Write your own article idiot!
error: Content is protected !!

Sunday, December 15, 2019



 Join Our Groups


Schemes of Work 2024

English Course - Free

Kenya Resources

What is stylistics?

- This is the language study that deals with how language varies in different contexts of use

- Stylistics is the study of language varieties or styles, depending on the situation or context whether spoken or written

Stylistics is the description and analysis of the variability of linguistic forms in actual language use. The concepts of ‘style’ and ‘stylistic variation’ in language rest on the general assumption that within the language system, the same content can be encoded in more than one linguistic form.

Therefore stylistics aims at studying the language features (lexical, grammatical/syntactical, phonological, graphological / graphetic, and semantic features.


The concept of language variation is looked at in two levels/perspectives. First, we look at language variations existing due to some characteristics of users of that language. Secondly, we look at the variations caused by some situations in which the language is used.

Considering style as choice, there are a multitude of stylistic factors that lead the language user to prefer certain linguistic forms to others. These factors can be grouped into two categories: user-bound factors and factors referring to the situation where the language is being used.

User-bound factors include, among others, the speaker’s or writer’s age; gender; idiosyncratic preferences; and regional and social background.

Situation-bound stylistic factors depend on the given communication situation, such as medium (spoken vs. written); participation in discourse (monologue vs. dialogue); attitude/tenor (level of formality); and field/province of discourse (e.g. technical vs. nontechnical fields).


As we saw above, we can summarise the varieties of language in two ways.
1. Variation according to users. (Dialect)
2. Variation according to use (Register)


-  Dialect is the variety of language according to user.

- Chambers & Trudgill (1980:5) consider dialects as varieties, which are grammatically (and perhaps lexically) as well as phonologically different from other varieties.

- Stewart & Vaillet (2001:301) define a dialect as any variety of language spoken by a group of people that is characterized by systematic differences from other varieties of the same language in terms of structural or lexical features.

-  Dialect can be defined as a variant of the language distinguished by minimal lexical, grammatical, and phonological differences.

Dialect refers to features of grammar and vocabulary in addition to pronunciation that can identify someone’s geographical origin. E.g.
> I done it yesterday
> They really good. (Am E)
> I did it yesterday
> They are really good. (Br E)


Users of the same language use the language variably depending on some factors. 

The following are the factors that determine the dialect formation.
a. User’s place of origin (Geographical factor).
b. User’s class membership (Social stratification).
c. User’s individuality.
d. Users time of existence (historical/temporal factor).
e. User’s age.
f.  User’s sex.

It is easy to identify a user from a certain place by the way someone uses the language different from the other users from other place that speak the same language. Here we get the dialect that is called REGIONAL DIALECT.

Regional dialects are found at national and international levels. For example the Dialects of English at national level include Welsh, Scottish, cockney, and BBC English. At international level we have, British English, American English, Canadian English, Australian English, West African Pidgin English (WAPE)etc.

Likewise, Kiswahili has regional dialects such as Kimvita (Mombasa), Kiunguja (Zanzibar), Kingwana (Zaire) etc.

The common differences between the two major Varieties of English.
 - Has one form of past and past participle of the verb get-got
Has two forms
Get-gotten(pp)-got (pt)
    - Repetition of the subject ‘one’
Eg. One cannot succeed unless one works hard.
No repletion of ‘one’
Eg. One cannot succeed unless he/she works hard.
     -  In questions
Eg Have you got a pen?

Do you have a pen?
   - Use of preposition ‘from’ after different
Eg. Your shirt is different from mine.
Uses ‘than’ after different.

Eg. Your shirt is different than mine.
   -  Retains ‘should’ after the verbs like demand, require, suggest, insist. Eg
We suggest that Sir Mwita should preach today.
Omits ‘should’ after those verbs.

We suggest that Mwita preach today.
There are many words that differ in pronunciation some of them are:Schedule /∫edju;l/
News /nju:z/
car /ka:/
God /gɒd/

Schedule /skeʤu:l/
News / nu:z/
car /ka:r/
God /ga:d/

We can also find users from a certain class speaking differently in certain aspects from users of another class who speak the same language. Here we get social dialect or sociolect.
The classes may be those of higher and lower, educated and uneducated, town dwellers and village dwellers, Muslims and Christians, etc.

