comparative genre analysis of english newspaper editorials across english and persian

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the present research was conducted to accomplish two purposes. firstly, it aimed to explore and describe schematic structure or what halliday and hassan (1989, p.64) have called “generic structure potential” (gsp) of american english, iranian persian and iranian english newspaper editorials within systemic functional linguistics. secondly, a quantitative cross-comparison was made to investigate whether there were statistically significant difference among gsp of these newspaper editorials. to this end, a total of 75 editorials, electronically culled from three newspapers, were chosen to comprise the corpus of this study: 25 english editorials from an american english newspaper (new york times), 25 english editorials from an iranian english newspaper (tehran times) and 25 persian editorials from an iranian persian newspaper (keyhan). analyzing schematic structure of the corpus showed that gsp of american english newspaper editorials was h^(pbi)^se^(de)^ce^[gs.[(escs)^(escis)^(esds)^(s)]], and gsp of iranian persian and iranian english newspaper editorials was h^(pbi)^ se^ (de)^ (ce)^[(gs).(s)]. the analysis of data revealed that statistically significant differences dominated the relation between iranian persian and american newspaper editorials, in terms of all structural elements. regarding american english and iranian english newspaper editorials, there were statistically significant differences between all structural elements of their gsp except for two elements, pbi (.377), de (.154) and s (.115). on the other hand, no statistically significant differences existed between gsp of iranian english and iranian persian newspaper editorials except for the frequency of occurrence of one structural element-pbi (0.43). these results indicated that iranians transfer gsp of persian editorials to the editorials they write in english. moreover, based on the frequency of occurrence of structural elements in gsp of newspaper editorials, it was suggested that while iranian english and persian newspaper editorials are dominated by descriptive mode of representation, the predominant mode of representation in american english editorials is the argumentative mode, the function of which is to persuade the reader.

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