Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain/Printable version

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Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain

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This project focuses on the analysis of the pragmalinguistic features of advertising slogans in fashion domain in a communicative aspect. The research is aimed at revealing the peculiarities of the realization of the pragmatic function in the advertising slogans from the point of view of the actual division of the sentence as well as at generalizing the pragmatic messages given by the slogans under analysis. The project objective is to define and to characterize pragmalinguistic peculiarities of the slogans in fashion domain through the analysis of semantic, stylistic, structural and functional unity of English slogans. The project is meant for advanced users of English language for whom pragmalinguistics is of a special interest. The research will help acquire knowledge about advertising discourse, pragmalinguistic peculiarities of slogan in fashion domain and will make it possible to use the information for scientific purposes as well as in everyday life.

The book consists of six chapters. The first five parts present the theoretical basis for pragmatic approach in discourse studies, the problem of the advertising text and the slogan as its component; investigate the notion of the actual division of the sentence and its main objects. The sixth chapter contains the analysis of the pragmalinguistic characteristics of the advertising slogans in the fashion domain in contrastive and communicative aspects and the main pragmatic messages given by these slogans.

  • The first chapter of this paper focuses on the pragmatics of the advertising discourse. The latter is viewed as a linguistic phenomenon, which includes the intentions of the author and the way the receiver understands them. The notions of “sentence” and “utterance” are defined as basic elements of the language and speech domains; the notions of “content” and “sense” are presented as different planes of expression of the thought.
  • The second chapter deals with the advertising text, its main linguistic features and the problem of its definition. The classification cited in this part shows different approaches to the explanation of the advertising text and its main characteristics.
  • Finally, genres, the structure, and linguistic and stylistic features of the advertising text are described in the third, fourth and fifth chapters of the book reciprocally.
  • The sixth chapter of the work contains the sample analysis of 3 English slogans of the most famous fashion brands in terms of their pragmalinguistic features. Based on the semantic, structural and functional analysis of the slogans, the way pragmatic messages are fulfilled in them is researched.
  • The whole set of analysed slogans with the statistic data can be found in Appendix.

Key words: discourse, pragmalinguistic features, slogan, semantics, actual division of the sentence, background knowledge, imperative.

Chapter 1. Pragmatics of advertising discourse

Discourse is a complex communicative unity, which includes a text and extra-linguistic factors, which are necessary to understand a text. Discourse is such a dimension understood as a complex of utterences, which combines the process and the result of speaking (communicative) act. Its inner structure is built on syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations between formal elements of the system and defines the pragmatic position of the subject of the utterance, limiting the field of possible text meanings.[1] From the formalistic point of view discourse is the creation that exceeds the sentence and is compared to complex syntactic unity and text.[2] Speaking about functionality, discourse is seen as combination of functionally organized and determined by context language usages. Discourse is determined by a situation it appeares in. Discourse as the situational phenomenon includes a set of social, cultural, and pragmatical factors, which are out of linguistics, but they do influence the process of speaking.[3]

Levels of language[edit | edit source]

M.A.K.Halliday in his work An Introduction to Functional Grammar [4] presents the concept of the notion of pragmatics. Halliday divides a language into Extralinguistic and Linguistic levels. The Extralinguistic levels include the Context of Culture, which shapes the meanings of any interaction in social practices, and the Context of Situation, which gives substance to the words and grammatical patterns produced by speakers or writers. These two contexts are realised on the Linguistic levels, which are divided into two levels: the Content level and the Expression level. The Content level is further divided into Semantics and Lexicogrammar. These are further realised on the Expression level, which includes the Phonology (in speaking), Gestures (in signed languages) and Graphology (in writing).

Levels of language (according to M.A.K. Halliday)

Genres of discourse[edit | edit source]

Teun Van Dijk writes that the term "discourse" is used to refer to different genres, "political discourse", "scientific discourse", "news discourse" [5]. He added that the known types of text added a new genre that "fills the space newspapers and screen - active and persuasive advertising." The advertising discourse is a kind of institutional discourse. Guy Gook identifies two main types of discourse, personal, or self-centered, and institutional [1]. In the first case, the speaker acts as a person, with all the individual characteristics of the world-view, the second - as a representative of a particular social institution. Institutional discourse is a set of communication which is based on the status and the role within the society or institution. A stereotype is an essential feature that helps to distinguish institutional discourse from personal. Institutional discourse is based on two important elements: the purpose and participants of communication[6]. The purpose of advertising communication is not only to attract the attention of the audience, but also to encourage the greatest part of it to action.