Languages change with time (it is dynamic). Users of any language also use the language as it is used in their time of existence. This causes the varieties labelled as Old English, Middle English and Modern English. Language changes in all aspects, i.e. grammar, vocabulary, word order, spellings, meaning, pronunciation etc. Take for instance the following words how they have changed overtime.

Some of the old English vocabulary may look like the modern vocabulary but some may look different.

OE                                  Mo E
Singan                           sing
stōd                               stood
ondswarede               answered
onslepte                      asleep

Compare the following
gelimplice                   suitable
neata                            cattle
swefn                           dream
beboden                      entrust

Every individual user of a language has individual idiosyncratic (peculiar) linguistic features characterising the way he/she uses the language different from all the other users. Linguists believe that no two speakers of the same language speak exactly the same way. The differences in individual ranges from voice quality, pronunciation, grammar, usage, handwriting and preference in certain utterances like: you know.., in fact...., I see...,. The variety of language characterising an individual user is termed as IDIOLECT

Users of different ages use language differently in almost all such aspects as voice, pronunciation, vocabulary, and usage. We categorize age in terms of childhood, youth and old age. Children have their own way of speaking termed as childish. E.g. Motherese (an adult imitation of the speech of young children as used by mothers when speaking to their children.)
Young people’s dialect is characterised by slangs and peculiar accent. Old people use euphemism much often and sometimes they conservatively retain dated features of the language.

Language also varies with sex in some aspects that make male users speak differently from female users. The difference is usually found in their voice quality, accent, as well as general usage, such that there as some expressions that are counted as feminine and masculine in nature. (Consider the Swahili slangs shostii and shoga which means best friend, can male speakers use them)


This is a variety according to use. All the users of the language sometimes change their style of speaking or writing depending on some situational variables. The varieties that are influenced by different situations or social circumstances are called registers.
The variation can be reflected in vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and meaning.


The term field or domain of discourse refers to an area in which the language is used. Language will vary according to the domain or field in which the user is. Under the term field we consider such things as, setting (the real environment), province (occupational activity) and subject matter (topic)

(a) Setting
This refers to areas where events are taking place. The place where communication is taking place can be in the church, courtroom, school, street etc. The setting makes a person choose a certain variety as appropriate. The setting can be formal, thus calling for a serious business-like kind of style called formal register or informal register. Some settings call for technical style. E.g. salt and water as used at home are sodium Chloride and H2O in science domain.

(b) Province.
This is a term used to refer to the occupational or professional activity the user is engaged in. Or it is the area of specialization to which the language is put into use. There are various provinces that give rise to specific styles. These include conversational, religious, law (legal), advertisement, literature, science, journalism, scripted and unscripted commentaries, literature, and etc. Each province has its peculiar stylistic features that make it distinct from others.
e.g. Can you state the province to which the following words belong; software, download, flash disc, megabytes, database, website, etc.

(c) Subject matter.
This refers to the topic discussed. For example the province of science may have subject matters such as biology, physics, psychology, geography. Some remarkable stylistic variations can be found in these different disciplines.

Mode basically refers to a manner of performance. In our study we look at the way discourse presentation is conducted. Under this we consider the medium used in transmitting the message and the participation in discourse. We also consider the modality (format or form) of the message.
(a)            Medium.
This refers to the means of communication. We have two major media; speech and writing which have remarkable stylistic differences between them. Spoken discourse is spontaneous because you can transmit the message without preparation. Written discourse is non-spontaneous because it needs preparation before delivering the message.
Sometimes language is spoken in order to be written like in dictation, lectures, etc. Also language can be written in order to be spoken as in radio, TV.
(b)            Participation
This is the act of communication that gives rise to varieties. When one person speaks and others listen we term it as monologue as in official meetings, sermons etc, and dialogue is used when communication involves more than one person as in discussions, interviews and normal conversations. These two differ greatly in their styles.
(c)             Modality
It refers to the specifically labelled forms of message which are organized in a specific format and use special linguistic forms. It refers to graphology i.e. paragraphing, capitalization, punctuation, etc. This differ depending on the channel one decides to use e.g. newspaper, post card, letter, memo, C.V, telegram, advertisement, speech, etc.

