It’s a bit of a fiction (= That’s a lie, this being a tremendous accusation)43. Although understatement reduces enthusiasm in the appreciation of the positive, it is rather agreeable in covering the direct negative. Understatement has been assumed to be a typical expression of the English. Indeed, such expressions as: (1)Here is a rural fellow /That will not be denied Your Highness’ presence. (2)Affection is very well, but extravagance is not unlikely to provoke ridicule, and that is fatal to a lover’s correspondence. (3)While these apprehensions are not wholly unfounded, there is much to be said on the other side. (4)The tribe is often so small that intermarriages with alien tribes that speak other dialects or even totally unrelated languages are not uncommon. (5)Not far from 1000 B.C., an alien folk called the Etruscans had come across the seas from Asia Minor ... and held sway over Rome itself for no mean period. (6)...and I thought she was probably right. She was no mean psychologist, in her way. (7) (The house is) Not bad for a Tuesday.(8)I don’t think that Americans ever had a very high opinion of legislators. These quotations range from Shakespeare (1), through letter writing manuals of the 1920s (2), works of such linguists as Henry Bradley(3), Edward Sapir(4), Richard Kent(5), to the novelists’, Dick Francis(6) and Margaret Drabble(7), and the BBC’s (8) English. These are classical examples of English understatement, quite neutral instances, too. But understatement can have a rather elaborate form in English, with the attitude quite covert because of the longer structures. For example: (9) That wouldn’t be altogether disagreeable, as a response to a question whether the person would like a strong drink.(10)To me the surprising thing is that so many girls are able... to retain... an air of inviolability towards its whole atmosphere that would not have been unbecoming in a mid-nineteenth century young lady of the middle classes. (11)He’d given me no allowances for youth, told me in no uncertain terms from the beginning that... Understatement might be said to be a form of the expression of concealed emotiveness, sometimes irony, which is more favoured by men rather than women. Although most of the numbered examples have come from imaginative literature and represent the metareferential use of English, this is not to say that the use of understatement exceeds the use of overstatement in familiar conversation in the phatic use of English. This is rather to say that understatement and, especially, covert emotiveness would be a norm in uses other than the phatic use of English44. This is true to such an extent that when an intentional exaggeration is used in English, as, for example, the answer Very well to the question How are you?, the implied meaning is irony or danger. The best modern English authors may be and have been vigorous in their expression, but unrestrained emotiveness is not typical of either speech or writing in English, at least not in the referential use of this language45.

Ways of the expression of emotiveness and attitude in English differ, but space limits this consideration of the emotive use of English. Apart from the subtle expression of attitude through modality, mentioned in the phatic use of English, irony has been ignored, which is very interesting, especially when it is self-directed, and it often appears in the form of understatement. For instance, I don’t play too badly, from an expert tennis player (cf. the sense and use of the irony of tone typical of the English in the referential use of this language: Leech, 1969, 176). With the cultural custom in emotive expression so intricate, the emotive use of English demands proficiency and subtlety from the user of this language. Minding the ways of its expression, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the emotive use of English, although a subordinate use of this language, contributes not only to sharing and pleasant attitude in communication, but, most importantly, to the development of the potential meaning of the English language. By virtue of certain patterning in the expression of attitude and in collocation, the emotive use of English creates conditions which test the speaker’s expertise in the choice of the word in collocation or of the verbal pattern and establishes the units thus developed in protection of the language over the speaker’s freedom. The emotive use of English therefore has an influence on the speaker’s intellect and on the functions of his mind no less than the referential use of English.

This consideration of the emotive use of English made no mentioning of this use of language in the metacommunicative use of English. The latter use of English encompasses imaginative literature of all kinds and genres, and it has been common knowledge since the Greeks that the emotive use of language in it is absolutely essential. It is a topic in its own right. What is worthy of note here is that the emotive use of language is also subordinate in the metacommunicative use of English the way it is subordinate in the phatic and the referential uses of this language.

The metalingual use of language may be defined as the speech the purpose of which is to specify or define the meaning of the words used by self-imposed reasoning or at a request. In English this is common practice in all contexts in which the referential use of language occurs. I mean, I mean to say, What I mean is..., Do you mean ...? and similar parentheses as well as questions are frequent not only in scholarly discussions but also in every conversation of referential character. With slightly less imperative meaning, they occur in the phatic use of English, too. The intellectual discipline of English speaking authors is so much innate in them that definitions even of the common terms are given time and again when specifying the point in argument in the works, the explicitness and language of which are nothing but perfect (cf.: Widdowson, 1979, 2, 33ff, 73, 80, 85 et passim; Widdowson, 1991, 3, 4, 5, 21, 23 et passim; Halliday, 1990, 7, 8). This may be seen as part of the intellectual discipline which governs all referential use of English. But it may also be seen as part of the Western tradition of communication, reiterated descriptively in some studies (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960; 109-117; Durant, 1961, 59). At least it is part of the classical tradition in the referential use of language. It will be remembered that, in the works of Plato and Aristotle, the explication of the meaning of the terms both concerning the object of argument or of a statement, as well as that of the contextually important common words is introduced time and again if they matter in the argument (cf.: Plato, Phaedrus, 1996, 163d-264a; 265a-b; 265d-e; Aristotle, 1954: Rhetoric, I.5, 1361b et passim; Poetics, 5, 5-10, 21, 1457b, 1-5 et passim). Seeking the definition of rhetoric in his work Phaedrus, Plato defines, supplements and redefines this term, thus approaching not only explicitness but also truth value of the concept (see: Plato, Phaedrus, 1996, 264b-d; 266b-c; 266d-e; 267c-d; 269b-d et passim). It would be almost redundant to reiterate that the best English authors follow the practice of the classical authors to make their referential use of English disciplined, explicit and reliable.

Although the metalingual use of English is not limited to equational sentences, especially when it occurs in the phatic use of this language, it can in no way be identified with all linguistic and literary studies - grammar, philology, linguistics, literary criticism, La Petit Larousse, as George Mounin ascribed them (Mounin, 1967, 409-410) in his argument on the flaws of Jakobson’s functions. It is true that all these subjects use a certain metalanguage, but as subjects they represent instances of the referential use of language. Language and literature become the objects of discourse in them. All six Canons of Symbolism apply to this discourse and make it the referential use of language. Among the six Canons of intelligent communication, those of Symbolism - Singularity, Expansion, Definition, Actuality, Compatibility and Individuality (Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 87-109ff), only one focuses on definition which, in its true sense, represents the metalingual use of language. It may be reiterated that the metalingual use of language focuses on the code, i.e. on the precise words used, and it becomes of importance in keeping discourse or argument accurate, plain, and comprehensible.

Of all the texts that the volumes mentioned by George Mounin contain, only La Petit Larousse would count as an instance of the metalingual use of language, because in a dictionary, language is used to specify and define the meaning of the words and thus perfect the language as a code before and simultaneously with any act of communication that may ensue. This is the function of all dictionaries and their contribution is in saving man from the confused use of words, so much decried by Ogden and Richards. No corpus, however propagated and attractive the idea may seem, will replace the dictionary, based on a tested model and perfected through several editions. Corpus as it is can offer at best pieces of raw flesh, while the dictionary explains the meaning of the words of a language as that of the units of sociolinguistic and sociocultural heritage. The role of the metalingual use of language is very significant in this process, and the metalingual use of English is one of the most perfect metalingual uses of language in the world.

Thus defined, the metalingual use of English is a subordinate use of language, which indeed it is. Even when a very specialised language is used in linguistic studies, for instance, such a language nevertheless remains a code or a means of expressing and conveying reasoning and argument, i.e. a medium in the exchange of information. The metalingual use of language does not and cannot be identified with the text of such a treatise so long as the terms are not defined or specified in the course of the argument. Since such definitions are usually given in asides or in notes in scholarly treatises, the metalingual use of language is even formally marked off in the text. That it is additional and therefore subordinate to the general line of argument requires no proof. It is only in linguistic explanatory dictionaries that the metalingual use of language dominates. But dictionaries are books of reference which, too, aid communication rather than lead it. So the metalingual use of language once again appears in the function of a servant. But the subordinate function of the metalingual use of language is most obvious in routine communication in the referential and the phatic use of English. It is no less obvious in the metacommunicative use of language: requests for an explanation of the meaning of a word appear in imaginative literature beginning with Shakespeare’s plays and finishing with modern best-sellers. The explanation of the meaning of the words in such cases is so direct and pointed that the focus on the code is very obvious. For example:

Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?

Wife. Ay, that he was.

Son. What is a traitor?

Wife. Why, one that swears and lies.

