Macrolinguistic Complex Systems in Zimbabwean Political News Reports: A Systemic Analysis



Otto Tendayi Mponda


Work Unit:

University Western Cape


Vol.4 No.2 (Serial No.5) 2016






This study investigated the ideological use of linguistics features in online news articles published by The Zimbabwe Herald Online newspaper and The Zimbabwean Independent Online newspaper. The data was gathered during the period between 2008 and 2016 where there was media hype regarding the Zimbabwean political and economic instability. During this period in question Zimbabwe has had a constant phase of bad political and economic instability. Therefore, this publication is very crucial as it comes at a moment when Zimbabwe is undergoing its worst political and economic phase in years. Even though Zimbabwe's political situation seems to be unstable, the current government is adamant that the situation will get better before its its next presidential election in 2018. In 2009 the two political parties Zanu- PF and MDC forged a Unity Government, the end of the unity- government triggered power struggles within both Zanu- PF and MDC, which made Zimbabwean politics even more complicated. Consequently, the current study made use of thirty editorial articles ranging between 900 tokens to 1200 tokens. All the files gathered were transferred into text files so that they could be easily transferable into Antconc 3.2.1, which is a concordance software programme used in corpus linguistics to analyze written corpora. The lexical features that were identified in the study were analyzed through the use of Fairclough’s (1989) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) whilst grammatical features such as plurality, person and tense were analyzed through the use of Halliday’s (1985) Systemic Functional Grammar. The findings from this study revealed that journalists of the articles from The Zimbabwe Herald Online newspaper made use of linguistic and grammatical features that were meant to maintain Zanu- PF ideologies whilst corpus from The Zimbabwean Independent Online newspaper revealed the use of linguistic features that favoured the ideologies of the MDC.

Key Words:

macrolinguistic complex systems, Zimbabwean political news reports, systemic analysis




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