A Systemic Analysis Of Editorials In Selected Nigerian Neswpapers

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ABSTRACT
This study investigated the language used in the editorials which serve as the founder for decoding the different functions in which editorials are put to use. It focuses on editorial selected from the Guardian newspaper from the month of October to November 2010. The selected tools in systemic grammar employed for the analysis are the Mood system, the Theme system and the Transitivity system.
Editorials, therefore, becomes a bridge between the people and the government. It shows that the language of Editorials are certain and straight forward. Also, the language of Editorials may not be necessarily objective, it is also reader-centered and realized facts. Editorials also to employ language as means  

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE          i
APPROVAL PAGEii
DEDICATION         iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTiv
ABSTRACTvi
TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE:
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study                   1
1.2 Statement of the research problem                   3
1.3 Purpose of the study                   4
1.4 Scope of the study          4
1.5 Justification         4
1.6 Research methodology          6
1.7 Data description         6

CHAPTER TWO: 
LITERATURE REVIEW
 2.1 Introduction        8
2.2  Development of functional systemic linguistics 8
2.3  Systemic grammar      9
2.4  Description of systemic linguistic     12 
2.5  Grammatical categories      13
2.5.1 Unit      14
2.5.2 Structure      15
2.5.3 Class      16
2.5.4   System      17
2.5.4.1 Mood system      18
2.5.4.2 Theme system      20
2.5.4.3 Transitivity      21
2.6  Editorials      23
2.7   Summary of the chapter             25

CHAPTER THREE:
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1 Introduction      27
3.2 Datum one:  The school enrolment Crisis in the South East 
       (Thursday,    October 7, 2010) 27
3.3 Datum two:  The flood in Lagos and Ogun State 
      (Sunday, October 17, 2010)34
3.4  Datum Three:  Team Nigeria at the Common Wealth Games 
       (Wednesday, October 27, 2010)41
3.5  Datum Four:  Privatizing NITEL: Fifth Time Lucky? 
        (Sunday, November 7, 2010)46
3.6  Datum Five:  The Super Falcons’ Victory in South Africa 
       (Wednesday November 17, 2010)52  
3.7  DATA DISCUSSIONS                                                       56
3.8  SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER                                               57
CHAPTER FOUR SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
4.1 Summary                                                                              58    
4.2 Findings 59
4.3 Conclusion           60
      References           62

INTRODUCTION
Whatever the sphere of discourse the role of language in describing and explaining texts, spoken or written, cannot be under-estimated. Varieties in language use based on factors such as occupation, geographical setting, idiosyncrasy and many more, further explain the relevance of language to human activity. 
One field where language is very important is the field of mass communication.  The media, which is usually understood to mean the press, employs language to achieve its different aims both in the print and the electronic media. The language of the media has been the focus of different researchers (employing different theoretical method) which gave rise to different terminologies like “current-day media language” or “the modern media discourse” (Aitchison and Lewis 2003, p.1) 
Systemic linguistics, as a theory of language, provides an avenue to determine how language is used and how language functions in different contexts.  This, as explained by Christie and Unsworthy (2000, p.1) helps “to illustrate how linguistics can contribute to ‘applied’ language research… and also respond to questions about language in applied contexts, a way to describe language  in terms of choices of meaning (p.2).
     Systemic theory is also known as the scale and category of grammar (Olujide 2007, p.53).  This view then serves as the basis of analysis for some analysts.  Alabi (1997, p.61) for instance, takes the theoretical path of scale and category with her focus being: “For a rigorous structural analysis in stylistic study…. as networks of interlayer systems”. Though approach of this type covers the major aspect of systemic grammar, it is deficient in not taking into consideration the meta-functions of language as identified by the profounder of systemic grammar. M.A.K Halliday.
Osisanwo (1999) recognizes systemic grammar based on the “scale and category” dichotomy.  He not withstanding notes that systemic grammar “has however developed beyond the level of the scale and category of grammar to a generative non-transformation and grammar that operates at surface and deep plane” (p.16).  This therefore corrected the restriction imposed by using the term “scale and category” which is restricted to the surface structure leaving out the deep structure.
As noted by Christies and Unsworth (200, p.11), systemic linguistics is a theory “that proposed that the object 0of language study should be a whole text (p.12).  The test can be in a spoken mode as the analysis done by Halliday and Mathiessen (2004) and also in the written mode, Osisanwo exemplifies  his discussions of systemic grammar by carrying out an analysis of textual works such as T.M. Aluko’s “One man One wife”, Kofi Awoonor’s “This earth my  Brother” and Chinua Achebe’s “Arrow of God”. 
The above mention researchers have basically focused on literary texts and verbal utterances leaving out texts in the media domain.  The editorial, which forms an important aspect of the print media, will be an important text to investigate. Thornborrow (1999, p.51) for instance, has taken an overview of language use in the media with the aim of examining “how our knowledge about the world is mediated through the press …. This work will therefore restrict it self to a very important aspect of the newspaper, which is the editorial section, as against taking a general view of the media like that of Thornborrow. 
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