Communicative roles in discourse[edit | edit source]

Major participants in institutional discourse are social institution members (agents) and people who address them (clients). Communicative roles are cliches within the institutional discourse; they are the key to understanding the whole system of relations in the particular situation. They help to clearly distinguish the range of duties and rights (original rules), which will be later interpreted as the basic elements for pragmatic text.

Pragmatics[edit | edit source]

Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and semiotics that studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. Unlike semantics, which examines meaning that is "coded" in a given language, pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar, lexicon, etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance, any pre-existing knowledge about those involved, the inferred intention|intent of the speaker, and other factors.[6] The basic idea of ​​pragmatics is language that can be understood and explained only in the broader context of its usage. The concept is a basic operation in the pragmatic approach to language. Pragmatics studies all the conditions under which people use language signs. By the conditions the adequate selection and usage elf language units in order to achieve the goals of communication are understood. J.L. Austin, analysing the impact on the members of the communication act during speech activity, came to the conclusion that pragmatics is a branch of semiotics, which studied the linguistic sign in broadcasting, including the complex issues related to the speaker, the addressee and their interaction in the communication process and the situation of communication.[3]

Advertising discourse[edit | edit source]

Advertising discourse is "pragmatic discourse" because it actualises particular communication strategies. These strategies are implemented within the speech act, which is the basis for the exchange of information between participants of communication. The theory of speech acts is associated primarily with the name of John Langshaw Austin, who drew attention to the fact that the intonation of the utterance may be not only a message which contains some information, but also it may include some other actions, for example, request, advice, or warning. Within the theory of linguistic philosophy of Austin and Searle there was an attempt to proposed the distinction of locution (the act of speech,) illocution (the realisation of any communicative act in the process of speaking,) and perlocution (impact on feelings, thoughts and actions of others and getting results.)[3] When the participants of the communicative act interact two processes happen simultaneously - locution and illocution. The utterance is being pronounced and the utterance is being heard. A number of issues that pragmatics studies are relevant to promotional activities, which implies the impact on the recipient. Each ad text is designed for a perlocution effect. The pragmatic orientation of any advertising text is to provoke the recipient to act. The effectiveness of communication by means of advertising lies in how successful was the impact on the recipient of the information. N.D. Arutyunova analysing the recipient factor in the speech act, points out the relation between the pragmatic speech act, the speaker, and the communicative situation itself. All these factors influence the way the recipient decodes the message. So-called agreement between all the elements of the communicative act ensures adequate communication where the message of a speaker is properly decoded by a receiver of the message.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Cook, Guy. The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.
  2. Searle, J.R. “What a Speech Act Is?” New in Foreign Linguistics. Iss. 17. Moscow: Progress,1986. 151-170. Print.
  3. a b c Austin, J.L. “The Meaning of a Word.” Philosophical Papers by J.L. Austin. Ed. J.O. Urmson and G.J. Warnock. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961. 23-43. Print.
  4. Halliday, M. A. K., and C. M. I. M. Matthiessen. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd ed.) London: Arnold, 2004. Print.
  5. Dijk, Teun Van. Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. London: Sage, 1998. Print.
  6. a b Mey, Jacob L. Pragmatics: An Introduction (2nd ed.) Oxford: Blackwell, 2001.

Chapter 2. Definition and classification of advertising text

Advertising is an inevitable part of our consumer society whose outstanding feature is its competitive fight. “...Advertising is not some external curiosity which we examine, from which we are separated and superior, but something we are part of, and which is part of us...” [1]. It is everywhere around us: in newspapers, in magazines, on billboards along the streets, on TV, in radio, in means of public transport and in any place the sponsor pays for to distribute his message.

