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Moscow State Regional University, Russia
Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Russia";
the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;
This article identifies the main phonostylistique devices – alliteration and assonance, by determining their functioning as the means of the sound depiction. The analysis of the relationship of form and content, sound and its values is carried out on the material of the French novel by G. de Maupassant “Bel Ami.” In the results of the study emphasizes the close relationship of visual and sound suggestive methods to influence the emotional state of the reader.
Keywords: assonance, alliteration, sound symbolism, sound depiction, suggestion, perception.
The most prominent means of sound symbolism are assonance and alliteration as means of creating euphony, harmony of sound that are considered in the framework of euphony - the science of euphony studying in verse qualitative aspect of speech sounds, imposes certain emotional piece of art [Kwiatkowski, 1966 : 348 ] . It is known that these stylistic devices expressiveness of speech applies not only to the poetic texts, but for prose. Moreover, in recent years, increasingly these funds are considered as means of creating a rhythm of the text, regardless of its type or functional purpose. Euphony phenomenon in verse is studied by many French linguists, including P. Verrier [ 1909 ], M. Grammont [ 1923 ], E. Martin [ 1924 ], P. Guiraud [ 1953 ], M. Gauthier [ 1974 ] and others.
Use of assonance and alliteration is closely related to semantic nature of the text, with its storyline, features images of the characters, their appearance, speech, specificity, as well as subject- shaped structure of the text. This relationship is the subject of study phonosemantics. In the matter of the relation of sound and meaning the highest recognition have received the works of French researchers: A.C. de Géblin (1775), Ch. Nodier (1828), M. Chastaing (1958), Ch. Bally (1955 ), G. Molinié, (1989); H. Morier, (1998), M. de Grève ( 2000) and others. Among Russian researchers the problems of the sound depiction was investigated by O.M. Brick (1919), V.Y. Bruce (1955), B.P. Goncharov (1973), M.V. Ivanova (1990), A.P. Zhuravlev (1991) , A.E. Nagovitcin (2005), G.V. Vekshin (2006), E.V. Fedorov (2008) and many others.
The views of researchers disagree on the definition of assonance and alliteration. Some sources point to understanding assonance as a repetition of vowel sounds manifested in the final stressed syllable (P. Fontanier, (1977), P. Bacry, (1992), G. Molinié, (1996), H. Morier, (1998)), others consider the concept of assonance as a repetition of vowel sounds, regardless of their position and stress (A. Colin, (2004), C. Fromilhague, (2010), A. Beth, E. Marpeau, (2011), M. Jarrety, (2000)).
The first position is justified by the fact that the vowel sound repetitions are more noticeable and distinct when they are formed by the stressed vowels. The second point of view is more common nowadays.
From the point of view of some linguists the alliteration represents a repetition of consonant sounds in the position before the stressed vowel [Molinié, 1989; Morier, 1998]. The others determine it as a repeating consonant sounds at the beginning of the words. In modern French the most popular point of view on the essence of the concept of alliteration is represented in the dictionary Larousse: “Répétition des consonnes initiales ou intérieures dans une suite de mots pour obtenir un effet d'harmonie, de pittoresque ou de surprise (par example “de Ce Sacré Soleil dont je Suis deSCendue“(Racine))”.
Assonance and alliteration are the most common mean of creating the rhythm. Sound repetitions are explicit, lying on the surface of the text and therefore has a greater influence on the perception of rhythm reader, as well as the perception of the content of the text. We’ll confirm it with examples from the novel by G. de Maupassant “Bel Ami.”
So, the following example shows a clear relationship of the rhythmic sounds repeatability [s, ʃ, f, z] with the semantics of the image. The author makes the reader a very clear idea of thirst, tormenting the hero, of drinks, foaming, sizzling in glasses of outdoor cafes and it is further enhanced by the semantics of the phrase: Une soif chaude, une soif de soir d’été le tenait, et il pensait à la sensation délicieuse des boissons froides coulant dans la bouche. (p. 13).
The next rhythmic unit contains the repeating of the consonant [s], but the correlation with the value is different - the sound [c] psychologically means the propensity for friendship and cooperation [Nagovitcin, 2005: 333]: Vous savez, nous sommes ici sans cérémonie, sans façon et sans pose. C’est entendu, n’est-ce pas ? (p. 26) – the semantics of the fragment confirms the psychological significance of the sound.
[Pressés, poussés, serrés], ballottés, ils allaient, ayant devant les yeux un peuple de chapeaux. (p. 21) – in this passage we see a repetition of consonants [p, s, r]; from a semantic point of view we see the irritation associated with a situation in which Duroy and Forestier have got.
