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SPECIAL FEATURES OF BRITISH NEWSPAPER DISCOURSE (BASED ON THE MATERIAL OF 2015)

SPECIAL FEATURES OF BRITISH NEWSPAPER DISCOURSE (BASED ON THE MATERIAL OF 2015)
Zhulavska Olha, associate professor, candidate of philology, associate professor

Maria Vetoshkina, student

Sumy State University, Ukraine

Conference participant

УДК 811.111’42

Статья посвящена исследованию лексико-семантических и грамматических особенностей газетного дискурса Британии. Иллюстративный материал отобран из британских он-лайн изданий за 2015 год.

Ключевые слова: дискурс, газетный дискурс, лексика, грамматика.

The author’s intention is concerned on lexical-semantic and grammatical characteristics of the newspaper discourse of Britain.

Keywords: discourse, newspaper discourse, lexis, grammar.

 

The relevance of the chosen topic is predicated by that fact that in modern world mass media – newspapers particularly – shape public opinion and create the general worldbuilding. The reader’s conclusions which he will make after reading an article depend on the way of presenting the information. The information provided for a recipient can influence his consciousness and thoughts. That’s why it is important to analyze, verify and investigate the contents; it’s necessary to know which language, stylistic and grammatical methods are used by journalists while writing articles.

The objectives of the research lies in defining the concept “newspaper discourse”, lexical and grammatical characteristics of the British newspaper discourse, communication-information features of the British newspaper discourse and researching the specific features of writing the articles by the authors of the British online-editions.

While performing the research it’s important to fulfill the following necessary tasks:

  • 1) to define the concept “discourse”;
  • 2) to define features of the newspaper discourse;
  • 3) to analyze lexical and grammatical characteristics of the British newspaper discourse.

The subject area of the research is the concept of the newspaper discourse in general and British newspaper discourse in particular.

The specific topic is general lexical and grammatical characteristics of the newspaper discourse and also features of the British newspaper discourse from the lexical and grammatical points of view.

Nowadays mass media gains global development and is not only the method for provision of information, but also a powerful tool to influence on masses of people. That’s why the interest to the concept “newspaper discourse” increases. To define characteristics of the newspaper discourse, it is necessary to define the concept “discourse”. The concept “discourse” derives from the Latin word “discursus” which means “thinking, speech”. “Discursive” means “performed by means of logical thinking” [1, p. 284]. More than two thousand years this concept is used in the meaning of  “thinking” and “dialogue”, but as a linguistic term it was used in 50-s of the 20th century after publishing of the article “Analysis of the Discourse” by an American linguist Z. Harris. Many linguists studied the concept of discourse. That’s why this concept is large; it is used in different meanings and can be met in numerous linguistic editions. Sometimes approaches to defining this concept are even opposite. At the same time the concept of discourse is one of the most complicated in the sphere of modern philological researches. Generality of the definition effaces the conceptual boundaries of the given term and every linguist describes this phenomenon in his own way.  The concept of discourse is associated with all factors concerning communication in society, rules and standards of communication, methods of expression and embodiment of the pragmatic purpose of speakers. Discourse is also taken as the expression of a cultural communication, ethnocultural characteristics of communication, and cultural historic features of communication. It is formed under the influence of cognitive, linguistic, social and cultural factors [2, p.1].

M. Stubbs distinguishes the main three characteristics of discourse: 1) actually it is a linguistic unit which is bigger than a sentence; 2) discourse is concerned with the using of language in a social context; 3) discourse is interactive, i.e. dialogical.

M. L. Makarov defines formal, functional and contextual interpretation as the main ideas for solving the problem concerning the defining of the concept “discourse”. Such interpretation of the discourse has something in common with the approaches by M. Stubbs. According to the interpretation of the scientist A. P. Chudynov, discourse is quite an extended and catch-all concept which includes such not equivalent components as text and speech [4, p. 191]. Some modern scientists, particularly H. Pocheptsov, R. Hodge, G. Kress, think that text and discourse can be viewed by analogy with a sentence and utterance. A sentence is regarded as an ordinary element of the structure, but an utterance combines a sentence and a social context of its usage. A text and discourse duplicate these relations on a higher level.