Definition of advertisement[edit | edit source]

There are many definitions of the term “advertisement” in modern linguistic literature.

  1. The American Heritage Dictionary says that the advertisement is:
    • The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
    • The business of designing and writing advertisements.[2]
  2. Pride defined advertising as a beneficial kind of non personal communication executed to promote and publicize an organization and its products.[3]
  3. Advertisement is a concrete manifestation of advertising.[4]
  4. According to the Investorwords glossary advertisement is a description or presentation of a product, idea, or organization, in order to induce individuals to buy, support, or approve of it. [5]
  5. Greg Myers believes that advertising can be seen as a specific field of social communication between advertisers and the target audience of the advertising message to actively influence the audience and make them buy the promoted product.. [6]

All these definitions have in common the fact, that advertising is a means of promotion the product, idea, or organization on the market with the aim to give information and to persuade people of the advantage of the product and induce them to take and action (e.g. buy it).

History of advertisement[edit | edit source]

Advertising traces its history back to ancient times. The first forms of advertising messages were transferred by word of mouth, however, in the ruins of Pompeii commercial messages and election campaign displays have been found. Frank Jefkins states that "shouts" of those who announced the main events have become the Latin verb «reclamare», which means "shouting" and derives from the verb and the name of the phenomenon of advertising. [7]
J. Lapsanska adds that Egyptians used Papyrus to create sales messages and wall posters, while in Greece and Rome lost-and-found advertising on papyrus was common. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient media advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa and South America. [8]
With the form of advertising, we could meet in the marketplaces, where the sellers used to shout and extol their products. In the course of time, people more and more tried to differentiate their products and began to find out new ways of presenting. They started to accentuate the visual aspect of the advertisement. With the expansion of colour printing and colourful posters the streets began to revel in colours. These posters were ancestors to our modern billboards.
As the economy and the trade were expanding during the 19th century, the need for advertising grew. Gradually, advertising transformed into a modern, more scientific and sophisticated conception. New visual techniques have been launched. Not only the content of the message is important, but also the form. The creativity of copywriters, who are finding new ways, leads to the richness of various forms of advertising.

Functions of advertisement[edit | edit source]

The goal of advertisement (to make audience buy the product) defines its functions. The main functions of the social communication are informative, pragmatic, economic, aesthetic and communicative.[9]

1) informative function:
advertisement supplies the necessary information to consumers so that they know what is available and where to buy it. It broadcasts information about products, services and ideas sold on the open market through a variety of media portals. It reveals the special features being sold, what color and size a product is and where it can be bought.
2) pragmatic function:
advertisement is not only a text, but it is a communicative means which is used by a producer of a product in order to persuade the audience to buy a product. In other words pragmatic function realises in a certain impact on a recipient via language and provokes him to react (imperative, exclamation, question).
3) economic function:
economic function proves that effective advertisement enhances the sales level and increases profits;
4) aesthetic function:
views an advertisement as a kind of art, because it uses the most effective means of the latest;
5) communicative function:
advertisement is a process of communication between a customer and a manufacturer; in such a way the information is transmitted.

Types of advertisement[edit | edit source]

There are many ways to classify advertisements. This classification is based on the purpose of advertisement.

