Guide Early Modern English News Discourse: Newspapers, Pamphlets and Scientific News Discourse

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Words in action: diachronic and synchronic approaches to English discourse.

Early Modern English News Discourse : Newspapers, pamphlets and scientific news discourse

Studies in honour of Ermanno Barisone. Genova: Edizioni culturali internazionali Genova, pp. Florence: Ingorda, pp. The language of periodical news in seventeenth-century England. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Letter writing in late modern Europe. News Networks in Early Modern Europe. Leiden: Brill, pp. Early Modern English News Discourse. Newspapers, Pamphlets and Scientific News Discourse. Madrid: Marcial Pons. English media texts past and present.


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  1. Public and Private: Legal, Political and Philosophical Perspectives.
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  4. How the Press Began. Girona: Universitat de Girona. Other self-descriptions found point in the direction of text types, such as narrative e. Pamphlets could thus serve as a vehicle for almost any kind of text. Newspapers have not been versatile to quite the same extent, at least not during the early stages of newspaper history. Modern newspaper genre terms are thus usually inapplicable to early papers. The source of these text prototypes may ultimately lie in the chronicle writing style going back to medieval annalistic history, which influenced handwritten newsletters and through them the first weekly newspapers Fritz Linguistically iv clearly stands out from the rest.

    These were joined by advertisements as a textual type from onwards ads were present from the beginning in English papers. What was completely or largely missing in the early stages were textual chunks of an editorial nature.

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    On the whole, the situation in the earliest English papers seems to have been similar, with the news report being the smallest unit around Studer Full-blown narrative pieces are rare in early German news- papers, but more common in the biannual news collections and also in pamphlets Fritz Studer notes a development towards greater length and complexity in English political news reporting over the course of the eight- eenth century, the latter aspect showing partly in the rise in the use of modality. While the text proto types just described reflect the orientation of the early press towards bare factual information, opinion, argumentation and thus political commentary were gradually becoming more important.

    Growing attention to opinion and discussion no doubt also en- couraged the genre of letter to the editor, which had emerged in English papers by Studer Another genre that is linked to opinion is the essay, which seems to have been an important part of English newspapers. Some papers during the eighteenth century were essentially two-page essays Black The text classes used in ZEN — which generally includes whole newspaper edi- tions — give a succinct overview of the range of texts in seventeenth- and eight- eenth-century newspapers. Fries and Schneider 10 provide the following list: foreign news, home news, ship news, crime, accidents, review; births, wed- dings, deaths; letter, essay, address, proclamation, announcement; advertisement, lost and found.

    It has to be noted that these terms are not necessarily all established genre or text-type labels, but are in some cases dependent on content.

    http://soilstones.com/wp-content/map21.php The development of two particular newspaper genres has received more de- tailed scrutiny, namely news reports by Ungerer a, and editorials by Westin , Ungerer discusses the origin of the top-down ap- proach in modern news articles, which is essentially based on the principle of de- creasing importance and leads to a non-chronological storyline. This means that it presents such conceptual or thematic categories of the story as history, previous events, circumstances, main event, consequences, verbal reaction and evaluation, and expectation in a criss-cross manner, starting from the main event cf.

    Newspapers, pamphlets and scientific news discourse

    Ungerer a: — for an example. While newspapers of the eighteenth and nine- teenth centuries preferred using conventional, i. Institutionalised retrospection has its origins in reports on legal proceedings, where the reporting of the trial in sequence automatically leads to a reversal or disruption of the chronology of the original event.

    The fact-collecting approach was found in articles that listed various aspects of a story in a non-chro- nological order, perhaps because the time aspect was not the most important point as, e. Multi-deck headlines use the principle of important-things-first as one of their organising guidelines. Westin , 7 investigates the language of editorials published in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Times between and , basing her method loosely on Biber She traces the features connected to the discourse types of involved production, informational production, narrative discourse, argu- mentative discourse, impersonal style and explicit in editorials 3, Table 1.

    The majority of features under investigation exhibit more or less linguistic con- tinuity, but ten features increase over time, while twelve decrease, both groups in a statistically significant manner 9, Table 2. Overall, her results point to edi- torials being marked over the century by increasing informality, increasing in- formational density and precision, and by decreasing narrativity 10— Greater informality is especially shown by the increase in the use of questions, im- peratives and contractions A decreased use of verbs in the past tense and perfect as well as fewer third-person pronouns indicate fewer narrative passages 8.

    Some typical features of news discourse The aspects to be treated here are restricted to features that are typical of news- paper language in particular, not necessarily of any other form of news discourse. The status of newspaper language as a specific register or register cluster in mod- ern English and German has been shown by a number of studies e. English: Biber ; Bell ; Jucker ; Conboy Headlines Headlines are a very striking feature of modern newspapers, but apart from being a register characteristic they are also clearly interactive in nature.

    Headlines are there to attract readers to the newspaper itself front page headlines , to guide a reader through the paper or article so headed and to arouse his or her interest in in- dividual articles. Headlines have not always been a hallmark of this publication type. Early newspapers had no or few headlines, or at least not something that we would necessarily regard as a headline. This shows again that early newspapers may have had a different attitude towards their readers than modern ones, helping them less, but also perhaps influencing them to a lesser extent.

    Three historical studies of headlines are available Simon-Vandenbergen ; Schneider ; Studer , each with a different focus. Studer concentrates on eighteenth-century headlines, based on papers published in , and A potential drawback of his study needs to be mentioned before presenting the results, namely the fact that advertising and news were not distinguished but simply treated as one type of discourse. The difference is important, as Studer himself states that ads almost always carried a headline, whereas few news reports had one Studer found an increasing use of headlines when he compared and 1.

    He provides both a formal and a functional classification of headlines.

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    The formal classification relies on layout features like display lettering, display layout, line spacing, use of single line and ending signals. These types develop from typographical uniformity to more experimental outputs. Combined and em- bedded headlines are not found in , while integrated and minor headlines de- crease after , the latter very strikingly. The most common type of headline is minor ones in 55 per cent of all and major ones in both 37 per cent and 60 per cent.