In the general area of style study or stylistics there is no shortage of ideas, definitions or published works. It is hoped, in the present volume, to contribute to the prosperity of the discipline mainly by clarifying and exemplifying how pragmatic considerations may be relevant to any study of style, in the conviction that pragmastylistics is more interesting and useful than stylistics on its own. The starting point must be a brief survey of the definitions and style and stylistics. The very form of the latter term suggests a scientific and orderly, rather than an intuitive or impressionistic, investigation of style. There are two separate levels of study: one, a general, methodical and scientific discipline; the other, an application of its methods or postulates to the analysis of the ‘style’ of a specific utterance, text, speaker, writer, movement or period. It is clear that, in order to approach either, we must first attempt to understand style.
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