Syntactical Organisation of the News Texts Headlines in Electronic Versions of British and Australian Newspapers

 © The Editorial Team of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 28, 2014, pp. 48-52

Syntactical Organisation of the News Texts Headlines in Electronic Versions of British and Australian Newspapers

Yana Vzhesch

Article first published online: April 03, 2014 


Additional information

 Author Information: 

Yana L. Vzhesch is Post-Graduate Student (specialty 10.02.04 "Germanic Languages") at Department of Germanic Philology in Donetsk National University; Teacher at Department of Theory and Practice of Translation of Germanic and Romanic Languages in Volodymyr Dahl East-Ukrainian National University. Correspondence: yavzhesch@ukr.net 

Citation: 
Vzhesch, Y. Syntactical Organisation of the News Texts Headlines in Electronic Versions of British and Australian Newspapers [Text] / Y. Vzhesch // Linguistic Studies collection of scientific papers / Donetsk National University Ed. by A. P. Zahnitko. – Donetsk : DonNU, 2014. – Vol. 28. – Pp. 48-52. – ISBN 966-7277-88-7

Publication History:
Volume first published online: April 03, 2014

Article received:  September 3, 2013, accepted: December 26, 2013 and first published online: April 03, 2014

Annotation.

Syntactical organisation of the news text headlines in electronic versions of British and Australian newspapers is considered, main syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are analyzed, peculiar features of the syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are disclosed.

Keywords: mass media, informational genres, electronic versions, news text headlines, syntactical organization, declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, imperative sentences, single-nucleus sentences, double-nucleus sentences.



Abstract.

SYNTACTICAL ORGANISATION OF THE NEWS TEXTS HEADLINES IN ELECTRONIC VERSIONS OF BRITISH AND AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS

Yana Vzhesch

Department of Theory and Practice of Translation of Germanic and Romanic Languages, Volodymyr Dahl East-Ukrainian National University, Luhansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine

 

Available 3 September 2013.

 

Abstract

Relevance

The research of the Internet mass media language is an actual problem of modern linguistics. Despite the interest of researchers to the problems a lot of issues related to the syntactical organization of the electronic news texts in different language variants are not properly developed and are of polemic character.

Purpose

The purpose of our work is to study and compare syntactical organizational peculiarities of the headlines in the electronic versions of British and Australian newspapers.

Tasks

The purpose raises the following tasks:

1) to analyze syntactical organization of the headlines;

2) to describe characteristic features of their syntax;

3) to determine the main tendencies in their constructing.

Novelty

The novelty of the analysis is defined with the complex approach to the study of the news texts headlines in electronic versions of English newspapers from the point of their structure and their syntactical organization.

Theoretical value

Theoretical value of the study is reasoned with the development of methodical base for the analysis of the news text headlines in electronic versions of newspapers.

Practical value

Theoretical developments give reasons for practical importance of the proposed research, which may be used in the courses of theoretical grammar, stylistics, and practical courses of language and practical course of translation.

Conclusion

The conclusion is that the most frequently used syntactical formula for the news text headlines in electronic versions of Australian newspapers is a simple declarative double-nucleus sentence with the personal subject proper and a simple or, less frequently, compound predicate. Sometimes predicates are used elliptically. And in some cases the initial position is taken by the adverbial modifier. The second preferable syntactical organization is a declarative single-nucleus sentence, represented by a nominal sentence. In rare cases the headlines are constructed in the form of composite sentences or reflect direct speech with the author of the words in the final position.

In the final analysis it can be concluded that British and Australian newspapers use the same patterns in organizing news text headlines, namely, simple declarative double-nucleus sentences with the personal subject proper and the simple or, less frequently, compound predicate or declarative single-nucleus sentences, represented by a nominal sentence. Both variants of English-speaking news resort to the transforms of the incomplete predicate and the direct speech. Nevertheless they are different in the peculiarities. In British headlines we find interrogative sentences and in Australian headlines we find adverbial modifiers in the initial position and the words of the author in the final position.

Perspective

The new phenomenon as the Internet mass media language hasn’t been studied properly yet. It opens new scopes for the research for many sciences. Linguistically, we get one more variant of the language, the Internet or virtual language, its theoretical understanding and practical expression requires the coverage of different aspects that determine the future research.

