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淺論廣告英語的語言特點

摘 要:廣告,顧名思義就是廣而告之。作為一種宣傳和傳播信息模式,廣告的作用不容忽視,因為它不僅只是一種說服顧客進行消費的技巧,更重要的是,它已逐漸成為社會交流的必須手段之一。本文通過對大量英語廣告實例進行分析,并參照國外著名廣告人guy cook等的理論,詳細剖析了廣告英語的語言特點。    廣告在我們今天的社會幾乎是無孔不入,它的傳播介質多種多樣,包括報紙、雜志、電視、廣播、網絡等。廣告具有鮮明的目的性,即說服顧客進行購買,這種目的性決定了其語言的特色性風格,使其獨立于其它文體,在語言學范疇內值得研究。本文選定英語這一全球普遍使用的語言,就其應用于廣告領域而產生的一些語言學特點和廣告本身的社會性特點進行深入分析,希望能對相關領域的研究有一定的借鑒作用和參考價值。
    本文共分為五章,第一章追溯了廣告的起源,對廣告的分類、作用及定義做了簡單概要;第二章介紹了廣告和文體學的基本定義,廣告中,文字和圖像的完美結合取決于創意和所用媒體,但它們共同組成了廣告語言;第三章從句法學、修辭學、詞匯學等理論切入,用大量例子分析了廣告英語的語言特點,并從語篇分析的角度對其語言特點進行了剖析;在語篇分析的章節中,引用了guy cook的語篇分析模型,并引入了廣告問題研究領域新近提出的"文章關聯性"等概念;第四章結合了第三章的觀點,通過具體英語廣告實例對標題中的用詞、句子結構、稱謂模式、修辭格進行了闡述,分析了廣告語言對廣告效果的影響;最后一章指出了廣告英語發展的口語化和簡單化趨勢及其目前存在的模糊性語言特點,揭開了廣告華麗詞藻下所掩蓋的非真實的廣告氛圍,批判了其模糊性誤導消費者的消極一面。www.cn-fitness.com
    關鍵詞:廣告;廣告英語;語言特點
    abstract
    as a way of propagating and transmitting information, advertising's role connot be underestimated because it is not only an artful technique in persuading people to buy, but also gradually has become a must for social communication which in turn influences the development of society and economy. the purpose of this paper is to study the linguistic features and sociological features of advertising english, in the hope to help copywriters at home markets in their creating process.
    nowadays advertising has penetrated into every corner of our life as its transmitting media in many forms: newspaper, magazine, tv, radio as well as network. the goal of advertising decides its language to be simple and direct, distinct from the characteristics of other discourses. thus an analysis on the linguistic features of advertising english in the linguistic field is worthwhile. under such circumstances, a study on the linguistic features of advertising english will have practical effects on the composing and translating work of the copywriters.
    the whole paper is divided into five chapters. the first chapter traces back the ori

gin of advertising and a brief introduction on the classifications, roles and definitions of advertising is presented for the later discussion.
    the second chapter introduces the theory of advertisements and stylistics, the precise balance of words (either spoken or written) and pictures is determined by the creative concept and the medium used, but the combination of images and words makes up the language of advertising.
    the third chapter starts from the theories in syntax, lexicology, rhetoric and ends with the linguistic features analyzed in the field of discourse analysis.
    the fourth chapter combines the viewpoints from the previous chapter third and explores the effect of the advertising english as a whole advertising process. the last chapter, also the conclusion part, shows that though advertising language appears to be flowery and refined, its content is no better than commonest language could convey. by exposing the various techniques advertisers have employed in their writing, this part hopes to remind consumers that advertising english is gradually attaining the negative and ambiguous role in guiding people to buy.
    keywords: advertising, advertising english, linguistic features
    chapter 1 introduction
    no other statement could have summed up the charm of advertisement than what aldous huxley has commented. as he has said advertisement as a literary form is the most exciting, the most arduous literary form of all, and the most pregnant in curious possibilities. in his comment he asserted advertisement is a literary form and the copywriting process is the delightful and salubrious exercise for the mind. but all in all, what is advertising, and what makes it unique?
    1.1 history of advertisement
    advertisement emerged from the womb of commodity production and exchange. the condition for th

