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A study on syntactic and semantic features of sports newspaper headlines in english with reference to vietnamese equivalents

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING

HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS

A STUDY ON SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF SPORTS
NEWSPAPER HEADLINES IN ENGLISH WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENCE
(NGHIÊN CỨU ĐẶC TRƯNG CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA TIÊU ĐỀ
BÁO THỂ THAO TIẾNG ANH TRONG SỰ LIÊN HỆ TIẾNG VIỆT)

HA NGOC THU HANG

Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Hanoi, 2017


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING

HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS

A STUDY ON SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF SPORTS
NEWSPAPER HEADLINES IN ENGLISH WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU ĐẶC TRƯNG CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA TIÊU ĐỀ
BÁO THỂ THAO TIẾNG ANH TRONG SỰ LIÊN HỆ TIẾNG VIỆT)

HA NGOC THU HANG

Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Ngoc Trung

Hanoi, 2017


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled:
“A STUDY ON SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF SPORTS
NEWSPAPER HEADLINES IN ENGLISH WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENCE” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Master in English Language. Except where the reference is indicated,
no other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the
thesis.
Hanoi … … … 2017

Ha Ngoc Thu Hang

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

(Signature and full name)
Date:……………………

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First and foremost, I would like to express my great gratitude to my supervisor,
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Ngoc Trung, for his enthusiasm, kindness and helpful advice
which encourages me much during my time of implementing the thesis.
The second, I am greatly indebted to all my lectures at the Faculty of Graduate
Studies at Hanoi Open University for their useful lectures, supports, encouragement
and for inspiring me the love for English foreign language teaching and doing scientific
research.
Besides, I also offer my sincere thanks the friends and colleagues who helped me
along the way.
The finally and most importantly, I would like to express my whole-hearted
gratitude to my family. I could not have come this far without their love, their support
and their understanding.

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ABSTRACT
The present thesis discusses a certain field of linguistic focusing on a descriptive
– contractive approach which is applied to investigating and analyzing syntactic and
semantic features of headlines in English and the Vietnamese equivalence. As a
method of conducting the present research, contrastive linguistic analysis of headlines
in English and the Vietnamese equivalence, to figure out the similarities and
differences of headlines represented in these two languages. Similarities and
differences of headlines between two languages have been identified in this thesis.
The aim of this thesis is investigating on syntactic structures and semantic
features of conceptual ‘Simile’ and raising Vietnamese learners’ awareness these
conceptual. The use of conceptual ‘Simile’ in particular have not yet been the specific
focus in different researchers, so that is why this thesis seeks to make a contribution
and help them improve their real communication exactly and successfully in English.
More detail, I also point out some syntactic and semantic features of conceptual
‘Simile’ in English sports newspaper headlines with reference to the Vietnamese
equivalence; and the second one is to propose some implications for mastering
‘Similes’ features in an effective way.
In general, the position of English Similes is the same as that of Vietnamese
Similes. Nevertheless, these positions bear different meanings in the two languages.
That is, in English, the clauses containing the speaker’s focus of interest may be put
initially whereas in Vietnamese, those clauses may be put finally.
The findings of this work are based on the descriptive method is utilized to give a
deep and detailed description of conceptual ‘Simile’ with reference to Vietnamese
equivalence, hence pointing out the distinctive features of the conceptual ‘Similes’
which causes difficulties for Vietnamese learners and suggesting some implications for
teaching these feature to learners at Academy of Journalism and Communication
(AJC). The result of the study is expected to give some following benefits.
The research result will help the lectures and students to solve part of their
problems in teaching and learning conceptual ‘Simile’ in headlines.
The result of the research can be used as an additional knowledge to improve the
students’ mastery of vocabulary. Because, the students are able to get other new
meaning from the same ‘Simile’ if conceptual ‘Simile’ are added in headlines. In other

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hand, by understanding about the using of this students can implement them in daily
conversation.
They can also develop their mastery of ‘Simile’ in speaking, listening, reading and
writing. By using more than one expression, the can say one idea in various ways.

