Advertising Language: A Pragmatic Approach to Advertisements in Britain and Japan

Advertising Language: A Pragmatic Approach to Advertisements in Britain and Japan

Advertising Language: A Pragmatic Approach to Advertisements in Britain and Japan

Advertising Language: A Pragmatic Approach to Advertisements in Britain and Japan

Synopsis

Advertising Language analyses the ways advertisers use language to gain and retain the attention of their audience, with particular emphasis on puns and metaphors. The book contains a unique chapter on images of women in Japanese advertising and is the only book to contrast British and Japanese advertising, subsequently revealing penetrating insights into these two cultures.

Excerpt

Advertising has become a popular subject of study, approached from a wide range of disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, literary criticism, and media studies. The main purpose of this book is to analyse the language of written advertising in Britain and Japan within the framework of pragmatics, and to explain how communication occurs between advertiser and audience. The nature of communication and how it is achieved are considered, and aspects of communication prominent in the language of advertising are investigated.

When I was casting around for a Ph.D. topic in London, I discovered Sperber and Wilson's Relevance Theory (1986a, 1995). Even before their seminal book had been published, the theory had attracted waves of intense and exciting debate in many fields of study. Reviewing their book for the London Review of Books, Alastair Fowler commented:

The repercussions of Relevance are likely in the long run to be great-felt first, perhaps, in the pragmatics of conversation, the philosophy of language, and reader-response criticism, but also in many other activities: construction of memory models, pedagogy machine learning and (doubtless) advertising and propaganda.

The hardback version of my book was the first monograph to take up this challenge, exploring various aspects of the language used in advertising from the viewpoint of Relevance Theory.

My exploration of advertising is part of a more general investigation into the force of language, more specifically the way language is used to persuade, convince, and manipulate others. The examples used by Sperber and Wilson are mainly concerned with situations in which communication occurs between trusting and equal

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