Tag Archives: Linguistic Device

Linguistic Devices in Media Discourse: A Case Study (Published)

Language is used creatively to enhance communication and critically evoke deep thoughts. It is a systematic resource which is powerful and active. Sometimes, the intrinsic power of language is often neglected by non linguists. Some are not conscious of the power of language which influences attitudes and promotes critical thinking. Others fail to realize that convictions are shaped by language. The study, therefore, examines the linguistic devices and styles in media discourse which are used to stake claims to knowledge, to influence attitudes and to promote critical thinking. Excerpts culled from different newspaper editorials are used to explore the linguistic devices and styles. Then, with Systemic Functional Linguistics complemented with Van Dijk’s theory of media discourse as models of analysis, it is observed that linguistic devices such as modality, evaluative adjectives, adverbs, generic phrases, rhetoric and idioms are used to state opinions, make predictions and influence attitudes. Furthermore, the linguistic devices evoke critical thinking, state different angles of possibilities, portray different shades of attitudes and judgments. The study concludes that the linguistic devices in the newspaper editorials shape and reshape attitudes and assess the potentiality of the state of affairs in the society. Hence, there is an intrinsic power in language to influence attitudes.

Keywords: Language, Linguistic Device, Media, communication