‘Future Talk’ in Newspaper Editorials: Predictions and Their Role in Argumentative Discourse

  •  Farzana Masroor    
  •  Muhammad Yousaf    
  •  Azhar Habib    
  •  Ijaz Ali Khan    


Newspaper editorials are known for taking a stance while fulfilling their goals of persuading the audience. In this regard, making future predictions is a crucial strategy in the argument structure of editorials. They are considered as risky acts since they are meant to outline future course of action as well as outcomes of such actions for their audience. This research is focused on the analysis of the speech acts of predictions among newspaper editorials of Pakistani, American and Malaysian newspapers. The analysis is focused on the exploration of forms, force and occurrence of these acts. The results indicate the preference of Pakistani and American newspapers in using strong predictions. The Malaysian newspaper meanwhile is found to be less explicit when predicting the future. This is indicated by less use of the strategy as well as adoption of implicit ways to express propositions related to the future. The results affirm the role of editorials as opinion leaders in their respective societies and the differences across cultures can be interpreted with respect to the extra linguistic and contextual factors that control editorial structures and strategies. The findings of the study are useful for future researchers to explore the relationship of language and its communicative purpose especially when fulfilling the goals of persuasion across cultures and contexts.

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