The referential function

The referential function is oriented towards the context, or towards a referent.
By this, we mean the cognitive function of a message, i.e. the communication of information or the description of a circumstance.
This function is dominant in news or similar types of texts. (Commentaries, incidently, are dominated by the emotive function; they are subjective.) Of course, the referential function plays an important role in a lot of literary texts; it is, however, subordinate to the poetic function.

Example:
- In 1900, Oscar Wilde died in Paris at the age of forty-six.



Resources:
Roman Jakobson, "Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics" (1960) published in Cook, Jon (ed.). Poetry in Theory. An Anthology 1900-2000. Oxford: Blackwell, 350-358.

Christoph Küper, "Sprache und Metrum", Max Niemeyer Verlag Tübingen, 1988, 11-15