Variation et Langage Journalistique: une Etude Lexicosemantique et Syntaxique de Nouvelles Tirees de Trois Journaux Francais Contemporains (1990-2003)
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
The notion of variation or of style dates from the period of Prague Linguistic Circle. It is, at least, from the conception of potentiality of the phenomena of language that we have conducted our study. The immediate context of the study is Bell’s (1996) work on journalistic discourse of English. Our study Variation and journalistic language has as goal, to show how journalism chooses resources offered by language to communicate with the audience. This choice being, essentially variable or unsteady, we have made stylistics an all- encompassing framework that implies rhetoric simply put and a visual rhetoric or grammar. We have opted for a methodological pluralism comprising primary and secondary researches. In the two cases, it is all about discourse analysis or content analysis (if one confines oneself to quantification of forms). We have made a fully-fledged case of observation to gather visual data, even when this method involves visual and non-visual at the same time. At all the five levels of analysis we saw that the choice of forms- linguistic and extra linguistic is variable, potential or indefinite. We grasp this through dichotomies such as simple/complex lexis, denotation/connotation semantic sentence meaning/pragmatic sentence meaning, coordination by juxtaposition/coordination by conjunctions and iconic images/indexical and symbolic images. . Variation is the salt of life. It is the case with journalism in time of crisis. This study demonstrates the need for language user to pay particular attention to choice of words, more so as very often words are used outside of their etymology, and for communicative and strategic reasons. The study is a considerable contribution to the fact of idiosemy of meaning, referential semantics being almost inexistent where the deciding factor of meaning-making is anchored in a sociocultural background. User should accordingly be sensitized. The study is a reiteration of the requirements of sentence resolution in discourse contexts: the importance of both the co text and the context to determine whether a sentence should be taken in its literal or non-literal sense. The study demonstrates the need for fluent user of a language to be sensitized to the structures of a language at the level of text: thematic progression, anaphora, coordination and connectives. Finally, the study is an important contribution to the growing needs for visual literacy in an era of Information and Communication technology.