Emphasis In Poetic Phrase As A Suggestion Tool


The article focuses on the description of poetic texts created on the basis of emphasis using some lexical and grammatical means. The antonyms and synonyms (including contextual ones), lexical repetitions, demonstrative pronouns, particles and interjections are distinguished. The article substantiates the statement that the indicated constructions can create emotional stress to the best extent, cover the thought of the author and focus the reader’s attention on the selected plot of the narration. It is important for a particular situation, as it reveals their unlimited possibilities for the creation of speech techniques aimed at the addressee of the statement with the purpose of aesthetic and psychological impact due to the ability to develop several topics in emphatic micro-text, to form a certain emotional mood, to set a communicative attitude for its understanding in a new way. Each of the lexical and grammatical means, functioning in emphasis and complying with the general task of influencing the feelings and minds of the reader, reveals its own specific properties that clarify the nuances of the values ​​of the left or right surroundings of the accented lexeme, motivating the recipient to discover the hidden meaning of the phrase and remove semantic veils.

Keywords: Emphasispoetic textsemantic veilsuggestion


It is known that an exceptional feature of a language embodied in a figurative form is its ability to influence the mind and feelings of the recipient, that is, to give indirect directives to the addressee of the speech without manipulative intervention. This function of the language was also known to our ancestors, who developed and applied the methods of influencing human subconscious in practice.

A wide range of opportunities for speech influence is provided by emphasis, which has attracted attention already in the distant past. For the first time, it was mentioned in antiquity as a rhetorical figure of speech, which gives the expression power and grace and conveys hidden subtext. Over time, the emphasis was filled with new definitive meanings and was considered not only in rhetoric, but also in the sections of stylistics, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics and expressive syntax (Zhirova, Ivanchikova, Belunova, Komisarova, Kostomarov, Vasilyeva et al.).

During the study of the level of influence of emphatically constructed sentences on a person, linguists in recent decades turned their attention to the framework of the word in terms of its suggestive nature and proved that any intonational sound, lexeme, phrase, high-level syntactic construction initiate cognitive operations that contains evaluative information capable of reconstructing the image of reality and creating attitudes for its reflection in a new perspective.

Problem Statement

The relevance of the research is due to the fact that against the increasing interest in the suggestive nature of language in linguistic science, there is a lack in the study of structural and semantic features of emphatically constructed syntaxes that function in artistic speech, the ways of creation and communicative implementation of an emphatic phrase in a single poetic text and the place of one or another lexical unit in the transfer of veil meaning as well as its influence on its left and right surrounding.

The practicability of the study of emphasis in is justified by the fact that, in the semantic plan, it is a multi-tiered semantic structure, in addition to the figurative form endowed with deep subtext, interpreting the linguistic form of social environment. In addition, in poetic speech it acts as an auxiliary element that serves as a certain universal code for the separation of information segment from the speech stream and the enhancement of suggestion aimed at the addressee of the utterance with the purpose of aesthetic and spiritual impact, the formation of a certain emotional mood, the creation of a communicative attitude, the disclosure of nuance meanings of the phrase and the expansion of the boundaries of the subtext.

This makes it possible to make the reader rethink the surrounding reality and the formation of a new image in his mind; direct his thoughts to a given attitude, the creation of an appraisal nomination and the formation of a special attitude to heroes, phenomena and events.

The poetic works of modern poets and writers were used as a material for language analysis in this study.

Research Questions

In this article the author's team discusses the following questions:

  • How emphatic construction interprets in specific national-cultural society;

  • What are the methods of revealing the nuanced meanings of an emphatic phrase and expanding the boundaries of the subtext;

  • What are the ways to influence the recipient by emphase.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study is to describe the emphasis in terms of expressive possibilities in the representation of the subject and emotional impact on participants of artistic communication through built-in “semantic veils”.

Research Methods

The research is carried out by direct observation of the facts of the language; the method of positive and negative experiments, as well as methods of statistical calculation, transformational analysis, transformation and substitution are used.


Integrating the ideas about the language, “in order to attract the reader’s attention to specific information or to strengthen the meaning of the word, poets and writers use the emphasis” (Nikolenko & Babakova, 2019, p. 35), which is understood as the “general linguistic category denoting the objectively existing property of linguistic units to transmit subject-logical content with increased expressiveness” (Kalustova, 1984), create emotional tension, veil the author’s thought, focus the attention of the addressee on the information area, which is important for the specific situation putting subjective emphasis.