Son. And be all traitors that do so?

Wife. Every one that does so is a traitor,

And must be hanged. (Macb., IV.1).

Apart from its dramatic significance which derives from the innocence of the question and from an instrumental explanation of the meaning of the word in the dramatic context, in which innocent deaths had occurred and in which the concept ‘traitor’ has to be reversed, this instance of the metalingual use of English illustrates not only how it can be subordinate to the metacommunicative use of this language, but also that it follows the pattern of the referential use of English.

Modern fiction offers less dramatic instances of the metalingual use of English exploited for psychological characterisation but no less significant artistically. For example:

When Atticus looked down at me I saw the expression on his face that always made me expect something. “Do you know what a compromise is?” he asked.

“Bending the law?”

“No, an agreement reached by mutual concessions. It works this way,” he said. “If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll go on reading every night just we always have. Is it a bargain?”

/.../ ... and we were at all times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding. (Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird. Chapter 3).

This instance of the fictitious exploitation of the metalingual use of language is significant by its psychological implications for both the participants. Additionally, it reveals the ability of a connoisseur to explain the meaning of an abstract concept in a simple and explicit way, a feature which increases the appeal of the character and the possibilities for the reader’s identification with the imaginative reality, with very rewarding emotional experience. But it also shows how precisely and to what extent the words can be used to speak about words, and how the content of the metalingual use of language approximates the essence of the referential use of words.

. Since in its most pronounced instances the metalingual use of language follows the model of the referential use of language structurally and semantically, it contributes to the development of the potential meaning of English no more than the referential use of this language. This contribution of the metalingual use of English is moderate, but the metalingual use of English in the Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias is so polished and economical, and of so perfect a standard that it may be employed even for the purposes of training the discipline of the mind of the foreign learner of English. It is just that, when the lexicogrammatical regularities in the metalingual use of English are ignored in defining the terms of the new fields of science and in specifying their semantic relations, English usage becomes upset and even damaged (cf.: Cottle Basil, 1975). Therefore the role of the metalingual use of English should not be underestimated.

Of the five uses of language with which the present discussion started (see p. above), the metasemiotic use of language has remained unconsidered. It will be remembered that the metasemiotic use of language was originally the poetic function in Roman Jakobson’s scheme. The poetic function has been extensively analysed (see: Mounin, 1967; Garcia, 1975) and the flaws of the concept pointed out. One of the principal deficiencies in defining this function had been found to be its singularity in comparison with the other functions and the inconsistency in the choice of the criteria. That is why Olga Akhmanova’s concept and term the metasemiotic function has been elected for the purposes of the present paper. However, the metasemiotic function cannot be treated as a use of language and paralleled with the four previously defined uses of English in the present paper. Akhmanova’s definition of metasemiosis as the process whereby the form and content of a certain verbal unit become the expression of a new content definitely presents the metasemiotic function as a semiotic event rather than a use of language. Metasemiosis thus defined appears to be a semantic process transforming sense, which may be characteristic of any use of language.

Indeed, minding the given definition, the phatic use of language may be shown to incorporate metasemiosis. Hypocrisy which has been ascribed to the phatic use of language by the elementary minds and which makes such minds shun this use of language is no hypocrisy at all. It is rather the process of metasemiosis which is permanent in the phatic use of language and which may be tiresome to less refined people. In my previous consideration of the phatic use of English, I have been trying to outline its peculiarities with resort to functional and semantic features, such as the obscurity of the denotation of notional words in definite contexts and the significance of the sociocultural and sociolinguistic overtones of meaning. A simpler and a more straightforward way would have been to give all the semantic intricacies in the phatic use of English a common name, that of metasemiotic communication. But then it would have excluded those cases of the phatic use of English, in which the extralinguistic background motivates the denotation of notional words and gives this use of language at least a temporary and ephemeral referential guise.

Furthermore, in Olga Akhmanova’s definition, the metasemiotic function may sooner be found to be a linguistic universal rather than a use of language. At least it could never be stretched to the concept of a use of language with a definite purpose in definite contexts of situation. Therefore I have no grounds to retain this function among the uses of English. Thus, the four uses of English defined above - the phatic, the referential, the emotive, and the metalingual, may be treated as having a motivated identity in its native context of use. But they do not exhaust uses of English, for there may be mixed uses of this language and some of them can be defined with confidence.

The four uses of English described above do not function isolated. They are intertwined in the process of communication, but there exists a certain hierarchy in their relationship. It has been emphasised all along that it is possible to view the phatic and the referential uses of English as more or less autonomous uses of this language. These would be the principal or permanent uses of English. Since the emotive and the metalingual uses of English are subordinate uses of this language, they would be treated as the accompanying or temporary uses of English. But there may be more or less permanent joint realisation of the principal uses of English, naturally, incorporating the subordinate uses of this language. With the selective integration and distribution of the subordinate uses of language, the permanent unity of the phatic and the referential uses of English produce composite uses of this language. They may be called the mixed uses of English.

There is one composite use of language which stands in a category by itself and is the most important mixed use of language. It is the metacommunicative use of language, which may be defined as a conscious and purposeful employment of language to produce complete and accomplished texts, in which the potential and all the available resources of a language are exploited and imaginary self-contained contexts created. The credibility of such texts is attained by metareference to reality and their identity is established by a systematised integration of the structural and functional elements to achieve a perfected generalised significance of every single text which therefore becomes a verbal phenomenon in its own right or a work of aesthetic value. Its function is to delight. The metacommunicative use of language has been known to incorporate the phatic and the referential uses of English to produce text as an identifiable work which would be a unit of sense and a context of itself. Together with the subordinate uses - the emotive and the metalingual, the principal uses of English are also given artistic functions in every text in the metacommunicative use of language to contribute to its sense or generalised significance. The metacommunicative use of language is a remarkable use of English because it creates closed and complete imaginary worlds in every work and is realised in enormous volumes of texts. Apart from the metareferential use of language, it gives a very meaningful prominence to the emotive and the phatic use of language. When the metalingual use of language is realised in it, it also acquires distinct artistic significance, as the examples above have shown (see pp 59-60 above). The metacommunicative use of English incorporates all other existing uses of this language with their respective transformation and the transference of the meaning of the units in them.

There may be several mixed uses of English, which involve the principal uses of English together with the subordinate uses to a higher or lower degree. The concept of mixed uses of language makes the system of uses of English open-ended. All mixed uses of English cannot be exhaustively discussed here, nor is there a need to attempt to fix the number of the mixed uses of English in the present paper. Discounting the metacommunicative use of English as an exceptional composite use of language, one other mixed use of English is mentioned. For want of a better name, it may be called the quasi-referential use of English. The quasi-referential use of English would be the use of this language of basically referential content for purposes other than immediate pragmatic issues in such contexts as direct or mediated public address, address of juries and executive bodies, or a presentation, to public at large, of statements, facts and opinions with a definite purpose and bias. The purpose of speech in such cases would be persuasion; it is persuasion of the audience for or against facts or opinions voiced so as to achieve a definite mental reaction of the audience, furthering its steps in decision making and action taking, that sets this use of English, with its voluminous heritage and frequent present-day occasions for its realisation, apart from other uses of English. What is more, is the continuity of the classical tradition in it or its classical legacy, which may be traced in both genres representing the quasi-referential use of English, essays and speeches. Analytical treatment of rhetoric in classroom teaching is a good resource to develop critical thinking.

There is a difference between the mixed uses of language which involve the phatic and the referential uses of language together with all or only some subordinate uses. Although such events as verbal communication at scientific conferences, political debates or classroom teaching also incorporate both the phatic and the referential uses of language, the referential use of language dominates in them and the purpose of such communication is immediate pragmatic issues. The phatic use of language is fragmentary in them and performs only the role of elementary contact maintenance. Therefore these verbal events have been ascribed to the referential use of English. In the quasi-referential use of English both the referential and especially the phatic use of language become exploited for the purpose of persuasion. The socialising role of the phatic use of English is only partial in the quasi-referential use of English, the ultimate effect being calculated for contact maintenance in persuasion. But what is most prominent in the quasi-referential use of English is the emotive use of this language. Since the purpose of speech in the quasi-referential use of language is persuasion, the speaker lays emphasis with a certain bias on facts and opinions presented. This gives prominence to the emotive use of English. The emotive use of English acquires the expression in various stylistic devices - figures and tropes. To draw the listener’s attention to the relevance of facts and arguments and to their importance, i.e. to emphasise, parallelism, antithesis, enumeration, climax and other figures are used. To appeal to the listener’s emotions, the speakers resort to sententiae, quotations, allusions and even metaphors. In employing these devices in the quasi-referential use of English or rhetoric, the speaker usually resorts to the known sources so that the listener’s attention would be arrested immediately and that he could be mentally involved in the argument. Metaphors are also either obvious or not very original to move the listeners emotionally at the least effort (cf.: Zabulis, 1995a, VII). By adjusting his usage to the listener’s capacity, the speaker has more chances to win the audience over to his side. This is the logic and motive of the exploitation of the emotive use of English in the quasi-referential use of this language. The effect is usually so powerful that the quasi-referential use of English affects the listener’s reason and moves him to favourable reactions and decisions. But with the best speakers of today as it may have also been in the classical antiquity, references, tropes and allusions, even though adapted in view of their familiarity to the audience, establish a condition of certain expectations and the requirement of the audience’s sharing in the knowledge the speaker possesses. Thus, a certain degree of “literary sophistication of the audience” is a conditio sine qua non for the adequate perception of a speech and, consequently, for the success of the speaker (cf.: Carter, 1969, 249).