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Adj.P

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Adjective Phrase

Adv.P

Adverb Phrase

E.g
N
N.P
P.P
V.P

Example
Noun
Noun Phrase
Prepositional Phrase
Verb Phrase

S

Sentence

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LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Table 3.1.2: Structure of conceptual ‘Simile’
Table 3.1.3.1: Percentage of semantic features of English sports newspaper headlines
Table 3.2.1: Percentage of syntactic structures of Vietnamese sports newspaper
headlines
Table 3.2.2: Percentage of semantic features of Vietnamese sports newspaper headlines
Table 4.1: Grading scale
Table 4.2.1.a: The test score
Table 4.2.1.b: Results of questions from number 1 to 20
Table 4.2.1.c: The most common errors

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certificate of originality
Acknowledgements
Abstract

1
2
3

List of abbreviations

5

List of tables and figures

6

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Rationale of the study
1.2. Aims and objectives of the study

10
10
11

1.2.1. Aims of the study
1.2.2. Objectives of the study
1.3. Research questions
1.4. Methods of the study
1.5. Scope of the study
1.6. Significance of the study
1.7. Design of the study
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

11
12
12
12
12
13
15
16

2.1. Previous study
2.2. Overview of syntax and semantic theory

16
18

2.2.1 Theory of syntax
2.2.2 Theory of semantics
2.3. Overview of headlines
2.3.1 Definition of headlines
2.3.2. Classification of headlines
2.4. Overview of conceptual ‘Simile’
2.4.1. Definition of conceptual ‘Simile’

18
19
20
20
21
22
22

2.4.2. Classification of conceptual ‘Simile’
2.5. Summary

23
23

CHAPTER 3: SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ENGLISH
SPORTS NEWSPAPER HEADLINES AND THEIR VIETNAMESE
EQUIVALENTS
3.1. Syntactic and semantic features of English sports newspaper headlines

25
25

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3.1.1. In terms of syntactic features
3.1.1.1. Sentential headlines

25
25

3.1.1.2. Non-sentential sports newspaper headlines

28

3.1.1.3. Word
3.1.1.4. Phrase
3.1.1.5. Clause
3.1.1.6. Sentence
3.1.2. In terms of syntactic features of conceptual ‘Simile’

30
31
31
31
32

3.1.3. In terms of semantic features
3.1.3.1. Stylistic Devices

32
33

3.1.3.2. Types of meaning
3.1.4. In terms of semantic features of conceptual ‘Simile’
3.2. Syntactic and semantic features of Vietnamese sports newspaper headlines
3.2.1. In terms of syntactic features
3.2.1.1. Word
3.2.1.2. Phrase
3.2.1.3. Clause

35
35
35
36
36
36
36

3.2.1.4. Sentence
37
3.2.2. In terms of semantic features
38
3.3. Comparison between sports newspaper headlines in English and Vietnamese 39
3.3.1. In terms of syntactic features
3.3.1.1. Similarities
3.3.1.2. Differences
3.3.2. In term of semantics features
3.3.2.1. Similarities
3.3.2.1. Differences

39
39
39
40
40
40

3.4. Similarities and differences between English ‘Simile’ and their Vietnamese
equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features
3.4.1. In terms of their syntactic
3.4.1.1 In terms of their sentence patterns
3.4.1.2 In terms of their sentence elements
3.4.2. In terms of their semantic

41
41
41
42
42

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3.5. Summary

42

CHAPTER 4: COMMON ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS AT AJC WHEN
USING SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES IN ENGLISH SPORTS
NEWPAPER HEADLINES
43
4.1. Suggestions for results of the survey conducted at AJC
43
4.1.1. The survey questionnaire
43
4.1.2. Questionnaires
43
4.1.3. Procedure
45
4.2. Common errors made by students at AJC of English when using syntactic
features denoting sport headlines.