We believe that poetry better reveals such aspects of emphasis:

The wind blew early

As widow's sorrow

Did not hear the serby

Husband // – left on war.

The dash in this fragment is a graphic indicator of the emphatic segment, which means the part of the speech chain the boundaries of which are marked by a pause, a transition of tone or a combination. It not only fills the micro-text presented above with new content, but also removes semantic ambiguity from it: without a dash, the verb “did not hear” against the background of the inversion which complicates the understanding could be classified as homogeneous to the predicate “blew” and show the actions of the first subject “wind”. In this case, the proposal “the husband left on war” would be regarded as an attachment structure, only remotely connected with the first part, which contradicts the original intention of the author.

It confirms the idea that the functional meanings of segments in the general structure of the text can be revealed only as a result of a complex, multidimensional analysis, which includes communicative (formation way of a speech image of a statement), formal-grammatical (implementation in the segment of deep syntactic positions, the formation of surface syntactic structures, the general content of grammatical information, the strength of morphological categories), semantic (formation way of semantic structure of the text through segments, the ratio of the semantic values ​​included in them) and psychological (reflection in the segment of speech fluctuations, stages of internal speech planning, speech correction) aspects.

A poetic text has a much stronger effect on the restructuring of the personality consciousness than any other non-fiction text, the linguistic tool of which is logic; It is explained by the fact that it is in a poetic text the speaker's communicative intention provides an inextricable unity of the external structure, its internal content and functional purpose:

We did not have // treasure,

Although we lived our gold//

Life // years as a single pressure

On the path of our // life it was cold.

In this example, due to repetitions, root words and inversions, which are indicators of emphasis, the author puts the idea of regret that his life was not materially secured back, but, on the contrary, veiledly shows that happiness is not in wealth, but in family harmony (“Our years”, “our life”), thereby introducing a hidden contextual antonymy.

As it can be seen, the introduction of language lexemes that implement such cognitive functions leads to the appearance of implicit information that contributes to the interpretation of reality in order to create stable psychological clichés in its understanding. In poetic constructions, the speech impact is oriented to the option of understanding the surrounding reality and the formation of a new image of the world in the consciousness of its addressee. This is facilitated by lexical, syntactic and lexical-syntactic means of emphasis.

In the context of this study, we will focus on the description of lexical and some grammatical means of emphasis, among which we distinguish antonyms and synonyms (including contextual ones), lexical repetitions, demonstrative pronouns, particles, and interjections.

According to Dmitriev (1981), “the existence of antonyms in a language is determined by the nature of our perception of reality in all its contradictory complexity, in the unity and struggle of opposites” (p. 51):

Here there were truth // and untruth, //

But through them, as if a streak of blue,

Life showed clearly // truth

At sunset to me and you…

In relation to emphasis, this means that, tonally emphasizing semantically and structurally combining the opposite words “truth” – “untruth”, the poet draws a completely new picture, interpreted through the personal worldview and gently “introduces” it into the philosophical picture of his reader (listener), understanding that suggestive function of speech is important in the implementation of a successful dialogue in the work.

There is no peace, silence

Near the house of Stepanida:

We hear all night

Those moaning // resentments,

That’s the first meetings’ // delight,

Sighs, aahs, stomp, rustle

Or muffled // statements,

Thundering, // like fight.

Almost the entire strophe of the presented poem is built on contrast, i.e., on a comparison of phenomena through contextual antonyms, which, blurring the temporal boundaries of a specific action, ultimately reflect the positive attitude of the hero, who, despite physical wilting, catches the taste of an ongoing life in this rhythmic change of events, which entails infinity and cyclicity.

I pulled this secret myself

Out from my gloves

Where these lines // are

The curves and straights // and they are

Imprint of our lives.

A series of inferior positive and negative life lines that affect one’s state of mind makes the poet to reveal a simple truth: life is an arena for the struggle between good and evil (in the broad sense of these phenomena), their emotional play is metaphorical riddles, which the reader can solve with the help of the emphasis of words “straights” and “curves”.

