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

A Study on Pragmatic Presuppositions in Commercial Advertisements Targeted at Female Consumers

Author HuangRu
Tutor ZhangXiaoHui
School Xi'an International Studies University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords advertisements pragmatic presupposition female consumers consumingmotives
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Pragmatic presupposition is an important pragmatic concept which is mainlyconcerned with the relationship between communicators and the propositions theymake. It is widely applied to advertising language to add to its persuasive effect. As aresult, advertising language sometimes can be too confusing to understand. Thepresent study chooses the pragmatic presupposition in advertisement as its researchtopic with a purpose to contribute to a better understanding of the informationconveyed in advertisements.Many scholars have done researches on the pragmatic presuppositions inadvertisements. However, most of these researches are mainly concerned with theclassification of the pragmatic presuppositions in advertisements and the functions ofthese pragmatic presuppositions. The present study examines pragmatic presuppositionfrom the perspective of consumer psychology. It chooses the advertisements targetedat female consumers as the research subjects, aiming to identify the psychologicalfeatures of female consumers’ consuming behavior. The research data for the presentstudy is collected from the magazines Rayli Classy, Cosmopolitan, Rayli Costume andCosmetics Magazine, Bazaartrends and Vogue, which are identified by the poll carriedout in the author micro-blog as the most popular female magazines among Chinesefemale readers. A total of268advertisements are collected, including advertisementsfor make-up, hair care products, skin-care products, apparel and accessories,electronics, food, jewelry, watches, and perfumes. By combining the pragmaticpresupposition theory with the psychology of advertising and consumer theory as thetheoretical guidance, the present study first examines the distribution and frequency ofpragmatic presuppositions in the data to verify that pragmatic presupposition exists inabundance in the advertisements targeted at female consumers. Then it analyzes thepragmatic presuppositions from the perspective of the classification of pragmaticpresupposition. On the basis of these analyses, the author proposes that females’aspiration for beauty, romance and dignity are their consuming motives.The present study can not only help female consumers have a better understandingof the information conveyed in the advertisements so as to conduct rational purchases,but also can help advertisement designers have a better understanding of female consumers’ psychological features of their consuming behavior for their futureadvertising activities.

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