Emphasis

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Emphasis

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.

Emphasis

 

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).

REFERENCES

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

V. A. VINOGRADOV

References in classic literature ?
The native strength of their constitution is no way shown more emphatically than in the quantity of sleep they can endure.
But if you mean to ask if my affections are in any way engaged, I can emphatically answer
Mr Clare," said the dairyman emphatically, "is one of the most rebellest rozums you ever knowed--not a bit like the rest of his family; and if there's one thing that he do hate more than another 'tis the notion of what's called a' old family.
The amazement with which at first he had looked upon the works of the impressionists, changed to admiration; and presently he found himself talking as emphatically as the rest on the merits of Manet, Monet, and Degas.
Everyone waited, so emphatically and eagerly did he demand their attention to his story.
She shook her head emphatically, and said something that I failed to catch.
Rachel Lynde said emphatically after the funeral that Ruby Gillis was the handsomest corpse she ever laid eyes on.
Oh, most certainly--most certainly," the lawyer declared emphatically.
Suppressed rage was in his rigidly set eyes, suppressed rage was in his trembling hand as he raised it emphatically while he spoke his next words.
The children burst out laughing, and answered emphatically, 'No.
I tell you," concluded Peter emphatically, "father is a Christian all right.
The Author's object in calling public attention to the system would be very imperfectly fulfilled, if he did not state now, in his own person, emphatically and earnestly, that Mr.