 

Research highlights

► Syntactical organisation of the news text headlines in electronic versions of British and Australian newspapers is considered, main syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are analyzed, peculiar features of the syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are disclosed.

Keywords: mass media, informational genres, electronic versions, news text headlines, syntactical organization, declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, imperative sentences, single-nucleus sentences, double-nucleus sentences.

 

References

Apalat, H. P. (2003). Struktura, semantyka i prahmatyka tekstiv-interv"yu (na materiali suchasnoyi anhlomovnoyi presy). Аvtoref. dys… kand. filol. nauk. Kyyiv: Kyyivs'kyy natsional'nyy linhvistychnyy universytet.

Ahmanova, O. S. (1966). Slovar' lingvisticheskih terminov. Moskva: Izdatel'stvo "Sovetskaja Jenciklopedija".

Vasil'eva, A. N. (1982). Gazetno-publicistcheskij stil' rechi. Kurs lekcij po stilistike russkogo jazyka dlja filologov. Moskva, 112.

Volkova, L. M. (2010). Teoretychna hramatyka anhliys'koyi movy: Suchasnyy pidkhid. Kyyiv: "Osvita Ukrayiny".

Volodina, M. N. (2007). Kognitivnyj aspekt issledovanija jazyka massovoj kommunikacii. Jazyk massovoj mezhlichnostnoj kommunikacii. Moskva, 54-65.

Gal'perin, I. R. (2009). Tekst kak ob"ekt lingvisticheskogo issledovanija. Moskva: Knizhnyj dom "LIBROKOM".

Dobrosklonskaja, T. G. (2005). Voprosy izuchenija mediatekstov (opyt issledovanija sovremennoj anglijskoj mediarechi). Moskva: Editorial URSS.

Zaborovskaja, S. V. (2003). Gazeta kak gipertekst. Vіsnik Harkіvs'kogo Unіversitetu, Serіja Fіlologіja, 2003, 37, 3-6.

Kobrina, N. A. & Korneeva, E. A. (1965). Ocherki po sintaksisu sovremennogo anglijskogo jazyka. Moskva: Vysshaja shkola.

Kostomarov, V. G. (2004). Stilistika. Kompendium lekcij. M.: Izdatel'skij dom "Akademija".

Potapenko, S. I. (2009). Suchasnyy anhlomovnyy media dyskurs: linhvokohnityvnyy i motyvatsiynyy aspekty. Nizhyn: Vydavnytstvo NDU imeni M. Hoholya.

Solganik, G. Ja. (1981). Leksika gazety (funkcional'nyj aspekt). Moskva: Vysshaja shkola.

 

Correspondence: yavzhesch@ukr.net

Vitae

Yana L. Vzhesch is Post-Graduate Student (specialty 10.02.04 "Germanic Languages") at Department of Germanic Philology in Donetsk National University; teacher at Department of Theory and Practice of Translation of Germanic and Romanic Languages in Volodymyr Dahl East-Ukrainian National University. Her areas of research interests include functional linguistics, comparative linguistics, and text linguistics.


Article.

УДК 82-92=111:004.738.5

SYNTACTICAL ORGANISATION OF THE NEWS TEXTS HEADLINES IN ELECTRONIC VERSIONS OF BRITISH AND AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS

 

Syntactical organisation of the news text headlines in electronic versions of British and Australian newspapers is considered, main syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are analyzed, peculiar features of the syntactical formulas of constructing news text headlines are disclosed.

Keywords: mass media, informational genres, electronic versions, news text headlines, syntactical organization, declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, imperative sentences, single-nucleus sentences, double-nucleus sentences.

 

The modern world is experiencing the period of “informational explosion” that is inalienably connected with the development of the Mass Media and its close interaction with the Internet technologies. Due to the hectic pace of life the mass media are demanded to be more informative, more operative and more visual. This contributes to the expanding role of the texts of the informational genres, primarily, news texts. In the twentieth century the epoch mouthpiece was a newspaper, now this role is transferred to the Internet. In the trouble time, to get information a modern person, first of all, appeals to the Internet, electronic versions of the newspapers and pays attention to the headlines. In their turn modern mass media headlines must motivate, attract the reader’s attention, interest and evoke the desire to continue reading.