The sentences with the observations of nature in which synonymy is possible show that it is precisely such constructions that can reflect hidden meanings, escalate expression, thereby aesthetically affect the recipient, “form a kind of figurative picture in his mind” (Nikolenko et al., 2018):

I am pleased //

I am glad //

I am glad not to forget!

Not to forget how the birds whistle

Over the window and under the eave...

The synonymy of the words “glad” and “pleased” against the background of an anaphorically constructed repetition introduces additional meaningful shades into the whole phrase: the poet’s memoirs are not spontaneous, they always live in his soul, as evidenced by the verbal “be pleased”, the seme of which shows a constant process, because this verb is derived from the noun “pleasure”.

The accent dominance of one or another synonym serves as a well-known indicator of its communicative significance: distinguished synonymous segments not only most actively realize their accentuation possibilities (it can be proved by their frequent use), but also most fully reflect the semantic specificity of the lexical-semantic group and are its most active element.

The addressee of the statement, choosing a word from a number of synonyms, is intuitively guided by the ability of the lexical unit to reveal hidden meaning and present informational multidimensionality in integrity, so the choice of a word that is part of a synonymous paradigm often depends on the meaningful content of the syntactic construction:

Oh heaven, if only once

This flame has developed by will,

Without hesitation, // just getting a chance, //

I would shine – and grew dim!

The contextual synonym “without hesitation” to the word “just getting a chance” fills the informative background of the whole sentence, adding information reflecting the gloomy feelings of the lyrical hero. Therefore, we can state that a synonymic series is an inventory of the choice of a specific lexeme in accordance with the semantics of the whole sentence, in which the speech preference of a particular synonym word is largely related to the speaker’s target attitude and methods of their actualization in the speech object.

A certain suggestive expression is contained in the emphatic synonymy of allied words in complex sentences, which allows not only avoiding repetitions and creating original models, but also revealing the nuances of the subordinate meaning, inducing the recipient to discover the hidden meaning of the phrase and to understand semantic veils:

They mourned such sorrows

To souls and hearts

That the sea was only wallow

Where the blood boils

Where the stars fall to soils

While a man just stands.

In this example, we can see the variation of the defining homogeneous subordinate “that” and “where”. Each of them (materially or immaterially represented) adds to its definition its own connotation of meaning (in our case, place). In addition, being the compositional basis of the phrase, allied words convey various shades of the hero’s thoughts and experiences. We can say that an attempt to remove a repeated clip from such sentences changes the semantic priority of relations in the statement and corrects the implicit meaning.

The lexical repetition is also highly emphatic as an “expressive technique of emphasizing, focusing and fixing attention” (Ivanchikova, 1969, p. 62).

Repetition is a multilevel phenomenon that includes “speech units with additional components that clarify or expand its meaning” (Belunova, 1988, p. 37). Its description from the point of view of suggestive linguistics allows identifying its role and significance in the formation of emphatic sentences:

How many dawns are for me?

I don’t know,

How many of them I will see...

I remember friends, //

I remember //

How we lived as a frontline family.

The repetition of the word “remember” and the intonation emphasis on it emphasizes its substantial significance for the poet: it is precisely the events of the previous days that evoke pleasant emotions in his soul that he will carry through the years and will save forever in his memory.

The sentences with repetitions not only draw the reader’s attention to the informationally significant segment of the statement, but also convey the semantic diversity between the described phenomena with a special structure: during repetition, the content of the second part is sent to the information already indicated in the first part, which allows creating a uniform linear syntactic organization of the phrase:

My path! // it is tough,

But for me it is precious!

Path! // I got along with it, modest,

With it discreet we are the one...

Repeated use to the lexical unit “path” creates a descriptive structure that expands the meaningful content and significance of the accent word.

Emphatic repetitions, lining up in a special syntactic chain, are accompanied by the same rhythm, endowing the text with musicality, harmony and tension:

We don’t need anything

Just one bell alarm...

Burning // lamp is before us and

Burning // cold sunset.

The intonation of the enumeration in this example gives a quantitatively qualitative charge of expression, which contributes to the quick memorization and emphasis of the most significant for a particular situation lexemes, and the dynamics and rhythm of the whole structure “injects” the necessary information into the reader’s subconscious: the life of the heroes of the poem is approaching to its natural end.

