What are linguistic devices?
Linguistic devices are means of shaping language that are characteristic of the style of a text. They deviate from everyday language usage and often serve to emphasise or illustrate facts or create tension. Rhetorical devices, figures or stylistic devices are used as synonyms for linguistic devices.
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FAQ: More questions about linguistic devices
The best-known linguistic devices include alliteration, anaphora, hyperbole, metaphor and rhetorical questions. You can find more stylistic devices in our overview.
Other important rhetorical devices are ellipsis, euphemism, tautology, neologism, parallelism and repetition.
Stylistic devices shape the linguistic composition of a text. They make formulations appear more vivid or pictorial, emphasise individual aspects or convey emotions. The effect of linguistic devices differs greatly in some cases.
Generally, rhetorical and linguistic devices are used synonymously. However, when you get right down to it, linguistic devices tend to be used in written language and serve to shape the language of a text. Rhetorical devices, which are found in spoken language, usually have an underlying intention.
There are different ways to recognise linguistic devices. Usually, a text is first examined for conspicuous features, i.e. repetitions, figurative representations or contradictions. These are then assigned to the rhetorical devices and interpreted to see what effect the author may have wanted to achieve with them.