Structural and Semantic Features of Quotation in English Media Discourse
Quotation, being one of the most common structural and semantic constituents of media discourse, is widely employed by a great number of journalists time and again. Since it may perform various functions, quotation constitutes a powerful tool at reporters’ disposal used to suit their own purposes. Consequently the analysis of this issue can be found in numerous works, but authors mostly study quotation from a stylistic perspective, paying less attention to its lexical aspect, which requires a closer examination. Thus the present research targets at the analysis of quotes’ structural types and their semantic features in English media discourse, subjecting to conscious scrutiny the borrowing of a quote’s form and content in the process of introducing the quoted text into a new one. For carrying out this research, quotations from the following newspapers: the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Spectator, the Sun, The Wall Street Journal were examined according to existing classifications. The research is based on a descriptive analysis of various quote types and their specific features. Despite the fact that some statistical data are provided in this paper, the approach adopted is more observational. The findings suggest that although the quote is expected to meet the structural and semantic organization of an authentic text, in media discourse authors often break this rule for pursuing particular objectives. The study reveals that intentional changes in reported speech and the influence of a new context environment may alter the meaning of the quoted utterance. The research outcomes verify the idea that quotation, being a journalist’s powerful tool, plays an important role within a text and the understanding of quotes’ structural and semantic peculiarities is likely to assist readers in perceiving and analyzing information.