There are some classifications of discourses. According to V. Karasyk, there are the following subtypes of discourses: scientific, mass media (newspaper, televisional), political, religious, pedagogic, medical, military, law, diplomatic, business, advertising, sport etc. [6, p. 286].

The newspaper discourse is a special form of a social activity the main function of which is extension of ideas, knowledge, artistic values and other information to form certain views, ideas and emotional state and influence on the behavior of people (definition by M. Bakhtin). A printed newspaper edition covers the relevant social problems, plays an important political and ideological role as a method for expression of a social thought [3]. The newspaper discourse has a potential danger of performing mind control [13]. Much attention is given not only to the content, but also to the way material is presented. Newspaper texts also influence the structure of the language system. That’s exactly why language is used as a method for influencing on the masses of people, because a well-chosen word, phrase or sentence create a certain image or the attitude to the event in the head of a reader, form a thought which was the purpose of the newspaper text [5, p. 6-7]. For instance, it can be brightly illustrated by the title of the article from the popular British online-newspaper “The Guardian”. For example:

(1) «Bankers Think  They Have to Behave Badly. Let’s Remind Them They’re Human»

(G, Nov 21, 2014)

Perhaps the article doesn’t cover the bankers from the negative side but just criticize a particular part of their work. But from the first sentence a certain image begins to be formed in a reader’s mind. Abstraction and generalization method is used.

The newspaper discourse has its own characteristics which provide performing of the main communicational functions – informative, functional, cognitive, persuasive, function of the emotional influence, regulative etc. [7, p. 235-236]. For instance, lexis of the newspaper discourse is neutral; it has not so many terms and is not so specific. The newspaper discourse is a special creative form of expressing thoughts, because it plays the role of the “recorder” of public thoughts and is able to appear in the center of the stage very quickly. The other features of the newspaper discourse are unboundedness from the territorial point of view, popularity and topicality among society, extensive expression of thoughts, regularity and mass nature (a constant renewal of news, appearance of new articles of different topics, popularity among society), economy of words while expressing the thoughts (it distinguish a publicistic text from the literary one where a reader can see bright extensive descriptions full of tropes aimed at satisfying a reader aesthetically). Publicistic writings are less emotional and imaginative; the fact itself is emphasized in them, not figurativeness and artistry of expression. In the case of the newspaper discourse the author’s intention is to impress a recipient and he does it with the help of stylistic and linguistic methods.

Great Britain is the country with a great history of journalism and has a full-informative press. The British newspaper discourse has certain features which distinguish it from the newspaper discourse of other countries. It has its own characteristics concerning compositional linguistic arrangement of messages which provide realization of the communicative sense.

As a first step let’s analyze titles. The titles of the researched British online-editions are laconic and catch the interest of a reader immediately. Among lexical features of the titles it is possible to point out using of proper names and abbreviations. For example:

(2) George Osbornesays NWA concert was his favourite ever show

(I,  Oct 4, 2015)

Using of proper names of institutions, names of famous people and well known abbreviations in the titles helps a reader to form an association line, because the certain name strikes a chord of a reader’s memory and associations.

The newspaper discourse is full of the evaluative lexis. It dominates in the newspaper articles. An article is an independent statement of an author, he meditates, shares his opinions and emotions with readers, calls on the mind and feelings of a reader. Of course there are certain boundaries and standards which the author should follow. But anyway, the evaluative lexis is represented so bright in the newspaper articles. Such a lexis is characterized by using of colloquial words, idioms like “I think”, “I consider”, “You can subscribe to my opinion or not, but…”, “From a personal perspective…” etc. The words having positive or negative meaning are also used.  It depends on the author’s intention concerning his article. For example:

(3) Here’s what I think you should know before starting university

(G, Sep 2, 2015)

With the help of the evaluative lexis the author tries to get closer to a reader, erase boundaries and restrains between them and address directly to a reader. In the article above the author gives some pieces of advice telling a reader what mode of life should a student lead to save his/her nerves and health. The article is written in lay terms, it is not overloaded with terms and complicated sentences. The article is divided into small paragraphs. One paragraph is one tip. That’s why it is comfortable to read the article; a reader can remember the information without effort.