The actual realisation of the quasi-referential use of English would be rhetoric and journalism. This use of English is very developed, and the literary heritage of Great Britain includes volumes of texts of the speeches of the famous statesmen, of essays and journalistic articles by English authors of different centuries. The quasi-referential use of English is no less developed in the United States of America, the speeches of the American Presidents making up a huge volume and the essays as famous. Even documents of the United Nations include some splendid specimens of oratory and appeals written by its Secretaries and Directors, which add up to the heritage of the quasi-referential use of English.

Both the fixed and the variable patterns of the sentence and collocation are used in the quasi-referential use of English. But relatively short sentences, collocations of two or three members and exact words, identified as the features of the referential use of English, apply to the quasi-referential use of English. too. The quasi-referential use of English also makes ample use of tropes and emotive words, and gains from their contextual meanings. Longer sentences based on periods or parallelisms are used for the sake of heightened effects, as are all instances of tropes and figures of speech. Sententiae, quotations and allusions, especially those from and to the known sources, as well as an occasional cliché matter in the quasi-referential use of English. If the artistic effect of the choice use of reference to the first and the third person, singular and plural, were added, the quasi-referential use of English would find its place between the principal uses of English, on the one hand, and the metacommunicative use of this language, on the other. Its expressiveness is less fresh but only a little less effective than that of the metacommunicative use of English, and this is the subject of the following paragraphs.

Having excluded the poetic/metasemiotic function as only a semiotic event rather than a use of language, I have grounds to assume the presence of a composite use of language, which could be called the metacommunicative use of language in English. The metacommunicative use of English, and for that matter of any other language, is the use of language with the purpose of imaginative representation of content in complete and self-contained contexts of metareference. In actual realisation, the metacommunicative use of language would represent imaginative literature of all forms and genres. It is primarily the unity of the phatic and the referential use of language, together with the subordinate uses, that condition the metacommunicative use of English. Since actual reference is excluded from the metacommunicative use of language, the complete and self-contained context is the only condition of the realisation of this use of language. The mentioned principal uses of English play the role first, because it is primarily the phatic and the referential uses of language that can jointly produce a text as a complete unit, which enables self-contained metareference. In this sense, the unity of the phatic and the referential uses of language, in effect, echo the obligatory criterion of plot composition in tragedy, put forward yet by Aristotle (Aristotle, Poetics, 1954, 7, 1450b, 25-35). Of the three parts required in the composition of the plot, the beginning and the end would be provided by the phatic use of language, while the middle by the referential, both of which become meta-uses in the metacommunicative use of language. Moreover, if this interpretation of the production of a complete text by the respective use of language is correct, the unity of the phatic and the referential uses of language would motivate the textual function of language in Professor Halliday’s conception. The point is that the textual function of language has no background models or uses of language and is defined, to quote the author, as “an enabling function that is intrinsic to language ... as the function of creating text” (Halliday, 1976, 28).

The metacommunicative use of language incorporates both the principal uses of English and the uses of English subordinate to them and transforms them. As has been mentioned, all the uses of language become metauses in the metacommunicative use of language, which excludes the credibility of reference. It is only the emotive use of language which only partly becomes a meta-use and partly retains its direct application. The author’s meta-emotiveness becomes mixed with his actual emotive involvement in the metacommunicative use of language. That is why it is possible to discern the author’s emotive-intellectual stance at the moment of writing in functional-semantic analysis of literary text. The emotive use of language records the author’s actual involvement better than other meta-uses of language in the metacommunicative use of language. Since the metacommunicative use of language extends the axis of the quasi-referential use of language, it can incorporate the quasi-referential use of language, too, with subsequent transformations.

In English, like in other languages, all available structural patterns and verbal units function in the metacommunicative use of language. It also provides for the functioning of entirely original units, with a considerable degree of permisssiveness in the unprecedented exploitation of the code. Although most scholars agree that even poets have to master the rules of grammar before they learn to bend or break them (cf.: Quirk, 1968, 216; 1974), experiments with language have never been forbidden to poets. However, as far as one can guess from critical remarks, the British have predilection for the prose which uses smooth running and short words. Abstractions ridden texts, be it fiction or advertising, is “dreadful English” to them (cf.: Quirk, 1974, 138; BBC World Service, 15 January 1989).

Minding this favour with words, of which the native speakers are conscious, one should not overlook certain structural criteria in the metacommunicative use of language. Whatever the technique(s) employed by the author, he should mind that the image of reality which derives from the overtones of meaning in a concrete work should be a socioculturally recognisable image rather than an entirely absurd concept, if he cares for readership. On the one hand, language commits him (cf.: Ogden, Richards, 1923/1960, 228-229; Widdowson, 1975, 31), but, on the other, conscious efforts in the choice of words to bring forth major images and to render overtones of meaning by the use of tropes matter, too. It is difficult not to be too rigorous in stating this principle, but it definitely enhances the perception of the work, however popular the theatre of the absurd may have been and however enjoyable the modernists.

Another point would be the limits of experimentation. Since the metacommunicative use of language “is dissociated from an immediate social context” (Widdowson, 1975, 69) and functions by connotations and imagery, it is connotations rather than the denotation of the verbal units that contain a credible imprint of the author’s views and stance (cf.: Barthes, 1989, 284-293, 386-389). Although the possibility to check the author’s credible identity and commitments in imaginative literature has been denied outright by literary scholars, the emotive use of language does record imprints of the author’s emotive and intellectual stance, and it can be discerned through connotations, especially in poetry. Therefore extreme experimentation with language may not require centuries to expose its own true superficiality. It is not unlikely that extreme modernism and the absurd might have to be appreciated by a paraphrase of one statement applied to the literature of the beginning of the present century. In it, the loss of the conventional forms of the metaphatic use of language was noticed in terms other than the present paper employs. It was said that literature of the mentioned period gained originality at the loss of its communicative effectiveness (cf.: Garrod, 1931, 7, 13-15; Hughes, 1931; Lucas, 1955, 68). Literary fashions appear and pass, while the heritage primarily of British and American classics testify to the excellence of the metacommunicative use of this language, and the time-tested trends in linguistic and literary scholarship point to the classics anew (cf.: Garrod, 1931; Quirk, 1974, 34-40).

As the term itself indicates, the metacommunicative use of language extends beyond the conditions of regular communication to realise a credible presentation of metareference in a unique interpretation of the author. Heavily resorting to the transference of meaning and polysemy by the exploitation of the potential of the code down to its violation, the metacommunicative use of language nevertheless observes the author-reader relationship as the sole condition of communication. With only two subjects involved in each particular case of the metacommunicative use of English, the credibility of the effects of metareference is ensured. The superior role of the author and the uniqueness of his representation challenges the reader’s linguistic and extralinguistic experience, his emotions, knowledge and intellect, and culminates in aesthetic experience and pleasure. The metacommunicative use of language thus resorts to the total potential of language and to the reader’s experience, knowledge and sophistication with the issue of sublimity in the experience. The present argument in common terms does not exclude the possibility to identify the metacommunicative use of a concrete language, English in the present case, with its voluminous heritage. The specific cultural background of the Anglo-Saxons shapes the specific idiom of the metacommunicative use of English and its unique identity.

The metacommunicative use of English as described embraces what had been termed the poetic or the metasemiotic use of language. It also embraces the concept of the aesthetic function on general grounds and on the grounds unique to one particular language. What had been general in the aesthetic function as conceived by Mukarovsky, is identified as culture specific in the present argument, retaining the uniform criteria of the constituents of the process of communication. The metacommunicative use of English is still a use of language and it is only its effect that may be termed as having the sublime or aesthetic value.