The study of the mass media was initiated in the late 40-s. One of the first analyses, based on the description of mass media functions, was made by H. Lasswell. In recent decades researchers have appealed to the news texts with the purpose of analyzing the language functioning [Васильева 1982; Володина 2003; Добросклонская 2005; Костомаров 2004; Солганик 1981]. Now researchers are studying media discourse, genres of the Internet texts, their structural and functional peculiar features [Апалат 2003; Заборовская 2003; Потапенко 2009]. So, the Internet discourse has been studied from different aspects of its manifestation, nevertheless the structure, organization, choice of forms of its smaller constituents still has insufficient attention.

The purpose of the present paper is to study and compare the syntactical organizational peculiarities of the headlines in the electronic versions of British and Australian newspapers. This purpose can be achieved by solving the following tasks: to analyze the syntactical organization of the headlines, to describe characteristic features of their syntax, to determine the main tendencies in their formation.

In the research of the news text headlines in electronic versions of the newspaper we proceed from the fact that first of all we deal with text from the newspaper. So, it is expedient to be oriented towards the researches made on the basis of “papers”.As a practical material for the present research the text headlines from the electronic versions of such British newspapers as The Times and The Guardian and such Australian newspapers as The Australian and Herald Sun have been used. These publications are broadsheet quality papers aimed at an educated and informed reader. The selection is determined by the circulation. According to the data, provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, in 2013 the circulation of The Times, founded in 1785, was 399,339 and the circulation of The Guardian, founded in 1821, was 189,000. According to the data, provided by The Newspaper Works, in 2010 the circulation of Herald Sun, established in 1840, was 515,500 and the circulation of The Australian, established in 1964, was 135,115. In the research the selection of headlines is not restricted with the relevance to the topic; however, most of the headlines are from top stories.

In the beginning the notions, the research is based on, are considered. Syntax is a part of linguistics the object of which is the sentence as the main unit of speech and the word group as the main constituent of the sentence. Grammatical syntax is the grammatical aspect of the sentence construction. Stylistic syntax is the study about the semantic use of syntactical models, application of the same syntactical model to express different content [Ахманова 1966]. Syntax deals with the way words are combined. Syntax studies the way in which the units and their meanings are combined. It also deals with the peculiarities of syntactic units, their behaviour in different contexts [Волкова 2010].

The headline (the title given to a news item or an article) is a dependent form of newspaper writing. The main function of the headline is to inform the reader briefly what the text that follows is about [Гальперин 2009]. A skillfully turned out headline tells a story, or enough of it, to arouse or satisfy the reader’s curiosity. Headlines are almost a summary of the information contained in the news item or article [Гальперин 2009]. Syntactically headlines are very short sentences or phrases of a variety of patterns: full declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, nominative sentences, elliptical sentences (with an auxiliary verb omitted, with the subject omitted, with the subject and part of the predicate omitted), sentences omitted, phrases with verbals, questions in the form of statements, complex sentences, headlines including direct speech (introduced by a full sentence, introduced elliptically) [Гальперин 2009].

In the present research as a basis for the analysis of the syntactical organisation of the news text headlines in electronic versions of the newspapers theoretical fundamentals introduced by N. Kobrina are used [Кобрина 1965]. In the book N. Kobrina sticks to the traditional syntactic analysis of the sentence, based on defining the principal and secondary parts of speech, and the words are analyzed depending on the syntactic functions they perform.

In the British newspaper The Times most of the headlines are simple declarative sentences, e.g.: Assad gets US-Russian ultimatum, Dozens die in Kenya grenade attack, Police unveil Muslim woman with mugshot. We rarely find interrogative sentences, e.g.: Would drank-tanks work? In some cases we come across composite sentences, e.g.: British gas raises prices 8% as heating goes on, Six killed as bus piles into Ottawa train. In the headlines we meet both double-nucleus and single-nucleus sentences, e.g.: Clegg eggs on party to attack Torries and Father’s fears for missing daughter. But we must admit that double-nucleus sentences dominate. Among single-nucleus sentences we find mostly nominal sentences, e.g.: Benefit cuts leading to instability. In double-nucleus sentences the subjects are usually personal subjects proper with premodification (State-funded free schools’ teachers told to wear hijab) and in some headlines with postmodification (Alarm over shortage of nurses on NHS wards). As for the predicate, it is either simple (Online diet pill kills young rugby star) or compound (Scotland could field its own Olympic team in Rio 2016). The peculiar feature of double-nucleus sentences is that in some cases the predicate is expressed elliptically, e.g.: NHS doctors paid 150.00 for overtime (the complete predicate would be are paid, were paid or will be paid), Six killed as bus piles into Ottawa train (the complete predicate would be were killed).

