Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Semantics,pragmatics,lexicology, meaning school > Semantics, pragmatics

A Study of the Pragmatic Vagueness in Advertising

Author HuHeQing
Tutor DongTian
School North China Electric Power University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords vagueness advertising language Conversational Implicature pragmatic functions
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Fuzzy Sets,which has created by L.A. Zadeh in 1965 has been making important influence on linguistic studies. It has provided a new studying perspective to linguistics. Vagueness is one of the intrinsic properties of natural languages and also is a linguistic phenomenon which ubiquitously exists in the communication of human languages, and of course, there is also no exception about it in the field of advertising. During the process of advertising making, in order to get the goal of AIDMA (A is for Attention, I is for Interest, D is for Desire, M is for Memory and the last A is for Action) and persuade the customers to buy their products, the advertiser always using this strategy of pragmatic vagueness.So far, a great achievement has been made by the scholars in the filed of vague linguistics and more and more people do their research on the basis of vagueness. But application of vague language in various means of contemporary business communication including advertisement, from a pragmatic perspective, calls for further research efforts. Such as He Ziran points out:“vagueness analysis will be useful only from the perspective of pragmatics, language using, and interpreting”. So, based on the previous studies, this thesis attempts to carry out a study by applying pragmatic theory to some vague phenomenon in advertising language from a brand-new perspective and tries to get the conclusion that by using the vague language, the advertisements can get better result for both sellers and customers.This thesis consists of six chapters. At first, after the review of this subject including the definition of vagueness and pragmatic vagueness, the relation between pragmatic vagueness and the advertising language, and the relevant research on this subject, the author analyzed how vagueness is realized in advertising language from both semantic and syntactical perspectives and the motives behind the employment of vagueness in advertising from 3 aspects: the individual perspective, the social perspective and the cultural perspective. Then, equipped with rationale of pragmatics, especially the Conversational Implicature and its four maxims, some typical examples which violate one of these four maxims or more are analyzed in detail. Then we can get a conclusion that although the employment of vagueness may violate the cooperative principle, it does not confuse the readers and reach the goal successfully. At last, it gives a brief summary of how vagueness contributes in the advertising communication from five aspects.This study, not only analyzes the advertising language from pragmatic perspective which is brand-new, but also enlarges the research scope of vagueness. So it has a great significance in certain degree.

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