- The bifurcations of a rectangular block subject to plane strain tension or compression are investigated. The block material is taken to be incompressible and is characterized by an incrementally linear constitutive law for which "normality" does not necessarily hold. The consequences of non-normality regarding bifurcation are given primary emphasis here. The characteristic regimes of the governing equations (elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic) are detennined. In each of these regimes both symmetric and antisymmetric diffuse bifurcation modes are available. Additionally, in the hyperbolic and parabolic regimes, bifurcation into a localized shear band mode is also possible. Particular attention is given to the limiting cases of long wavelength and soon wavelength diffuse bifurcation modes. The range of parameter values is identified for which bifurcation into some localized mode may precede bifurcation into a long wavelength diffuse mode. Some difficulties associated with employing a linear incremental solid in a bifurcation analysis, when primary interest is in the bifurcation of an underlying elastic-plastic solid, are also discussed. 1979.