  1. According to Geoffrey Leech most frequent and important type of advertisements is ‘commercial consumer advertisement’ which is directed towards the audience with the aim of promoting sales of a product or service. This type of advertisement uses most money, professional skills, and advertising space.” [10] Most of the TV commercials belong to this category.
  2. Another type of commercial advertisement is ‘prestige advertisement’. Here the name and the positive image of the company are advertised rather than a product or a service.
  3. In industrial or trade advertisement appears when a company advertises its products or services to other firms, so the communication is between equals. They both (a copywriter and a reader) get particular knowledge about the product advertised. Therefore, “industrial advertisement" typically lays greater emphasis on factual information than prestige and consumer advertisement and less emphasis on the persuasive elements.” [11]
  4. A special type of advertisement is non-commercial advertisement, which represents purposes of associations and societies and is usually related to charity or political propaganda.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cook, Guy. The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.
  2. American Heritage Dictionary Entry: Advertisement. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  3. Pride, William. Marketing 2014. Oxford: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
  4. "Advertisement." Motto. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  5. "Advertising." InvestorWords. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  6. Myers, Greg. Words in Ads. London: Arnold, 1997. Print.
  7. Jefkins, Frank. Advertising. London: Pearson Education Ltd, 2000. Print.
  8. Lapanska, Jana. “The Language of Advertising with the Concentration on the Linguistic Means and the Analysis of Advertising Slogan.” MA thesis. Komenskeho University, 2006. Print.
  9. Havranek, Bohuslav. “The Functional Differentiation of the Standard Language.” A Prague School Reader on Aesthetics, Literary Structure and Style. Ed. Paul Garvin. Washington: Washington Linguistics Club, 1955. Print.
  10. Leech, Geoffrey. English in Avertising: A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain (English Language Series). London: Longman, 1972. Print.
  11. Vestergaard, Torben, and Kim Schroder. The Language of Advertising. New York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1985. Print.

Chapter 3. Genre peculiarities of advertising text

It is possible to think of adverts as belonging to different categories or GENRES. These genres have different purposes, they use different techniques and offer different gratifications to their audiences. That is, they are constructed according to different rules or convention. Advertisement has all the features of the text, including the genre features. The general theory of genres considers the text, which belongs to advertisement, as historically formed unity with similar structural and compositional characteristics.[1]

[edit | edit source]

It is known that genres can be identified differently. One of the most popular ways to identify the genre is to use the particular genre schema, which means to find the elements, which are characteristic for the particular discourse of the genre. Due to the language of newspapers and magazines, which use different ways of address (advertisement, life story, doctor’s advice, poster, price list,) advertisement was defined as evaluative text (discourse.) Judith Williamson states that evaluative discourse can be regarded as a form of discourse, as the means of communication" that belongs to the "evaluative genre" which includes such genres as diary entries, letters, reviews, comments, advertising texts, notes, etc. "[2]

Advertisment: Palette of Genres[edit | edit source]

V. Uchenova, S. Shomova, T. Greenberg in their book "Advertisement: Palette of Genres" (Ученова В.В. "Реклама: палитра жанров"), which is dedicated to advertising activity, present the genres of advertisement and genre division of printed advertisement, radio and TV advertisement, and main types of outdoor advertisement. The authors note that "functional peculiarities of advertisement genres can be explained by the target audience orientation which means to push the recipient to the needed action, i.e. to buy, to vote for a particular candidate, to choose particular play, to participate in charity event. The leading role of pragmatic imperative in advertising activity causes the usage of journalistic genres such as advertorial, charity advertisement, and informative advertisement.[3]

Advetorial[edit | edit source]

An advertisement in the form of editorial content is called advetorial. The term "advertorial" is a blend of the words "advertisement" and "editorial." Merriam-Webster dates the origin of the word to 1946.[4]Advertorials depend heavily on text. They are designed to create the impression of informed opinion and authority. They often rely on expert opinion. The language in them often uses jargon or technical language. Political advertising might also be considered as part of this genre. More about advertorial here.

Charity advertisement[edit | edit source]

Generally speaking, all advertisements strive to create a response in the audience - whether it is to buy something, to think differently about a product, to remember the name of a product or company or whatever. Charity ads depend on a an immediate response more than most - usually, what they want to do is to get the audience to donate money. This is a very, very difficult thing to do, and because of this, charity ads often strive to be original, engaging, striking, shocking - basically, to be notable and memorable in some way. Charity ads often try to create a narrative; they tend to focus on one individual in order to create empathy between the audience and the subject. Imperative verbs (orders, like 'GIve' or 'Call') are common, as are signifiers of immediacy ('Call NOW'), for obvious reasons. They often contain necessary factual information (addresses, email details or phone numbers for example.) Thus, we will often find a mix of persuasive and informative writing and imagery.

Informative advertisement[edit | edit source]

Obviously, informative advertisements are similar to other genres such as the charity ad and the advertorial. They are not quite the same, however. They might try to get the audience to 'do' something - call a helpline, for example - but their chief purpose is usually to educate or to change ideas. As with charity ads, this is a profoundly difficult thing to do, so these ads can sometimes use very engaging or even shocking images. On the other hand, since they often strive to educate, they can also be heavily text-based.

