A Comparative Analysis of Tenses in Newspapers Headlines and Reports Introduction. The aim of this course paper is to compare tenses used in newspapers headlines and reports on the analytical basis, and to find out for what particular reasons the usage of tenses in headlines and newspaper articles differ. First, I am going to focus on the characteristics of different functional styles found in the English language. In the light of oratorical, colloquial, poetic, official and other styles, we can better understand the functions and peculiarities of newspaper style itself.
Then, I am going to present newspaper style in greater detail than other styles as it is linked directly with the theme of the work and perception of newspaper style would help to analyse the relationship between headlines and articles from a wider perspective. Much attention will be payed on the headline as it is marked by its own stylistic peculiarities, syntax and diction. Indeed, the headline does not share the purposes those of article and its style is primarily determined by its function to attract attention, to suggest the appealing aspect of the news presented in the article.
Later, kinds of deviation in written texts will be discussed, as deviation is a powerful stylistic means of foregrounding information. The headline in particular characterized by grammatical, graphological and other kinds of deviation. As the theoretical part of the work is covered, I will do the comparative analysis of tenses in newspaper headlines and articles mainly of informative character. And finally, the conclusions will be drawn, concerning the practical part of the work. 1. Functional styles.
Functional styles as the subsystems of language have its own peculiar features what concerns vocabulary, syntax and even phonetics. The existence of functional styles is mainly determined by specific conditions of people communication in different spheres of life. According to I. R. Galperin, a functional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. (Galperin ) Table1. Function styleIntellectual- communicativeVoluntaryEmotiveContact- creatingAesthetic Oratorical+++++
Colloquial++++_ Poetic+-+_+ Publicistic and Newspaper+++__ Official++___ Scientific+____ 1. 1. Oratory, In ancient Greece and Rome meant the art of composing and delivering a speech. Oratorical style as a subdivision of the publicistic style, is determined by the conditions of communication: the orator repeats his statements from time to time so that his audience would find him understandable and memorize the key facts of the speech. The speaker often uses similies and metaphors in order to grasp and maintain the audiences attention and interest.
What is more as he directly addresses the audience his speech is accompanied by gestures and mimicry what helps to convince the listeners of the truth of the speakers speech. (http://www. answers. com/topic/oratory) 1. 2. Colloquial style or simple communicative style is mainly characterized by contracted verbal forms, some syntactical features, as drop of the subject and colloquial or slangy lexical items. The vocabulary of colloquial style is almost often emotionally colloured and full of connotative words. What is more people in everyday speech speek in comparably short sentences or phrases.
The, the grammar o colloquial style is characterized by assyndetic connection. The vocabulary and syntax of simple communicative style is mainly determined by the context of the speakers. 1. 3. The language of poetry is characterized by its graphic form (the language is arranged in stanzas, for instance), rhythm, metre and syntactic brevity, detached construction, elliptical sentences and inversion. What is more, poetic style is the only style not restricted by specific vocabulary use. In poetry the reader may come up neutral or bookish style vocabulary, newly coined words or words borrowed from other languages. stylehttp://journals. cambridge. org/action/displayAbstract? fromPage =online&aid=2312848) 1. 4. Publicistic style is the style of public speeches and written works devoted to a broad audience. Its distinctive features depend on the sphere of ideas communicated to the audience: social or political events, public problems of cultural or moral character. It is also important if it is a speech or a written work, however generally publicistic style aims at influencing on public opinion and convincing the reader or the listener to accept the point of view expressed.
Thus, publicistic style combines logical argumentation and emotional appeal. (http://eng. 1september. ru/articlef. php? ID=200700609) 1. 5. Official documents are written in a formal, matter-of-fact style. The style of official documents, is not homogeneous and is represented by the following sub-styles: 1. the language of business documents, 2. the language of legal documents, 3. the language of diplomacy, 4. the language of military documents. The primarly aim of this the style of official documents is to defy or state the conditions of communication of the to parties.