45

4.2.1 Common errors made by students of English
45
4.2.2. Causes of committing errors
50
4.3. Suggestions for teaching and learning when using conceptual ‘Simile’ in English
4.3.1. Suggestions for teaching conceptual ‘Simile’ in English
53
4.3.2. Suggestions for learning conceptual ‘Simile’ in English
54
4.4 Summary
54
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
56
5.1. Recapitulation
5.2 Limitation of the study
5.3. Recommendations/ Suggestions for further research

56
56
57

REFERENCES
INTERNET RESOURCES

58
59

APPENDIXES
APPENDIX 1

61
61

APPENDIX 2

63

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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Rationale of the study
There is a booming trend that the objective of studying foreign language is to
communicate people all over the world. However, there are many reasons behind
studying the language, especially English, if they are not good for using English
grammar, it will become difficult in communicating in English with foreigners. For
instance, it is admitted that similes are regarded as a kind of connectors and connectors
have the function for linking different parts in sentences. This explanation for this
could be that similes in headlines can be a figure of speech and each smiles will belong
to the situation. For example, we use ‘as’ in this sentence: “Beckam ran as fast as the
wind”. There are a synonym of this word which can be replace “quickly”, this
connection means to show the reason. Thus, similes support in liking successful
sentences, they will make the sentences have clearly meanings when they translate
from Vietnamese to English.
The author decides to choose this topic to study because of two reasons. Firstly, in
English, similes have been studied scantly by many grammarians, such as Straumann,
H (1935) , Ungerer, F (Ed.) (2000), Reah, D. (1998), Bell, A. (1991) and Develotte, C.,
Rechniewski, E. (2000). In Vietnamese, Ph. Dr. Nguyen Thi Van Dong (2007), M.A
Le Phuong (2009) and M. A Diep Quang Ban (2005). However, there has been none
giving out the comparison between English similes and the Vietnamese equivalence in
terms of syntactic and semantic features.
Secondly, plenty of Vietnamese learners may get accustomed to spoken English
as soon as they begin learning how to write and read in their mother tongue. This
means that people have recognized the importance and necessity of English as well as
the advantages that English may bring about. However, learning English is always a
big challenge for Vietnamese native-speaker learners. One of the challenging things of
acquiring English is syntactic and semantic features of English newspaper headlines in
general, which seem to be too hard for them to master, hence inevitable errors in using
conceptual ‘Similes’ in particular in communication: both spoken and written English.
A headline is often the only thing that readers read in a newspaper, or at least, it is
the first thing that everyone notices in a newspaper. It serves as a guide for the learner

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that help decide whether to continue on reading the whole report or to skip onto
another one. Each headline should be a summary of the news which follows. A
headline should be a sentence, and so it also should have a regular sentence structure
containing a subject and a verb with the exception that headlines normally does not
contain auxiliaries, pronouns, articles, or conjunctions. It means that only lexical, not
grammatical words are used. The major reason for that is the space. There is only
limited space provided for each headline and the problem of fitting the best words may
occur. Then the rule of a sentence may be broken, only minor sentences are used, and
such a headline can be rather difficult to understand. Sometimes this happens for a
good reason, as space, but more often this happens on purpose to make the headline
somehow special with the aim to attract the reader’s attention to the report or even to
buy the newspaper at all. In that case, readers are mystified, confused and in the end,
after reading the report they can feel disappointed as it did not fulfil their expectations.
This work studies grammatical features used in headlines but, as the space of this
paper is limited, it tries to focus mainly on the difference between metaphor and simile.
It analyses their structure in comparison with the common core. The analysis is based
on a corpus consisting of 500 randomly chosen abroad newspaper headlines. The
material used here is definitely limited and cannot exemplify all features; therefore the
aim is rather to establish general characteristic with respect to the main areas which
have been studied. In the first chapter the function of a headline is introduced and
readers will also learn some basic characteristic features of headlines.
For these above reasons, the topic: “A study on syntactic and semantic features
of sports newspaper headlines in English with reference to the Vietnamese
equivalence” is chosen with the purpose of finding out the equivalents of English and
Vietnamese. In this study, conceptual ‘Simile’ is described and analyzed in contexts
and situations. Hence, I do hope that the thesis will be a useful reference, to the extent
possible, for teaching and learning English and Vietnamese as foreign languages
1.2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.2.1. Aims of the study
The study is aimed at finding out the syntactic structures and semantic features of
sport headlines in general and conceptual ‘Simile’ in particular. This study can raise