It refers to the variation of language depending on the relationship between the user and the addressee. In other words it refers to the level of formality of a particular language. It can be formal, neutral or informal. The user will have to use the style that is appropriate when communicating with a person of a certain status.

Style can generally be defined as a particular distinctive way of doing something. (In this case - the particular way of using the language). 
Or, Style is a deliberate variation of the language used by a speaker to meet certain communicative needs in a given situation. Style, as deviation from a norm, is a concept that is used traditionally in literary stylistics, regarding literary language as more deviant than nonliterary language use.

Take for example the following expressions which express the same fact but they vary in formality.
My father has deceased to join the heavenly choir.
My father has passed away.
My father has died.
My dad has died.
My old man just kicked the bucket.

Linguist identified five levels of style namely;
i.                    Frozen style;
ii.                 Formal style
iii.               Consultative style;
iv.                Casual style and
v.                  Intimate style.
These five levels of formality are analogous/comparable to the way we dress;
Frozen - tailcoat, formal - suit, consultative - jacket and trousers, casual - leisure wear, intimate - pajamas (night dresses).

This is a style in which language is used to preserve certain beauty (aesthetics) or to show reverence (high respect).  The writing is done in the absence of the reader and words are frozen into unchangeable patterns so as to maintain a certain order. Words are frozen and preserved by the society for use in circumstances calling for them. That is to say it uses expressions that are no longer in day to day use.

These include;
Ceremonial statements, e.g. I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Hymns and prayers. E.g. Church hymns and the Lord’s Prayer.
Oaths. E.g. in church or court, or swearing ceremonies.
Proverbs idioms and other sayings.
National anthem, school songs, etc

- Is a variety of language that is accepted in serious speech or writing.
- It is characterised by the use of common core English, formal vocabulary and grammar. The use of long and complex sentences (with coordinate and subordinate clauses) which are mostly passivised. No slangs are used and speakers tend to be very impersonal by avoiding personal style and use the subject ‘it’.
E.g. It was proposed that..............       
It was found out that ..................         formal
We proposed that.................        
I found out that ...................         informal
It is used for restricted affairs such as academic affairs, legal matters, typical public writing (e.g. formal letters), official business communication, reports, etc.

It is associated with conversation between people who are not familiar with each other and for discussion of serious matters like classroom discussion. Here the main purpose is to communicate.·         
- It is characterised by the use of polite language and employs words such as ‘would’, ‘could’, “should”. It also uses the common core vocabulary.
E.g. Sorry Madam, could you repeat the last point please?
       Excuse me sir! Somebody wants to talk to you.

CASUAL STYLE·         
Casual is a style mostly used in conversation among familiar friends. It is characterised by informal features. Some grammatical words are ellipted / dropped.
E.g.  Where to? Instead of “where are you going?”
         “To the lab.”  Instead of “I’m going to the laboratory.”
·         Casual and intimate are almost similar to the extent that sometimes one can hardly dichotomize the two.
·         It includes colloquial and profane words
E.g. What the fuck are you doing there?
Bullshit! Where on earth did he go?
·         Contracted form is also common.
I don’t know. We’ve to go now. Ok I’ll tell you don worry
·         It makes use of first names of people only,
E.g. Samson preached today. Instead of Sir Samson Mwita preached today.

This is a style used by people who have a very close relationship. It consists of very casual vocabulary and sound. Sometimes the vocabulary carries the meaning derived from a shared experience. E.g. I will refer to Jakaya M. Kikwete as “Hon. President”but his wife calls him “My dear”, or “My Sweet”, “My baby” Lovie, sweetheart etc.
It is said that it is even possible for one to predict the feelings of another or what the other has to say.



These are linguistic features that are used in a text to differentiate it from others and enable us to recognise its style. The variation of one group of language to another is found at linguistic levels (stylistics significant features).

