Die Wiedergabe der Wirklichkeit : Textmuster, Kohärenzmarkierung und Redewiedergabe in deutschen und schwedischen Tageszeitungen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This thesis, “Die Wiedergabe der Wirklichkeit” (“The Reported Reality”), explores from a contrastive perspective what linguistic strategies serious German and Swedish newspapers use in different text genres as they report from reality. Two German – die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and die Süddeutsche Zeitung – and two Swedish newspapers – Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet – are studied. For each newspaper, two genres, news and background material, are analysed. In total, 80 articles are investigated, equally distributed between the two languages, the two genres and the four newspapers. All articles cover in some way the Swedish presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2001.
In order to elucidate some important aspects of the reported reality, the investigation is performed on three different levels. On the first, global level, two kinds of text patterns are studied: text patterns as disposition types, and text patterns as an interaction between the newspaper’s own voice and the voices of the persons whose statements are being reported. On the second, middle level, the use of ten different cohesion markers is investigated in eight sample articles. On the lowest level, finally, the different grammatical and lexical means for conveying reported speech are studied. The different character of the three levels means that different methods of research are used.
As a result of the investigation, both similarities and differences can be observed between the languages and the genres respectively. In both languages, the same genres and the same text patterns are used to the same extent. Both languages use the information from the persons whose statements are being reported to approximately the same extent, and they use sentences of about the same length.
There are, however, two kinds of differences between the two languages. First, there are stylistic differences concerning different traditions of journalism. Secondly, there are differences that depend on the various grammatical means available, especially the use of the subjunctive verb form in reported speech in German.
The different functions of the two genres are – regardless of language –very obvious. Whereas the news articles to a large extent use the statements of external speakers for the immediate reporting of events, the background material offers journalists a way of conveying reflections from their own perspective.


  • Dag Sandahl
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • “The Reported Reality”, contrastive, German, Swedish, serious newspapers, genres, news, background material, three levels, text patterns, cohesion markers, grammatical and lexical means
Translated title of the contributionThe Reported Reality : Text patterns, coherence marking and reported speech in German and Swedish daily newspapers
Original languageGerman
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2011 Apr 9
  • Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
Print ISBNs978-91-7473-093-7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2011-04-09 Time: 10:15 Place: Övre Palaestra, Universitetsplatsen, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Lenk, Hartmut Title: docent Affiliation: Helsingfors universitet ---