Repeated emphasis inevitably leads to a new perception of extended associative series, supplemented with new hidden meanings with each repetition: the reasons and conditions of the action can be conceived, a temporary and spatial curtain can be opened, a picture of the future can be formed, etc.:

Forgive me the nakedness of the soul and the evil nakedness of nerves...

Forgive me for a scream. Forgive my look

Forgive my dissatisfaction...

Forgive me for a moan. Forgive me for passion...

Through the entire strophe of the poem, due to the repetition of the word “forgive”, there is a theme of regret about the relationship that has passed, about the hero’s awareness of the incorrectness of his actions and thoughts.

Demonstrative pronouns as grammatical markers of emphasis, due to their semantic features, carry a slightly different semantic and expressive load in the emphasis than nouns. A quantitative analysis of sentences with these lexical units allowed concluding that they are used more often with a repeating noun in the subject position. This is probably due to the fact that this category of pronouns to a greater extent realizes the meaning of its entire class: it points to an object without naming it.

Consequently, the very structure of the sentence (or micro-text) requires it to be regarded as a reference element of known information (unless this indicative pronoun is a correlative word in a complex sentence with an additional clause and degree):

I try to describe in words

A friend of the best days

But where to find such words // ...

The use of a demonstrative pronoun refers the reader to the veil content, the essence of which does not require explanation by the determining component (such as ...): it is presented in zero rheme. The ambiguity given to the reader’s speculation gives the expression and emotionality, as well as an inspiring effect.

Expression and emotionality are characteristic for all levels of the language. In combination with the rational, they form a real picture of the world, presented through the prism of self-position. A significant way to reflect this subjective in the objective is the intonation of the particles and words to which they are adjacent, since the particles, being interconnected “with the communicative intention of the speaker and the illocutionary power of the utterance” (Kuporov, 2008, p. 74), can also perform a suggestive function:

My lands are my beauties:

I have burdocks on the road

I even have// weeds, sow thistles -

It is my escape from longing.

With an emphatic particle “even”, the author, on the one hand, distinguishes the words “weeds” and “sow thistles” from a homogeneous series, emphasizing that they are weeds, on the other hand, he conveys his positive emotions, just related to the ability to see (including) these plants in their native land, thereby endowing the whole statement with expression and introducing background information: there is nothing more beautiful than the native land. “The mechanism of speech influence in such syntaxes is built according to a certain pattern: the supply of an informative component and the veiling of the suggestive” (Nikolenko et al., 2019, p. 4).

Emphasis, compositionally correct and dressed in the corresponding substantial form, is a tool for influencing the emotional component of the addressee, and particles, introducing emotion into the context, form evaluative meanings and inspire them with the object of speech:

It will not work, – I said //

Sadly – I will fail

Someone answered: “If there was a desire ...

Listen, // it’s not a fire...

It’s mowing, it’s a labor...

Without patience, // is it a favor?

In this example, participants in a speech expose differently directed feelings: insecurity in the success of the final result and an emotional lift from the work performed. The dominant role in their expression is assigned to the rhetorical question with thought-affirming content: only with patience can one master a certain skill. The corresponding background is reflected in the adverb “sadly” and intonationally allocated emotionally expressive particles “it’s” and “what”. “It’s” sets the tone for discontent, categoricality, and “what” is of the nature of motivation, a soft call to action in the agreed manner.

It is necessary to note that according to the pragmatic content of the utterance one and the same particle can represent different background values. Let us analyze three examples:

Where after all// “Ambulance”

Took me?

2. I told him: “None!”

Not a can, not a glass...

I only drink // on holidays ... a little...

3. And, of course, // children spun,

As always at any wedding

In the first fragment, “after all” brings a tinge of discontent, in the second it has an emphasis (“only”), in the third case it strengthens confidence in the content.

