A Comparative Analysis of Adjective Types and Functions in Print Media: The Star Newspaper and Reader’s Digest Magazine Headlines


  • Jayshan Karunakaran Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Leng Hong Ang Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia




Adjectives, Comparative analysis, Headlines, Print media, Semantic categories, Syntactic functions


Headlines play a crucial role in capturing reader attention in print media, often employing adjectives to create compelling content. Despite their importance, adjectives remain under-researched in comparison to other lexical categories, and their use in print media such as newspapers and magazines has received limited attention. This study aims to identify the types and functions of adjectives in The Star newspaper and Reader’s Digest magazine headlines, focusing on their semantic categories and syntactic functions based on the classification framework proposed by Biber, Conrad, and Leech. Data were collected through textual analysis of 20 print media samples, comprising The Star newspapers and Reader’s Digest magazines. Adjectives were sorted according to semantic categories and further classified based on their syntactic functions in headlines. A total of 651 adjectives were identified in 574 headlines from The Star newspapers, with 426 functioning as descriptors and the remaining 225 as classifiers. In 208 Reader's Digest magazine headlines, 228 adjectives were identified, of which 189 were descriptors and 39 classifiers. Most headlines in both print media predominantly featured emotive, miscellaneous, and size/quantity/extent descriptors. Regarding syntactic functions, 548 adjectives in The Star newspaper headlines functioned as attributive adjectives, followed by 76 as subject predicative, while in Reader’s Digest magazine headlines, 199 adjectives functioned as attributive adjectives and 17 as subject predicative. This research underscores the importance of print media-based analysis and provides valuable insights for future researchers interested in exploring the use of adjectives in print media.



How to Cite

Karunakaran, J. ., & Ang, L. H. (2023). A Comparative Analysis of Adjective Types and Functions in Print Media: The Star Newspaper and Reader’s Digest Magazine Headlines. International Journal of Language Education and Applied Linguistics, 13(1), 12–24. https://doi.org/10.15282/ijleal.v13i1.9188



Research Articles