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Vietnamese learners’ awareness of headlines, and help them improve their real world
communication exactly and successfully in English.
1.2.2. Objectives of the study
In order to achieve the aims, the following objectives are put forward:
- Pointing out the syntactic and semantic features of English sports newspaper
headlines.
- Finding out the similarities and differences of English similes and the
Vietnamese equivalence in terms of syntactic and semantic features.
- Suggesting for teachers and learners of English, especially journalism students
concerning sports headlines in newspapers.
1.3. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Within the small scope of this study, three following research questions are
expected to be answered:
(i) What are the syntactic and semantic features of English sports newspaper
headlines and Vietnamese?
(ii) What are the similarities and differences of conceptual ‘Simile” in English and
their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features?
(iii) What are suggestions for Vietnamese learner of English to learn conceptual
‘Simile ‘in English?
1.4. METHODS OF THE STUDY
In order to study the subject effectively, a flexible of methods is employed.
First, the quantitative methods are mainly employed to analyze the data collected.
The descriptive method is utilized to give a deep and detailed description of the
‘Simile’ feature and their Vietnamese equivalence. Then examples foe illustrating the
description will be taken from the grammar and reference book written by
contemporary influential linguists in English such as
‘Newspaper headlines. A study in linguistic method. London’. S. Lander.
A number of general research methods such as metaphor, simile, synecdoche,
metonymy, repetition, parallelism, triple, euphemism, hyperbole and rhetorical
question. It will be applied to carry out the thesis. Besides, structural analysis, and
description which are usually used to study linguistics will be applied in the thesis.

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The second, quantitative method is used to quantify conceptual ‘Simile’ which are
found out in the research.
1.5. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will present a theoretical background based on a number of materials
for teaching and terminology. Next, it will collect typical English and Vietnamese
journalist terms from materials for journalist, analyze their general features and main
structural features. In the process, the study will pay attention about sports newspaper
headlines in English with reference to the Vietnamese equivalence. After that, the
study will define common strategies applied in the English-Vietnamese journalist term
teaching.
This study focuses on some syntactic and semantic features found in the sports
newspaper headlines in English and Vietnamese to see how they are equivalence.
Besides that, the study only focuses on conceptual ‘Simile’ of sport headlines
particularly about language structures (forms) and functions of these newspaper
headlines.
Comparative method is used to analyze conceptual ‘Simile’ to explore the
Vietnamese using equivalence, hence pointing out syntactic and semantic feature which
cause difficulties for Vietnamese learners and suggesting some implications for
teaching at Academy of Journalism and Communication.
Survey questionnaire in the form of a written test is used as one of data
collection methods to evaluate participants’ ability in understanding conceptual
‘Simile’ in terms of syntactic and semantic features. Then, the statistic method is
applied to present quantitative descriptions in a manageable form to simplify large
amounts of data in a sensible way.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that the overall findings of the present study will be useful to everyone
involved in language, teaching, learning of headlines in Vietnamese because language
teachers and learners in particular will be made more aware of the importance of this
language feature for a more effective and efficient communication.
The first, Theoretical significance.
The study of syntax is the investigation of the rules, principles, and processes
which determine the structure of sentences in human languages. Syntax can be seen as

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the governing principles defining which combinations of linguistic symbols are
deemed to be correctly structured by natural language speakers.
In the Western world, the systematic study of syntax was largely neglected or
conflated with other objects such as logic, until the late 1950s, with the rise of theories
of generative grammar developed by Noam Chomsky and others.
It is this traditional of syntactic inquiry which is continued in our department.
Faculty and students are trained and work in Chomsky a syntax, using the framework
of the Minimalist Program. This approach to syntax is intriguing and challenging
because it seeks to reduce the theoretical apparatus to the bare minimum. Essentially,
syntax is constrained only by the lexicon (the repository of words) as well as the
meaning and sound form of sentences.
Semantics consists of the study of the relationships between symbols or signs such
words, phrases, sentences, and discourses, and what these elements mean or stand in
for:— their denotations and senses.
The second, practical significance
In teaching English, syntactic and semantic features are an essential part of
English communication and they are important for the students to know and understand
conceptual ‘Simile’ is commonly used at the office, in the household and in everyday
conversation. They have become the beans and rice of English, so make sure the
students have more than conceptual ‘Simile’ in their English vocabulary.
In learning English, when they watch movie, cartoon without translating into
Vietnamese they sometimes do not understand whole the contents so students are most
likely using conceptual ‘Simile’ to understand, talk, share their ideas, put forward
opinions and learn different perspectives using English. They all want to be exceptional
English communicators.
The research study could provide information on the issues of journalist. Further,
this study would also be a review on Academy of journalism and communication. One
of my students showed me her journal on Live Journal and I noticed that many other of
our students also had journal there. Students are developing a whole community
through school that is outside of ‘school’. Can some of that community be harnessed
for ‘school’? Maybe it’s because I’m relatively new to teaching, but I am fascinated by
what the students are doing- and learning.

