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A special importance or significance placed upon or imparted to an element or form by means of contrast or counterpoint; a sharpness or vividness of outline.



the marking, or singling out, of individual elements and shades of meaning of an utterance.

Emphasis can be achieved by various means. It is expressed primarily through emphatic stress, lengthening, and rising or falling intonation. For example, in the sentence la dúmaiu, chto on pridet (“I think that he will come”), the speaker’s certainty can be underscored by lowering the pitch on the word dumaiu (“think”); uncertainty can be conveyed by raising the pitch. Emphasis is often accompanied by a logical stress pattern, in which there is a rising pitch and a lengthening of the stressed vowel, as in Kto chital étu knigu? (“Who read this book?”).

Emphasis can also be expressed by a number of lexical-syntactic means: (1) The use of special emphatic auxiliary words—for example, la zhe vam govoril (“I did tell you”) and, in English, “I did see him.” This usage is sometimes referred to as the emphatic mood. (2) A departure from neutral word order (seeINVERSION). For example, compare la chital etu knigu (“I read this book”) with Knigu etu ai chital (“This book I read”). (3) The use of a special emphatic construction in which the rheme is stressed—for example, in French, C’est jean qui l’a fait (“John did it”). In Aramaic there is a special emphatic construction formed by a noun and a postpositive article, as opposed to the usual construction consisting of an article followed by a noun. (4) The use of anaphora and repetition—for example, khodil-khodil (“[he] walked and walked”) and den’-denskoi (“all day long”).

An emphatic effect in a formal, elevated style can be obtained through the use of the plural of mass nouns, as with sneg (“snow”) in Pod nim Kazbek, kak gran’ almaza,/Snegami vechnymi siial (“Under him Kazbek, like the facet of a diamond/Shines with eternal snows,” M. Iu. Lermontov).


Bally, C. Frantsuzskaia stilistika. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from French.)
Bloomfield, L. Iazyk. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
I emphasize the richness and depth of the data that interviews generate.
Contributors of this text emphasize that we live in an increasingly multicultural world in which positionalities all interact continuously and require an understanding beyond simplistic generalizations.
In her desire to emphasize the unique and formative importance of Chinese exclusion, she sometimes overstates her case, as when she contrasts immigration officials' turn-of-the-century crackdowns on "illegal" Chinese immigrants to their supposedly "benign neglect" of Mexican immigrants in the same period.
Integrating hydrogeological and hydrochemical observations at large-scale gold mines and a silver-tin mine, two other papers emphasize the importance of collecting relevant data for environmental-impact and risk assessments.
Knoeff documents a shift in Boerhaave's thinking from his early Institutiones medicae (1708), which was influenced by Robert Boyle's corpuscularian chemistry and the mechanics of inertia and attraction in Newton's Principia, to emphasize more the chemical attractions and repulsions that are found in Newton's Opticks, and eventually to abandon mechanical philosophy for a more Paracelsian metaphysics of seminal agencies that act directly on bodies from within them.
When touched, people may touch back to emphasize a point.
To emphasize the role of taxation in making business decisions.
The sprinter-hurdler must, therefore, emphasize the lead leg knee lift and minimize the pushing action from the ground.
They emphasize the value of a `third party' who can help those on two sides of a conflict talk through their differences.
For example, in discussing "ritual responses to healing" therapeutic dynamics are glossed over only to emphasize how in such rites, "the values of traditional roles and responsibilities are reaffirmed as more important than the individual grudges, griefs, and fears cathartically released in the rite" (117).
At first glance, it looks as if today Koons wishes to play down his managerial status and instead emphasize an artistic procedure that could be compared with paint by numbers rather than what one might expect from an army of assistants.