A Linguistic Analysis of Two Newspaper Articles

Categories: Irony

Analyze 2 news article with respect to the tools of linguistics. This work consists of 2 news article. Article one is called "Pakistan's alternative tourism market" by Shyema Sajjad (Pakistani viewpoint) and short article two is called as "CIA Contractor Raymond Davis is Free-- Now Is the Time to Reconsider Our Assistance for Pakistan's Federal government" by Christian Whiton (American perspective). Firstly, this project will operate at 2 levels of evaluating short article discourse. The first level consists of the structuring of propositions and the 2nd includes their sequence.

Furthermore, the evaluation of people and actions fall under the first phase and the sequencing of these actions into a meaningful whole follow it. Any discourse analysis relocations from micro- level evaluation to macro-level examination. Likewise, newspaper discourse moves from word level (lexis) to sentence level. All these linguistic tools gradually advance from minor root-scale study to group-scale research. Starting with level one, the lexical practices of the provided short articles would be first of all specified separately, than, contrasted.

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The analysis of particular words utilized in a newspaper text is constantly the first stage of any textual analysis.

Short article one:-.

In this post, words belong to various categories to prompt some essential concerns. The lexical categories in this post includes the words of service, words of war and racial displeasure, words of falsehood and propaganda, words of currency and lastly words of predator versus prey. Words of Organisation: - These consist of exchange, ticket, breezing in and out, strategy, offer, plan transaction.

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Words of war: - These include shoot, risk, despair, control, attack, zeal, panic, get-away, masterstroke. Words of racial animosity: - large panic on America's face, US law-makers. Words of fallacy and propaganda: - hide-outs, payment, cloudy circumstances, dirty status, fumbled and mumbled, diplomatic resistance fed different lies. Words of Currency: - lots and lots of cash, deal, cost. Words of predator versus victim: - kill, risk, contend will, deaths, rescue, Pakistan is a playground.

Article two:-

Words of racial animosity: - supposed US ally, arrangement Pakistan broke, unlawful for Pakistan, over-all incident is outrageous, Pakistan is too corrupt. Words of money: - blood money, pouring money, US support, payment, pay handsomely, paying bribes, month’s check, massive hand-out of cash. Words of doubt and mistrust: - debate on our reliance to Pakistan , scandalous, lawless behavior, insulting, signing off, Pakistan is too corrupt. Words of war: - negligence, kill, hostages, adversaries, killing spree, hunted.


In both these articles, words exhibit clear meanings. The racial characteristics have been displayed in wholesale manner by contrastive words of animosity and rage. Irony and satire has been used which contends with human absurdities. Disparity of opinions and rivalry has been depicted through the words like shoot at will, scandalous, bribes etc. Collapse of friendship and feelings of hostility are prevalent throughout the text. Money has been tagged as a corrupting factor for both the governments.

Likewise, the theme of predator versus the prey, hunter versus the hunted has been depicted by showing Pakistan as a “playground”. Moreover the concept of us and them has been portrayed. Certain negative words have been used to show the negligence of Pakistani government through the phrases like “now” is the time to “reconsider” “our” support for “Pakistani Government” and “what will “our” adversaries conclude?”etc. Thus both of the articles stand apart from each other. We notice that how the roles of the participant are reversed through the choice of strong words. Both the writers have used convincing lexis to support their case. And we as the readers are easily able to draw different connotations through the choice of strong words.


The way people are named in news discourse can have significant impact on the way in which they are viewed.

