Friday, January 1, 2016


This is the part where we see how the text is made, what type of linguistic materials the author used to send us their message.  Do not turn this part, the fundamental part of a literary commentary, into a list of resources but a reinforcement of the content.  This stage is very variable since, logically, each text has its own structure.  However, we offer the following strategies:
      The type of text can give you an idea of how to undertake the commentary.  Evidently, it is not the same when about a narrative, descriptive, expository, argumentative, or dialogue text.  The characteristics of each should be the object of the commentary.
      You can start by seeing if the text can be divided into significant parts and see what the relationship between those parts is: in that case, each part can be analyzed from every point of view but always highlighting the form-content.  Never forget that a text is basically a unit or the fragment of one.
      The analysis of the relationship between form and content depends greatly on the genre of the text:
      A narrative text will pay special attention to : a) the narrator’s figure; b) the structure of the narration and the narrative tense (ellipses, descriptions…); c) the characterization of the characters (by the narrator, the character himself, or other characters)
      A dramatic text will pay special attention to the analysis of the characters through dialogue, linguistic records, and the events
      A lyrical text will pay special attention to the expressionism of the subject, the relationship between the me, the you, and the referent
      An essay text will pay special attention to the structure of the argumentation and the ideas presented
In any case, you will be able to use a detailed analysis of different structures:
      phonic: expressive resources related to sounds; in principle, this is where all metric and rhythmic analysis would be included, if in the analysis of each significant part there is an allusion made, when necessary, to the metric elements (enjambments, stanzas, types of verses…)
      morphosyntactic:  Accumulation/absences of morphological categories (substantives, adjectives, verbs…), analysis of tenses and verbal modes (the use of the imperfect in descriptions, the value of the imperative…), expressive elements of language (diminutives, augmentatives, perspectives, comparatives, superlatives…), the modality of a phrase (impressive, declarative, expressive), and it's way of making itself present can help us realize how the author achieves their objective, strange elements in the draft, like vulgarities, sayings, etc., which give us information on the transmitter and the type of address they are creating, repetition or variation of syntactic structures, order of words or syntagmas…
      Semantic: using a lexicon, semantic camps, metonimias, synonymia, polysemia, and, in general, all the connotative values (comparisons, metaphors), semantically faced elements (paradox, oxymorons..)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Alliteration explained

Key features of literary language

The limit that separates literary language from other forms of language is blurry. Many works of scientists and journalists can be considered true pieces of literary work.
The extension of the text is not a key feature, since it’s so variable; it can range from a few verses to a hundred or thousands of pages.
That said, a literary text has very peculiar internal characteristics that are also very hard to point out. It shares these features with other types of texts: advertising, slogans, journalism, etc.
1.       Uninterested nature
Explained above.
2.       Interpretations
A literary work can be read under multiple interpretations, as many as readers and listeners are out there. This does not interfere with communication; on the contrary, many readers who are interested on a specific work often do not understand it, or understand it in a very superficial way. But communication is still satisfactory. This couldn’t happen with ordinary messages with a practical goal, since it would lead to mistakes.
3.       Meaning
Words acquire new meaning. The reader gives the whole text a meaning that goes beyond that of isolated words. The literary work is as much direct transmission of content as it is a suggestion. Some consider that a literary work consists of two parts: writing, that of the author; and reading, that of the reader. In this sense, the readers complete the work, and therefore have to know cultural and linguistic references implied in the work.

4.       Originality
The author always looks for some degree of originality. In order to do that, one creates a personal language, and observes reality from new perspectives, trying to express nuances, subtleties, and depths that aren’t easily accessible to anyone.
5.       Literary devices
According to traditional rhetoric, all expressive sources can be figures of speech: syntactic, semantic, and phonetic. They are used to decorate and intensify the language. Many of them are based on repetition and parallelism. Repetition produces rhythm in both prose and verses. It can light up any type of prose, but abusing rhythm can risk falling into excessive musicality and nonsense.
Many hundreds of literary devices have been described.
One of the devices that’s most characteristic of literary writing is special adjectives, such as epithets. These are ornamental adjectives, not strictly needed for the comprehension of the message. A good writer always tries to avoid trivial epithets, and to generally disregard those, which do not produce any new effects on the reader.
Literary language has a high degree of elaboration.