Titles are also full of tropes, especially of hyperboles. To raise interest in a reader, emphasize vigor, solemnity and immensity of the event, this trope is used so often. Titles frequently are provocative. The article can cover this or that event not so critically and sharply. But the title can be shocking. For example:

(4) How my son got nineteen years for a knifing he didn’t commit

(I, Oct 3, 2015)

Set phrases like turn up, take off, sign up etc.are used in the titles extensively. For example:

(5) Father of Oregon shooter calls for overhaul of US guns laws

(I, Oct 4, 2015)

One of the characteristics of the British newspaper discourse is also handling of scientific, sport, music military and others terms in transferred use. This feature appeals to an associative thinking of a reader, emphasize solemnity and significance. For example:

(6) Roisin Murphy review – bombardment by beats, bass and lights

(G, May 14, 2015)

The word “bombardment” is a military term which means “gunning, bombing”. This word is used in the title to emphasize immensity and dynamism of the given event – the concert of the singer Roisin Murphy. Sound and lighting effects are compared with the real attack of dynamism and energy on a reader. The author lays stress on the immensity of the event, vigor of the singer, drive of musicians.

In speaking of the text of the British newspaper articles, it’s necessary to note that it is full of expressional elements. Authors try to impress a reader by means of puns, phraseologies, colloquial elements and truckstop words. For example:

(7) Ashcroft’s revelations are pig in a poke

(G, Sep 27, 2015)

The grammatical characteristics of the British newspaper texts include: using of sentences distinguished by purpose of the utterance – declarative, interrogative, and imperative (the function of influence on a reader is performed; it is used when it’s necessary to persuade a reader, to make him/her take thought). For example:

(8) One in four women has experienced domestic violence at partner's hands

(G, Oct 21, 2015)

(9) Kill your friends: where did it all go wrong for Britpop?

(I,  Oct 25, 2015)

(10) 'Let's cover them in my British citizen flag that I've been living in for 23 years'

(I, Oct 24, 2015)

The sentences different in their structure are also used – simple (one-member sentences: nominative and verbal, two-member: expanded and unextended sentences), complex (compound sentences: conjunctionless, conjunctive). For example:

(11) But success depends on finding a suitable location, backers and planning permission

(G, Oct 25, 2015)

Syntactic expressive means (nominal sentences, enumerations, repetitions, inversions). Titles are represented by content words: nouns, adjectives, cardinal and ordinal numerals, verbs in different aspect and time forms, pronouns, adverbs, modal verbs. For example:

(12) New Film: “Truth”

(E, Oct 16, 2015)

(13) “Twenty-five years on”

(E, Nov 8, 2014)

Evaluation function is performed with the help of using of adjectives which appeal to emotional and intellectual feelings (sensor evaluation), adjectives and their synonyms (absolute evaluation) and adjectives describing practical human activity (rational evaluation). For example:

(14) The cutest animal ever: melt at the Power of Sloth – in pictures

(G, Apr 9, 2014)

(15) Biker saves Skidmarks the kitten in the middle of busy Oklahoma crossroad

(G, Oct 21, 2015)

The newspaper discourse plays a great role in a modern world. That very type of discourse invoke not only intellectual, but also emotional feelings of a reader, made him/her take thought, change his/her reflections and make his/her own conclusions. Having analyzed the British newspaper discourse from the lexical-semantic and grammatical points of view, one can say that its main characteristics are expressivity, brevity, evaluative character of articles, handling of terms in transferred use. Due to distinct grammatical composition the newspaper articles of the British journalists are interesting and easy for reading. Themes of the British newspaper discourse are different and can spark the interest of anybody – student or even pupil, politician and financial analyst.