Article one:-

This article by a Pakistani writer takes an explicitly projected sarcastic mood. All the text has been explained as an ironic commentary castigating the new tourism packages Pakistan has recently offered. In this article America has been named openly as a predator on Pakistani “playground”. The writer gives America a symbol of a “tourist” who avails the “adventure package” and makes it back home “unharmed”. Another important naming strategy is the indirect use of “You” to connote Raymond Davis at an individual level and also America as whole, at a more advanced level. Calling America and Davis with the “ you-perspective” takes an ironic atmosphere- both verbal irony and irony of situation. The word “you” also magnify the separated statuses of us and them

. Article two:-

In this article, Pakistan has been awarded words connoting hatred and disrespect. All through the length of the article, the American writer explicitly isolates Pakistan by the use of words like “Pakistani Government”, Pakistani officials, reliance on Pakistan. Pakistan has been given a simile of “a corrupt system”. On the contrary India has been mentioned as “democratic India” showing friendly allegiance with her. Davis has also been called in terms of a national hero through the words like “US Official”. On another point Davis has been flaunted by an isolated “Mr. Davis” highlighting his raised and respectful stature for America. Pakistan has also been constantly insulted by ironic remarks as a “supposed US ally”.

Comparison and analysis:-

The colloquial stance characterized by a simplicity yet directness of diction pervades the two articles. Both articles are crisp and taunting in their expression of hatred and disgust. War-like enmity and hunting themes are recurrent through the alienation of naming techniques. Pakistan, US and Davis stand clearly and shine independently throughout the textual canvas.


This technique bears similarity with referential strategies. It means linguistically assigning qualities to persons, animals, objects, events, actions and social phenomenon.

Article one:-

The Pakistani newspaper article has a redundant use of predications for example words like “not revealed, not disclosed, don’t despair, don’t worry” shows the writer’s covert stance. Also verbs like “targets, accused, and shoots” connote war-like imagery. The most significant verbs in this article belong to the theme of treachery and conceit. For example, “taking us for a ride over and over” and “we will be fed various lies, contradictions, pacifications and denials”. Here, riding a dangerous joyride and feeding poisonous contaminated food could be the hidden analogies the writer wants to make.

Article two: -

The American perspective is also full of sarcastic lashings and derogatory remarks about Pakistan. The writer calls Pakistani behavior as “insulting”. Moreover, Pakistan’s money dependency on America has been bitterly mentioned again and again so as to hammer Pakistan’s greed. For example “sending” billions of US dollars to Islamabad and “paying bribes” does “nothing” to help these matters. Another example is “pouring money” into a corrupt system “encourages” corruption.


Verbs of contrastive meanings have been used to highlight pessimistic atmosphere of rage and fury. The collapse of human relationships in the destructiveness of today’s racial frustration is a major motif in both the texts.


Transitivity describes the relationships between the participants and the roles they play in the processes described in reporting. According to Simpson, in any process there are three components that can be changed. These components are the participants, the process and the circumstances. Noun phrase is used for participant, verb phrase for the process and the adverbial and prepositional phrase for the circumstances. The process is further subdivided into verbal process, mental process, relational process and material process. Material process further includes the transitive actions and intransitive actions. All these points will be explored in both articles.

Article one: -

The first article enumerates an indirect depiction of Raymond Davis incident. The audience immediately becomes attuned to the story-like arrangement of the incident in terms of “a tourism package”. The recurrent themes of the article keep the readers at the edge of their seats enjoying every bit of information the story reveals. In this article, there is a biting sarcasm which forces the readers to feel the brunt of their absurdity as Pakistanis. Taken as mere puppets, Pakistanis are the “participants” along with Raymond Davis, America and Pakistani government. Their roles have been described through the nouns mentioned earlier in the assignment. The whole process is that of “current political unrest” between the two states. This process further takes on a separate tinge as the two governments try to hide their incentives. This process has been described by the words like “grilled” “fumbled and mumbled”. All the four processes have been used.

All four kinds of processes are used. The verbal processes include the verbs like, hitting, speaking, working, trying and rejecting etc. Mental processes include the words like accepting. There are different sentences which includes the relational processes, like “what’s the harm in putting a price to someone’s life’ ‘what a fantastic master-stroke it was’ As far as the material process is concerned it includes the transitive and intransitive action. The transitive action involves the agent and the object of the action while the intransitive involves only one participant. The transitive action is evident when the writer states that: ‘to know more about the US Drone strike experience, you will be given access to information” The intransitive action is missing in this article.

