Presupposition Trigger-A Comparative Analysis of Broadcast News Discourse
Presupposition has long been used as a property of language to mold the audience’s ideology. Using presupposition triggers, surprisingly the author or speaker impinges on readers or listeners’ interpretation of facts and events, establishing either a favorable or unfavorable bias throughout the text. The role of presupposition in mass media’s use of language is of paramount importance in that media writers attempt consciously or unconsciously to influence the audience understanding of news events. The present paper is aimed at pinpointing the oral discourse structure of two English news channels i.e. PressTV and CNN as varieties of Persian and American English respectively, in terms of presupposition triggers, employed to share non-asserted meaning. Accordingly, 40 transcripts (20 selected from PressTV and another 20 from CNN) were analyzed in terms of presupposition triggers, namely existential, factive, lexical, non-factive, structural, counter-factual, adverbial, and relative. Analysis of the transcripts revealed that the most frequently used presupposition trigger in both varieties of oral discourse was Existential.
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