Actualization Of Polysegmented Headings: Stylistic And Syntactic Aspect


The stylistic features of newspaper headlines began to arouse scientific interest from the 1920-30s. This interest has not diminished to the present, despite the rapid development of online versions of the vast majority of periodicals. Printed versions do not lose their relevance and originality. This article is devoted to the analysis of stylistic and syntactic techniques for actualizing segmented headings. The subject of analysis is the headlines in the newspapers Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The choice of reporting headings as the material of this study allows us to analyze in a new way the possibilities of stylistic techniques for actualizing certain structural patterns of headings. The basis of the study is formed by the continuous sampling method when selecting practical material from the publications we have selected for analysis, a descriptive linguistic and stylistic analysis method, as well as a quantitative and qualitative analysis method. The results of the study showed that multi-segment headlines are diverse in structure and are the most pronounced means of actualizing the newspaper headline. Based on the separability of the structural patterns of newspaper headlines, the most pronounced are the following lexical and stylistic techniques: parcellation; segmentation; reduced and segmented citation in order to preserve the subjectivity of the utterance with full journalism objectivity. Simple and at the same time unusual in their syntactic structure headlines are aimed at attracting the attention of the recipient to the news coverage.

Keywords: Header actualizationmonosegment headerparcellationpolysegment headerlinguistic manipulationsegmentation


One of the significant acts of speech influence in the media discourse is linguistic manipulation, the manipulation of public consciousness. The print press and its online version are a powerful means of controlling readership. Low-grade online notes, fake news distort real facts, but often have flashy, catchy headlines. “Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in propaganda support for the speakers of vernacular and primitive mass consciousness” (Kolmakova & Shalkov, 2018, pp. 61-64). This fact requires a reader of mass media literacy and the ability to distinguish fake news with flashy headlines from a quality electronic press. In this regard, a special role is given to the headings of journalistic texts, as they are always viewed by the audience. The reporter’s task is not only to create a memorable and intriguing headline, but also a competent approach to its structuring and stylistic expression.

Problem Statement

Scientific interest is due to the close attention to the problem of speech influence on the consciousness of the masses and public opinion through online and print media. In this regard, the media discourse specifically addresses the issue of selecting and implementing effective techniques as headings so that they are multifunctional and structurally effective.

Research Questions

What allows full-heading newspaper headlines to be multifunctional (informative richness, linguistic and graphic expressiveness, attracting the attention of the reader)?

What methods of actualizing, based on the division of syntactic models of headings, are frequent and most acceptable in linguistic manipulation?

How do segmented statements (as the most frequent in the role of headings) help to realize the theme-rheumatic relationships and become as effective as possible in the speech influence on the readership?

How are stylistic devices (parcellation and individual types of citation) (less frequent in the role of headings) able to convey in the structural-semantic sense the objectivity of a statement with the utmost informative intensity?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research is to consider the features of actualizing structural models - polysegments - as headings of analytical journalistic texts implemented in stylistic and syntactic techniques. Analysis of the structural features of the headline of newspapers is carried out in the following studies: Adyasova and Gridina (2017), Bagmanova (2013), Ezhova and Zamoznykh (2018), Makaruk (2018), Koçyiğit (2019), Terskikh (2020) and others (the speech influence of the headings of media texts on the minds of readers), Safonov (1981), Milovanova (2010) and others (structural, psychological and stylistic aspects), Lazareva (2006), Bogoyavlenskaya (2018), Shinelev (2019), Dementyev (2020), Kosyakova (2020) and others (structure of headings and their speech influence).

From the point of view of the typology of newspaper headlines (Lazareva, 2006), fully informative headings reflect a key idea / thesis, possess not only informative richness, but also sufficient expressiveness, attracting the attention of readers. This fact determines the search for an answer to the question regarding the systematization of polysegment structural models (patterns) implemented in certain stylistic and syntactic techniques with the aim of actualizing the headings.