The vocabulary, syntax and stylistic means used highly depends on the sub-style of official documents. However official style is intellectual- communicative and voluntary but never emotive. (http://eng. 1september. ru/articlef. php? ID=200700309) 1. 6. Scientific style can be defined as intellectual communicative style. It is devoided of emotional colouring, colloquial phrases or stylistic effects. Its main function is to inform and instruct the reader. In terms of vocabulary, it is marked by the usage of certain scientific terms, which depend on the area of science. . Newspaper style. According to I. R. Galperin and V. L. Nayer, Newspaper style was the last functional style to be recognized. Its rudiments dates back to the 17th century. Early English newspapers were basically vehicles of information, similarly as today`s Englih newspapers comprising foreign and domestic news, advertisements, announcements and articles containing comments. However, only by the 19th century the syle of English newspaper developed into a separate functional style, i. e. system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means, having the purpose of informing and instructing or even influencing the reader. (Galperin: ) The language of newspapers includes a system of interrelated lexical, phraseological and grammatical means serving the purpose of informing, instructing and entertaining the reader. Because of this diversity of purposes, newspapers also contain evaluative material, comments and views especially in editorials and feature articles.
The modern newspaper includes material of an extremely diverse character, thus not all the printed matter found in newspapers come under newspaper style. On the pages of a newspaper one can find news and comments, entertaining stories and poems, crosswords, charts and the like. These, along with articles in special fields, such as science and technology or art, cannot be considered as belonging to newspaper style. Considering that the primary function of a newspaper is to inform, the printed matter serving this purpose can be classes as: 1. brief news items; 2. ress reports; 3. informational articles; 4. advertisements and announcements. Brief news items and reports merely state facts without giving commentary. As a result there is no expression of individuality or emotional colouring. What concerns the vocabulary is neutral and common literary. However a reader can come up with specific newspaper vocabulary also used in articles or advertisements. newspapers also aims at influencing, convincing public opinion on various social, political or moral matters, consequently its language contains vocabulary with evaluative connotation.
The headlines of news items also carry a considerable amount of appraisal: the size and placement of the headline, the use of emotionally coloured words and elements of emotive syntax, as the news-writer tries to stress the appealing aspect of the news presented in the article. Editorials as the principle vehicles of interpretation and appraisal is the newspaper article, are characterized by a subjective interpretation of facts and therefore have more in common with political essays or articles and should rather go under publicistic style.
However, newspaper publicistic writing has its own peculiarities. Though it seems natural to consider newspaper articles, editorials included, as coming within the system of In fact, English newspaper style sometimes is combined with publicistic style in editorials and newspaper articles, making a hybrid style. The vocabulary used in newspaper writing though neutral and literary is also marked by specific features: a) Special political and economic terms, e. g. , terrorist network, human rights, budget, migration. ) Non-term political words, e. g. , officials, protest, breakdown, funding. c) Lofty, bookish words including certain phrases based on metaphors: war hysteria, a storm of applause.. d) Newspaper cliches,,e. g. , public opinion, a melting pot. e) Abbreviations. e. g. , EU (European Union, BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). f) Neologisms. e. g, cybersickness (a feeling of illness caused by using a computer for long periods of time), dead cat bounce (a situation in which the price of shares rises a small amount after a large fall, sometimes efore falling further), benchmark (to use a company`s good performance as a standard by which to judge the performance of other companies of the same type). g) Foreign words. e. g. , beaucoup (= a lot of money; from French); curriculum vitae (CV) (= resume; from Latin); macho (= a man who is always trying to show that he is strong, brave; from Spanish). These vocabulary groups are commonly found in headlines and newspaper articles and bfef news items. Newspaper writing is also marked by peculiar syntactical structure.
This is especially evident in brief news items. Thus, the following grammatical pecularities may be regarded as grammatical parameters of newspaper writing. a) Complex sentences with a developed system of clauses, e. g. , Although Mayfield denied any connection, he insisted his passport had expired last October and he hadn`t been out of the country in years he was detained as a material witness in a grand-jury investigation while the FBI tries to build its case (Newsweek, 2004) b) Verbal constructions (infinitive, gerundial, participial), e. . , Since 9/11 Donald Rumsfeld has insisted on personally signing off on the harsher methods used to squeeze suspected terrorists held at the U. S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Newsweek, 2004). c) Syntactical complexes, especially the Nominative with Infinitive used for the purpose of devoiding to state the source of information. Demands from Washington are likely to worsen Blair`s relationship with serving generals. The White House wants more troops in Iraq 2,000 is the rumoured figure to replace the departing Spanish.
If the Poles cut their forces, too, as they`re hinting they may, Washington will likely urge British troops to take over command of the holy Shiite city of Najaf, home to rabble-rousing imam Moqtada ai-Sadr (Newsweek, 2004). d) Attributive noun groups, e. g. , classic cold-war-style telephone diplomacy; an exclusive worldwide assistance network; the national income and expenditure figures. e) Specific word order. Leads and brief news items follow the pattern of the famous five Ws, namely ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’.
