International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 13 Issue 1 (June 2003), Pages 1-157

The explicitation of proper names in expository news texts (pages 115-138)

This article addresses the combination of proper name and descriptive appositive in expository news texts, e.g. Thorn EMI, the music and rental group. This apposition construction is particularly frequent in news texts. It may well be that, like translators, journalists have to make assumptions concerning the situational and cultural context they share with their readership, and, as a result, feel compelled to add information if they consider this necessary for identifying the reference of the proper name in question. Thus, the term explicitation taken from translation theory can also be applied to news texts. It is argued that the construction is more typical of news items than of other kinds of newspaper prose, such as feature material. In addition to identification, the construction also serves to establish the newsworthiness of the person or entity referred to. Unlike previous research, this article focuses on proper names in general, not only on those with personal reference. The analysis is based on a corpus of 3,039 examples taken from two British quality newspapers, The Times and the Financial Times.

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