An analysis of the techniques for actualizing polysegmented headings suggests that segmentation (the most frequent), parcellation, and citation are called upon to carry out the acting function.

Segmented statements of the general pattern (S1) (S2) - (thesis) (clarification / extension) in various modifications help to realize theme-rheumatic relationships, are structurally convenient for dividing the heading's thoughts, actualize the importance of the fact, psychologically hook the recipient and increase the level of trust.

Less frequent methods in the structural and semantic respect are parcellation and certain types of citation, but they contribute to the detachment of the journalist from the material, giving maximum objectivity, but at the same time leaves the right to select linguistic material.

Research Methods

The headings selected by the method of continuous sampling from Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers, socio-political and business publications for the period 2019-2020 served as the studied material and the definition of stylistic devices for actualizing segmented structural models.

The general corpus of the material in question amounted to 600 text units, which were taken equally from these publications.

The basis of the research is formed by the method of continuous sampling in the selection of the analyzed material, the method of descriptive linguistic and stylistic analysis, as well as the method of quantitative and qualitative analysis:


In an attempt to attract attention, as well as to create a bright and expressive headline, journalists use various methods of actualizing the heading with various linguistic means. Bogoyavlenskaya (2018), Safonov (1981), Shinelev (2019) and others believe that grammatical constructions play an important role in actualizing headings: they highlight key messages that are easily captured by the reader on an emotional level (Lazareva, 2006). Actualizing the heading is possible in a situation where the heading structure is adjusted to the specific target setting of the communicative utterance.

In the syntactic aspect, the following grammatical types of headings are distinguished (the basis of this classification is the number of segments - speech units that make up the structure):

As Safonov notes, polysegmented headings “have a distinct actual division, which allows you to highlight the theme (given) and the rheme (new) in the message” while maintaining the semantic and syntactic meaning of the words of the basic structures (Safonov, 1981, para 15).

The following actualizing techniques are distinguished, based on the division of syntactic header models.

1. Parcellation - the technique of breaking up a single model of syntactic construction, which is a few independent communicative units, in other words, the main part and parcels. As noted by Bogoyavlenskaya (2018), “... parcelled statements (sentences)”, “parcelled structures ... each of which focuses on the structural or structural-semiotic aspect of the phenomenon” (p. 6). Similar types of statements correspond to the multi-segment structure of S1.S2. In the issue of Izvestia that we are considering, 5% of the total body of the material under study were found. For example, " How the "cable of life" was pulled to the besieged Leningrad. Unique diaries and photos ”. In this example, the main part and the parcels are graphically delimited, while the first part includes the main information block, while the parcels add to the main idea, clarifying, in this case, using the lexeme “ unique ” to introduce the values of exclusive material for the reader. In Rossiyskaya Gazeta such examples were found to be 1% less - 4% (for example, “ Better not risk it. You can’t drive with the following malfunctions ”). This example is interesting in that S1 contains an imperative, categorical meaning, presented in the word “ do not take risks ”, while S2, clarifying the semantic content of the first segment, also contains a categorical unit “ can’t ”. This fact allows us to talk about a uniform presentation of this type of scheme of this stylistic device in the publications we are studying, but at the same time stylistically different. Greater categorization in the presentation of the material is inherent in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Structural patterns that fit into S1. S2 are often introduced as a stylistic device - parcel. With the help of the point, the utterance is given the intonational and semantic completeness, but at the same time, the speaker’s zero rating in relation to the person / fact is noted.