Grammartically, this fixed sentence structure may be expressed as follows: Subject + Predicate (object) + Adverbial modifier of reason (manner) + Adverbial modifier of place + Adverbial modifier of time, e. g. , A noticeably leaner Nestor Kirchner granted a rare interview last month to NEWSWEEK`s Joseph Contreras in Buenos Aires after he was hospitalized for six days for treatment of stomach bleeding (Newsweek, 2004). (http://eng. 1september. ru/articlef. php? ID=200701209) Table 2. (Galperin: )
Basic newspaper featuresThe functionSpecific vocabulary featuresSpecific stylistic featuresGrammatical parameters 1) Brief news itemsTo inform the reader without giving comments on the facts presented. Neutral and common literary, devoided of any emotional colouring, characterized by an extensive use of a) Special political and economic terms; b) Non-term political vocabulary; c) Newspaper cliches; d)Abbreviations; e) Neologisms. Traditional word order is violated;Composed of one or two sentences complex in their syntactical structure: a) complex sentences with a developed system of clauses; ) Verbal constructions; c)Syntactical complexes; d) Attributive noun groups; e) Specific word order; The sequence of tenses rule disregarded; 2) The headlineTo inform the reader of what is presented in the article, to give a summary of a newspaper writing; To arouse reader`s curiosity; to show the reporter`s attitude towards to the reported facts;Emotionally coloured words and phrasesDeformation of special terms, the use of alliteration and other stylistic devicesSyntactically fall into 9 patterns: a) Full declarative sentences; b) Interrogative sentences; c) Nominative sentences; d) Elliptical sentences ) Sentences with articles omitted; f) Phrases with verbals; g) Questions in the form of statements; h) Complex sentences i)Headlines including direct speech; 3) the editorialTo influence the reader by giving an interpretation of certain facts; to appeal to the reader`s mind and feelings; to give the editor`s opinion and interpretation of the news published;An extensive use of emotionally coloured vocabulary; the use of political words and expressions, terms, cliches, abbreviations, colloquial words and expressions, slang, professionalisms; (However ,the background is essentially neutral. Various stylistic devices are used to enhance the emotional effect, e. g. (satirical) metaphors, eptithets, periphrases; the use of irony; the breaking-up of set expressions; allusions; the use of parallel constructions, various types of repetition, rhetorical questions, etc. 4)Advertisements and announcementsTo inform the reader. The information depends on the type of the advertisement or announcement. Classified announcements and advertisements fall into such groups: Births, Marriages, Deaths, In Memoriam, Business, Offers, Personal, Kennel, Farm and Aviary.
Essentially neutral with some emotionally coloured words or phrasesBrevityThe elliptical sentence structure. Language economy. 2. 2. The Headline. Since newspaper headlines are often incomplete, including strange forms and some grammar exceptions, for instance, Difficult Times Ahead, Under Pressure from Boss, Mustang Referral Customer Complaint, many people find it difficult to understand the message carried by newspaper headlines. However, when applying certain criteria newspaper headlines may be “translated”.
Newspaper headlines fall into the following categories (some headlines may fit two categories) : 1) Noun phrases, 2) Noun strings, 3) Various verb changes, 4) The infinitive form refers to the future, 5) Auxiliary verbs dropped and 6) Articles dropped. Noun Phrases. Headlines often contain a noun phrase with no verb. A noun phrase describes a noun (i. e. unexpected guest , exotic people), for example, Under Pressure from Boss, Unexpected Visit, Overwhelming Response of Voters . It’s useful to ask yourself such questions as: From what? About what? , From whom? , To whom? etc. when reading these type of headlines. By asking yourself these questions, you can make reasonable predictions about the article content. Noun Strings Another common headline form is a string of three, four or more nouns together, for instance, Country Leader Question Time. These can be difficult because the words do not appear related by verbs or adjectives. Here are some more examples: Widow Pension Pay Committee ,Landscaping Company Disturbance Regulations, Mustang Referral Customer Complaint.
Various Verb Changes There is a number of verb changes made to headlines. The most common are simple tenses used instead of continuous or perfect forms. To illustrate with, Forgotten Brother Appears = A forgotten brother has appeared (after a long period of time). Professors Protest Pay Cuts = Professors are protesting pay cuts (at the university). Sometimes the infinitive form refers to the future. For example: Mayor to Open Shopping Mall = The mayor is going to open a new shopping mall. James Wood to Visit Portland = (Famous actor) James Wood is going to visit Portland soon.
