A Syntactic Analysis of Lexical and Functional Heads in Nigerian English Newspaper Headlines

Taiwo Oluwaseun Ehineni


Nigerian English newspaper headlines have been examined mostly from stylistic, pragmatic, critical discourse analytic and critical linguistic perspective but not from a syntactic perspective in terms of lexical and functional heads. This study, therefore, examines lexical and functional heads in Nigerian newspaper headlines. The data for this study were collected from Nigerian national newspapers including ‘The Punch’, ‘The Nation’, ‘Nigerian Tribune’, ‘Vanguard’ and ‘The Sun’. The study uses the X-bar theory of Generative Grammar to syntactically analyze the data. It is discovered that both lexical and functional heads are projected in Nigerian newspaper headlines. However, their representation depends on the syntactic configuration of the headlines. Sentence type headlines have more heads than phrasal headlines. While both heads occur in the headlines, lexical heads have more projection than functional heads.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i5.6110

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