In the British newspaper The Guardian the headlines are simple declarative sentences, e.g.: Labour pledges minimum-wage rise, Baghdad car bomb kills at least 50. In the headlines we find both double-nucleus and single-nucleus sentences, e.g.: Turkey artists seek protest spirit, Salmond at pro-independence rally. Double-nucleus sentences also dominate. Single-nucleus sentences are represented by nominal sentences, e.g.: Bedroom tax despair in Tory village. In double-nucleus sentences the subjects are mostly of the type of personal subjects proper, e.g.: Brain could exist outside body. The predicate is either simple (Kenyan gunmen kill 22 in shopping centre attack) or compound (Obama could meet Rouhani at UN). In this newspaper w e also come across the elliptically expressed predicate, e.g.: Detainees at immigration centre ‘facing sexual abuse’ (according to the grammar rules it should be are facing), School investigated for mark fixing (after reading the article we understand that the school itself didn’t investigate but it has been investigated).

In both newspapers in the headlines they use direct speech with omission of the predicate to convey the words of the author, e.g.: May: ‘Women should be free to decide what to wear’ (The Times) and Gillard: losing power is ‘hits like a fist’ (The Guardian).

The conclusion is that the most frequently used syntactical formula for the news text headlines in electronic versions of British newspapers is a simple declarative double-nucleus sentence with the personal subject proper and a simple or, less frequently, compound predicate. Sometimes predicates are used elliptically. The second preferable syntactical organization is declarative single-nucleus sentence, represented by a nominal sentence. In rare cases the headlines are constructed in the form of interrogative sentences, composite sentences or reflect direct speech.

In the Australian newspaper Herald Sun we mostly find simple declarative sentences, e.g.: Scientists claim proof of alien life. Rarely do we see imperative sentences, e.g.: Trek her just doing her job. Not frequently we come across complex sentences with conjunctions (News missed while you were sleeping) and with the omitted conjunction (Conca signs, Martin future unclear (conjunction that is implied). In the headlines with the same regularity we meet both double-nucleus (Coalition steps back from rebel MP) and single-nucleus sentences (Two dead in house fire). In double-nucleus sentences the subject is mostly personal subject proper, but in individual cases it is the indefinite personal subject (You pay for big, fat Greek junket) or the demonstrative subject (Now it’s Toyota and Ford vs. Holden). The predicate in this sentences is either simple (Serial killer now admits 85 murders) or compound (Stress could warn of obesity risk). The peculiar feature is the incomplete predicate, e.g.: Warne hopeful of reconciliation (according to the grammar rules we must write is hopeful). Another peculiarity is the adverbial modifier taking initial position, e.g.:  Now it’s Toyota and Ford vs. Holden, Still no answers on wall collapse. Sometimes in the headlines they use direct speech with omission of the predicate to convey the words of the author, e.g.: Mitchell: Curse is a stain.

In the Australian newspaper The Australian the headlines are organized only in the form of simple declarative sentences, e.g.: Party officials face lobbying ban, WA loses AAA rating. Double-nucleus sentences predominate, where the type of the subject is exceptionally a personal subject proper (Colorado flooding triggers oil spills, Charles reaches heir milestone) and the type of the predicate is simple (Nantepreneurs take the lead in business), in rare cases it is compound (USPS may need emergency rate hike). We observe that very often predicates are expressed elliptically, e.g.: Productivity the key to growth (we must say Productivity is the key), ASX directors to quit after US fine (we must say ASX directors are to quit). We seldom find single-nucleus sentences, which are represented by nominal sentences, e.g.: Calls for ‘urgent’ car industry report. There are some headlines that include direct speech, the peculiar feature of which is that the source or the author of the words takes the final position, e.g.: No housing bubble, says RBA official, Bomber was likely Brisbane man: police.

The conclusion is that the most frequently used syntactical formula for the news text headlines in electronic versions of Australian newspapers is a simple declarative double-nucleus sentence with the personal subject proper and a simple or, less frequently, compound predicate. Sometimes predicates are used elliptically. And in some cases the initial position is taken by the adverbial modifier. The second preferable syntactical organization is a declarative single-nucleus sentence, represented by a nominal sentence. In rare cases the headlines are constructed in the form of composite sentences or reflect direct speech with the author of the words in the final position.