Usually in Passive Form Auxiliary verbs are dropped. For instance: Man Killed in Accident = A Man has been killed in an accident. Tommy the Dog Named Hero = Tommy the Dog has been named a hero (by the mayor Articles are most often dropped in headlines too. Here are some examples: President Declares Celebration = The president has declared a celebration. Passerby Sees Woman Jump = A passerby has seen a woman jump (into the river) What is more, newspaper writing style tends to have three levels: Headlines, leading phrases, and article content.
Each of these has its own style of writing on a deeper, grammatical level . To clarify, headlines are characterized by simple tenses, idiomatic, flashy vocabulary, no use of function words, while leading sentence is written in present perfect tense often used to give general overview. What concerns article content, it is marked by proper tense usage, including a change from present perfect to past tenses to give detailed, specific information about what, where and when something happened. Moreover, English newspaper headlines may be also divided into three basic groups, i. . verbal, nominal and adverbial headlines. As the purpose of this work is to examine the relations between newspaper headlines and articles in accordance to tenses, only the the first group will be described. To start with, a verbal headline contains a verb phrase or part of a verb phrase that is not dominated by a noun phrase In the sample headlines, the main structural types of verbal headlines were distinguished according to finite verb phrases, non-finite verb phrases, headlines with omitted auxiliary, subject complement headlines, and subject adverbial headlines.
What is more, finite verb phrases contain a finite verb form which may be either an operator or a simple present or past form, while non-finite verb phrases consist of a participle or infinitive, which may be followed by an object or an adverbial. It is also important to note that, subject adverbial headlines have no verb, but a form of the copula be can be inserted between the noun phrase and adverb in English sentences. Subject complement phrases or omission-of-copula type consist of a noun phrase as subject and a noun phrase as subject complement.
In English structures, a form of the verb be, may be inserted between the subject noun phrase and the noun phrase functioning as subject complement. Finally, verbal headlines with omitted auxiliary are headlines in which the verb is non-finite and in which forms of “be” are left out before the verb. 3. Kinds of deviation. Different kinds of deviation occur in written texts as a result of authors need to make prominent, foreground a piece of information. Thus there are 6 types of external deviation, that is deviation from some norm which is external to the text. Short 1996: 37). : 1. Discoursal deviation. Discoursal deviation can be illustrated by unconventional exposition of a story, when it starts in medias res. Thus dicoursal deviation means deviation in a discourse, deviation from its norms. 2. Semantic deviation . Semantic deviation may be illustrated by metaphors as they signal some logical inconsistence. 3. Lexical deviation. Lexical deviation is most apparent when neologisms are used. New words are coined by poets, or used in newspaper articles, as the result of achievements in technology, economy or medicine. . Grammatical deviation. Grammatical deviation deals with deviation from grammatical rules. To illustrate with, the English language is marked by strict word order, however in poetry the adjective can come after a noun, while it would be a mistake in the rest of modern English. Moreover, another example can be drawn, as newspaper headlines violate the rules of tenses usage- often the Present Simple is used instead of the Past Simple to present the event that has already happened. 5. Morphological deviation.
Morphological deviation is a deviation within a word, as a result a morpheme can be added to a word when it normally cannot be added because of word- formation rules in a language. 6. Phonological and graphological deviation. Phonological deviation can be illustrated by alliteration, assonance and rhyme, while graphological deviation means that a text or a word is written in capital letter, in italics or in bold, or the lines may be broken, etc. 4. A Comparative Analysis of Tenses in Newspapers Headlines and Reports Literature 1. Stylistics, I. R. Galperin; Moskow, 1971. 2. http://findarticles. om/p/articles/mi_m1AIY/is_1_17/ai_n25008679/pg_7 3. http:www. bbc. co. uk/worlservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1837_aae/page12. shtml. 4. http://www. timeonline. co. uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5341882. ece 5. http://www. mirror. co. uk/news/top-stories/2008/12/15/star-wars-lightsaber-banned-by-woolworths-for-looking-like-a-gun-115875-20972700/ 6. http://www. thesun. co. uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/article2037670. ece 7. Key Words in the Media, B. Mascull; 1997. 8. Exploring the language of poems, plays and prose, M. Short, 1996. 9. Stylistics, P. Simpson, 2006.
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