There are five linguistic levels.
Graphological or graphitic level
Phonological or phonetic level
Lexical level
Grammatical or structural
Semantic level.
It is the study of the features of the words. 
They include:·         
Punctuation, capitalization, underlining, paragraphing, Italicization, etc
·         Use of diagrams, pictures, symbols, e.g. H2O for water.

·         Size of words, (small, medium, large), bolding, colouring, etc

·         Bracketing of additional information.

·         Use of references (figures 45.3 or Pg no 56 etc)

·         Use of numbers (numbering,) listing, letters of alphabet, bullets, etc.

·         Abbreviations.

It studies the patterns of sound in a text. It involves the following.

·         Use of rhythm, rhyme, and pitch movement.

·         Intonation, (in written form it can be shown by capitalizing or italicizing)

·         Onomatopoeic features,

·         Pronunciation of words etc.

This shows the formality of the language. How formal the language used is. It involves,

·         Collocation, (the way words fit together,)

·         Reduplication, (tip-top, tick-tock)

·         Clipping, (phone, mic, )

·         Blending,( Motel, Heliport)

·         Acronym, (CCM, CWT)

·         Euphemism, (eg I’m going for short call)

·         Complex words, e.g. hemispherectomy.

·         Hyphenated compounds. E.g. mother-in-law

·         Personification, e.g. tiGO travels with you all the way.

This deals with grammatical rules/aspects of a text. 
These include;
Sentence analysis, length of sentences (long and complex sentences.), type of sentences, etc
·         Choice of tense, incomplete or ungrammatical sentences,

·         Clauses and phrases used e.g. subordinate or coordinate clauses.

·         Repetition, rhetorical questions etc.

·         SVOCA arrangement.

·         Ellipsis, the use of tag questions, hesitations, etc

This deals with meaning aspect of a text.·         
Figures of speech as similes, metaphors, irony, euphemism, proverbs, etc.

Reasons for using such features

·         To capture attention, and attract readers/listeners

·         For emphasis,

·         To persuade,

·         For illustration,

·         To economize the space.


This is the kind of language used in the scientific domain or in scientific documents. It is found in academic discipline like Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Psychology, Physiology, etc. It is normally understood by scientists and focuses on facts rather than opinions because the results of scientific discovery have to be universal. As a result it usually avoids the use of personal language and usually adopts the passive structure.
E.g. the experiment was conducted ...and it was discovered that ... so a conclusion can be drawn that...


Graphological features of scientific language

- It makes frequent use of diagrams, figures, graphs, charts, maps, tables, etc. E.g. figure 1.2, or table 1.1

- It also uses chemical symbols, formulae, like H2O, H2SO4,  
  =mass (g)                        also           m1 =E1

Molar mass (g/mol)                          m2    E2

- The use of numbers, and good arrangement as ini.                    
i. Problem identification
ii. Hypothesis formulation
iii. Data collection
iv. Data analysis
v. Data discussion and presentation
vi. Conclusion

- Clear headings and subheadings.

- Capitalization and Bracketing are also common as in this equation 4OHˉ(aq)     2H2O(l)+O2(g)+4eˉ

- Italicisation is also commonly used as in.


- Colouring is used especially in diagrams, pictures and tables for illustration,

- Use of abbreviation as in (R.A.M) for Relative Atomic Mass. 23 g/mol, (IUPAC), etc.

- There is frequent use of punctuation marks like apostrophe as in Avogadro’s constant, Newton’s Law, Archimedes’s principle.

Grammatical features of Scientific language

- Complex sentences with lots of post-modification and well completed sentences for clarity.
E.g. Faraday’s 2nd law of electrolysis

=when the same quantity of electricity is passed through solutions of different electrolytes, the mass of a substance liberated or deposited at the electrodes is directly proportional to the chemical equivalent of the substance.

-  Use o passive constructions.
The experiment was conducted and the results obtained indicated that...

e.g. Rust is formed when oxygen gas, iron and moisture ...

-  Simple past tense in reports is common.
It was discovered that...

The experiment was conducted in the laboratory to find out  ... it took place...

