A text is the initial stage for a reader to reproduce the world created by a writer. A writer may create that world solely with words. Thus, the set of words in an artwork becomes an opportunity to reflect the author’s world outlook through such expressive means as adequacy and typicality used in the text. At the same time, having become an element of a literary work, a word acquires new properties previously not inherent in it, such as the ability for semantic interaction with distant components, polysemy, and, depending on lexical relationships and structure, emotional-evaluative categories, etc.
Thus, a word of fiction, creating the figurative poetic language and serving the expressive-figurative functions, is polysemantic. From this viewpoint, a style is a lexical-semantic category. At the same time, the stylistic features of any artwork are revealed not only in the semantic use of words, but also in the specific structure of sentences, the text, and syntactic phrases. Consequently, a style is also a structural-syntactic category.
The style of artistic prose is characterized by emotionality and broad use of expressive language means. A special role is played by words with figurative meaning, which have been long used in literature to achieve a brighter description of events and objects of the real world, as well as to create an emotional background to be perceived by a reader. The figurative meaning can be formed through several methods, of which metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and transference by function are traditional and are described in the works by most linguists.
In the Tatar literary language, using language means in figurative meaning has a rather long history and tradition. Here, we should point out the cultural influence of the literature and language traditions of the East.
As is known, an epithet is an attribute of a word that influences the expressiveness and beauty of that word . At first glance, it is the simplest of all means of artistic expressiveness. However, such an opinion is superficial. The linguists working in the sphere of poetics (L. I. Timofeev, V. V. Vinogradov, A. I. Efimov, S. Sh. Povarisov, etc.) consider them to be the most complex and important of all poetic means. We share their opinion. That is why we do not limit epithets to such traditional poetic attributes as көмеш чәч, назлы җил, зифа каен, тирән яра etc., but rather include various attributes (logical attributes) a writer uses to create an artistic image, which convey the idea and the message of the author.
The language of Amirkhan Eniki’s works is multifaceted, melodic, and unique. Each of his sentences and words is written taking into account the features of a soul and the perceptive abilities of his reader. This is why the epithets used in A. Eniki’s works are peculiar and fall beyond the traditional frameworks.
The epithets used by the writer are conveyed by various lexical units. Our research allowed us to distinguish the following groups:
- Epithets expressed by adjectives
- Epithets expressed by homogeneous parts of a sentence
- Complex epithets
Epithets expressed by adjectives
This type of epithet is used in the studied works most often. As a part of speech, adjectives can express various features: properties, qualities, various relations, characterizing the persons and objects of the real world. Using adjectives as epithets, a writer avails of abundant means and unlimited opportunities. This type of epithet makes it possible to connect various phenomena, with multiple semantic shades appearing as a result. In A. Eniki’s works, this group of epithets can be divided into subgroups based on their structure:
1) Epithets expressed by adjective stems: якты офык, тирән якынлык, авыр сагыш, ачы хәсрәт, җылы нур, көмеш яфрак (from a short story “Бала” – “A child”); җылы яктылык, тыныч гамьсезлек, тыныч бушлык (“Ана һәм кыз” – “Mother and daughter”); чуар яктылык, якты дулкыннар, саңгырау хәлсезлек, авыру хәлсезлек, авыр бушлык, тыныч елмаю (“Бер генә сәгатькә” – “Just for an hour”); тирән нәфрәт, тирән гаҗизлек, өлкән тынлык, тирән яра, йомшак җылылык, тирән якынлык, тын яктылык, җылы сүз (“Тауларга карап” – “Looking at the mountains”). As one can see from the above epithets, A. Eniki selects attributes very thoroughly, using combinations that convey the shades of feelings in a new way and that open the nuances not caught before. Notably, light, pleasant, and warm epithets are used in the short story “A child”, which is saturated with immense love for children and where attention is focused on sinless purity, sweet childish naivety, and genuine sincerity of a child’s image. As a result, the horizon is light, and the girl’s eyes are filled with warm rays, though there is destruction and grief around that was brought by war (“авыр сагыш, ачы хәсрәт”). The contrasting epithets help to perceive the main idea of the work – belief in the radiant future and in the victory of purity and firmness of hope. Attention is drawn by a seemingly unobtrusive epithet, көмеш яфрак. The epithet, алтын яфрак (‘a golden leaf’), is considered to be traditional. However, in this case, A. Eniki used a completely new attribute to depict the unmatched beauty, mystery, and calming quietness of a forest before dawn. It was probably the quiet of this very moment in the narration that made the writer use this epithet, as gold (алтын) is characterized by brightness, luxury, some inner energy, etc. Besides this, the season depicted in the story is not Indian summer, but the end of August – the time of ripening.
In the work, “Тауларга карап” (“Looking at the mountains”), such epithets as тирән and авыр ‘deep’ are often used in combination with the word нәфрәт (‘hatred’). The narration focused on the feelings and deep emotional wounds of an old man, Lukman. During several pages, the author’s narration through the character’s perception expands the boundaries of time, mentally returning him to the past. In the moments when the old man lost his only son and then his only grandson, he thought that his life and his existence on the Earth ceased. The only thing that made his heart continue beating was hatred — deep hatred for war and for the tyrants who bereaved millions of people of their last hopes and dreams. This is confirmed by the following lines: «Аның эчендә бөтен нәрсә кинәт корып бетсә дә, дошманга карата гади кеше теле белән генә әйтеп бирергә мөмкин булмаган ачу—нәфрәт тәненнән чыкмаган җаны булып яши иде. …Локман картның яңадан терелә башлавына, акрынлап тормышка кайтуына әнә шул бердәнбер үлми калган нәфрәт тойгысы төп сәбәпче булгандыр да» [1, P.105] – ‘Although everything inside him dried up suddenly, the hatred to enemies, which could not be expressed with ordinary words, lived in him like the remnants of a soul. …The main reason for the revival, the gradual return of old man Lukman to life was, probably, hatred, the only feeling which survived in him’. Thus, the epithets, repeated but having different shades, make A. Eniki’s narration emotional, generating deep feelings in the readers.