2. Segmentation - the division of the utterance into elements, “in one of which something is called, in the other it is reported that it is already called” (Safonov, 1981). A quantitative and qualitative analysis of Izvestia heading structures showed a frequency of segmentation (78% of the total material). Often the structures correspond to the general patterns S1: S2 (65.5%), in some cases to S1 - S2; S1, S2 (13%). In such constructions, S1 contains a general, convoluted idea, which in each case is specified by S2, the meaning expands and becomes more transparent for understanding. Models, for example, “ Sometimes I’m scared that all this will happen again ”, “ My position is not to rebuild everything ”, include the S2 segment, usually with an explanatory (as in the first example) or target (example 2) predicate. Such constructions actualize the importance of the fact and the essential socio-political orientation with a view to good intentions. The majority of headlines from Rossiyskaya Gazeta fit into this S1: S2 pattern; according to our data, 82% of the material under consideration, which is slightly more than in Izvestia. We have found 10 % of examples of other patterns (S1 - S2; S1, S2) for segmentation in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. In general, such headings psychologically catch the recipient, in this regard, the level of confidence in the proposed information increases.

The type S1 - S2 structure is represented by the heading “ Chulpan played a great ... ”, where the S2 segment appears with a refinement value. In addition, you can find a generalizing and target value. As practice shows, simple syntactic constructions fit into this pattern. This graphical demarcation allows you to focus readers on the key points of the headline.

3. An important role in actualizing the headlines is played by the citation technique . By accepting the citation, the subject of the statement is introduced, thereby not compromising the journalist.

As a rule, the media uses reduced (quoting a fragment of the source text without prejudice to the meaning) and segmented quotation (insert quotes, harmoniously integrated into the structural-semantic unity of the heading statement). As the practical heading of Izvestia shows, the reduced type of citation is presented in frequency (11%), segmented (6%) is somewhat less common, which is 17% in total, and there are 3% fewer examples in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. An example of a segmented type from Rossiyskaya Gazeta is the headline “ Medvedev deduced the “law of preservation of a “Dmitriy Nikolaevich” in the government ”, in turn, of the reduced type - “ My mother is completely hungry, she gives it to me, and I... ”. None of the publications under consideration practically cite a complete citation, indicating that the reporter is detached from the highlighted event. The reduced and segmented type of citation indicates a certain subjective presence of the journalist, who, conveying the subjectivity of the statements of another person, does not compromise himself and at the same time reserves the right to choose fragments that would structurally and semantically reflect his position. At the same time, the reporter masterfully maintains objectivity and impartiality in the presentation of an informational occasion.

The results of the analysis of practical material using the method of quantitative and qualitative analysis and a continuous sample of language units (headings) were summarized in Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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Often, readers are limited to a superficial introduction to the title. The linguistic ingenuity of journalists allows encouraging reading of the main material through the formation of an “optimal communication environment without violating the criteria of the news genre such as capacity, conciseness, relevance, factuality, and correspondence to the target audience” (Shinelev, 2019, p. 83). The indicated criteria of a remarkable title can be embodied through stylistic-structural techniques. “The stylistic and structural-semantic components of the title serve as a prerequisite for the implementation of expressive, communicative, graphically-highlighting and appealing (acting) functions, in other words, a multifunctional title” (Kosyakova & Kolmakova, 2019, p. 312).


In the course of the study, it was found that the actualization of the heading structure of the utterance is expressed in certain schemes - multi-segment constructions, as the most pronounced and typical for the presentation of stylistic and syntactic techniques for updating newspaper headlines.

Segmented structures are a more frequent technique for the publications under study. In order to actualize the socio-political orientation of the material offered to the recipient with an orientation to the positive development of events, the most characteristic S1: S2 construction schemes are used. Thus, 72% of such structures were found in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, and 7% less in Izvestia, which is not critical in general.

Parcel constructions are equally represented in Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Separate headlines are distinguished by the imperativeness of lexical components that fit into the pattern of S1.S2, which gave reason to believe that there is some categoricalness in presenting the news event in individual publications.

In order to create an impartial, objective statement in the role of headline and preserve journalistic ethics, an important role is played by the citation method. Reduced and segmented citation is the most typical form of this technique, which is reflected to a greater extent in Izvestia, since journalists refer to it 3% more often than otherwise.


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