Minding that there may be more mixed uses of English, a system of the principal and the subordinate uses of English may be schematically presented at this stage of the argument:

The Emotive

The Phatic The Referential

The Metalingual

The Mixed Uses

The Metacommunicative

Without any doubt, there are many more secondary uses of English in addition to the principal uses of English that the scheme above records. Most of them would be somehow related to the two principal uses - the phatic and the referential, and would often be among the mixed uses of English.

Because of the complexity of adult communication, most secondary uses of English are mixed uses of this language. Except for the metacommunicative use of English, the referential use of English has a role to play in most adult uses of language. Without going deeper into the interpretation of the secondary uses of English, it is important to draw attention to the fact that even the six uses of English represented in the figure reflect the spread and density of the network of the social functions of English. The functional spread and intensity of English is immense, as English speech covers all areas of social activity of the British and Americans in speech acts realising the different uses of English in their manifestation described above. It is its functional spread and intense currency that makes English a developed language. Language thus not only accompanies man’s activity in its instrumental and referential uses, but finds a place for its proper social functions. For example, the phatic use of English is not only the use of language for a drawing-room or a ball-room. It significantly accompanies even manual labour, as was noted yet by Bronislaw Malinowski, and certainly all leisure and routine activities of the British and Anglo-Saxon Americans. There is virtually no sphere of an English speaking person’s presence and activity which were not accompanied by language in its social functions.

The Intensity of Communication in English and Its Influence

This lengthy and technical review of the uses of English has been given to show the semantic density and integrity of living English and its verbal resources, merely the wealth of which can exercise pressure on its speaker. What is usually denoted and brushed off by the phrase a highly developed language, has been explicitly described in this Chapter, and, if the technical vocabulary has been too special for the reader, the impression of the overpowering resources of English could have been gained from the illustrative material. Reasoning superficially, the potential of a developed language is usually confirmed by the development of its social functions. I have rather attempted to illustrate the integrity of the living body of English. Although, to use Professor G.W.Turner’s term, I have often described the obvious, I have taken no less pains to explain the subtle, which indeed makes the intricacy of modern English usage.

With the view of the uses of English thus spread as the development of its social functions and that of its semantic system indicate, it can credibly be shown how language contributes to the development of man as a social being. It is the uses of English in their various manifestations that form the background of man’s existence since his first days and shape his consciousness, senses and intellect (cf.: Malinowski, 1923/1960, 329). It must have been these kinds of the simple uses of English that Professor Halliday emphasised as “numerous small events” which control and shape man’s behaviour and consciousness: “it is the most ordinary everyday uses of language, with parents, brothers and sisters, neighbourhood children, in the home, in the street and the park, in the shops and the trains and the busses, that serve to transmit, to the child, the essential qualities of society and the nature of social being” (Halliday, 1978, 9). By saying that it is the uses of English that form the background for man’s social development, I have actually reiterated what Professor Halliday had said. It is just that my investigation permits to speak of the uses of language and their role in the shaping of man’s consciousness, emotions and intellect rather than to enumerate the contexts in which the simplest uses of language occur, as some authors ventured to do.

In its various uses, whether spoken or written, language represents a physical reality in addition to its being a vehicle of meaning or, in Professor Halliday’s terms, a system of meaning. There is no split or contradiction between these two aspects of language - the physical and the semantic. It is only when these two aspects of language are taken into consideration one can credibly explain the process of how language affects man in its various uses. It is, in fact, impossible for man to escape the influence of language both on his body and on his mind in a developed community. It is just that the processes are different. Man perceives language not only through his senses of perception such as the ear and the eye; his whole body records linguistic impulses in association with all the contextual environment perceived even through his skin. Thus, words as they appear in different uses of language are recorded in the brain in association with the physical impulses, and the concepts which form themselves in man’s mind are never dissociated from the physical impulses, partly linguistic and partly extralinguistic. The perception and understanding of verbal messages and concrete words as well as their production is the subject matter of psycholinguistics, a very special field of study. Professor Halliday calls it the intra-organism perspective on language (Halliday, 1978, 10-13).

In the same circumstances, with the same sensitivity of man’s system of perception, verbal signals are accompanied by the kinesics of the people involved, their reactions and the whole system of values characteristic of the culture of a definite community of speakers. Thus man perceives language as part of the system of cultural values and learns to react and respond adequately. Professor Halliday calls this the inter-organism perspective on language (Hallliday, 1978, 12-16).

Since the subject of the present Chapter has been uses of language, man’s reaction which develops under the influence of language in various social contexts may be shown to have a related exertion. Immediacy in speech matters in all uses of language, but in no use of language is it more important than in the phatic. This is the true social function of English, and intellectual quickness is emphasised by some authors as an important prerequisite of social conversation (Mahaffy, 1888, 35-39). But what is most important is that intellectual quickness may be only inborn or acquired, never consciously learnt. The secret of intellectual quickness when it is acquired lies in the fact that man’s whole body is employed in reaction to verbal impulses in accord with how it is accompanied by the impression of the environment coming from respective contexts. Similarly, man’s whole body supports the brain when he has to respond in choosing a topic, or a comment, or a question. Thus his response comes to be accelerated and immediate in the contexts in which the phatic use of language is expected. What is always obvious in this use of language is whether man had been brought up in society practising language for the phatic use or whether he only learnt it together with his second or foreign language. If man has no inborn intellectual readiness, his phatic use of language may be a disaster when it is only learnt, whereas man with social experience in the phatic use of language is always prompt and tactful with his remarks and responses. This is so because such a native speaker lives with the phatic use of language, as it were, his whole body assisting his intellect. The phatic use of language is such a test barrier in verbal usage that man’s inborn ability or his social experience always gains over the foreigner’s rational reaction only.

What demands intellectual discipline from the speaker of English and exercises an immediate influence is not so much the structural variety and lexical abundance of English. It is most of all accuracy in the expression of nominal and verbal relations, the subtlety of the expression of modality, which is the essential aspect of limited directness and courtesy in English, and none the less its analytic clarity, which depends on the deep semantics of its collocation, on the logic and propositional structure of its sentence. Since the principal and mixed uses of English embody and polish these means of expression, the uses of this language may be said to exercise their power over the speaker per se.

Uses of language have a powerful potential as they spread over all the areas of man’s behaviour and activity. Uses of language represent verbal reality in its own right, which influences man through his whole body, not only through his mind. English society which practises a whole number of the uses of language and has the phatic use of language highly developed is a notably developed society whose members expose intellectual readiness and primarily rational response in all circumstances. English speakers are also noted for their verbal courtesy and correctness, which owe to the same uses of language. This expertise with language that is sometimes identified with the national traits of the British is an issue of their linguistic experience in various uses of language and dominates their judgement of the members of other communities in international contexts. The Lithuanians, for example, whom the British tend to assume to be very emotional, notice, in their turn, the intellect and the power of reason of the British. Language does seem to shape man so significantly as to influence his views and judgements. It is the role of the developed uses of English that is obvious in such and similar opinions.

When one appreciates such cross-cultural assumptions as those mentioned above, one tends to ascribe the differences to ethnic background. The Anglo-Saxons were a nation of warriors, whereas Lithuanians were and have remained a nation of farmers. But the role of language in the development of British identity features is undeniable. I would dare to claim that the role of the so-called trivial use of language, which is the phatic, is most important. This use of English is very powerful socially and it developed not without the influence of certain customs of the Anglo-Saxons. As A Short History of the English People records it, the Anglo-Saxon farmers of the fifth century owned their individual commonwealth, separated by nobody’s land, which was a stretch of waste-land or forest, inhabited, as was believed, by the nixie and the will-o’-the-wisp. The Anglo-Saxon farmers observed very strict rules of behaviour at that time. For example, custom bade that every man who happened to pass the nobody’s land had to blow a horn to warn the farmers of his presence. Whoever disobeyed the custom, might be lawfully slain, and numbers of disobedient trespassers met their death under the law of the custom on the borderline area (Green, 1929, 3). Interpreting this custom in the present context, one tends to believe that such a custom might have influenced the development of the phatic use of English. The analogy between the sound of the horn and that of the introductory phatic seems ever so obvious. The phatic use of English is truly a means of socialising, which exposes the speaker’s identity. Gradually this seemingly trivial use of English must have developed into a powerful phenomenon and a convenient practice in society, which is very important socially and shapes an English-speaking person’s consciousness and intellect since his early days.