 

Литература:

  • 1. Білодід І. К. Словник української мови / І. К. Білодід. – Київ: Наукова думка, 1970. – С. 284.
  • 2. Бобровская Г. В. Газетный дискурс в проблемном поле коммуникативно прагматической лингвистики [Електронний ресурс] / Г. В. Бобровская // Грани познания. – 2011. – Режим доступу до ресурсу: http://grani.vspu.ru/files/publics/1325146149.pdf.
  • 3. Грушевская Т. М. Политический газетный дискурс сквозь призму якзыковых средств [Електронний ресурс] / Т. М. Грушевская, Т. Б. Самарская – Режим доступу до ресурсу: http://journal.kfrgteu.ru/files/1/2011_2_16.pdf.
  • 4. Желтухіна М.Р. Функції мас-медіального дискурсу// Жанри і типи тексту в науковому і медійному дискурсі: Міжвузівський збірник наукових робіт. — Вип.5. — Орел, 2007. — С. 191 - 201.
  • 5. Жулавська О.О. Актуалізація концепту ТЕРОРИЗМ у британському газетному дискурсі : автореф. дис. на здобуття наук. ступеня кандидата філол. наук : спец. 10.02.04 “Германські мови”/ О. О. Жулавська. – Х., 2011. – 20 с.
  • 6. Карасик В.И. Языковой круг: Личность, концепты, дискурс / Карасик В. И. – Волгоград : Перемена, 2002. – 477 с.
  • 7. Павленко В.В. Лексико-стилістичні особливості матеріалів британських газет / В. В. Павленко. // Наукові записки. – 2013. – №37. – С. 235–236.
  • 8. G. = The Guardian. Режим доступу: http://www.theguardian.com/international
  • 9. D.M. = The Daily Mail. Режим доступу: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html
  • 10. E. = The Economist. Режим доступу: http://www.economist.com/
  • 11. T. = The Times. Режим доступу: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
  • 12. I. = The Independent. Режим доступу: http://www.independent.co.uk/
  • 13. http://mydocx.ru/3-16573.html
Comments: 4

Olena Nazarenko

Уважаемые коллеги, спасибо за интересный и крайне актуальный доклад! Желаем дальнейших творческих успехов и плодотворных научных исследований! С уважением, Елена Назаренко.

Zhulavska Olha

Уважаемая Елена Вячеславовна! Спасибо за Ваш комментарий и теплые пожелания!

Hamze Dimitrina

Уважаемые коллеги! Большое Вам спасибо за тщательное исследование! Тема очень „плодородна”. Вполне с Вами согласна, что дискурс (как и стиль, думаю) очень расплывчатое и „всеядное” понятие. Стоит в будущем изыскать механизмы и проявления диверсификации персвазивной стратегии газетного дискурса, а также его эдукативную роль. Сердечно, с уважением и пожеланиями дальнейших успехов! Димитрина

Zhulavska Olha

Уважаемая Димитрина! Большое спасибо за Ваш совет по дальнейшему исследованию газетного дискурса. В дальнейших исследованиях постараемся обратить на это внимание. С уважением, Ольга!
Comments: 4

Olena Nazarenko

Уважаемые коллеги, спасибо за интересный и крайне актуальный доклад! Желаем дальнейших творческих успехов и плодотворных научных исследований! С уважением, Елена Назаренко.

Zhulavska Olha

Уважаемая Елена Вячеславовна! Спасибо за Ваш комментарий и теплые пожелания!

Hamze Dimitrina

Уважаемые коллеги! Большое Вам спасибо за тщательное исследование! Тема очень „плодородна”. Вполне с Вами согласна, что дискурс (как и стиль, думаю) очень расплывчатое и „всеядное” понятие. Стоит в будущем изыскать механизмы и проявления диверсификации персвазивной стратегии газетного дискурса, а также его эдукативную роль. Сердечно, с уважением и пожеланиями дальнейших успехов! Димитрина

Zhulavska Olha

Уважаемая Димитрина! Большое спасибо за Ваш совет по дальнейшему исследованию газетного дискурса. В дальнейших исследованиях постараемся обратить на это внимание. С уважением, Ольга!
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