A Syntactic Analysis of Commentaries of the Selected European Football Matches
Language is inherently adaptive as it has the undeniable potential to adapt to every aspect of human endeavours. It is the nexus that binds people and society together. It is undeniably relevant to every field of human endeavours as there is hardly any aspect of human fields where language is not relevant or being used. Every aspect of human endeavours where language is being used can be referred to as context of situations. Language is therefore context-bound, specific and sensitive as it can mostly be understood or interpreted based on the context it is being used. Football commentaries discourse is one of many contexts where language is being used to describe the events on football pitches during football matches. The study therefore identified and discussed the sentence types inherent in the select commentaries of European football matches. It also related the sentence types to the context of selected football commentaries. This was with a view to characterising the soccer commentary genre. The study employed both primary and secondary sources of data. The primary data consisted of commentaries of the following three European Football Matches: the 2005 Champions League final match between AC Milan and Liverpool football club, the 2008 Champions League final match between Chelsea and Manchester United football clubs and the 2012 Champions League final match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea football clubs. The selected football commentaries were chosen because the commentators were considered good exemplars of the English language usage. The data were downloaded from www.youtube.com. The data were analysed based on Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics. The secondary data include books, journal articles and the Internet. The findings showed that there was a prevalent use of ellipsis, substitutions, non-finite clauses, simple and compound sentences. The findings further showed the use of thematisations in the commentaries. More importantly was the predominant use of minor sentences in a way that made football commentaries a distinct genre. The study concluded that there were inherent linguistic features that made the selected football commentaries distinct from any other discourse.