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1.7. DESIGN OF THE STUDY
According to the format of thesis. It will be divided into 5 chapters:
- Chapter 1: Introduction – gives the reason why this topic has been chosen for the
research as well as its aims and objectives, the scope, the significance and
organizational structure of the thesis.
- Chapter 2: Literature review – presents the previous studies relating to the research
area and theoretical background employed for conducting the thesis.
- Chapter 3: Syntactic and semantic features of English sports newspaper headlines and
Vietnamese equivalents
Show syntactic and semantic features in English and compare similarities and
differences of conceptual ‘Simile’ in English sports newspaper headlines and their
Vietnamese equivalents.
- Chapter 4: Common errors made by students at Academy of Journalism and
Communication (AJC) for gifted students when using conceptual ‘Simile’ in English
sports newspaper headlines.
Shows the research implications for teaching and learning English and common
errors made by students as a foreign language can be found as the last part of this
chapter.
- Chapter 5: Conclusion - makes a brief summary of the whole thesis, points out some
limitations and give recommendation as well as suggestions for a further study.
- References come at the end of the study.

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CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical background as well as
relevant knowledge and summaries of previous research’s findings and conclusion
associated with the theme of the research. In other words, the review is to explain
several related terms and definitions as to semantics, syntax, collocation, lexical unit
and approach, verb and structures with the conceptual ‘Simile’ in sports newspaper
headlines. These later would further highlight the features conducted of the study as
well as suggest an array of possible implications for teaching the English in general
and teaching them to Vietnamese students at Academy of Journalism and
Communication (AJC) in particular.
2.1. Review of previous study
In this Chapter, review of related literature and theoretical background including
the syntactic and semantic features of sports newspaper headlines in English and their
Vietnamese equivalents will be provided.
Headlines are obviously one of the striking features of modern newspapers.
Therefore it is not surprising that they have been studied quite extensively not only by
journalists but also by linguists. Some of the few existing linguistic studies of headlines
will be reviewed below.
The headline is the text at the top of a newspaper article, indicating the nature of
the article below it (Wikipedia).
The complexity of headlines has been investigated by Brisau (1969). He
measured complexity in terms of clauses, which were thus singled out from other units
as a gauge of complexity. In 3,000 headlines, Brisau (1969) finds 264 examples of
headlines containing two or more clauses, which is less than 10% of the total number.
Brisau (1969) concludes that more complex structures than two very simple clauses
linked together rarely occur in headlines. He mentions, however, that the linguistic
makeup of the headline could vary widely from one newspaper to another.
Mardh (1980) offers an exhaustive study of the characteristic features of the
headlines of a range of English newspapers. She identifies the following linguistic
features as typical of headlines in English newspapers: the omission of articles; the
omission of verbs and of auxiliaries (the verb "to be" for example); nominalizations;

