• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Linguistic Analysis of Dahl and Blyton

Extracts from this document...


Linguistic Analysis of Dahl and Blyton Literary Review When looking at the critical and theoretical work that has been written on the subject of children's literature, one finds that there is a surprising dearth in the amount of material written on the importance of linguistics. The challenge was not to select which linguistic theory would best apply, but rather to find any theory that would have significance to the interpretation of children's literature. In order to complete this analysis, therefore, I found it most constructive to work with two texts. The first, Generative Grammars and the Concept of Literary Style by Richard Ohmann, is a text which gives a comprehensive overview of the ways in which linguistics can be used to determine the way style is constructed in a literary text. The second, The Reader in the Book by Aidan Chambers, is a text on literary criticism in children's literature which discusses the importance of style in the critique of a piece of children's literature. It is by examining the arguments of the latter that one is able to effectively apply the theories of the former in order to analyse the linguistic differences between the two children's texts, and determine the implications of such differences. ...read more.


In both cases, these openings could be transformed from a collection of two simple sentences to a longer complex sentence, neither could be simplified further without detracting from the meaning conveyed. Thus, the use of the simple sentence has been a deliberate stylistic choice for both writers. The sentences are short and simple and to the point. They have a rhythm as engaging as verse, and they convey meaning in simple, compact packages. The reason for this is self-evident: the writing was aimed at young children whose attention would be better caught by an undemanding linguistic style. Writing for adults, no doubt the authors would have employed more complex structures. There is, however, a clear difference between the two selections; namely, that Blyton has used more signifiers: the cottage is little, the country is deep, and the story takes place once upon a time. Dahl has not done this; his writing is plain and to the point. In terms of the information conveyed, very little is added by Blyton's signifiers, however, in terms of the style, there is a difference. Blyton is employing a style common to oral story-tellers which is lyrical, but also slightly patronizing. ...read more.


The attitudes the writers take, particularly in relation to his/her readers, has led to them making specific stylistic decisions, manifest in the grammar and syntax of their writing. The second is the analysis of sound, and particularly of rhythm. As shown above, both writers have adopted a style of prose which composes of short, simple sentences which lend a staccato and rhythmic nature to the writing. Thus, the sentence structures they have chosen can be shown to contribute to the sound which makes their style suited to their childish readers. The final approach is the statistical study of grammatical features. By indicating the optional transitions of a sentence or phrase (i.e. the addition or deletion of an adjective, the compounding of clauses, the replacement of proper nouns with pronouns, etc.), generative grammaticism can indicate where certain grammatical features have been favoured over others, thus contributing to the overall style of the piece. Blyton's heavier use of adjectives than Dahl was the example of this above. It seems, then, that an application of Ohmann's theory can put a linguistic approach to stylistics on firmer ground. In applying his theory to children's literature, we saw that certain grammatical decisions led to styles of writing which helped determine their reception by their child audiences. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    'You have come to ask me how it is you are nearer the bottom than the top when you could so easily be among the top ones?' She said. 'Well I'll tell you, Darrell. There are people like Alicia, who can play the fool in class and waste their time

  2. Marked by a teacher


    3 star(s)

    When Portnoy was sentenced with his sexual crimes by the court, Roth used descriptive, figurative language to show emotion in what he was doing wrong and what the consequences were. This was a constant unique style of Roth's as a writer and he always described a passionate situation or a poignant time in the novel with strong language.

  1. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    favorite things: I like all types of food and if it looks good I will try some.If its raining at night I enjoy being in bed listening to it.TV is not a big thing in my life I have no favourite shows and cannot watch rubbish.My music is general.classical is

  2. An exploration of the extent in which childrens TV presenters accommodate to the participants ...

    BEAT THE BOSS" which is again for the audiences' benefit as they now know what to expect from the show, as it is also interspersed with clips from the show. There is a frequent use of puns by the presenter: "dive into this watery challenge" which is for audience entertainment.

  1. The Handmaids Tale

    covers the breasts, the sleeves of the uniform are full length, there are also white wings in front of her face which prevent her from seeing too much. The red colour of the dress symbolizes fertility, by using this uniform, the Gilead government remind the handmaids of their only purpose; that being to conceive.

  2. Creative writing and commentary. It was the year 2015 and Earth was exploring ...

    Daniel and the kids kept running fast down the corridor, Rachel stopped to look back but she couldn't see Ramani, when Daniel noticed that she had stopped he ran back to her, he was about to get to her when an air vent in the wall burst open and a

  1. Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender ...

    Studying language in relation to social factors show a significant distinction between phrases for those of men and those for women. These phrases were colloquial interpretations of the male and female gentalia. The phrases revolving around the male gentalia are often used for comical aspects whereas the female terms are more offensive.

  2. An analysis of variations in style in comparison to Standard English.

    I will try to analyse the gap between German school English an find possible solutions for that problem. 11 At the beginning of my approach I will be presenting a selection of different accents regarding their regional usage. In the following point I will analyse Standard English which is being

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work