Article two:-

The process is again the Davis issue. Participants are Davis, American and Pakistani government. India and Afghanistan have also been mentioned. The mental process includes conclude, reconsider. The material processes are present. The transitive action is represented through the sentence “We should take this opportunity to reconsider our support to Pakistani government”. Only these processes are present.


Modals are a tool to evaluate and judge. They play a significant part in sentence structure. They are the opposite strategies to transitivity.

Article one:-

In this article modals have been used. The modal of may have been used in the sentence “Regarding the deaths-blood money may need to be pain”. Here may is used as a modal for probability. Modal of will in the sentence, “Will the US ever contradict over Davis’s immunity?” has been projected as a modal of future intention and prediction. This stance is showing the writer’s evaluative stance.

Article two: -

This article is redundantly occupied with modals. Sentences like “Aid to Pakistan should be halted”, “the bribe paid for Mr. Davis’s release should be subtracted from this month’s check for Islamabad”, “Congress should act”. Here should have been used as a modal of obligation, necessity and prediction. Modals of can have also been applied. For example “From this, Congress can at least mitigate the damage”. This modal depicts ability, possibility, and request.

Modal of would is exemplified in the sentence, “Some would conclude that our largesse for Pakistan buys us access to neighboring Afghanistan”. This modal has been applied to show condition, habit and preference.


Modals have strengthened the author’s stance in both the articles. All the participants are fully embroiled in action and continually leash out negativities. The startling fury and terse comments predates the articles and alert us to meanings beyond the common core of the words spoken. Where the Pakistani author embeds her exposition of situation into the flow of the dialogue, the American author echoes his speech with successive poison-drenched words of accuse and mistrust. Hence, the modal choices are an indication of the attitudes, judgments or the political beliefs of the writer or a speaker.


Presupposition is the relation between form and function. These are hidden and presupposed meanings in a text. It is an implicit claim hidden in the explicit claim of the text.
Article one:-

The hidden stance in article one is clearly that the release of Davis is “not” justified. The hidden stance can be expressed through the use of articles, nouns and verbs. In this article, the use of “You” shows a mocking point of views. The cynicism is directed towards the Pakistani authorities to have swallowed the blood money. Verbs like paid, underestimated, and hunting all show the implicitness of war between the two nations. Adjective used for showing the height of irony is “fantastic masterstroke” to express the mockery of the blood money transaction. Wh-questions are also present like “ who will pay that-you wonder”.

Article two:-

There is hidden or covert stance in this article. Although the author bluntly states his hatred for Pakistan, his stance could be presupposed to some extent. His attitude is direct and cutting. The sharpness of tongue and use of modals defends his political perspective. On top of that, the author successively throws questions at the government and people to reconsider their mode of action. The presuppositions in this article are triggered by the use of “wh-questions” For example “what will our adversaries conclude?”


Rhetorical devices are used for persuasion and convincing. It has five sub-catagories.

It means excessive exaggeration.
Article one: -

Hyperbole is prevalent in the sentences like “Pakistan tourism offers a new package which has been tried, tested and proven successful”. This extended image of tourism package is a hyperbole to clarify the image of free trespassing on Pakistani grounds. Later this hyperbole has been further explained through descriptive phrases like “Adventure package”, “adventure plan”, “Pakistan is a playground—you can take anything and anyone on a ride”. All these words show overelaborated images of Pakistani naivety and vulnerability.

Article two:-

This article is full of exaggerated frustration on part of America. For example the sentences like “Assistance from US taxpayers to Pakistan has increased to a sky-high average of $ 1.5 billion per year. The gal of asking for an extra $ 2.3 million payment on top of it is insulting”. Here exaggeration is depicted through words like “sky-high”, “extra”, “on top of it”. Moreover, sentences like “Pakistan is far too corrupt for economic system to work”, “Pakistan still uses and supports terrorists as tools for national policy”. All these accusations are false and are based on misinformation.

Cite this page

A Linguistic Analysis of Two Newspaper Articles. (2017, Jan 21). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/a-linguistic-analysis-of-two-newspaper-articles-essay

A Linguistic Analysis of Two Newspaper Articles
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