Anita Naciscione: Stylistic Use of Phraseological Units in Discourse



Naciscione, Anita. 2010. Stylistic Use of Phraseological Units in Discourse. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company: xiii, 292 pp. ISBN 978 90 272 1176 7 (HB); ISBN 978 90 272 8769 4 (EB).

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This interdisciplinary study presents the cutting-edge state of theoretical and applied research in the fascinating field of phraseology. The author elaborates key terminology and theoretical concepts of phraseology, while challenging some prevailing assumptions. Exploration of phraseological meaning across sentence boundaries is supported by ample textual illustrations of stylistic use ranging from Old English to Modern English. The book contains innovative research in the discourse-level features of phraseological units from a cognitive perspective, along with creative use of phraseological metaphor, metonymy and allusion, multimodal discourse included. The author argues for applied stylistics as a distinct area and the need to raise stylistic awareness among teachers and learners, translators, lexicographers and advertisers. The book offers an extensive glossary of key terms and a comprehensive bibliography. Stylistic Use of Phraseological Units in Discourse is a skillfully revised and extensively expanded new edition of the author's previously published ‘Phraseological Units in Discourse: Towards Applied Stylistics' (2001).

Hb 978 90 272 1176 7 EUR 95.00

Eb 978 90 272 8769 4 EUR 95.00

“Anita Naciscione's new book is a marvellous scholarly achievement that makes a major contribution to our understanding of phraseological units in discourse. She offers deep insights into how phraseological units may be identified, used in creative and systematic patterns in language and visual media, and reveal fundamental characteristics of the figurative mind. The book is a pleasure to read, not only because of the many wonderful literary examples she describes, but because Naciscione situates her discussions within contemporary cognitive linguistic theory and enduring pedagogical questions. I can think of no single work that combines the study of cognition and stylistics in such an invigorating, beautiful manner.”

Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., University of California , Santa Cruz , USA

“Phraseology is an uncomfortable overlapping zone for the “meta-linguistic establishment”, whose guardians use to dodge the issue arguing its crossroads position between syntax, lexicon, or simply by pushing the whole field to the background of more or less exceptional phenomena. Stylistic perspective avoids the constraints and difficulties of the taxonomic approach, by focusing on language use, leading Anita Naciscione to reverse the mechanism, investigating even beyond the phraseological units themselves, in the linguistic jungle of discourse, where the thousand faces of reality are moving without preconceived hedges.”

Antonio Pamies Bertran, European Society of Phraseology

“An excellent and unique book on the vast range and uses of phraseology. Its style is direct and to the point, making a complex subject easy to follow. The blend between theory and practice has been skillfully woven together and provides useful information for a wide spectrum of readers, including not only academics, but also teachers, students, translators, lexicographers and those working in the advertising world.”

Richard Trim, Université de Provence , France

“This is a distinguished and inspiring approach to an area of linguistic and stylistic analysis where the crossover potential for discussion and pedagogy is considerable. An important contribution to the under-resourced area of phraseology.”

John McRae, University of Nottingham , United Kingdom

“Stylistic Use of Phraseological Units in Discourse is a real must if you are interested in innovative cognitive research of discoursal use of phraseological units.”

Elena Arsenteva, Kazan Federal University , Russia


Subject classification


  • Cognitive Stylistics
  • Phraseology
  • Discourse Studies
  • Applied Linguistics

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Table of contents:
List of abbreviations
Preface by Wolfgang Mieder
Part I. Phraseological units in discourse
1. Phraseology and cognitive stylistics
2. Identifcation of phraseological units in discourse
3. Key concepts of instantial stylistic use in discourse
4. The most common patterns of instantial stylistic use
5. Phraseological units in the web of discourse
6. Visual representation of phraseological image
Part II. Towards applied stylistics
7. Applied stylistics and instantial stylistic use
Index of phraseological units
Subject index
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