Operationalizing the Syntactic Complexity: A Corpus Based Evaluation of Online Newspaper Editorials


  • Bisma Butt Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics & Communication, University of Management and Technology, Lahore
  • Khalid Ahmed Associate Professor University of Central Punjab
  • Ali Haider Principal, Jinnah College of Education, Gujrat


Online newspapers, editorials, syntactic complexity


The purpose of the study is to unfold the syntactic complexity of editorials in Pakistani online English newspapers (The Dawn, The Nation, Daily Times, The Express Tribune and Daily Pakistan). L2 syntactic complexity analyzer (L2SCA) is used to examine the data of five online English newspapers’ editorials. All the editorials of the targeted newspapers are written by non-native writers. This study reveals that the editorials in the newspapers are aimed to impact the opinions of readers on various controversial issues. The findings of the study reveal fourteen syntactic complexity measures. Different production units and syntactic constructions are found out, for instance, the sentence structure of The Nation newspaper is more difficult as shown in their production unit length which associates with the greater level of proficiency. On the other hand, the highest level of subordination can be seen in Daily Times which shows more complexity at the start as well as at the intermediate proficiency levels.