Stylistic Analysis of a Military News Text

By Elaine Rose,2014-06-18 17:12
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Stylistic Analysis of a Military News Text


    In the modern societynews reporting has become an indispensable part in people’s daily life. It is one of the most familiar texts and mainly takes its form as newspaper

    magazineradio broadcastingor television news broadcasting. The military news

    reporting in this paper is quoted from The Guardianwhich is one of the most serious

    newspapers in United Kingdom and is mainly focused on the reporting of current political issues. This paper makes an attempt to give a general analysis of a piece of military news through stylistic theoriesboth globally and locallyto reveal its stylistic

    and linguistic features.

    2The analysis of the news text from fieldtenor and mode

    The theory of register is one of the key theories in systematic functional linguistics. It puts forwards three factors of context which determine the language features.The three factors are filedtenor and mode.

    2.1Analysis of the filed of news text

    The field refers to the what is going onto the area of operation of the language

    activity. The field of discourse determines to a great extent the vocabulary to be used in communication and it also determines the phonological and grammatical features of the language.;DaiWeidongHeZhaoxiong2002p-120.

    The discourse material of this paper is a piece of military news reporting. It’s about Russia’s increase of strategic nuclear missiles output and its pressure exerted thereafter on America. The field of this news reporting is Russia’s military issue. As

    for the nature of the field of this news reportingthe vocabularly used in it should be

    more specific in meaning. The use of specific word rather than its pronoun could also express the information more exactly. From the analysis of this piece of newsit can

    be found that there is only a small number of pronouns used in it. The only ones used in it are possessive pronouns but not personal pronouns.

    Another feature of this news is the employment of large number of compound words rather than pre-modification or post-modification. The use of compound words rather than the pre-modification or post-modification can largely save the space of the text and make it more compact. In this news textthere are numerous compound words

    and they are mostly compound adjectives.

    2.2Analysis of the tenor of the news text

    Tenor of the discourse refers to the role of relationship in the situation in question. This dimension to a great extent determines the level of formality and the level of technicality of the language we use.;DaiWeidongHeZhaoxiong2002p-120.

    The tenor of this piece of military news are journalists by whom the news is edited and the news readers who are concerned about Russia’s increase of its strategic nuclear missile output. Thereforeas for the relationship between journalists and

    readersthe news should provide accurate information to the readers.

    The news reported by the journalists to the readers are the events which have already happened. Thereforethe tense used in it are mostly past tense and while the

    progressive tenses perfect tense are seldom used in news reporting. In this news text

    there are12 sentences using past tense7 sentences using present tense3 sentences

    using future tense and 3 using present perfect tense.


    Past tense Present tense Perfect tense Future tense


    Tense/sentence 12 7 3 3

    percentage 50% 30% 10% 10%

    From the above formthe sentences using past tense take up 50% of the total 25 sentencesthe present tense 30%the perfect tense 10%and the future tense 10%.

    The frequent use of past tense is due to the fact that news reports the latest events which has already happened. Thereforethe use of past tense is appropriate for the

    news text. The use of present tense is also a common feature in news text. 2.3Analysis of the mode of the news text

    Mode of discourse mainly refers to the means of communication. It is concerned with “how” communication is carried out.;DaiWeidongHeZhaoxiong2002p-120

    This piece of news reporting is quoted from The Guardianwhich is one of the most

    serious newspaper in United Kingdom. Thereforethe language used in the news is

    more formal and standard than that used in local newspapers or tabloids. In this piece of military newsthere are totally 25 sentencesin which there are 5 simple sentences

    5 compound sentences and 15 complex sentences. All of the 25 sentences are long sentences and each contains more than 10 words.

Sentence pattern Simple Compound Complex Total

Number Sentence Sentence Sentence


    10-20 4 1 5 10

    20-40 1 4 8 13

    40-60 2 2

    Total 5 5 15 25

    Percentage 20% 20% 60% 100%

    As a written formthe typical feature of the news text is the large employment of long and complicated sentencesthe purpose of which is to make the news appear more

    formalinclusive and express as much information as possible. Since short and simple sentences appear to be more informal and casualthey are seldom used in the news

    text. The sentences used in the news is not only long but also complicated. From the above formit can be found that most of the sentences contain words between 20 and 40 and the complex sentences take up 60% of the total amountamong which the

    secondeightheighteenthand twenty-first sentences are sentences consisted of 2 complex sentences respectively and the sixteenth sentence even contains 3 complex sentences.


    Through the above analysisthe stylistic features of the military news text can be summarized as follows. On the lexical levelwords which are objective and specified

    in meaning are largely employed in the news text. On the grammatical levelthe news

    is mainly described in past and present tensewords are highly contracted and are

    used as pre-modification to other words. On the syntactical levelthe complex

    sentences take up a larger percentage of the whole news textthe sentence fragment is

    employed in the news headline. The analysis of these stylistic features of military news text could facilitate people’s better understanding of the language used in it. Thereforeit is necessary to apply the stylistic theory to the analysis of other news texts to make the language used in them more scientific and standard. Bibliography



    [3]Joanna Thornborrow, Shan Wareing. Patterns in Language: Stylistics for Students of Language and Literature. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.2000.

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