The repetition of the consonants [r, Ʒ, p] with similar semantic meaning is quite often. Those, for example, are situations involving the payment of money, the lack of which irritates Georges Duroy, especially in a situation when the debt should be given to a woman (in the context of the novel - Madame de Marelle, the mistress of Georges): Je la paierai quand je pourrai. (p. 83).
The following example combines the alliteration by the way of expressing feelings of the protagonists in the situation (in this case, a stout lady divided Charles and George), with the means of describing the exterior of the lady (mostly repulsive features - flushed, reddened hands clump). Creating this image the author affects its’ perception: Ils furent séparés / par une grosse dame qui entrait,/ une grosse dame décolletée, / aux bras rouges, / aux joues rouges, / vêtue et coiffée avec prétention, / et marchant si lourdement / qu’on sentait, / à la voir aller, / le poids / et l’épaisseur de ses cuisses.// (p. 95).
Thus, the rhythmic repetitions of sounds [s, p, r, d, Ʒ] express different feelings and reflect the different characteristics of the image: the alternation of sounds [s, ʃ] at 7, 8 and 11 rhythmic groups combined with the sounds [p, r, d], which make up the anagram of the word parade, crowning the image of a stout lady dressed pretentious. At the same time, these sounds express the perception of this lady by the protagonists, George and Charles, feeling unconscious hostility and anger towards to her. This perception is reinforced by lexical repetition. From a psychological point of view, the most frequently recurring sounds [r, s, p] reflect the following value: aggression, friendship, cooperation, and a tendency to consider oneself superior to others [Nagovitcin, 2005: 331]. Thus, in the frequency of these sounds the aggressiveness reflects the impression produced on the main heroes by the lady, and the cooperation - the relationship between Forestier and Duroy and a tendency to consider themselves superior to others - life position of the passing lady.
Dès qu’ils se sentirent en route, / ils se regardèrent / et se mirent à rire /, pour cacher une certaine gêne, / qu’ils ne voulaient point laisser voir.// (p. 141) - in this example, the value of the consonants changes: the same sounds [s, r] represent the laughter of Clotilde and Georges, the frequency of the sound [r] increases in mid-sentence, in the third rhythmic group of the phrase. It is interesting to note that according to the formula calculating the golden section; the third group is "gold", carrying the greatest meaning. According to A.E. Nagovitsyn, the meaning of the sound [r] is a vigorous activity and, as mentioned above, irritability, anger, tension, aggressiveness [Nagovitcin, 2005: 330]. This tension is felt in the relationship of lovers, because none of them trust each other, and the author emphasizes this relationship insincerity.
Alliteration of the sound [r] has a high frequency in the text of the novel. This is probably a confirmation of any activity of Georges Duroy, directed to the implementation of his own ambitions. His actions not obeying the laws of decency, have their own rhythm. That coldness and then indifference with which he changes his women, help him climb to the top of the vanity. And in the rhythm of his actions, we see the tension of nerve, not accompanied by pain in his soul, but irritability caused by his own poverty in the early stages of his stay in Paris, as well as his own unfitness and mediocrity. And in this connection there is a desire to prove all its significance. Georges Duroy certainly wants to get everything at once, so the semantic values of the consonant [r] can also be speed, fast forced action and therefore the frequent use of verbs of motion, containing this sound: Puis vinrent MM. Porion et Lapalme, / un maître et un amateur / qui se livrèrent à une gymnastique effrénée, / courant l’un sur l’autre avec furie, / forçant les juges à fuir / en emportant leurs chaises,/ traversant et retraversant / l’estrade d’un bout à l’autre, / l’un avançant et l’autre reculant / par bonds vigoureux et comiques. (p. 170); Alors six dames se mirent à circuler entre les banquettes et on entendit un petit bruit d’argent tombant dans les bourses. (p. 171).
In the last example we see the repetition of the sounds [p, b, d], creating the image of money falling into purses, but it is not the sound of coins, but the deaf bleak sound for Georges Duroy, who has not felt the freedom of a wealthy man yet. The fact that the sound [b] has the following characteristics: "propensity to saving, collecting, even avarice" confirms it [Nagovitcin, 2005: 329].
The theme of money is very often implemented in the text: sometimes explicitly using lexical means, sometimes in a veiled form through the acquisition of alliteration, for example: Et je fais ma liste. C’est un jeu, un petit jeu très gentil auquel on joue dans tous les salons parisiens à chaque trépas d’immortel : “Le jeu de la mort et des quarante vieillards.” (p. 88)
The repetition of the sound [Ʒ] in a similar lexical environment (jeu, gentil, joue) leads the reader to the thought about money, which is the main protagonist in the game parlors – wherein the word argent is absent in the phrase.
