Figures of division
There exist certain general terms for division which are applied at various levels of the system of rhetoric. Each of these have been used as methods of Amplification. Figures of division are used to provide a clear structure to an argument and therefore add clarity. Clarity is a key aim in statements of fact, and therefore the figures of division may be used there or when summarising the key points in your closing speech.
Merismus - The dividing of a whole into its parts.
Diaeresis (#1) - The logical division of a genus into its species.
Distributio (#2) - A synonym for diaeresis or merismus
Certain figures of division provide order within a speech:
Eutrepismus - Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration.
Enumeratio - Dividing a subject into its adjuncts, a cause into its effects, or an antecedent into its consequents.
Taxis - To divide a subject up into its various components or attributes.
Distributio (#1) - Assigning roles among or specifying the duties of a list of people, sometimes accompanied by a conclusion
Dialysis - To spell out alternatives.
Expeditio - After enumerating all possibilities by which something could have occurred, the speaker eliminates all but one.
Dilemma - Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.
Prosapodosis - Providing a reason for each division of a statement.
Certain figures describe divisions within a word:
This is usually done for effect and to add emphasis, in that if you do something unexpected with word order, or something clever with your verb choices, people tend to notice it. However, whilst the ability to use higher level linguistic techniques is worth aiming for, clarity is a basic requirement in all legal arguments so make sure you crack that first.
Diaeresis (#2) - Dividing one syllable into two.
Tmesis - Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.
Certain figures describe syntactical or semantic divisions within a sentence, such as the zeugma figures. All of the zeugma figures depend upon a division in how one word is applied to or governs other words in a sentence and by using division carry a sort of distributive function:
Zeugma - One part of speech governs two or more other parts of a sentence. You can find further information on this specific family of linguistic techniques by clicking on the links.
- Diazeugma - A single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions:
- Hypozeuxis - Every clause (in a series of parallel clauses) has its own (different) verb:
- Syllepsis - When a single word that governs or modifies two or more others must be understood differently with respect to each of those words.
Other figures simply depend upon some internal sort of division to operate:
Synecdoche - A whole is represented by naming one of its parts (genus named for species), or vice versa (species named for genus).
Hendiadys - Expressing a single idea by two nouns instead of a noun and its qualifier
Figures of Order
Figures of Amplification
Figures of Summary