The Nominal Group

Gissing’s New Grub Street and Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers
  • Gillian Cawthra


Stylistic studies that concentrate exclusively on either Gissing or Lawrence are few and far between. No study compares the two authors, and none considers Gissing’s style. Richard Ohmann (1964) included Lawrence in his attempt to use transformational grammar to analyse style and discovered that Lawrence’s style was built largely on deletion. John Russell took The Lost Girl and Kangaroo as a starting point for an investigation of Lawrence’s style because they ‘have a store of more random linguistic devices by which the voice of the author, easygoing, ironic, or hectoring, is allowed to be heard with great frequency’ (1978, p. 43) and concluded that ‘his gift, perhaps, lies best exposed in books where he is least a taskmaster’ (ibid., p. 88). Harry T. Moore in ‘The Prose Style of D. H. Lawrence’ outlines the varieties of ‘heightened and incantatory language’ (1961, p. 317) characteristic of four periods of Lawrence’s artistic career. Leech and Short use the opening of Odour of Chrysanthemums as an example to show ‘how the apparatus of linguistic description can be used in analyzing the style of a prose text’ (1981, p. 74). Apart from these serious attempts to understand what makes Lawrence’s style what it is, most other references are impressionistic and appear as parentheses to the main argument.


Relative Clause Nominal Group Personal Pronoun Proper Noun Count Noun 
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© Gillian Cawthra 1989

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  • Gillian Cawthra

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