Analysis of Parts-of-Speech Distribution and Omission Patterns in The New York Times and The Guardian

Hayat Alzahrani

Abstract


News style is characterised by the use of various techniques and features that deviate from normal speech. Newspaper headlines, in particular, include a number of features in order to fulfil their function, which is to provide a brief and clear summary of the main story that arouses the curiosity of the audience. The current study analyses a corpus of 200 headlines taken from one American and one British online newspaper, namely The New York Times and The Guardian respectively, and focuses on the distribution of parts of speech and on the patterns of omission in each newspaper. The results show that nouns are the most frequently used part of speech, followed by verbs in both samples. In addition, articles and auxiliary verbs were found to be the most frequently omitted items. Finally, the two samples were found to be similar in most respects, with only some differences in their use of parts of speech and omission patterns. As the two newspapers use the same language, the differences found could be the result of cultural differences, or differences in the guidelines and editing processes of each newspaper. Understanding the peculiarities of this register is important in teaching it to foreign language learners, as well as in translating it.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v10i3.13066

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