2) Epithets expressed by adjective derivatives.
In the modern Tatar language, the affixation way of building adjectives is the most productive. New adjectives can be built on the basis of noun stems (тәм+ле, ямь+ле, сүз+чән, ит+ләч) and noun derivatives (уң+дырыш+лы, күч+ем+сез, аңлат+ма+лы), as well as compound words and syntactic combinations (кайгы+хәсрәт+ле, ак чәч+ле, кыска буй+лы) .
Epithets with affixes —лы/-ле. The affix, -лы/ле, is one of the most active and polyfunctional in the Tatar language. As a word-building affix, it can be added to nouns (шатлык+лы, бал+лы), adjectives (ак+лы, зәңгәр+ле), numerals (биш+ле, кырык+лы), verbs (кадау+лы, кайгыру+лы), and modal words (кирәк+ле, тиеш+ле).
Poetic attributes formed with this affix have a lot of meanings, with the main one being the characterization of an object or person through the semantics of the word-building stem. The characterizing feature may be constant (a static feature) or temporary. That is, it may define persons, objects, and phenomena through an isolated, not recurring, feature. The first group of epithets includes нурлы томан, өметле сизенү, кадерле күрешү, газаплы мәхәббәт (“Just for an hour”), көйле әкият, назлы елгачык, шифалы тәэсир (“Looking at the mountains”). Other epithets characterize objects through a temporary feature inherent in the word-building stem, such as саташулы курку, саташулы төш (“Just for an hour”).
Epithets with affixes —сыз/-сез. This affix is also polyfunctional in the Tatar language. It is both a word-building and grammar affix. As a word-building affix, it is antonymous to the affix -лы/-ле (denotes the absence of a feature or property), as seen with бәхетле – бәхетсез (‘lucky – unlucky’). It can be added to nouns (кайгысыз), adjectives (кыюсыз), verbs (туктаусыз), and modal words (кирәксез). A. Eniki often uses such epithets as the following: сүзсез уйчанлык, хәлсез бушлык, хәлсез тавыш (“Just for an hour”), гамьсез рәхәтлек, мәрхәмәтсез сугыш (“A child”), хәлсез куллар, мәрхәмәтсез ачу, хәрәкәтсез тынлык, мәрхәмәтсез хакыйкать (“Looking at the mountains”), мәрхәмәтсез чынлык (“Mother and daughter”), урынсыз, мәгънәсез эгоизм (“Conciliation”). As the above examples show, the epithet, мәрхәмәтсез (‘merciless’), is repeated in the works describing the sufferings brought by war. The war is merciless, as is the hatred of the characters who lost their kin in battle fields. The truth is likewise merciless, as it heralds implacable loneliness and the eternal pain of the loss.
Epithets with affixes —ыч/-еч. As a rule, this affix is added to verbs with stems of Tatar origin. Such attributes are able to express more “colorful” features, as their stems are verbs, seen in these examples: кызганыч елмаю (“Just for an hour”), куркыныч хәбәр (“Looking at the mountains”), тыныч ваемсызлык (“A child”). Amirkhan Eniki had a talent of selecting each word and each accent. Pay attention to the first example. At first glance, it is a casual, unremarkable attribute. However, this is not so. First of all, one may notice a violation of the ordinary patterns. Ordinarily, if a person smiles, it means that they are calm, glad, or quiet. In this case, the old man smiles, although it would be more appropriate for him to cry. In order to better understand the meaning and role of this epithet, we should turn to the text, “Галимҗан абзый улына кызганыч елмаю белән, ышанмыйча карый, Мәрьям абыстай исә, бөтенләй таңга калып, бернәрсә аңламаган кыяфәт белән, күзләрен зур ачып, улына текәлгән иде” . The old people feel like that when they learn that their son, Gumar, returned just for one hour. Galimzhan abziy is the head of the family. Therefore, despite his own vexation of mind, he must stay reserved and maintain composure (which the soldier’s mother and wife fail to do, losing hope for meeting their son and husband). On the surface, he manages it. He brought himself to calm down his wife and give the necessary orders to his daughter-in-law. Still, the thought of a near and inevitable departure from his son strikes him. That is why his smile is pitiful. It hides the acute sorrow about the new departure, the pain due to his own powerlessness, and the pity he feels for his kin. Thus, just one epithet, delicately selected by the writer, makes us feel the depth of inner anxiety of the characters and the idea of the work as a whole.
Epithets with affixes —ык/-ек/-к. In the Tatar language, this affix is used to build both nouns and adjectives. To build adjectives, it is added to verbs (сүтек, җимерек). It denotes a property expressed through the action of the word-building stem. In the studied works, such epithets are сынык күңел (“Looking at the mountains”), йомык күзләр (“Just for an hour”), and others.
The above-said information testifies to the large-scale opportunities yielded by using epithets in literary texts. The stylistic functions of epithets are brightly manifested in various constructions. This allows us to conclude that all the above-mentioned features of using epithets play a pivotal role in creating the social and emotional background of an artwork, and they also serve as bright examples of the author’s skill. Besides that, the emotional and expressive coloring of epithets is an evaluative means that demonstrates the author’s position and enables the author to express the attitude of other characters to a personage.
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