• Peace Chinwendu Israel
  • Helena Asantewaa Dumfeh
Keywords: Syntax, Language and Media, Newspaper Headlines, Daily Graph, Daily Guide


This paper examined the syntactic choices made by journalists in Ghanaian daily newspaper headlines using Halliday & Matthiessen’s (2004) Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The aim was to investigate syntactic devices used in these headlines in relation to press social roles as well as the ideological nuances in such syntactic devices in Ghanaian print media reports.  Two Ghanaian most widely-read newspapers – Daily Graphic and Daily Guide – were purposively selected for this study. Forty news headlines covering issues such as politics, education, and economic crisis were examined from the editions published between January 2021 and March 2023. This timeframe was selected because it was a time of intense and massive stories/news in the airwaves largely due to the aftermath of the global coronavirus pandemic and the impending political elections in 2024. The Findings revealed that Ghanaian newspaper reporters’ choice of syntactic devices such as modality, transitivity, voice, agency and action and modification are largely influenced by the need to perform some social functions through syntactic maneuvers and themalize some moral and ethical roles of the press in sustaining democracy for effective nation building in Ghana.

Author Biographies

Peace Chinwendu Israel

University of Education, Winneba, Ghana

Helena Asantewaa Dumfeh

University of Education, Winneba, Ghana