Style in Dutch literary prose

Terms used by literary critics in characterizing the style of novels are often impressionistic (‘baroque’, ‘austere’, ‘vivid’, ‘cerebral’ etc.). Foundations for such evaluations are usually not provided. A scientific way of studying and explaining style is lacking in present day Dutch Studies. This subproject aims to develop a scientific basis for discussing and explaining the style of literary novels.

The style of speeches

What is the difference between a minister saying that something is possible or that it is not impossible? And what exactly is the rhetorical effect when someone says I don’t want to blame you for X, but… – thereby exactly blaming the addressee for X (a figure of speech called praeteritio)? Speechwriters do often have global ideas about the effect of certain stylistic devices, but a scientific basis for these intuitive judgements is lacking.

Theory and practice of linguistic stylistics

The linguistic project constitutes the connection between the two other subprojects. On the one hand, linguistic insights will be re-interpreted as instruments for stylistic analysis. On the other hand, results from the other two subprojects will be interpreted in the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics.