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In the field of linguistics, there exists a comprehensive array of the possible words or vocabulary that can be used in a particular language and a specific way by which one terms a specific thing or an event (Paolillo, 2017). The diverse nature of linguistics is always seen when one reads two different articles about a similar event, for example, published newspaper articles from different geographical regions that talk about the same event. This paper seeks to analyze and interpret linguistic data from two newspaper articles, Gulf Times and Independent News, on the subject of chemical weapons strike in Syria.
The two articles have both used clauses in their sentences to pass their messages and thoughts across. Their sentences contain both dependent and independent clauses e.g. in the third sentence that explains how in the opinion of the medics from Syria in conjunction with reports from the World Health Organization, 40 people or more were deceased from the chemical strike incident in Douma, the first part before the first comma is a dependent clause while the second part is the independent clause (Gulf-Times, 2018). Even if the first part is removed, the sentence will still pass its message across without any suspense to the reader. In Independent news, the second sentence comprises the use of independent, dependent and embedded clause. The first part before the first comma is the dependent clause which cannot stand on its own and leaves readers in suspense while the second part that is set in between the first and the second commas is the embedded clause that gives more information about Douma. The third part is the independent clause and gives the main message of the sentence. The second part "just east of Damascus" has also been used as an interrupting clause because it interferes with the flow of the whole sentence because a reader has to pause first in order to read it after reading the first part of the sentence (Osborne, 2018).
The two articles have used noun groups to refer to Sergei Lavrov in different ways. Gulf times refers to him as the Russian foreign minister while the Independent news refers to him as Russia's foreign minister. The former means that he is a foreign affairs minister who is a native Russian by birth while the latter means that he is a foreign affairs minister for Russia but is not necessarily a Russian-born citizen. Gulf Times has described the chemical strike as 'alleged' while Independent news has described it as 'suspected' bringing out two very close but different meanings (Osborne, 2018). The former means that the chemical strike has already been blamed on someone with some little evidence, in this case on Russia, while the latter means that there is still no evidence to blame someone. The two statements bring out the leniency of the two newspaper firms i.e. Gulf's leniency towards Russia and Independent's leniency towards the U.S.
Both articles have used clauses in active voice and passive voice e.g. in the last sentence in Gulf Times article, the first part before the first comma, which states that "the US and its allies believe that the Syrian regime was behind the attack" (Gulf-Times,2018). This is an independent clause which is in the active voice. The second part of the sentence which states that "Russia has insisted that it was staged by rebels" is in passive voice to come out in a reporting thought (Osborne, 2018). The Independent has used active voice in almost all its clauses except for the seventh sense where "it would only benefit those who are protected by the ocean" has been used. This statement which is from the speech of Sergei brings out a circumstance type insinuating that the U.S which is surrounded by the ocean are the ones alleging that there was a chemical strike because the outcomes of doing that will benefit them.
The two articles have used a different set of phrases to mean that the U.S and its allies are leading an anti-Russian campaign. Gulf Times states that "....and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russo phobic campaign were involved in this staged event" (Gulf-Times, 2018). On the other hand, Independent news states that "intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication" (Osborne, 2018). According to the above, the former is more specific on which intelligence agency that is being talked about while latter just gives generalizes it without being specific. The two statements, which are speeches from Lavrov, bring out the use of material and mental process types. The use of the word Russo-phobic brings out the feeling that the minister and in general, most Russians feel about the allegations. They feel like the U.S and its allies are so much against them. The two words 'staged event' and 'fabrication' has been used to refer to the same incident. They all mean that the chemical strike is a lie (Malmkjaer, 2017).
The two articles differ in the event process type on the subject of the deaths being caused by chemical weapons. Gulf Times states that more than 40 individuals succumbed to symptoms which indicated that they had been attacked with chemical weapons (Gulf-Times, 2018), while Independent news states that chemical experts from Russia proved that there were no signs of chemical weapons in the area (Osborne, 2018). This shows how different media firms interpret press statements from foreign counties in different ways. In both articles, the word 'irrefutable' has been used to describe the evidence that the Russian minister has from Moscow. It has been put in quotation marks to stress its use and its meaning that the evidence is very strong and is not easily dismissible (Paolillo, 2017).
Gulf Times has used a general term to refer to the countries being accused as being behind the chemical weapons allegation by only stating that "The U.S and its allies" are behind it (Gulf-Times, 2018) while the Independent News has been specific to the participants as being "U.S, France, and Britain". Both articles insinuate the circumstance of conflict and war by stating that the mentioned countries are doing so in order to stir up a war in Syria and therefore get a reason to send their troops there, seeking other benefits which are the natural resources in Syria. This thought has been brought out differently with Gulf being general about it and the latter being more specific about it.
From this paper, it is, therefore, true to say that different newspaper agencies express their aspects of linguistics differently while talking about the same event and this leads to some differences in the interpretation of the information being passed across.
Gulf-Times. 2018. Russia says Syria chemical attack was 'staged'. [online] Available at: http://www.gulf-times.com/story/588859/Russia-says-Syria-chemical-attack-was-staged [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].
Malmkjaer, K., 2017. Introduction. In The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics (pp. 17-28). Routledge.
Osborne, S., 2018. Russia claims foreign spies are responsible for Syria chemical attack. [online] The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-chemical-attack- latest-news-staged-secret-services-russia-foreign-minister-lavrov-a8302586.html [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].
Paolillo, J.C., 2017. Logistic Regression Analysis of Linguistic Data. The Handbook of Dialectology, pp.384-399.
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