Full Text

Style and Rhetoric

Jeanne Fahnestock

Subject Linguistics
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

People Aristotle, Cicero

Key-Topics language

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Under the term style in rhetorical studies are grouped all those concerns with effective language that have been part of the rhetorical tradition from its beginnings in ancient Greece (→  Rhetoric, Greek ). In rhetorical manuals from antiquity through to the present, language issues are typically discussed at the levels of word choice, sentence structure, and passage arrangement according to certain broad principles guiding selection, such as clarity or vivacity. Rhetorical stylistics also describes linguistic devices that can help construct the interaction between rhetor and audience (e.g., apostrophe or direct address), express states of mind (e.g., dubitatio , the expression of doubt), or even control the flow of discourse (e.g., transitio , marking the movement from one section to another). Many of these rhetorical figures of speech survive in the everyday vocabulary of language awareness (e.g., rhetorical question ), while others are studied as literary devices achieving aesthetic effects (e.g., personification , extending human attributes like speech to the inanimate and nonhuman). In the last 20 years, one particular device of word substitution, metaphor , has been promoted as a conceptual principle organizing areas of →  meaning. In the rhetorical tradition, however, language principles and features are identified for their functional, persuasive potential. Scholars ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top