Article published in:Changing Genre Conventions in Historical English News Discourse
Edited by Birte Bös and Lucia Kornexl
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 5] 2015
► pp. 191–222
Speech-like syntax in written texts
Changing syntactic conventions in news discourse
This article explores the extent to which present-day written news discourse has become more speech-like regarding the structure of sentences. Three features will be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively: the use of conjunctions as extra-clausal linking devices, the occurrence of disintegrated clausal units, and the loose attachment of syntactic fragments, i.e. of non-clausal material, to a completed syntagma. The data are taken from news reports in a quality paper and a popular paper from two time samples, dating from 1900 and 2013. The results give evidence for an increasing informalization of British written news discourse and thus align themselves with proposals to the general drift of written registers toward more oral styles.
Keywords: English news, increments, informalization/colloquialization, spoken language, syntax
Published online: 24 July 2015
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