Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain/Chapter 6. Analysis of pragmalinguistic peculiarities of English slogan in fashion domain

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The research is based on the analysis of pragmalinguistic peculiarities of 50 slogans in fashion domain which were taken from official websites of the manufacturers. The analysis shows that the pragmatic meaning of a slogan is usually based on the semantics of individual words as part of an advertising slogan (one or more); based on the semantics of imperative, which is the slogan itself; based on the background knowledge which is required for understanding of the pragmatic meaning encoded in the advertising text.

Quantitative analysis shows that 29 out of 50 analyzed slogans represent the pragmatic meaning via semantics of individual words; 13 slogans transfer the message through imperative; 8 slogans are examples of how background knowledge helps decode the pragmatic meaning of a slogan.

Analysis of the ways of representation of pragmatic meaning in advertising slogans in fashion domain[edit]

Pragmatics is implemented in semantics of individual words[edit]

Analysis of the first group of slogans in which pragmatics is implemented in semantics of individual words, lets us suggest that pragmatic message can be encoded in one word as well as in many words. The slogan of «Louis Vuitton» is an example of how the pragmatic meaning is realized on the basis of the semantics of one word.

The pragmatically meaningful word in the slogan It's a process of self-discovery is the word «self-discovery», which expresses the philosophy of the brand: the choice of clothes is the process of finding yourself. This affirmative sentence uses the philosophical category «self-knowledge», «self-awareness», or «self-discovery» in order to emphasize the idea that the choice of clothes is a creative process, based on the same process of self-discovery and self-development, because you can discover and present yourself only through things which reflect your ideas, thoughts, and actions. Therefore, the main objective of the brand is to create clothes that reveal your identity and emphasize your uniqueness.

Louis Vuitton "It's a process of self-discovery"

Pragmatic meaning is based on the semantics of imperative[edit]

Analysis of the second category of slogans in which the pragmatic meaning is based on the semantics of imperative reveals features of interaction between form (structure) and content (semantics). Most frequently imperative is used as a tool to tranfer the pragmatic meaning in slogans of sport goods and companies whose target audience is active youth. In the first case, the usage of imperative can be explained by functional features of promoted products. Sport is the way of life; it is the set of exercises to train, develop and strengthen the body [30]. These specific features of this field of activity explain why imperative is percieved as a call to action, to the result, to the better self. In the second case the usage of imperative is explained by the needs of the target audience. Their life style is about movement, action, activity, and freedom. Imperative is percieved as a means of motivation, encouragement, influence. In addition, the imperative is one of the most successful means of reducing the "distance" between a producer and a consumer, because it makes the message more personal, it is seen as an appeal to the individual. This creates the effect of reliability, the image of a manufacture who knows his audience, who thinks about his audience and who can afford the imperative tone (for example, Be faster! (Adidas), Just do it! (Nike)), give advice (Promise her anything but give her Arpege (Arpege, Lanvin ), warning (Expect everything (HUGO BOSS)). All these meanings are shaped by imperative and reveal the intentions of a manufacturer.

The slogan of «Adidas» Be faster! is an example of how the pragmatic meaning is realised through the imperative form of the message. Be faster! sound like advice from a coach, however it promises that the products made under such motto will help athletes to get better results. A call to action, which is the meaning of the imperative, pushes you forward, inspires to show better results, implies the concept of a comparison to the previous results (assuming that when an athlete was dressed in a different uniform (not «Adidas»), he ran fast, now wearing «Adidas» he will run faster.)That is, imperative, other than a call to action and movement, and laid the guidance of success, for the best results.

"Be faster!" by Adidas

Pragmatics is realised through the background knowledge[edit]

The analysis of the 3rd category of slogans, in which pragmatics is realised through the backround knowledge, reveals differences between perception of the pragmatic message taking into account the background knowledge or excluding it from the interpretation. Here is the example of how the message of the slogan can changed before and after appealing to the background knowledge.

«John Galliano» launched the perfume under the slogan 'The number 1 fragrance by John Galliano. The emphasis in a slogan is made on the authority of a manufacturer, his name (John Galliano) and reputation. John Galliano is recognized as a prominent figure in the fashion world, whose taste is trust, whose viewpoint is listened to, so without even knowing that smell, we can suppose it is elegant, unique, memorable, because the same can be said about Galliano's work in general. In addition, the trust and confidence are created by using #1 in the slogan, implying that Galliano himself prefers this fragrance, picks it out of other perfumes as the best one among others. Thus, the slogan creates the effect of trust and reliability, which is gained by using such words as #1 and John Galliano. These words perform the same pragmatic function - they utilize a manufacturer's authority to induce the confidence of the client. A person who is not interested in the fashion world and who does not know who John Galliano is, the slogan will mean nothing. So, to get the expected perception of the message a person should possess some extra linguistic knowledge which will help to get the proper pragmatic meaning.

John Galliano's Fragrance

Analysis of typical pragmatic meanings of English slogans in fashion domain[edit]

In order to identify the main pragmatic meanings implemented in the slogans in fashion domain, all the slogans were divided into categories according to the advertised product – slogans which represent clothing in general; slogans which promote sport clothing; slogans of jewelry; and slogans which present the perfume. The main pragmatic messages were investigated. The results show that the content of the slogan largely depends on the advertised product.

  • Thus, slogans which promote clothes often accentuate such concepts as style, success, reliability, the high quality of materials, natural appearance, simplicity and comfort.
  • Another category of slogans that bears vivid pragmatic meaning is group of slogans which promote sports clothing. The pragmatic component of these slogan is concentrated on the efficiency of the advertised products, promises extraordinary achievements in sport.
  • Slogans which represent jewelry describe the promoted product as the measure of wealth, status, taste. Jewelry has alway been the best gift for women. And it is not only the symbol of wealth, but it is also a wise and realibale way to invest money. These are the main pragmatic messages encoded in slogans in jewelry.
  • Slogans which advertise perfume emphasize the inner freedom (Expect everything (Hugo Boss,)) feelings (Elixir of happiness (Dolce Vita, Dior,) the connection between the inner world of a buyer and the perfume he or she wears (The luxury of freedom (Miss Dior Cherie), Forever different (Karl Lagerfeld)). This image of the advertised product emphasizes the perception of fragrance as the last element in creating the perfect look.

References[edit]