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the frequent use of complex noun phrases in subject position (in theme position);
adverbial headings, with the omission of both verb and subject; the use of short words
("bid" instead of "attempt"); the widespread use of puns, word play and alliteration;
the importance of word order, with the most important items placed first, even, in some
cases, a verb; and independent "wh" constructions not linked to a main clause (an
example: Why the French don't give a damn), a form not found in standard English.
Van Dijk (1988) analyzed a five-decker from the New York Times. He sees the
journalistic process as beginning with a headline and working through lead to body
copy. He analyzes over 400 headlines in the Dutch press reporting the 1985 Tamil
panic, an occasion of racial tensions between the Dutch and immigrant groups. He
finds that the authorities dominate first position in the headline, with active verbs.
When the disadvantaged Tamils are mentioned first, the verb tends to be passive.
Mouillaud and Tetu, analyzing Le Monde, suggest the following features as
typical of headlines: the suppression of spatial and particularly temporal markers; the
use of the present tense of verbs (where they are used) as opposed to in place of any
other tenses; the replacement of verbs by nominalizations; the suppression of
declarative verbs and the disappearance of signs of speech (quotation marks; personal
pronouns).
In Vietnam, the researchers have some of the regards to the syntactic and semantic
features as well as the headlines or headlines in the newspaper and sports.
In the Ph. Dr. Nguyễn Thị Vân Đông (2007). She analyzes the language structures
of English and Vietnamese headlines in order to find whether they are equivalent
between the two languages. In English, syntactically she concentrates on verbal,
nominal, adverbial, simple, compound and complex headlines. In Vietnamese, her
focus is on one-word, phrasal; and sentence headlines. However, her aim is at
translation However, her aim is at translation. Therefore, more studies on comparing
the characteristics of English and Vietnamese news headlines are necessary. This study
intends to investigate the application of syntactic and semantic features of sports
newspaper headlines in English with reference to the Vietnamese equivalence in order
to uncover to what extent the two languages are compatible in these domains
In the M.A Diệp Quang Ban (2005) in “Ngữ Pháp Tiếng Việt” mentions some
different syntactic and semantic features of them in Vietnamese.

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In the M.A thesis by Trần Thị Lệ Thương (2009) the sport commentaries was
investigated and research in detail. She studied her thesis in the scale of discourse.
In the M.A thesis, Nguyễn Thị Kiều Ngân (2011) has also chosen sports as her
field of investigation. She fully paid her attention to the synonymy between English
and Vietnamese sports commentaries used in the newspaper and magazines.
Up to now, although a number of research topics about syntactic and semantic
features of English headlines with their Vietnamese equivalents have been done. In this
paper, I am especially interested in researching about the syntactic and semantic
features of the conceptual ‘Simile’ because ‘Simile’ is one of common newspaper
headlines. It is not easy for learners to understand deeply and clearly. The manifold
using of the conceptual ‘Simile’ is showed the using in English. This research will be
effective for us to teach English to Vietnamese learners as a second language as well.
2.2. Overview of syntax and semantic theory
2.2.1 Theory of syntax
Within traditional grammar, the syntax of a language is described in term of a
taxonomy of the range of different types of syntactic structures found in the language.
The central assumption underpinning syntactic analysis in traditional grammar is that
phrases and sentences are built up of a series of constituents, each of which belongs to
a specific grammatical category and serves a specific grammatical function.
Syntax is a set of rules in language. It dictates how words from different parts of
speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought. According to R.M.W.
Dixon (1991), syntax deals with the way in which words are combined together. Verbs
have different grammatical properties from language to language but there is always a
major class verb, which includes word referring to motion, rest, attention, giving and
speaking Syntax is understood to be the theory of the structure of sentences in a
language. This view has its direct antecedents in the theory of immediate constituents,
in which the function of syntax is to mediate between the observed forms of a sentence
and its meaning.
Syntax is now the study of the principles and rules that govern the ways in which
words are combined to form phrases, clauses and sentences in a language. Syntax,
which is a subfield of grammar, focuses on the word order of a language and the
relationships between words. In other words, morphology deals with word formation

