Rhetoric and styles: A taxonomy of structures and functions

  • Nida E
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A satisfactory study of discourse calls for an adequate taxonomy of rhetorical structures and functions. On the macrolevel of rhetorical structure this involves the patterns of progression and cohesion as they relate to the thematic development. On the microlevel the numerous rhetorical features can perhaps be best classified in terms of certain basic processes: repetition (sounds, lexical units, and grammatical structures), omission (primarily, ellipsis), shifts in expectancies (e.g., unusual word order, figurative expressions, irony, and paradox), measured units (e.g., poetic lines), and congruence (the structural fit of successive discourse units). The functions of discourse may perhaps be best analyzed in terms of intention (expressive, cognitive, egocentric, informative, imperative, performative, emotive, and phatic), coherence (in relation to the real or imagined worlds), and effectiveness (as measured by impact and appeal). © 1984.

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  • Eugene A. Nida

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