-  Use of simple present to express universal truths/facts.
E.g. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

Water freezes at 0C and boils at 100C

- Use of principles, laws and theories.
E.g. the principle of conservation of energy states that =energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be changed from one form to another.

·  Use of impersonal language.

It makes frequent use of “it” rather than I, We, You etc. as in

It was concluded that when water is heated up to 100oC it turns to vapour.

Lexical features

- It makes use of specialised scientific jargons/terms.
These include; sodium, methylhexane, dimethylpentane,

- Borrowing is also common especially from Greek and Latin, as the words Biology (bio=logus), zoology, botany,  

- Turning/changing concrete nouns into abstract nouns. This is common when a scientist has discovered something, as in Lamarckism, Darwinism, etc

-  Use of complex words e.g. dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

- Use of scientific blending, clipping, and acronyms.
E.g. lab. (labolatory), OP (operating Room), zoo (zoology) IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.) DDT.( dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane)


Study the following text then;
a. State the province And Show the stylistic features used
b. State two reasons for using those features.
During the reaction, 3315.20 cmof the gas produced was collected at S.T.P. If there was excess charcoal in the reaction mixture, what was the mass of lead oxide in the combustion tube? (Molar volume of at S.T.P=22.4dm3)


This is the language used in the study of laws or in legal documents. It is used in courts and other legal documents like contracts, constitutions, memoranda, policies, summonses, Acts, copyrights, wills, etc. This language tends to be conservative (does not change easily) and should be very clear to avoid ambiguity. It is designed for reading rather than speaking and is mostly understood by lawyers themselves.


Graphological features
- Division into sections, such as Part I, Part II, Part III etc
- Numbering/listing system;
- Clear paragraphing and simple punctuation, to avoid ambiguity.
- Headings and sub headings.
- National coat of arms is sometimes used for state legal documents.
- Bracketing of sections and articles.

Grammatical features

- Use of very long complex sentences with subordinate clauses.
- It makes frequent use of coordinators, yet, and, or, but,

- Frequent use of modifications of nouns. See examples above.

- Sometimes there is the use of small letters at the beginning of the sentence when clarifying the main article.

- Also there is frequent use of capital letters in the middle of a sentence. As in the example above.

- To avoid ambiguity, there is almost no use of pronouns; instead the subject (real name) is repeated several times.

- There is the use of normal SVOCA arrangement.

- The use of past tense is also common. This is common in court proceedings when reporting or giving witness to the event under judgement.

- The use of simple present tense and future time in declarations. As in above and below examples;

- Clarification of terms used in a document in legal definition;
E.g. This contract is signed on this 14th day of August 2015 between Mr. Samuel Martin who will be known as employer on one side and Mr Musa Charles who will be known as employee on the other side.  Or

Lexical and semantic features

- Use of Archaic words/phrases to make clarification.
E.g. hereby, herein, hereto, whereas, etc

- Complex prepositions, E.g. in respect of, in accordance with, in ties of, on the ground that, etc

- There is a rare use of adjectives.

- Use of abstract nouns. E.g. declaration, proposal, case, conditions, agreement,

- The use of legal terms (verbs and nouns) like sustained, objection, overruled, prosecutor,deem, require, accept, agree /agreement, issue, state, declare/declaration, propose/ proposal, defendant, complaint, commence/commencement.

- The use of Latin words, like declaration, de nova, mutatis mutandis, inter alia, judicial, prosequi,

- There is no use of euphemisms, metaphor, sayings, proverbs, etc. Everything has to be made clear to avoid ambiguity.

Phonological Features
These are especially common in court proceedings where it is possible to here, A BAM! On the table to end the session or the word cooooooourt! To signal the beginning of the session.


This is the language used in church in the Christian religion. But it should be born in mind that every religion has a language style that differentiates it from the ordinary language of everyday use. This has the following features.

Pastor Alph Lukau, right, alleged to resurrect “Elliot” through God's work on Feb. 24, 2019, at Alleluia International Ministries in Johannesburg, South Africa. The claim has been disputed.

