A Pragmatic Study of Newspaper Headlines in Media Discourse: Iraq as a Case Study

 Author(s): Hayder Tuama Jasim Al-Saedi; Khalid Wahaab Jabber

Abstract: This study investigates the pragmatic aspects that are used in media discourse especially newspaper headlines. It aims to analyze Searle’s Taxonomy of speech acts (1979) that are employed to Iraqi newspaper headlines. Fifty headlines were collected from the Iraqi official newspaper (ALSABAH NEWSPAPER). They were translated and classified based on the classifications of Searle’s speech acts Taxonomy. The sampled headlines focus on the events that happened in Iraq from March to December 2017 covering the Iraqi – ISIS conflict. The findings reveal that the writers of these headlines employed all the speech acts as means to perform the intended meanings and convey the message behind using these classifications. In addition, the findings reveal that the expressives and declaratives are the most prominent and common speech acts employed to the sampled headlines. Finally, the data analysis shows how all these categories of speech act were employed explicitly and implicitly. To sum up, the employment of these such speech acts to Alsabah Newspaper headlines addressed the feelings of the readers to express the achievement of victory and liberation.

Keywords:  media discourse, newspaper headlines, Searle’s taxonomy, speech acts, explicit and implicit performatives
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright: © 2020 Al-Kindi Center for Research and Development
DOI: https://doi.org/10.32996/ijllt.2020.3.3.6