Nominal Group as Language in Selected Nigerian Newspaper Headlines

Samuel Edem


This study, from a pragmatic perspective, examines nominal groups as language in selected Nigerian newspaper headlines. Despite the substantial scholarships on the nominal group as a grammatical category in English showcasing its traditional functions in grammatical structures, not much has been done on this grammatical category from the perspective of the print media. This study aims at achieving two viable goals. Firstly, it ascertains NGPs as intentional constructive language types deployed by newspaper headlines to initiate discourse and sustain and shape the views of the readers on the issues propagated, Secondly, it accentuates that NGPs in print media discourse perform some acts that are ideologically driven. That is, they have hidden meanings that reflect the views of those whose interest is being served and those whose interest is being undermined. Twenty headlines are purposively selected from Daily Trust, Vanguard, The Nation, The Guardian, and Daily Sun, and the nominal group patterns were examined for their grammar, rhetorical peculiarities, and functions. Halliday’s Systemic functional linguistics along with Searle’s Speech Act model of pragmatics is deployed for the analysis of texts.  


Pragmatics; Nominal groups; Ideology; Newspaper headline; Speech act; Systemic functional linguistics.

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