Graphological features

- Capitalization of the word God (and the pronouns referring to God) to differentiate them from other gods, and the word LORD when referring to God, or holy entities like Holy Bible.

- Arrangement into short lines like poetry. Especially poetic books like psalms, job, proverbs, and lamentations.

- Numbering. The bible is written in Chapters and verses which are numbered to ease the reading or referencing. E.g. John 3:16

- Some bibles have subheadings which are bolded. E.g. The Prodigal son

- Use of italics for additional information. This also shows some of the verses that are not realised in the same way across different versions or those which were added by biblical compilers. E.g. The LORD is my shepherd.

- Use of footnotes to show additional information and synonymous verses in some verses and headers to show the book name. 

Grammatical features

Relative clauses are very common.
e.g. For the woman who has a husband is bound....(Rom7:2)

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matt 7:8)

- The use of vocative phrases and imperatives. Vocatives are the words that name the addressee.
Oh! My God! Heal my mom!
Hear Oh LORD when I cry with my voice, (Psalm 26:7)
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles! (Psalm 25:22)

- The use of appositive phrases/clauses as a way of praising God. Appositive phrases are noun phrases that are used to modify other nouns. This is common in prayers.
o   As in; LORD God, Our heavenly King...
o   Jesus Christ, the son of God...
o   God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth...

- There is also the use of very long and complex sentences. As in John 3:16 For God so loved the word that he gave us his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

- There is also the use of parallel structures
Praise the LORD from the heavens;

Praise him in the heights

Praise him all his angels;

Praise him all his hosts

Praise him sun and ... etc Psalms 148

Lexical features

- The use of archaic words which can be subcategorised into the following;
o   The use of old forms of suffixes like eth, est, or th.
Eg sayth the Lord, when He cometh,
o   The use of outdated personal pronouns such as thou, theethine, ye, thy, etc. E.g.Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

- Verbs of middle English such as spake for spoke, hath for has.

- There is the use of special religious/spiritual terms like JEHOVAH, Angles, devil, Lucifer, sacrament, baptism, communion, hell, Jerusalem, hallelujah, amen,  etc

- The use of Hebrew words is also common. As the names referring to God such as JEHOVAH-JIRE, JEHOVAH-SHALOM, JEHOVAH-ELSHADDAI, JEHOVAH-ROHI, JEHOVAH-SHAMMA, Eli Eli Lama sabachthani?, Maran atha etc.

Semantic features

- There is the use of parables, proverbs, idioms, metaphorical expressions, similes, and euphemisms. E.g. The LORD is my shepherd. The sinner may be called the lost sheep.

- Non Literal meaning or Connotative meaning is also common. In the language of religion words don’t always mean what they mean at the surface level.  Some words have metaphorical meanings while others require prophetic interpretation. E.g. “The Lamb of God” means “Jesus”, “bread of life” means “the word of God” “beast” means kingdom etc.

- Religious language is ambiguous. Most expressions have more than one possible interpretation. That may also explain why there are many denominations though they use the same Bible.

Phonological features
- There is the use of high pitch especially in preaching or singing.
- Rhyme, Rhythm and beats are also common in church hymnals and songs.


(News Paper Reporting)

This is the kind of language used by the media. In written form it is commonly seen in newspapers, newsletters, magazines etc. In this discussion our focus will be the language of newspaper reporting.


Graphological features

- Bolding, Colouring, underlining, the headlines to attract attention E.g. Magufuli, the next President

- Use of pictures for evidence and cartoons for comic effect.
- Large font size for headlines to capture attention.

- Division in columns to economise the space.

- Italics especially when mentioning the name of the Newspaper. E.g. The president has praised Mwananchi Newspaper for its contribution....

- Punctuation marks are common. E.g. Quotation marks are used to show the direct quotations.

- Arrangement in short paragraphs which sometimes consist of only one sentence.

Grammatical features

- The use of long and complex sentences. This is done to achieve what the journalists call W5H, who, what, where, when, why and how. E.g.
 At least ten people have died in a road accident in Chalinze Coastal region, due to a car crash that involved a fast moving Noah with Reg T667BVC coming from Dar-es-Salaam to Morogoro against a Truck with Reg no T 367 BDX that was on the way to Dar-es-Salaam yesterday.