The following example combines the sounds [m, f, r, s], while describing a woman, her worldview (maturity, family, mother, peace, temper, tears, contradiction), so as a keyword phrase can distinguish multi-valued word femme rhythmically repeated throughout the novel: <…> elle mûre, mère de famille, femme du monde, elle devait se livrer gravement, avec une sorte d’emportement contenu, sévère, avec des larmes peut-être, mais avec les larmes de Didon, <...> (p. 193).
Thus from the standpoint of A.E. Nagovitsyn the sound [m] is the "propensity to ward anyone, sometimes petty, tendency to domesticity and family care, but under his tutelage" [Nagovitcin, 2005: 331]. These values are very accurately characterized Madame Walter and her attitude to Georges and his family. The most interesting is the fact that the repetition of the sound [f] means "strong relationships with people outside the environment of the subject and the predominance of purely material interests" [Nagovitcin, 2005: 331]. This sound and his amazing psychological characteristics reflect clearly the attitude to Madame Georges Walter.
Thus, the most frequent alliteration in the text of the novel "Bel ami" is the repetition of the sounds [r, s, m, f, Ʒ, b, d]. From a psychological point of view the total consonant characteristic of the novel is reflected in the following values: aggressiveness, partnership, guardianship, the predominance of purely material interests, physical well-being [Ʒ], propensity to saving, collecting, even avarice, propensity to work, materialistic aspirations, concreteness to express their feelings and desires [d].
The great interest has the characteristic of the rhythmically repeated vowel sounds in the text of the novel and, their correlation with their meaning and the structure of the text. The most frequent non-nasal sounds are [a, o, y, i, e-ɛ, u]: Quand Georges Duroy parvint au boulevard, il s’arrêta encore, indécis sur ce qu’il allait faire. Il avait envie maintenant de gagner les Champs-Élysées et l’avenue du bois de Boulogne pour trouver un peu d’air frais sous les arbres ; mais un désir aussi le travaillait,celui d’une rencontre amoureuse. (p. 13) – in this example, the sound [a] alternate with the sounds [wa, ɛ, a]; L’autre l’interrompit : «Allons, c’est bon. Encore un bock, n’est-ce pas ?» Et il cria : «Garçon, deux bocks !» (p. 18) - alternation of similar sound [o, ɔ, o]; [S’il avait pu en tenir un au coin d’une rue, dans l’ombre bien noire, il lui aurait tordu le cou, ma foi, sans scrupule,] comme il faisait aux volailles des paysans, aux jours de grandes manoeuvres. (p. 14) – use of the sounds [y, ɥi] in a rhythmic units; Sacristi, il fait rudement bon ici, comparativement à Paris. (p. 12) – the repetition of the sound [i] in a simple sentence.
One rhythmic unit may contain simultaneously the repetition of several vowels. So, the following example shows a rhythmic repetition of sounds [u, e, ɛ] within a phrase: Grand, bien fait, blond, d’un blond châtain vaguement roussi, avec une moustache retroussée, qui semblait mousser sur sa lèvre, des yeux bleus, clairs, troués d’une pupille toute petite, des cheveux frisés naturellement, séparés par une raie au milieu du crâne, il ressemblait bien au mauvais sujet des romans populaires. (p. 12).
From a psychological point of view, the rhythmic recurrence of these sounds has the following values: a penchant for destruction, greed, to the establishment of the Commonwealth, existing under the laws, increased sexuality, desire for aggression, destruction, imitation, mimicry [Nagovitcin, 2005: 334]. Certainly, the treatment of the sound meanings is subjective, but the fact of sound effects on the perception of the text is not denied, and therefore, the proposed explanation of the sounds has a right to exist.
The problem of the sound depiction is sufficiently studied by linguists, the scientists have accumulated quite extensive material on the relation of sound and its’ meaning. But this theme opens new horizons of the research, in particular the question of sound symbolism extensively studied on the material of children's literature, media, and advertising. In this case, the main function of the sound depiction is its use as a mean of a suggestive influence, proceeding to the unconscious, detecting a direct correlation with the symbols of the unconscious, characterized by continuality, metaphoricity, rhythmicity, emotional coloring, paradoxicality and the ambivalence.
In a literary text the transmission of the emotions from the author to the reader is one of the main functions of the sound symbolism. So, J. Vendryes in the "Language" wrote that "the man speaks, not only to express the idea. The man speaks also to influence the other person and to express his own feelings... "[Vendryes, 1990: 146].