gradation(redirected from gradations)
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[Ger.,=off-sound], in inflection, vowel variation (as in English sing, sang, sung, song) caused by former differences in syllabic accent. In a prehistoric period the corresponding inflected forms of the language (known through internal reconstruction) had
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(The principle of biological perfection), a principle of the gradual development from the simple to the complex, based on the striving toward perfection found in living things; the principle was introduced by J. B. Lamarck in his theory of evolution.
a stylistic device; a series of similar words or expressions (images, similes, metaphors, and so on) that gradually emphasize and increase or, on the other hand, decrease (climax and anticlimax, respectively) the sense or emotional significance. The principle of gradation may be the device in a verse composition (in lyric poetry—for example, “The east grew white ...” by F. I. Tiutchev) or plot composition (byliny [epic folk songs] or fairy tales—for example, The Little Tower Chamber). An example of stylistic climactic gradation is “I do not regret, I do not call, I do not cry” (S. A. Esenin).