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out of morphemes whereas syntax deals with phrase and sentence formation out of
words.
Syntax structures are analyzable into sequences of syntactic categories or
syntactic classes, these being established on the basic of the syntactic relationships and
linguistic items have with other items in a construction. Every language has a limited
number of syntactic relations. Subject and object are probably universal of syntactic
relations, which apply to every language. However, just as the criteria for the major
words class noun and verb differ from language to language, so do the ways in which
syntactic relations are marked.
Theory of syntax is a source of studying syntactic features in general and
Attention verb group in particular.
2.2.2 Theory of semantics
Semantics (as the study of meaning) is central to the study of communication and
as communication becomes more and more a crucial factor in social organization, the
need to understand it becomes more and more pressing. Semantics is also at the Centre
of the study of the human mind – thought processes, cognition, conceptualization – all
these are intricately bound up with the way in which we classify and convey our
experience of the world through language.
Because it is, in these two ways, a focal point in man’s study of man, semantics
has been the meeting place of various cross-currents of thinking and various disciplines
of the study. Philosophy, psychology, and linguistics all claim a deep interest in the
subject. Semantics has often seemed baffling because there are many different
approaches to it, and the ways in which they are related to one another are rarely clear
even to writers on the subject. Leech (1990).
Semantics is a branch of linguistics, which deals with meaning or the content of
communication. According to Hurford and Heasley (1983:1), “semantics is the study of
meaning in language”. Language is a means of communication, and people use
language to communicate with others by making conversations, giving information,
and other things to make social relationship. Human beings have been given the
capacity to talk, to communicate with each other, to make meaningful utterances, so
that they are understood by other human beings. They communicate about the world in

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which they live, about themselves, about their thought and feeling, about what has
happened, about what might happen or what they would like to happen, and a lot more.
Hurford and Heasley (1983:5) state, “the giving of information is itself an act of
courtesy, performed to strengthen social relationships”. This is also part of
communication. There are some linguists that try to define semantics. Moreover, as
quoted by Lyons (1977) at first defines semantics as the study of the relations of signs
to the objects to which the signs are applicable. And then he revises his definition,
saying that, semantics is that portion of semiotic which deals with the signification of
sign in all modes of signifying.
David Crystal (1992:347) defines that “semantics is the study of meaning in
language”. Structural semantics applied the principles of structural linguistics to the
study of meaning through the notion of semantic relations (also called sense relation),
such as synonymy and antonyms. In generative grammar, the semantic component is a
major area of the grammar’s organization, assigning a semantic representation to
sentences, and analyzing lexical terms of semantic features. The theory of semantic
field views vocabulary as organized into areas, within which words (lexical items)
interrelate and define each other.
These semantics features of conceptual ‘Simile’ are the basis of analyzing the
semantic features of conceptual ‘Simile’ in English headlines and Vietnamese in
chapter.
2.3. Overview of headlines
2.3.1 Definition of headlines
A headline is often the only thing that readers read in a newspaper, or at least, it is
the first thing that everyone notices in a newspaper. It serves as a guide for the reader
that helps decide whether to continue on reading the whole report or to skip onto
another one. Each headline should be a summary of the news which follows. A
headline should be a sentence, and so it also should have a regular sentence structure
containing a subject and a verb with the exception that headlines normally does not
contain auxiliaries, pronouns, articles, or conjunctions. It means that only lexical, not
grammatical words are used. The major reason for that is the space. It means that only
lexical, not grammatical words are used. The major reason for that is the space. There
is only limited space provided for each headline and the problem of fitting the best

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words may occur. Then the rule of a sentence may be broken, only minor sentences are
used, and such a headline can be rather difficult to understand. Sometimes this happens
for a good reason, as space, but more often this happens on purpose to make the
headline somehow special with the aim to attract the reader's attention to the report or
even to buy the newspaper at all. In that case, readers are mystified, confused and in
the end, after reading the report they can feel disappointed as it did not fulfil their
expectations.
A headline is an important element in a print newspaper and electric newspaper,
according to Oxford Advanced Dictionary – 8th edition (2010) [110], “A headline is a
title printed at the top of a page or at the beginning of a section of a book.”
According to Peters (1995), the headings are short sentences located at the top of
an article aimed at attracting the attention of the reader.
Danuta’s (1998:121) opinion about a headline is that is a unique type of text. It
has a ranger of functions that specifically dictate its shape, content, and structure and it
operates within a range of restrictions that limited the freedom of the writer. In other
words, headline should encapsulate the story in minimum words, attract readers to the
story.
According to Ungerer (2000:48), “a headline describes the essence of a
complicated news story in a few words. It informs quickly and accurately and arouses
the reader’s curiosity”.
In brief, headline is the title given to a news item or an article. It is a condensed
form of writing. It is in fact a part of a whole. The specific functional and linguistic
traits of the headline provides sufficient ground for isolating and analyzing it in a
specific “genre” of journalism.
Let’s see the following examples:
“Johanna Konta’s struggles on clay continued as a final – set slump saw her
close to Laura in the first round of the Marid Open.”
“80% wage of each player will be paid less than last month.”
[Retrieved Sunday, 18th March 2012, mirror.co.uk]
The use of the conceptual ‘Similes’ in the above examples are: ‘as, than’
2.3.2. Classification of headlines