Without so impressive historical and ethnographic references, one could speculate on the development of the emotive use of English, which serves the English a means of expressing friendly sociable attitude, but never palpable emotions. Although a subordinate use of English, the emotive use of this language is also a social function which contributes to the effect produced by the phatic use of English in this society. As is the testimony of the uses of English, one has to agree with Professor Halliday that it is the very minor or small linguistic events that influence the native speaker most powerfully since his early childhood. In other words, there are no inconspicuous uses of language. All uses of language, especially those of the widest currency, influence man so as to develop his senses and intellect and to accumulate as notable shared traits which identify his belonging to a definite community. The uses of English as described testify to the social role of the English language, to the development and cultural refinement of English speaking society which significantly owes its identity traits to its own uses of language.

9 Cf.: (In adult language)”… it is possible to talk about the uses of language by which I would understand simply the selection of options within the linguistic system in the context of actual situation types: use in its informal everyday sense. In that sense, use is a valuable concept…” (Halliday, 1978, 46).

10 Most of my material of the phatic use of English comes from the early novels by Margaret Drabble who exploits this use of English in realistic contexts to reveal how frequent and handy such speech is, how it obscures the intimacy even of close relations, their emotions and actual interests. It is a productive task to analyse the material taken from fiction because, whatever sociolinguistic data there may be, they can be comprehensively studied in the complete contexts of literary works. The complete and exhaustive fictitious contexts simplify the task of a researcher who is a foreign speaker of English, because the study of uses of language and of meaning in speech requires all the information the contexts may provide and accuracy in its interpretation. Since fictitious contexts, not the contexts of situation of the writer and his work, are self-sufficient as created only by the texts, they are finite or more limited than the contexts of realistic conversations, which extend over, by references in speech, to a particular immediate context of situation, the speakers’ life stories, experience and education at least, and to the cultural context of the participants and of their language. Therefore a foreigner is virtually incapacitated by so wide a range of contextual references necessary for a credible and trustworthy interpretation of meaning in casual conversation. He has no possibility to get access to all the contextual references in conversations of the native speakers and cannot therefore satisfactorily fulfil his research task, i.e. to interpret meaning in speech.

11 Although the goal of the use of language is identified on psychological and linguistic grounds with the interference of subjective motivation, the goal is an important factor in identifying a use of language.

12 The fixed word order in the English sentence, which “has never been as strict as it is now” (Potter, 1969, 162), imposes discipline on the language’s user, which, together with the logic of reasoning, produces sentences distinguished by the plainness of their logical content (due to the linearity of the structure) and by intensity (due to the explicit semantics of their lexical content), and by a rational organisation of text. But there is another aspect to the singularly logical character of English in the referential use, which derives from the subject-predicate structure as the nucleus of the clause. Cf.: “The full finite clause, then, requires a subject and predicate. It is an appropriate statement-making unit and its commonest form resembles that of the logical proposition” (Turner, 1973, 76).

13 The texts have been chosen from the twentieth century publications on history, linguistics and art, the content and language of which have been found unparalleled. The texts given below will be the basic illustrative material in this section:

(A) But in the seventeenth century they (i.e. foreigners, M.L.D.) regarded us very differently: ... And with some reason: a Nation that in the course of half a century underwent two revolutions, two civil wars and narrowly escaped another, executed one king and sent another packing, tried a Parliamentary Republic and a military Protectorate before arriving at a mixed constitution of its own making - such a country can hardly be accused of dullness or placidity (A.L.Rowse. The Spirit of English History, p.61).

(B) It will be remembered that we distinguished at the outset two kinds of theory of knowledge, one inspired by Cartesian doubt and the search for certainty, the other merely a branch of science, in which, accepting whatever science seems to establish, we seek to define the events that can be called cognitions, and the relation to other events that makes them such (B.Russell. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, p.111).

(C) In the hands of the long succession of thinkers which culminated in Plato and Aristotle, the capacities of the language for the expression of accurate distinctions had been cultivated to the highest point. In all the departments of science that were known to the ancient world, the Greek technical vocabulary is marvellous in its lucidity and precision. It is therefore not wonderful that the great part of it has been adopted into all the modern European languages. So well adapted is the structure of the Greek language for the formation of scientific terms, that when a word is wanted to denote some conception peculiar to modern science, the most convenient way of obtaining it usually is to frame a new Greek compound or derivative, such as Aristotle himself might have framed if he had found it needful to express the meaning (H.Bradley. The Making of English, p.99).

(D) The ceremony of serving up meals centred round the lord, and could operate even when he was eating on his own. But most of the time there were visitors of all ranks to be entertained, coming sometimes for a meal, sometimes for a night or nights as well, and sometimes in very great numbers. The need to look after these guests added to the size of the household. Although any of them were on necessary business, to keep something approaching open house was an essential part of the image of a great man. To have crowds of people continuously coming to the house, to have drink flowing in abundance, to serve up far more food than could possibly be eaten, and to feed the poor waiting at the gate with the leftovers was all evidence of power, wealth and glory (M.Girouard. Life in the English Country House, p. 23).

(E) The dependence of artists on the past grew heavier with time. Imitations of older works became less creative. An example from the first century BC illustrates this sorry degeneration (4.9). Two figures are combined to produce the group of Orestes and Electra, mythological brother and sister. Orestes is modelled on an early fifth-century-BC type of youth, and Electra is practically a copy of the late fifth-century-BC ‘Venus Genetrix’ (1.29) with only slight variations - for instance the right arm moved to rest across the youth’s shoulders and the drapery adjusted for greater modesty. It is a dry work, an unattractive pasting together of two unrelated older statues that makes the Aphrodite of Melos (4.8) look fresh and original by comparison (S.Woodford. The Cambridge Introduction to Art: GREECE and ROME, p.64).

14 But it is not easy to describe written English. Cf.: “It is difficult to describe the distinguishing characteristics of written language because the less important ones are obvious and the more important ones subtle” (Turner, 1973, 197).

15 In the following overview of the syntactical features of English in the referential use, I take up with a statement of Bertrand Russell, which claims that “sentences differ as wholes but not in their parts” since the sentence is a unity, i.e. it consists “of the same words, (often) arranged by the same relation of temporal succession; there is nothing whatever in their ingredients to distinguish the one from the other” (Russell, 1965, 34). On the unity of the English sentence, cf. also: Brooks and Warren, 1950, 305).

16 The lucidity of English interpreted as the analytic clarity of this language in the present paper is the subject of Chapter 3 below and therefore I confine myself only to a mentioning of this feature in the present context.

17 There are authors who think that it is spoken English syntax that is more linear: “... spoken syntax is more linear. Written English is more likely to embed sentences because the writer has taken the trouble to find out which ideas need to be incorporated into others” (Chisholm, Milic, 1974, 198).The same authors also note that a spoken sentence is about twice as short as the written.

18 The kinds of bond among the parts of the sentence and the tightness of the bonds have been investigated by the Professors and researchers in the Department of English at Moscow University. They have found that the attributive bond is the tightest of all syntactical bonds and is a dependent bond in the English sentence, i.e. it is a part of the part of the sentence, whereas other syntactical bonds, such as the completeive or the predicative bonds, are freer and independent bonds in the English sentence (cf.: Ter Minasova, 1981, 27-76; Akhmanova, 1974; Drazdauskas and Mikael’an, 1973, 94-105; Akhmanova and Mikael’an, 1972, 39-55; Akhmanova et al, 1969, 14-110). One can compare these concepts of the syntactical bonds with modification, complementation, coordination, and predication defined as “four principal syntactic structures” among words in the English sentence (Chisholm, 1981, 61-62).

19 The ring-like or cross links and the linear links among the words in the sentence show well in Latin and English. Cf., for instance, the first two lines of Ode 11 from Book I by Horace and their translations:

Tu ne quaesieris (...) quem mihi quem tibi finem di dederint, Leuconoe, ...

Ask not, ..., what my end, what thine shall be; (Translator:L Charles Stuart Calverley)

Don’t ask, Leuconoe, ... how long

the gods have given to you and to me: (Translator: Joseph P. Clancy)

As indicated, the syntactical relations in the Latin run in both directions and intersect. In both English translations, the linear subject-predicate-object structures appear, though the verbal expression differs and subjects and objects have been altered compared with the original. The inflections in Latin allow the reversed word order and preserve the independent and fronted position of the indirect objects mihi and tibi, whereas these objects have become either a dependent pronoun in attributive relations in the first translation or an isolated pronoun in complementary relations governed by a preposition in the second translation. This is possible because, though the word order is jumbled, the inflections make the syntactical relations formally explicit in Latin, whereas it is only the order of words that make the syntactical relations comprehensible and meaningful by their fixed linear p[roximity in the English. It is also the syntactical relations that allow a more abstract and poetic combination finem di dederint in the Latin, which, in the English, has become the plain and shall be and how long ... have given.