- Simple present tense is used in headlines. It makes the report alive. As in these examples.
“President Hon. J.P. Magufuli addresses the nation tonight”

“Obama visits Tanzania next week”

“Young Africans SC plays against samba SC today”

- Ellipsis/omission of grammatical words in headlines
E.g. THOUSANDS DIE IN FLOODS instead of “thousands have died in the floods”.

- The use of pre and post modifiers in noun phrases.
E.g. The newly elected Tanzanian President in the general election that took place on 25th October 2015 from CCM, Hon. J.P Magufuli will be sworn on Wednesday 4thNovember 2015.

- Passive structure is also used. As in “at least two people have been killed in a bomb blast .....”

- Direct speech (quotation) is common for reference to show the validity/genuineness of the information.

- E.g. speaking to the press this morning the president said “all civilians are advised to...”

Lexical features

- Use of formal vocabulary. Because it is believed to be a formal type of communication.

- The use of acronym is also common.
E.g. JK warns the opposition parties.

- Personification is common. E.g. Simba to kill Mtibwa today
- Compound words are also used.

Semantic features.
- Ambiguity is common. This is done purposefully to persuade the reader to buy a newspaper or to continue listening.  E.g. Bunge on fire today (one may think that the Parliamentary building has caught on fire or there is a hot issue to be discussed.) Yanga kills Simba. One may think that Yanga has literally killed samba players or defeated them in a football match.


A public speech/speaking (sometimes termed as oratory/oration) is an act of performing a presentation directly to a live audience in a structured, manner to inform, influence or entertain them. It is a form of address meant to convey one’s thoughts or opinions, share information or spread awareness among a large number of people.

A good speech has clarity of thought and expression, accuracy of facts and an unbiased view of issues. This is a very broad category and covers activities from sermons, lectures and formal speeches.          

However there is a difference between spoken speech and written speech (read speech).
Public Speaker

Stylistic features of public speaking
- Heading,
- Greetings/salutations in respect to the protocol
- Very long embedded and complex sentences. E.g. Martin Luther’s speech “I Have a Dream”
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!
Speech markers are also used, firstly, secondly, in addition to that, moreover, You are all aware of, Allow me to say, On behalf of, Besides, Nevertheless, Last but not least, Lastly, Finally, To conclude  etc

- Structural parallelism is common.
Go back to Mississippi,

go back to Alabama,

go back to South Carolina,

go back to Georgia,

go back to Louisiana,

go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities,

- Special lexical items may be used for special audience. E.g. young, adult, political rally, economists,

- Proverbs, sayings, idioms and euphemisms may also be used.

- Figurative language is very common; similes, metaphors, personification, allusion, etc. These are very effective devices for making the speech live, effective, attractive and appealing to the listeners of the speech. Like this simile in Dr. Luther’s speech.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

- The use of rhetorical question, attention getting devices such as tag questions, e.g. who’ll save us, who’ll help us, who’ll solve our problems? It is us and our children. Isn’t it?

- Quotations from prominent people (scholars)
- Conclusion
“Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

- It should avoid ambiguity because the audience might have people of different abilities.
- The voice quality should be clear with manageable pauses to allow the audience to digest the message.(in spoken speech)

- Onomatopoeic words can also be used.


This is the type of language used to promote sales of services or product and is found in newspapers, magazines, radio, film, television, notice boards, billboards, posters etc.            

Advertisement is a form of marketing strategy used to persuade, and encourage the audience to make a business contact between the buyer and the seller. It can also aim at encouraging the customers to continue using a particular product or making a new product known to the customers/public, i.e. to look for a new market and promoting the sale of products and services. 

Advertisements can be categorised into Display and Classified Advertisements. A good advertisement should be simple, humorous, emotional, memorable, legible, and eye catching.

Graphological features
- Heading/headline. {it can be short or long)
- Colouring, variation in font size, bolding, capitalization, eg


Located at Pugu Kajiungeni 500m from the tarmac road. Supplied with water, electricity. Contacts 0765...

