The present study stylistically investigates the semantic/pragmatic deviation in two poems by Robert Browning. It aims at pointing out and detecting the types of linguistic and extra-linguistic deviations Browning skillfully uses, which triggers out his stylistic excellence. The study, however, endeavors basically to investigate semantic and pragmatic deviations in 'The Last Ride Together' (1855) and 'A Grammarian's funeral' (1855). It shows how Browning deviates from the norms of language to achieve a deep insight of stylistic and aesthetic functions.
As for the hypotheses, it is hypothesized that Browning's poetry is uniquely deviant, his trend of writing is meant to achieve stylistic effects, and it is also hypothesized that most deviations in Browning's poetry occur on the linguistic (specifically, semantic) and extra-linguistic (particularly, pragmatic) levels of language.
Browning employs different types of deviation to achieve literary and aesthetic effects, which in many instances in his poems creates difficulty of understanding. Hence, Scott’s (2015) WordSmith Tools, a software program, is adopted here so that the frequencies of occurrence for each type of deviation can be clearly seen as a stylistic marker or fingerprint of Browning’s style.
Poetic Language, Style, Stylistics, Deviation & Word Smith Tools.