A quantitative and qualitative analysis of words in Chinese news headlines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

As a main component in newspaper discourses, news headlines have increasingly attracted the interests of linguists (Vandenbergen 1981, Jenkins 1990, Chu 1993, Sung 1993, Chin & Tsou 1997). These studies show that news headlines have their own distinctive syntax. However, lexical studies of news headlines are rare. This paper will present a quantitative analysis of words used in Chinese news headlines. The analysis will be based on a one-year corpus and will look into the following two aspects: 1. What kinds of words are dominant and how they distributed in the news headlines? 2. How are Chinese news headlines different from other contemporary writings (such as news texts)? This paper also provides qualitative explanations for the quantitative data. The lexical features found are not solely linguistically oriented. A comparison of the lexical manifestation of the geographical entity “China” from Hong Kong and Taiwan news headlines show how the two communities differ in their perception of what this term stands for. It is also shown that some extra-linguistic factors contribute to the differences in usage. 近來,新聞標題語言逐漸成為語言學家研究的項目(Vandenbergen 1981, Jenkins 1990, Chu 1993, Sung 1993, Chin & Tsou 1997)。以上的研究集中在句層方面,對於標題詞彙的研究很少。對於文體的研究,詞彙亦是一個很重要的層面。本文透過基本的統計方法去探討一年的中文新聞標題詞彙的特徵,主要探討以下兩個問題︰ (1) 新聞標題的主要詞彙有哪些?它們的分佈是怎樣? (2) 與其他中文語料比較時,新聞標題又有甚麼特徵? 本文亦嘗試對以上的數據給予定量的分析,我們認為在新聞標題中的詞彙特徵,所牽涉的不只是語言內部因素。在比較香港和台灣新聞標題使用與“中國”一詞有關的詞彙時,我們發現兩地的使用方式有很大的差別。這些差別與一些語言以外因素有關。Copyright © 1998 Language Information Sciences Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantitative and computational studies on the Chinese language
EditorsBenjamin K. T'SOU, Tom B. Y. LAI, Samuel W. K. CHAN, William S.-Y. WANG
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherLanguage Information Sciences Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong
Pages235-251
ISBN (Print)9624421358
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Citation

Chin, A. C.-O. (1998). A quantitative and qualitative analysis of words in Chinese news headlines. In B. K. T'sou, T. B. Y. Lai, S. W. K. Chan, & W. S.-Y. Wang (Eds.), Quantitative and computational studies on the Chinese language (pp. 235-252). Hong Kong: Language Information Sciences Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong.

Keywords

  • Alt. title: 香港新聞標題詞匯的計量及定性研究

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