Extralinguistic peculiarities of advertising text[edit | edit source]

The specific language of the text of advertising is determined by extralinguistic factors such as payment for the billboard rent, the presence of other ads, pragmatic orientation of the advertising text, oversaturation of the information sphere, high advertising rates and the time a consumer is ready to spend on your advertisement, which is owned by the consumer. So print (trade) advertising is semantic and structural unity, which contains the author's attitude to what is stated in the advertisement, anthropocentrism, subject correlation and consistency.[5] At the same time the promotional text combines linguistic and extra-linguistic factors, which create a positive pragmatic orientation[6] - make the target audience interested in the promoted product or service.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bowring, Maggie and Carter Ronald. Working with Texts. London and New York: Routledge Boveé,1997. Print.
  2. Williamson, Judith. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd, 1998. Print.
  3. Ученова В.В. Реклама: палитра жанров / Ученова В.В., Шомова С.А., Гринберг Т.Э., Конаныхин К.В. – М.: РИП-холдинг, 2001. –100 с.
  4. "Advertorial." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  5. Spitzer, Leo. “American Advertising Explained as Popular Art.” Essays on English and American Literature. Ed. Anna Hatcher. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1962. Print.
  6. Williamson, Judith. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd, 1998. Print.

Chapter 4. Structure of advertising text

Advertising text is understood not only as a communication unit, but as a complex semiotic entity which is a sequence of symbolic units, expressed in terms of structural elements (slogan, title, the main text (body), font, colour and other graphical tools, drawings, company name, logo) that are the most effectively used to achieve the main goal - to influence the audience in order to create the needed effect.

Structure of advertisement[edit | edit source]

Advertising text consists of four main elements: title, subtitle, body, slogan. Of course, not every advertising text consists of the elements mentioned above. The usage of each element is determined by the specific conditions and goals that can be achieved only through representation of the advertising text.

Title[edit | edit source]

The title draws attention to the text. Its goal is to make a potential buyer be interested in the promoted product or service. It is the anchor of the advertisement because it is the most effective element which calls the recipient a to action.

Subtitle[edit | edit source]

Subtitle is the bridge between the title and the main text (body). If a recipient is interested after hearing or reading a title, the subtitle gives another opportunity to make him buy.

Body[edit | edit source]

The main text (body) presents a complete and specific information about the product, expands the facts mentioned in the title and subtitle. It informs and persuades. It make the advertisement reasonable.

Slogan[edit | edit source]

The final phrase of any advertisement is a slogan. "Slogan - a short advertising motto which usually precedes or follows the advertising appeal. It is one of the main tools for drawing attention and interest of the audience" [37]. A slogan usually repeats the main message of the advertising text. It happens because the beginning and the end of the advertisement are those parts, which are the easiest to remember. They are more emotional, more vivid and brighter than other parts of the advertising text.

Advertising slogan as communicative phenomenon[edit | edit source]

Advertising slogan has many definitions.

  1. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines it as a word or phrase that is easy to remember, used for example by a political party or in advertising to attract people’s attention or to suggest an idea quickly. [1]
  2. It is “short, memorable advertising phrase: "Just Do It," when a product or company uses a slogan consistently, the slogan can become an important element of identification in the public’s perception of the product.”
  3. Greg Myers uses the term "slogan" for any catchy phrase.[2]

Functions of slogan[edit | edit source]

The advertising slogan (a motto of the brand) is a bright, catchy phrase that is easy to remember and which represents the main idea of the campaign using the vivid imagery. A slogan helps distinguish a company among other companies and adds integrity to the series of its promotional activities. Important characteristics of a slogan are rhythmic and phonetic repetition, contrast, word play and the effect of a hidden dialogue [3].Slogan plays the most important role in the advertisement. Being the last part in the commercial utterance, it not only concludes everything which was stated in the body of the advertisement, but also repeats the main idea compactly and is the most memorable part of the advertisement whose function is to catch the recipient's attention. Along with promoted brand name it expresses the main idea of the advertising concept. Very often an advertising text consists of a promoted brand name and a slogan, which goes with it. [4].