20 E.g.: 1)In fact, respect for the enemy was an old part of the Greek tradition (Woodford, 1992, 60). 2)Viewed from the outside, it is, to begin with, a characteristic of living organisms...(Russell, 1965, 10). 3)That is to say, the word obtains a sense in which it is descriptive of all the various things to which it has been applied, ... (Bradley, 1919, 177). 4)To my mind, the word ‘Puritanism’ should be used with the utmost caution... (Kenyon, 1978, 22). 5)The question of universals is difficult, not only to decide, but to formulate. Let us consider ‘A is to the left of B’. Places in the momentary visdual field, as we have seen, are absolute, and are defined by relation to the centre of the field (Russell, 1965, 325).

21 E.g.: 6)At the lowest level of speech, the distinction between sentences and single words does not exist (Russell, 1965, 26). 7)In the days when accident or self-defence were not regarded as acceptable answers to a charge of muirder or asssault, many villeins had to flee because they had killed or maimed one of their fellows (Stenton, 1981, 150). 8)Yet in individual instances we can seldom feel sure that in the case of this or that word he had not some English example before him (Bradley, 1919, 226). 9)Unfortunately, Digby chose that day to put a resolution before the Lords that, under present conditions, their deliberations were no longer free,... (Kenyon, 1978, 138). 10)They knew that the Egyptians, many centuries earlier, had devised a method for carving stone figures (Woodford, 1992, 7). 11)There is something about possession that diminishes,when it does not intercept, pleasure (Kerr, 1965, 229). 12)It is not to be supposed that, when our inquiry is finished, we shall. have arrived at anything radically different from this unphilosophical position I(Russell, 1965, 9).

22 E.g.: 13)The figure was created by Leonardo da Vinci ..., and Raphael’s drawing is only a copy - a copy, however, by a great artist (Woodford, 1992, 57). 14)Certainly Elizabeth left many problems for her successor, ... Moreover, these problems reached their climax just at the time when the national unity ... was beginning to crumble (Kenyon, 1978, 13). 15)It is therefore perhaps not an unfounded hope that the future history of the language will be a history of progress (Bradley, 1919, 240). Then is an impressive focus word in the referential use of English, significant stylistically , in the referential use of English. Cf.: 160)The Greeks had created, then, an entirely new kindof life-like statue (Woodford, 1992, 15). 17)Everything that we know, or we think we know, belongs to some special science; what, then, is left over for theory of knowledge? (Russell, 1965, 10). 18)And we also mean that Homer records these experiences with a penetrative artistic force that makes them seem peculiarly acceptable and convincing. So much, then, for truth in literature (Huxley, 1977, 354). 19)Our subject, then, is simply the effective use of language, especially in prose, whether to make statements or to rouse emotions (Lucas, 1955, 16). 20)To recapitulate, then, I am driven to the following heretical conclusions about sound and rhythm (Lucas, 1955, 255)

23 E.g.: 21)The Greek sculptor, like his Egyptian counterpart, appreciated the natural symmetry of the human body... (Woodford, 1992, 7). 22)An animal, on the contrary, when presented repeatedly with a stimulus, ... will gradually alter the character of the response.. (Russell, 1965, 11). 23)They were usually, though not invariably, recruited from families living in the areas where the lord had his main estates... (Girouard, 1980, 16). 24)Naive realism leads to physics, and physics, if true, shows that naive realism is false (Russell, 1965, 13). 25)At Hampton Court, if a seventeenth-century account is to be relied on, the garden contained ‘some snug places... (Girouard, 1980, 78). 26)It may be a single word, or, more usually, a number of words put together according to the laws of syntax... (Russell, 1965, 10). 27)But the teaching role of a great household, although of some importance, was a side result of its four main functions of administration, power, state and hospitality (Girouard, 1980, 18). 28)Probably around the middle of the second century BC, artists became seriously interested in the representation of space in its own right, not juts as the ambience in which people and things exist (Woodford, 1992, 71). 29)It should be observed that the above argument only proves the necessity of the word ‘similar’, not the word ‘similarity’ (Russell, 1965, 327). 30)In the first form of theory of knowledge, we accept the scientific account of the world, not as certainly true, but as the best at present available (Russell, 1965, 10).

24 Thus developed structure of the English sentence determines the manner of reading English text. The mind is directed forward, but not in a smooth sing-song way like in some inflected languages with melodious intonation. In reading an English text, its sense and the meaning of the sentences in it are gathered by taking in a sense group after a sense group with regular pauses among them.

25 E.g.: 31)The history of English country houses is filled with similar stories of ambition, some successful and others not (Girouard, 1980, 5). 32)Athena, fully frontal, majestic and still, brings the movement to an end (Woodford, 1992, 33). 33)The pediments of the Parthenon in Athens, carved a genration later (...), are even more ambitious (Woodford, 1992, 30). 34)The metope shows Atlas, rejoicing in his unusual freedom of movement, striding to the left holding the apples in his outstretched hands (Woodford, 1992, 33). 35)The dominant motif of Zeus and Athena, powerful god and goddess, moving in opposite directions but turning back to look at each other, is the very composition (...) used in the west pediment of the Parthenon (Woodford, 1992, 63). 36)Medieval-style households combined ceremony with familiarity in a way which is difficult to grasp today... (Girouard, 1980, 11). 37)It was probably written as a guide to the new king about court customs and the pay and allowances individual members of the court, both high and low, were accustomed to receive (Stenton, 1981, 22).

26 The number of complements and adjuncts, which would include subordinate clauses, is not unlimited in the English sentence. Many authors usually limit their number to a sin gle or a few units. For example: 38)In construction these Norman castles have a deceptive simplicity which generally hides great skill in the choice and the use of the site (Stenton, 1981, 15). 39)In a perfected epistemology, the propositions will be arranged in a logical order, though not in the logical order that a logician would prefer (Russell, 1965, 14). 40)When it was desired to express. more definitely than could be done by the simple past tense, the sense of what we call the perfect or the pluperfect, the device employed was that of combining the present or past of the verb ‘to have; with the passive participle (Bradley, 1919, 67)). The complements thus limited in number within a sentence confirm the clarity of the author’s thinking and, probably, conscious or instinctive concern for the reader. But when the author’s reasoning produces sentences of a more complicated structure, which, in some cases, extend only at the expense of extended homogeneous parts, they still preserve linearity even within the double extension of clauses and are punctuated carefully to help the reader to take in their sense with tolerable strain. E.g.: 41)Henry I looked out for talent and gathered about him able men - described somewhat unfairly by a contemporary chronicler named Orderic as ‘of low origin, whom for their obsequious services he raised to the rank of nobles’ (Stenton, 1981, 20). 42)This fostered a sense of neurosis which was accentuated by the Crown’s clumsy attempts, under the Tudors as well as the Stuarts, to obtain a fair slice of the economic cake by the use of controls in trade and industry, and to restrict its expenditure on court sinecures and even on the offices of central and local government (Kenyon, 1978, 21). 43)But in the seventeenth century they (i.e. foreigners, - M.L.D.) regarded us very differently:... And with some reason: a Nation that in the course of half a century underwent two revolutions, two civil wars and narrowly escaped another, executed one king and sent another packing, tried a Parliamentary Republic and a military Protectorate before arriving at a mixed constitution of its own making - such a country can hardly be accused of dullness or placidity (Rowse, 1944, 61). Really .long and complicated sentences with numerous complements and adjuncts also appear in the referential use of English, but their contents usually draws on the preceding context rather than expresses an original thought, which aids comprehension. Cf., for example: 44)Had Queen Anne been a man, or if she had been a more intelligent and aggressive woman, or if Marlborough had really harboured the megalomaniac dreams his enemies credited him with, then the future might have been very different; for, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the regular army after the Revolution steadily increased in size and efficiency, and so much of England’s ‘liberties’ or ‘liberty’, indeed the whole constitution. depended on the willingness of the monarch and his ministers to observe conventions which were strictly non-enforceable - the Triennial Act is a good example (Kenyon, 1978, 354). 45). It will be remembered that we distinguished at the outset two kinds of theory of knowledge, one inspired by Cartesian doubt and the search for certainty, the other merely a branch of science, in which, accepting whatever science seems to establish, we seek to define the events that can be called cognitions, and the relation to other events that makes them such (Russell, 1965, 111).