These findings suggest that the expressive semantics of particles are not always manifested in a pure form, since a particle in isolation from a phrase is not a carrier of any meanings, but in the context it often clarifies the communicative attitude of the speaker and the illocutionary possibilities of the syntax, “depends on evaluative and pragmatic meanings ” (Selyaev, 1995, p. 41), the psycho-emotional state of the communicants, their relationship to each other, because “the structural restructuring of the mind’s work under the influence of emotions is reflected through the speaker’s choice of such linguistic means that provide the most adequate transfer of the psychological experience at the time of speaking” (Momushkina, 2003, p. 52). Expressiveness as an element of suggestion can manifest itself both at the level of the whole sentence, and in a single word. This is clearly demonstrated by interjections — words that can act as independent sentences: “The ability of interjections to act as independent statements in speech means actualization of interjections of speech action” (Shapovalova, 1994, p. 68); this actualization reflects the personally noted attitude of the addressee of the speech to the language situation and the phenomena of reality:

Ah, // my wonderful friends!

Everyone was great!

And really everyone was Dobrynia

And everyone was Muromets!

The interjection “ah” succinctly conveys the poet’s admiration for the heroic strength of his friends. This proves that our consciousness is:

Conscious and controlled selection and focus of attention on any aspect of information about the referendum or communicative event. In speech activity, this is expressed in the fact that the speaker chooses one or another linguistic means, which, in his opinion, best conveys the properties of the situation (object) that he focuses on (Iriskhanova, 2012, p. 84).

Interjection appears to some extent as a descriptive element, because, due to hidden semantics and correlation with a situational psychological context, it can characterize an object or phenomenon and explain the feeling expressed by the speaker in relation to this object or phenomenon. All this allows considering interjections as special means of explication of the sensually-emphatic nature of human behavior, communicative and suggestive significance and use them in speech in order to achieve a pragmatic effect:

I have oho! // – censer,

We will all fit in it!

The “oho” lexical unit reflect the poet’s reaction to the fact of reality by describing the size of the characterized object, and also, giving additional investigative value (a censer is large, so everything will fit in it), predicts the possible actions of the participants in the language situation.

“Emphasis is one of the most productive ways of linguistic indication of the degree of emotional marking of the semantic content of a statement and the intentionality of a text” (Zhirova, 2012, p. 63), therefore the intuitive or intentional choice of a specific, situation- determined interjection is determined by the communicative impulse of the speaker not only to express his feelings, but to convey them to his addressee and have a corresponding effect on it:

He shouted to him:

“Hey, // brother!

Get out, what are you sitting

Under water…"

In the syntax above, the interjection “hey”, functionally mixing with the appeal, helps to draw the attention of the addressee, to show his physical and psychological superiority with a touch of negative attitude.

This allows asserting that interjection as lexical means of emphasis is a way of expressing a subjective-objective attitude to reality and provides unlimited possibilities for the expression of emotions, representing them in speech in line with “Self-vision” and influencing the consciousness of who this speech is directed to.


The list of lexical and grammatical means of emphasis presented in this study is far from complete (which may serve as the reason for their further analysis, for example, using Cognitive dictionaries (Sychugova et al., 2019). However, the conclusions allow stating conclusively that the described means “serve to enhance expressiveness and pictoriality of emotions, will, thoughts” (Rybakova, 2013, p. 26), form ideas about a represented subject, emotionally charge participants in literary communication, focus attention on hidden meanings, as they are endowed with artistic imagery.

Acting as the “main weapon” of any artistic expression, it is surrounded by information veils, and the reader, being confident in artistic taste and life selectivity, still follows the influence of the author’s self-position.

Naturally, the more emotional the phrase, the higher the possibility that the addressee will “follow” the author or his character, therefore, “the representative context chooses those means that will best realize his communicative intention to instill a certain idea” (Mikheeva & Shapovalova, 2017, p. 62) without open moralized instructions.

An emphatically constructed poetic syntax puts the necessary thought into the reader’s mind with the help of an image and associative accompanying meanings, gently directing the recipient’s thought to the necessary attitude, it does not hurt him with a transition to “personality”, since in general it is an abstract narrative that has an “expressively colored effect and impact on the addressee” (Komisarova, 2008, p. 62).


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27 February 2021

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National interest, national identity, national security, public organizations, linguocultural identity, linguistic worldview

Cite this article as:

Nikolenko, O. V., Shapovalova, E. Y., & Malina, N. V. (2021). Emphasis In Poetic Phrase As A Suggestion Tool. In & I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 692-702). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.87