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Tanaka, Keiko (1989) The Language of Advertising: A Pragmatic Approach. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The language used in advertising has been the subject of studies in different diciplines, but surprisingly little has been done in linguistics. The main purpose of my study is to give an adequate analysis of the language of written advertising in the U.K. and in Japan, within the framework of pragmatics, and to explain how communication occurs between the advertiser and audience. I consider what communication is and how it is achieved, and investigate aspects of communication prominent in the language of advertising. The first chapter is a survey of the literature, covering structuralist, semiotic and linguistic aproaches to the language of advertising. The second chapter is a discussion of pragmatic theories. It is argued that Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986a) provides the best basis for explaining the comprehension of utterances, including advertising. A study of puns forms the subject of the third chapter. As a trigger for processing which does not necessarily add to the informative content of an utterance, puns provide a potential problem for Relevance Theory. But I argue that Relevance Theory sheds light on the variety of ways in which puns function in advertising. In the fourth chapter, I investigate another potential problem for Relevance Theory, posed by the language of advertising, that of partial suppression of the speaker's intentions. The fifth chapter focuses on the projection of the image of women in advertising.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:57

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