Categorization of slogans[edit | edit source]

Maggie Bowring divides slogans into 3 groups: slogans which represent the company; slogans which promote the advertising campaign; and slogans which promote a product or a service.

  1. The slogan of the company presents the information about the “philosophy” of a company and emphasizes the benefits of the products or the company itself. Such slogans usually are a part of a logo. [5]
  2. The slogan, which promotes the advertising campaign, usually applies to the entire campaign thus serves as a kind of a title to all the activities which take place during the campaign.
  3. Trade slogans are associated with a particular product or service they promote.

So, we can say that the slogan is an independent genre type of advertising text which has its own stylistic and lexical features that distinguish it among other components of an advertising text.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Slogan." Oxfordlearnersdictionaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  2. Myers, Greg. Words in Ads. London: Arnold, 1997. Print.
  3. Leech, Geoffrey. English in Avertising: A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain (English Language Series). London: Longman, 1972. Print.
  4. Spitzer, Leo. “American Advertising Explained as Popular Art.” Essays on English and American Literature. Ed. Anna Hatcher. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1962. Print.
  5. Bowring, Maggie and Carter Ronald. Working with Texts. London and New York: Routledge Boveé,1997.Print.

Chapter 5. Linguostylistic peculiarities of advertising text

Is there such a thing as advertising language? Certainly, the language of advertising is neither variety nor a register in its own right. Rather, the language of advertising is able to take on any form that required for communicating its message, thus covering and utilising the entire linguistic continuum. After a speaking the language of the recipient is one of the major prerequisites of successful sales talk. It has to be noted that the description of the linguistic features of advertising language does not represent comprehensive overview, but rather an operational selection of linguistic features and details that can be used for serving the marketing goals.

Lexical features of advertisement[edit | edit source]

Coinage[edit | edit source]

Coinage, according to Longman Dictionary, means "a word or a phrase that has been recently invented"[1]. Advertisements are full of coined words to be lively and eye-catching.
For example:

Give a Timex to all, to all a good time. (Timex, a brand name of watch)
Timex, being a coined noun, is formed originally from the two words "time" and "excellent". The new word is short and easy to remember.
TODAY ONLY! An egg-cellent sale. Find the pink eggs hidden throughout our website for extra savings on select individual brushes! (Sigma brushes)

Comparative and superlative adjectives[edit | edit source]

In order to convince the readers that the product advertised is second to none, comparative and superlative adjectives are frequently and commonly used in the advertisements.

More connections to Europe. DHL has the world's biggest logistics network.

In this example, DHL, the logistics company, highlight its advantage of being more accessible and more easily to reach with the word "more" and "biggest". Those who read this advertisement will have the impression that DHL is right choice for them because it has more locations to reach than other companies.

Compound word[edit | edit source]

Compound words are colloquial in form, which will gives the readers a sense of closeness. Compound words also allow more possibilities to create humorous effect.

better-than-leather-miracle-covering look at the oh-so-comfortable size give that oh-so-good-to-be alive feeling

This advertisement is quite interesting by combining many words together, which sounds like someone who is exclaiming his extol. Without doubt, it is impressive because of its creativity of compound word and humorous effect.

Syntactic features of advertisement[edit | edit source]

Simple sentence[edit | edit source]

Generally speaking, simple sentences are quick and direct in conveying information, while complex sentences will create some suspense dragging the readers' understanding behind.

Buy one and get one free. - If you buy one, you will get one free.
Time to listen. Capacity to act (Mess Pierson, Consulting Company) - It's time to listen and our capacity to act.

Obviously, the first sentences in these examples are both vivid in rhythm and easy for the readers to get the information. The second sentences however, are comparatively redundant in conveying the meaning, though they are grammatically correct. Readers tend to remember the structure of the first ones, because of their simplicities. One everlasting example is Nike shoes' slogan: "Just Do It!" rather than "Let's just do it now!"