27 The complex English sentence preserves its lucidity because it is branched linearly and encapsulates a clear thought. This derives from the structure of English no less than from the English linguo-literary tradition. What is more, is that the clarity of the complex sentence has been found by some authors to owe even to the European tradition going back to ancient Greek. Cf.: “If we had to decide which of the legacies of Ancient Greece has meant most to Europe and mankind, we might well nominate the complex sentence. Along with Greek philosophy, there grew up a language able to express its fine distinctions and carefully ordered thought” (Turner, 1973, 71). Even if one would doubt the effect of this legacy on English, the stylistic perfection and clarity of expression in ancient Greek is beyond doubt . It has been brought out in studies on the recording of the Greek myths. Cf.: Myths appeared in the works of the Greek historians of the older generation, of those preceding Thucydidus. “The style of narrative was in essence the same in the works of all of them provided they had elected the same dialect. The most important features of their style was clarity, neatness, conciseness, the choice of expression in accord with the subject, and the absence of any arteficiality” (Antique Mythography and ‘The Library’ of Appolodorus // Apollodor, 1972

28 Cf.: “The notion that writing doesn’t have to be heard is quite a mistake, though a common one since so much that is written today has no sound - no believable person could say it. Writing meant for the age alone is never as lively and persuasive as writing that sounds like talking. /.../ When you write, listen” (Pinckert, 1981, 23, 219). Although expressed in a less imperative form, something similar had been implied in Mr. Fowler’s explanation of the rhythm of the sentence (Fowler, 2009, 504-505). One can also compare, in this connection, the culture of and sensitivity in listening to reading and recital, silent reading and writing as it was known in the classical antiquity and how it developed and what has become of it in the late modern ages (cf.: Vinich’uk, 1988, 230-233; Dilyte, 1999, 70, 409, 417;

29 E.g.: 46)If we hear of ‘the school house’ we think of a house which is used as a school... (Bradley, 1919, 66). 47)If, however, the artist wants the story presented in a metope to be intelligible at a distance, he must carefully choose the moment to be illustrated and use no more than three or four figures (Woodford, 1992, 32). 48)If towns on sites once Roman were richer and larger than towns on newer sites, as York was richer than Norwich and Lincoln than Ipswich, it was because of present circumstances, not an inheritance from their remote past (Stenton, 1981, 161). 49)If the head of an established family was ambitious to raise his status - or simply to keep up with new arrivals - one of the most obvious means towards doing so was to rebuild or improve his house (Girouard, 1980, 3). 50)If we combine in our minds the design of the Discus-thrower with the austere vitality of the Olympia sculptures and the poise of the Spear-bearer with the delicacy of surface of the Parthenon sculptures, we will come close to appreciating why the achievements of the early-classical and the high-classical periods were so much admired (Woodford, 1992, 37)

30 E.g.: 51)It (i.e. the word ‘sterling’, M.L.D.) means ‘tough’ or ‘strong’ and seems to have been adopted because each type of William I’s pennies was of the same weight (Stenton, 1981, 165). 52)Since monarch, court and government were all interconnected, the court had to be within easy reach of parliament, government offices and government officials in London (Girouard, 1980, 5).53)We have to rely on a seventeenth-century drawing for our information about the design, as most of the sculpture still visible then has since been destroyed (Woodford, 1992, 31). 54)Though the Greeks in the archaic and classical periods liked to portray men in the nude, they preferred sculptured women to be clothed (Woodford, 1992, 20). 55)In short, although poetry should be about ‘ordinary life’ it must by its very nature be separate from it (Bradford, 1997, 31). 56)But although the ownership and smooth running of great estates was a prerequisite of power, the power was made actual by men not money (Girouard, 1980, 19).

31 The text of the first two chapters of the book Life in the English Country House by Mark Girouard, for instance, contains only three ‘because’ clauses on pages 14, 20 and 21. The introduction to the book An Inquiry Into Meaning and Truth by Bertrand Russell (eleven and a half pages long), which overviews the subject in the field no less simple than theory of knowledge, has only two sentences with clauses of cause linked by the preposition because. What is more is that these are the simplest statements of experience, not rational propositions. The other two uses of because in the same Introduction are in the meaning of causal possessive which is not a clause of cause. Two more clauses of cause in the same text are linked with the preposition since and again concern experience rather than reasoning and so they neither obscure the sentence structure nor its meaning. This seems to imply that even argumentative prose in philosophy in English is not confined to statements with winding explanations. It is rather based on straight propositional statements with complements and clauses in linear relations.

There is one other conjunction expressing causal relations in the English sentence and is stylistically significant. It is the conjunction for, which makes the statement dynamic and elegant. E.g.: 57)But the Knidians wisely declined, for the statue made their city famous (Woodford, 1992, 57). 58)Carroll’s works by the pure reason, but this is not so strong a contrast; for, after all, mankind in the main has always regarded reason as a bit of joke (Chesterton, 1977, 211). This conjunction may be still more elegantly used when it appears initially in the sentence. In such cases it gives the impression of the immediacy of discourse, but also of the lightness of reasoning. Such a use of the conjunction for is frequent in the classical English essays. E.g.: 59)Eat your frogs, therefore, eat your scampi, your snails..., with gentle and interested forbearance; do not laugh at what you do not understand; ./.../ You will, by your fine thoughtfulness, have advanced the cause of international understanding. For it may be remarked that there is nothing which leads to such suspicion and evil thought among nations (as indeed between individuals) as the question of national foods and dishes (Nicolson, 1977, 317). 60)But the more we standardise wages, hours and prices, the more we insist upon social security for everybody, the more we compel two and two to make four everywhere, the more people will take to the greyhound tracks and the football pools. For it is when two and two miraculously make five that the heart leaps up at last (Priestley, 1977, 349).

32 Certain sections from all the books quoted so far can serve as excellent examples of the texts which employ simple or minimal compound sentences in historical, linguistic and art studies, which are not tales retold. One can consider, for instance, the syntax of the last chapter ‘Some Makers of English’ in the book The Making of English by Henry Bradley, that of the second half of the first chapter entitled ‘The Power Houses’ in the book Life in the English Country House by Mark Girouard and that of the whole text in The Cambridge Introduction to Art: Greece and Rome by Susan Woodford to be convinced how pleasingly accessible the meaning of these works is to the reader and how much this owes to the disciplined sentence structure, its linearity or, probably, geometric regularity, and therefore clarity. It must be confessed that the illustrations of compound and extended sentences given in the footnotes on the preceding pages have, in fact, been picked up in careful and thorough reading and re-reading of the quoted works. English Society in the Early Middle Ages by Doris Mary Stenton and Stuart England by J.P.Kenyon have been especially resistant sources to yield examples of syntactically complicated and challenging English. I should like to quote the first paragraph from Chapter 6 from the former book to illustrate the excellence of the text composed of minimal sentences, fairly short, consisting of two to three clauses, yet lively as they express intense reasoning:

The growth of towns in a rural society is inevitably slow and halting unless the king for his own purposes encourages the development of centres of population and trade. The early stages in the establishment of English boroughs had long been completed when William I became king. His Saxon predecessors had seen to it that in every shire there was at least one borough - a safe place for markets, a place where people could drive bargains before witnesses who would give evidence if the ownership of the goods were afterwards challenged, a place where money could be minted, and a place which could be a centre of defence and a place of refuge in time of war. Historians of the past have spilled much ink in argument whether trade or defence was the primary motive for urban development. Today, everyone would agree that both elements played their part in the movement which gave the land its towns. Another problem about town origins which had interested many people is why and how a particular site came to be chosen for a town. The powest point at which a river could be forded and bridged, a point to which also sea-borne ships could come, was a predestined market, port , and borough. London is the pre-eminent example of the strength of these inevitable forces. Inevitable, again, was the growth of Southampton, product of the double tides of Southampton water. Inevitable, too, was the appearance of Oxford, a natural meeting- place of roads from every quarter of the land. Many of our great cities were but rural manors in William I’s day, for new discoveries and changing habits have necessitated new centres. But all our modern county towns and many others can look back over a long history to the Saxon past (Stenton, 1981, 160).

33 Sentence length between two or three words and fifty words has been mentioned as the extremes by Brooks and Warren (Brooks, Warren, 1950, 323). Another estimate has been straight: “Mix up short, normal and long sentences. Short sentences are a dozen words or less. Long sentences are, say, thirty or more words. The average written sentence is thirteen to twenty words. Most your sentences should be around the average” (Pinckert, 1981, 131). Professor Burnham Carter, Jr.,, who analysed the rhetoric of President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, reminded the indifferent readers/writers that even the variation of sentence length in the Inaugural Address may challenge the inexperienced. His question indicated the desirable sentence length in English. Cf.: “Can he, like Mr. Kennedy, vary his sentence length from 80 words to 4, yet average a mature 26?” (Carter, 1969, 250).