- A trademark, address or company logo may be included.
- Numbering/bullets in Listing the services and products offered.

- Abbreviations are used for brevity and economy. E.g. Ltd, Co, CRDB, NBC, etc.
- Punctuation marks are also common features

- Pictures, diagrams of the product may be included.
- Misspelling: there is deliberate misspelling to attract attention.

Grammatical features

- Ungrammatical sentences to capture attention. E.g. a big show tonite at Club Billicanas.

- Superlative language, the best you can imagine, next to none, the cheapest, Vodacom Tanzania’s leading cellular network.

- Use of contracted forms. We’ve.

- Imperative words. E.g. If you like it then crown it, don’t miss it, come one come all, Pepsi dare for more,  make the most of it.

- The use of Comparatives.

Lexical features

- Personification of products.
E.g. tiGo travels with you everywhere.

- Adjectives of quality are used; wonderful, beautiful, terrific, durable, long lasting.
- Blending, clipping and coining are commonly used for products like, Hedex, Airtel, Celtel, Zantel, phone no.

- Abbreviations are common for brevity and economy.
E.g. NSSF, PSPF, LAPF, tel. No.

Phonological features
- Rhythm, Rhyme, Repetition can be used.

Semantic features
- Ambiguity
- Figurative language (figures of speech are used) e.g.
Simba cement strong as a lion.

Foma gold makes your cloths as white as snow.
- Proverbs, idioms, and sayings.


This is the language we use on daily basis to exchange information or views which can be formal or informal. However informal language/speech dominates most of our conversations.       

It can be found in both written (as in informal letters) and spoken forms although primarily it is meant for conversation. Most of the time conversation style is non-formal and is used in intimate or casual situations.

Graphological features

The written conversations have the following Graphological features.
- Hesitation gaps (dots or dashes) e.g. Well...I, I wish to....go there on.....may be Thursday.
- Italics, bolding, bracketing.
- Dialogue format.
- Punctuation marks like Exclamation marks, question marks, quotation marks, colon, etc

Syntactical features
- Interjections are common.
Oh my goodness! What beautiful car!
- Contracted forms. I’ll be there..., We’ve finished, They won’t understand.
- Attention-getting devices. Look, listen, you see, you know, by the way, well, come on...
- Hesitations, gap fillers. Eerrr..., mmhh..., oh...
- Simple sentences, e.g. let’s go,
- Shortened or minor sentences, see you, I’ll be back, told you?
- Questions with short answers
QN: Do you know me?        
AN: Not really.   
QN: Where to?   
AN: Library.

- Question tags. We are leaving today, aren’t we?
You know well that I love you, don’t you?

- Incomplete sentences. (This can also be due to interruption)
E.g. As I was talking to him...guess what...let nobody cheat you.

- Sentences may begin with a coordinating or subordinating conjunction. E.g. And where did he go?
But I don’t understand what’s wrong with him nowadays.

Because of his money, then he thinks he can.......

- Repetition, e.g. I regret, I really regret...
- Randomness of the subject matter because language of conversation in spontaneous.
- Grammatical errors and mistakes are common.

Lexical features

- It avoids specialised jargons and makes use of everyday vocabularies (popular language).
- There is ambiguity. That’s the big one.

- Colloquial expressions and idioms are common.
o   Hi! What’s up!
o   What the hell are you talking about?
o   Hey guys! Hurry up!
o   Come up with something I may understand,
o   He just kicked the bucket this morning.

- Lexical exaggeration is common.
E.g. When it’s so hot. We are going to melt here. Or it’s freezing here (in cold moments)

Phonological features
- Onomatopoeic words are used, especially laughs and cries but also whistling, coughing, clearing the throat etc. Ha! ha! Shiiiiiiii!
- Dialectical pronunciation. Dis for this, dat for that, tin for thing etc.


Study the following texts and state (a) The Province (b) Stylistic features of each.

1. All intellectual property rights, including copyright in this publication, except for those attributed to named sources, are owned by the author(s) of this research memorandum. No part of this publication may be copied or transmitted in any form without the prior written consent from the author(s).

2. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.