Imperative sentence[edit | edit source]

Imperative sentences are often persuasive in that it arises the reads' impulse to buy the product. Imperative sentences, beginning with the verbs, are forceful and tempting, which coincide with the purpose of the advertisements.

Get fast downloads with no wires attached. (SmarTone, Hong Kong Telecom Company)
Stop in at any Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealer. (Ford, Car Company)

Readers are advocated and persuaded to do the action, waiting no time. By telling or requesting readers to perform in a certain way, imperative sentences are effective in exerting a subtle impression to do as they are told.

Disjunctive clause[edit | edit source]

Disjunctive Clause is the exclusive syntactic features of advertisements in English newspaper and magazines. Disjunctive Clause usually chops the sentences into several parts with the cohesive device of full stop, dash, hyphen, semi-colon etc. By doing so, the advertisement is more condensed, which will save the money for taking up too much space of the newspapers or magazines.

References[edit | edit source]

Chapter 6. Analysis of pragmalinguistic peculiarities of English slogan in fashion domain

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 | edit source]

Pragmatics is implemented in semantics of individual words[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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 transfer 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 perceived 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 perceived 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 | edit source]

The analysis of the third category of slogans, in which pragmatics is realised through the background 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 | edit source]

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 always been the best gift for women. And it is not only the symbol of wealth, but it is also a wise and realiable 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 | edit source]


APPENDIX Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain

Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain
Pragmatics of slogan can be realised: Examples:
1) in semantics of separate words in advertising slogan (one or several) (29): «Timeless seduction» (Agent Provocateur),

«Traditional New England style since 1876» (Bass ),
«For successful living» (Diesel),
«America’s original jeans since 1850» (Levi’s),
«The fashion made in Italy» (Carella),
«It’s a process of self-discovery» (Louis Vuitton),
«Philosophy of style» (Alberta Ferretti),
«Forever Fendi» (Fendi),
«New custom fits for women. It’s about shape not size. Curve it!» (Levi’s) ,
«Hello boys!» (Wonderbra),
«Lifts and separates» (Playtex),
«Timeless style for timeless occasions» (Phillips -Van Heusen) ,
«Gift 4 men» (Dsquared2),
«Metropolitan casual, designed to eXXcite» (MEXX) ,
«50 years of fashion and design» (Pierre Cardin) ,
«60 years of creation» (Pierre Cardin),
«Impossible is nothing» (Adidas),
«Designed for sport, crafted for life» (Nike),
«Everything you need to make yourself» (Nike women),
«It’s:my: time. The next face of Benetton could be you» (Benetton),
«I am what I am» (Reebok) ,
«A diamond is forever» (De Beers),
«Yes, it’s me» (Losi),
«Your fragrance – your rules» (HUGO BOSS),
«Eternity moment» - «One moment is enough for changing everything» (Kelvin Clein),
Arpege - «She’d love to spend Christmas in Arpege» (Lanvin),
«Dolce Vita» – «Еlixir of happiness» (Dior),
«Forever different» (Karl Lagerfeld),
«Miss Dior Cherie – The luxury of freedom» (Dior) ;

2) based on semantics of imperative, which is advertising slogan (13): «Be faster!» (Adidas),

«Be stupid!» (Diesel),
«Just do it!» (Nike),
«Let the average man be divine» (Levi’s),
«Join fashion!» (Zara),
«Be casual!»(FINN FLARE),
«Get free!» (Gianfranco Ferre),
«Live unbuttoned» (Levi’s),
«Let the average man be divine» (Levi’s),
«Expect everything» (HUGO BOSS),
«Arpege» - «Promise her anything but give her Arpege» (Lanvin),
«Run unleashed» (Nike),
«Be fast, be seen» (Nike);

3) based on background knowledge implied in slogan (8): «Universe of fashion» (Chanel),

«DKNY» - «Love from New York» (Donna Karan)
«The number 1 fragrance by John Galliano» (John Galliano) ,
«Gucci connect» (Gucci),
«Adventure with geometry» (Chloe),
«Tree of life» (Etro),
«This country wasn’t built by men in suits» (Levi’s),
«Chloe loves Japan» (Chloe).