34 Adjectives of subjective modification, such as remarkable, extraordinary, fantastic, fascinating, magnificent, amazing, even superb, monstrous, terrible, disastrous and the respective adverbs have been used in some of the books quoted above for illustrations in the present Chapter and in other scholarly studies in English. But, in the referential use of English which these studies represent, these adjectives are used in their qualifying rather than emotive sense or are clearly employed for enthusiastic professional appreciation. “Enthusiastic Admiration” has been claimed to be “the first Principle of Knowledge & its last” (Blake, 1978, 574). This comment on the meaning of the indicated adjectives in two contrasting uses of English hopefully also shows that, although their meaning contains semes denoting quality, its basic component is personal appreciation and therefore subjective evaluation. This is, indeed, what is meant by the term adjectives of subjective evaluation.

35 As has been mentioned, the present study has drawn on the language of Margaret Drabble’s early novels, but this material has been supplemented by that of realistic English conversation. Therefore the illustrative material in the present section cannot be treated as exemplifying the usage and style of one author. Besides, the language of Margaret Drabble’s early novels has been found realistic and very good by most fastidious readers, some of whom had been educated in public schools in Britain.. But most importantly, Margaret Drabble uses realistic English conversation in the guise of small talk to create the images of her socially non-committed characters whose verbal communication identifies with a certain cultural pattern of behaviour. It is the behaviour of young intellectuals, including those in the arts, in liberal Western society of the 1960s, in which the tradition of what has been called the phatic use of language in the present paper seems to be so vital as to represent a mode of living. The only bias of the illustrative material therefore is its upper middle class and generation identity.

36 Though there have been known conservative remarks against the indiscriminately used adjective nice, the most recent asources define its meaning as ‘pleasant’ and find “nothing wrong with this blanket word of approval” (Greenbaum, Whitcut, 1989, 474).

37 E.g.: (1)When Paris was so nice. (2)It seemed a nice day to go out. (3)I met a nice chap called W.S. (4)That’s a very nice name. (5)...he’s the only nice person in the company. (6)...who’d give anything ... to live in a nice house like this. (7)Now give me a nice kiss. (8)Her hair was up, in a nice yellow dome. (9)I thought that you were quite good. . (10)It was quite a good house/play/book, (11)Did you have a good journey? (12)That sounds like a (very) good idea. (13)’s a very good part. (14)You always had a good memory. (15)You like a good l laugh. (16)It’s a lovely day/dress. (17)That would be lovely.. (18)What a lovely start to the season, meeting you like this. (19)It’s either lovely food or lovely company.

38 E.g.: (20)You/she look(s) wonderful. (21)I feel wonderful. (22)I thought you were both so wonderful. (23)We had a wonderful time. (24)I met an absolutely wonderful man called... (25)Pretty marvellous really. (26)I used to think she looked marvellous in it. (27)Why does everyone think W’s so bloody marvellous?.

39 The phatic use of English is so natural to modern Anglo-Saxons, British and Americans, and so much integrated into their social behaviour that one invariably perceives it as a result of the historical-cultural tradition. Indeed, the history of Great Britain and some anthropological studies record a few relevant facts. For instance, the author of A Short History of the English People relates of an interesting custom of the Anglo-Saxons of the fifth-sixth centuries: “Each little farmer commonwealth was girt in by its own border or “mark”, a belt of forest or waste or fen which parted it from its fellow villages, a ring of common ground which none of its settlers might take for his own... “ This borderland “was held to be the special dwelling-place of the nixie and the will-o’-the-wisp. If a stranger came through this wood, over this waste, custom bade him blow his horn as he came, for if he stole through secretly he was taken for a foe, and any man might lawfully slay him.” The history states that this land “sometimes served as a death-ground where criminals met their doom” (Green, 1929, 3). It takes no great intelligence or insight to draw a parallel between the significance of the sound of the horn then and elementary verbal etiquette today. But even excluding such an analogy, for the horn had had a more joyous application in the Anglo-Saxon society, as, for instance, in harvest feasts (cf.: Bloom, 85-86), it might be quite probable that the ruthless custom described by John R.Green could have stimulated a sense in the people of the need of signs of courtesy and sexcurity, which derive from contemporary etiquette and small talk. That is to say, the custom, in its turn, could have conditioned the common tradition of the phatic use of English in subsequent centuries. On the other hand, the use of talk merely for socialising purposes at harvest feasts and on the New Year when master and servant were equal at table has been observed by Hazlitt (cf.: 1870, 2, 11) . The same author has also recorded observations of Doctor Johnson on the socialising talk of the people of the Hebrides at work (Hazlitt, 1870, 2, 17).. Although this is not specifically about the Anglo-Saxons, one may believe that the use of song and talk at work to socialise was known to them as it had been known even to some East European nations. In short, one may presume that the historical-cultural tradition of the phatic use of English had had deep roots not only in the verbal behaviour of higher society , described at the beginning of Chapter 3, but also in the practices of the common English people.

40 Like some earlier publications (‘Strix’, 1956, 84), the findings of the present study have also indicated that it is upper class representatives (or the so-called U-speakers) that tend to overstate in conversation more frequently than, for instance, working class people. The same tendency may be observed among the speakers of minor European languages, in which cases it would indicate ethnic aberrations of the common people , on the one hand, and urbanity of the educated, on the other.

41 The attitude towards the depreciation of adjectives had been known among European classics. Referring to Voltaire and Daudet, who found the adjective to be “to its noun like a mistress” and “the noun’s greatest enemy”, the English stylist F.L.Lucas praised William Sommerset Maugham for his idea “to write a book without a single epithet” and on the “heroically austere” his book of the 1950s (Lucas, 1955, 110).

42 Writing about his impressions of the Soviet Union, the British MP Mr Richard Luce gave some sketches of the landscape, of the history of a few Soviet Republics, but focused mainly on Russia. He briefly reviewed the Russian statesmen since Stalin, the vices of the regime, but also made a very sensitive mentioning of the three generation Russian families, of the privileged and underprivileged who had known nothing but authoritarian rule. Making a major point of the Soviets’ efforts to have and maintain a reliable defence arsenal, which the author explained as “their genuine desire to ensure that they are never attacked again”. In this article which was very humane in the author’s attitude to the Russians and politically very correct for the 1970s, Mr Luce sided with this one great nation , rather than the kaleidoscope Soviet Union, the country toward which he expressed his anxiety “to have further opportunities in the years ahead to learn more about this great nation”. Mr Luce concluded optimistically of the Russian wanting no war with the West, and made an essential point “that the leaders of our two countries continually talk to each other bluntly - for blunt speaking is something the Russians respect” (Luce, 1977, 2-3). Minding that the British praised France as “the home and centre of politeness and good-breeding “ (Campbell, 1903, 12) as they appreciated the correctness and courtesy of the French in society and in conversation, one may be certain that the above remark on blunt speaking means literally what it says. By implication, this remark indicates the author’s familiarity of the Russian national character and, moreover, a Westerner’s sensitivity to the differences between the Western tradition of conversation and that of the rather Eastern, which had to have caused difficulties to the Western diplomats of the time.

43 I owe these examples to Lady Wilson, who graciously shared her knowledge of the subtleties of English with the teachers and postgraduates at Moscow University in the late 1960s.

44 But understatement has been found to be a class mark by Alan Warner, who writes with a deep understanding of it and argues for the currency of both understatement and overstatement in English (Warner, 1964, 46-52). Cf.: “The love of understatement is to some extent a matter of class in England. It is commoner in the upper and middle classes than in the lower classes. Even in the cockney idiom of Londoners, which is often praised for its humour of understatement, there are elements of extravagance” (Warner, 1964, 50).

45 Cf.: “I have dwelt at such length on the existence and persistence of overstatement in English writing because I think it is too readily assumed that understatement is the characteristic English mode. Both modes of expression are found in English, but their popularity has varied from period to period. Today most English writers and critics prefer the plain style to the extravagant. But this does not mean that all writers of English, no matter what their temperament, should subdue their styles to a supposedly English moderation and restraint. If it is natural for you to write with gusto, with enthusiasm, inclining to overstatement rather than to understatement, then it would be wrong to starve and ‘slim’ your style (Warner, 1964, 51). But: “They (i.e. the Elizabethans) were given to flamboyance and exaggeration in their writing. Englishmen today are often accused of being too quiet and restrained both in their speech and in their writing. A characteristic quality of their style and their humour is understatement” (Ibid., 83).