In the final analysis it can be concluded that British and Australian newspapers use the same patterns in organizing news text headlines, namely, simple declarative double-nucleus sentences with the personal subject proper and the simple or, less frequently, compound predicate or declarative single-nucleus sentences, represented by a nominal sentence. Both variants of English-speaking news resort to the transforms of the incomplete predicate and the direct speech. Nevertheless they are different in the peculiarities. In British headlines we find interrogative sentences and in Australian headlines we find adverbial modifiers in the initial position and the words of the author in the final position.

The language of different Internet mass media is different, as well as the syntactical formulas of their organization; however, there are many common features as well as specific peculiarities.

 

References. 

References

Апалат 2003: АпалатГ.П. Структура, семантика і прагматика текстів-інтерв’ю (на матеріалі сучасної англомовної преси) [Текст] : автореф. дис… канд. філол. наук : 10.02.04 / Київський національний лінгвістичний ун-т. – Київ, 2003. – 19 с.

Ахманова 1966: Ахманова, О.С. Словарь лингвистических терминов [Текст] / О. С. Ахманова. – М. : Издательство «Советская Энциклопедия», 1966. – 608 с.

Васильева 1982: Васильева, А.Н. Газетно-публицистческий стиль речи [Текст] / А. Н. Васильева // Курс лекций по стилистике русского языка для филологов. – М. : «Русский язык», 1982. – 112 с.

Волкова 2010: Волкова, Л.М. Теоретична граматика англійської мови : Сучасний підхід [Текст] / Л. М. Волкова // Навч. посібник. – К. : «Освіта України», 2010. – 256 с.

Володина 2007: Володина, М.Н. Когнитивный аспект исследования языка массовой коммуникации [Текст] / М. Н. Володина // Язык массовой межличностной коммуникации. – М. : Медиа-Мир, 2007. – С. 54-65.

Гальперин 2009: Гальперин, И.Р. Текст как объект лингвистического исследования [Текст] / И. Р. Гальперин. – М. : Книжный дом «ЛИБРОКОМ», 2009. – 144 с.

Добросклонская 2005: Добросклонская, Т.Г. Вопросы изучения медиатекстов (опыт исследования современной английской медиаречи) [Текст] / Т. Г. Добросклонская. – М. : Едиториал УРСС, 2005. – 288 с.

Заборовская 2003: Заборовская, С.В. Газета как гипертекст [Текст] / С. В. Заборовская // Вісник Харківського університету. – Серія Філологія. – 2003. – Вип. 37. – С. 3-6.

Кобрина, Корнеева 1965: Кобрина, Н.А., Корнеева, Е.А. Очерки по синтаксису современного английского языка [Текст] / Н. А. Кобрина. – М. : Высшая школа, 212 с.

Костомаров 2004: Костомаров, В.Г. Стилистика. Компендиум лекций [Текст] / В. Г. Костомаров. – М. : Издательский дом «Академия», 2004. – 256 с.

Потапенко 2009: Потапенко, С.І. Сучасний англомовний медіа‑дискурс : лінгвокогнітивний і мотиваційний аспекти [Текст] : монографія. – Ніжин : Видавництво НДУ імені М. Гоголя, 2009. – С. 85-95.

Солганик 1981: Солганик, Г.Я. Лексика газеты (функциональный аспект) [Текст] / Г. Я. Солганик. – М. : Высшая школа, 1981. – 112 с.

 

Sources and Abbreviations

Herald Sun. – Access mode : URL : http://www.heraldsun.com.au/. – Title from the screen.

The Australian. – Access mode : URL : http://www.theaustralian.com.au/. – Title from the screen.

The Guardian. Access mode : URL : http://www.theguardian.co/uk/. – Title from the screen. The Times. Access mode : URL : http://www.thetimes.co.uk/. – Title from the screen.

 

Розглянуто синтаксичну організацію заголовків текстів новин в електронних версіях британських та австралійських газет, проаналізовано основні синтаксичні формули побудови заголовків, з’ясовано особливості синтаксичних формул побудови заголовків.

Ключові слова: засоби масової інформації, інформаційні жанри, електронні версії, заголовки текстів новин, синтаксична організація, розповідні речення, питальні речення, спонукальні речення, одноядерні речення та двоядерні речення.

Available 3 September 2013.