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For the last few years, text mining has been gaining significant importance. Since
knowledge is now available to users through variety of sources. For example:
electronic media, digital media, print media and many more. Due to huge availability
of text in numerous forms, a lot of unstructured data has been recorded by researchers
and have found numerous ways in literature to convert this scattered text into defined
structured volume, commonly known as text classification. Focus on full text
classification. For example: full news, huge documents, long length text etc. is more
prominent as compared to the short length text. In this paper, we have discussed text
classification process, classifiers and numerous feature extraction methodology but all
in context of short texts. For example: news classification based on their headlines.
Existing classifiers and their working methodologies are being compared and results
are presented effectively.
2.4. Overview of conceptual ‘Simile’
Similes are used in literature to make writing more vivid and powerful. In
everyday speech they can be used to convey meaning quickly and effectively, as many
commonly used expressions are similes. For example, when someone says:
“To prepare for the league football, they have to be as busy as a bee.”
It means the team are working hard, as bees are known to be extremely busy.
If someone says: "They are as snug as a bug in a rug after the match.”
It means that they feel very comfortable and cozy or are tucked up tight in bed.
[Retrieved Sunday, 18th March 2012, mirror.co.uk]
Similes can make our language more descriptive and enjoyable. Writers make use
of similes often to add depth and emphasize what they are trying to convey to the
reader or listener. Similes can be funny, serious, mean, or creative.
Similes are a great tool to use in creative language and are fun to come up with.
They not only make what you are writing or saying more interesting, but they can often
intrigue the reader as well. When creating your own similes, watch out for clichés
though and try to go beyond the obvious comparisons.
2.4.1. Definition of conceptual ‘Simile’
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. Simile explicitly
use connecting words (such as like, as, so than, or various verbs such as resemble),
though these specific words are not always necessary. While similes are mainly used in

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forms of sports that compare the inanimate and the living, there are also terms in which
similes and personifications are used for humorous purpose and comparison.
Let see the following example:
“Sally Jenkins began her second stint at The Washington Post in 2000 after
spending the previous decade working as a book author and as a magazine writer.”
It means that Sally Jenkins is compared a magazine writer who writes books.
[Retrieved nie.washingtonpost.com/node/283]
The other examples:
“Leo also played college basketball very badly for Hawaii Pacific.”
It means that Leo played kinds of sports badly. ‘Also’ is used stress in the sentence.
[Retrieved nie.washingtonpost.com/node/283]
2.4.2. Classification of conceptual ‘Simile’
In English, a glance at their Latin and Greek roots offers a simple way of
telling these two closely-related figures of speech apart. ‘Simile’ comes from
the Latin word ‘similis’ (meaning “similar, like”), which seems fitting, since
the comparison indicated by a ‘simile’ will typically contain the words
‘as or like’.
Let see the example:
“My love with football is like a red, red rose” is a simile.
[Retrieved from Scientific Research Publishing]
Different scholars give different classifications from their perspectives. In
accordance with the differences in source domain, conceptual ‘Similes’ can
generally be only classified into ‘Rhyming Similes’.
In Vietnamese, Thuy Nga Nguyen and Ghil'ad Zuckermann (2012) classify
Vietnamese similes into two types: ‘Meaning Similes and Rhyming Similes.’
The following is an example:
‘Can đảm như con sư tử’
"Courage as a lion" whereas the above Vietnamese example is of a rhyming simile,
the English simile “(as) timid as a mouse” is only a semantic simile.
“Khỏe như trâu”
“Strong as a buffalo” whereas the above Vietnamese example is of a rhyming simile,
the English simile “(as) strong as a horse” is only a semantic simile.

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