Subordination Across Ghanaian And British Newspaper Editorials: A Register Perspective

  • George Kodie Frimpong Institutional Affiliation: University of Ghana, Legon Current Status: Assistant Lecturer Mailing address: Department of English Email address: gfrimpong@ug.edu.gh
Keywords: Newspaper editorials, Register, Functional clause-types, Systemic functional linguistics, Context, Nominal clause

Abstract

This is a corpus-based empirical study which argues in the light of the register theory that grammatical categories are functional and relate to their situational context of use. Using editorials from Ghanaian and British newspapers, this paper examined the usage dynamics and the functional motivations behind the use of subordinate clauses in the editorial register. Clause subordination in this study is argued to offer the opportunity for idea expansion. Limiting the focus to functional clauses, it was found that though there are enormous patterns of similarity in the distribution of the three functional clause-types across the variable sociocultural contexts studied in line with claims by register theory, some distributional inconsistencies exist in the details of the subtypes of some of the functional clause-types. The results revealed that nominal clauses are consistently preferred across newspapers from the two sociocultural contexts, followed by relative clauses; an observation that led us to conclude that the nominal clause is indispensable to the editorial register because it performs elaboratory functions necessary for editorial communication. The findings of this cross-cultural study generally enhance our understanding of the language of newspaper editorials as well as the sociocultural variations that exist in the newspaper editorial genre.

Author Biography

George Kodie Frimpong, Institutional Affiliation: University of Ghana, Legon Current Status: Assistant Lecturer Mailing address: Department of English Email address: gfrimpong@ug.edu.gh

Dr. George Kodie Frimpong is a lecturer at the Department of English of the University of Ghana where he has taught since 2009. His research interest is in the general area of stylistics where he explores the interface between language and the context of production. Combining theoretical models from Hallidayan systemic functional grammar and Biber’s functional persuasions, he investigates, as he has done in this study, the motivations behind grammatical choices. Dr. Frimpong is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow of the African Humanities Programs of American Council of Learned Societies (AHP/ACLS) where he has proposed to conduct more research in this area of his research interest.

 

Published
2017-06-30
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2026-6596