e existence of advertising is "at least a segment of the population must live above the subsistence level". when this situation occurs it also becomes necessary for "the producers of materially 'unnecessary' goods to do something to make people want to acquire their commodities." (vestergaard and schroder 4)
    the embryonic form of advertising in the world is street cries, which exist even today. advertising was not unknown in ancient greece and rome, but advertising as we recognize it did not start until the seventeenth century in the west. it was at about this time that newspaper began to circulate. before that, it is printing which was first invented in china and then introduced to the west that played a vital role in the production of print advertising. "classified" (small ads) types of advertising were dominant before the nineteenth century and style and language used in ads at that time tended to be direct and informative. the industrial revolution, which began in england in the mid-1700s and reached the united states by the early 1800s, facilitated mass-production of goods. meanwhile advertising became more and more important in the industrial market. the great breakthrough for advertising came only in the late nineteenth century. technology and mass-production techniques were then sufficiently developed for more firms to be able to turn out products of roughly the same quality and at roughly the same price. this brought on a crisis of over-production and under consumption which meant that the market needed to be stimulated by advertising. at this time advertising changed its function from proclamation to persuasion. in the twentieth century, advertising developed rapidly alongside the advent of new media-radio and television in succession.
    according to richard pollay's content analysis of two thousand print ads from ten leading magazines in the usa, ads have progressively turned towards the emotional rather than the

informative approach and there is a shift seeing human nature as rational to seeming it as emotional.
    today in china, while our economic structure is shifting from the entirely planned economy to the socialist market economy system, advertising is becoming more and more active and sophisticated. in 1992, china's advertising expenditure reached $ 862 million, among the fastest growing countries in asia. this year with the entry of china into wto, this expenditure figure will undoubtedly rise up, which will support the view that advertising is an indispensable means for providing the information that all market-oriented industrialized societies need for their economies to function efficiently.
    1.2 classifications of advertising
    advertising may be classified by medium (newspaper, magazine, radio, television). by target audience (consumer, industrial, business), by geography (international, national, regional, local), or by its function or purpose (product or non-product, commercial or noncommercial, primary demand or selective demand, direct action or indirect action).
    because it is difficult to gain access to enough date for english commercials and ads on radio or tv, thus, the subject of this research paper will mainly concentrate on the print advertising.
    1.3 roles of advertising
    an advertiser's main purpose is to present and exhibit product or service, and to spread the influence and coverage of which to the extent that the potential purchasing population becomes real and actual. simply put, advertisers try by the various means at their disposal to get people to buy the product or service advertised. moreover, advertisers want potential purchasers to consider what is advertised to the exclusion of all other similar products or services. they therefore attempt to construct an advertisement that will fully involve the attention of the po

tential purchaser and which will have a persuasive effect. advertisers thus create a semiotic world in order to persuade their audience of essential "rightness" of purchasing the product or service advertised.
    1.4 definitions of advertising
    after a brief introduction of the classifications and roles of advertising, we now come to the definitions of advertising. from different perspectives or purposes, the definitions might also vary. in english, the word "advertise" has its origin in "advertere" in latin, meaning "to inform somebody of something", "to bring into notice" or "to draw attention to something", etc. in chinese, the equivalent term "guanggao" means "widely announce".
    the father of modern advertising, albert lasker said that advertising was "salesmanship in print". although the definition was given long before the advent of radio and television, and the nature and scope of advertising at that time were considerably different than they are today, this often-repeated saying indicates that the ultimate objective of advertising is to sell. obviously it is not a working definition because we cannot use it to cover all advertisements. today, a widely quoted working definition of advertising was put forward by courtland l. bovee and william f. arens :" advertising is the nonpersonal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods or services) or ideas by identified sponsors through various media."(cook,guy. the discourse of advertising. london: routledge,1992)
    another linguist bolen defines advertising as a "paid, non-personal communication through various mass media by business firms, nonprofit organizations, and individuals who are in some way identified in the message and who hope to inform or persuade members of a particular audience." (carter, ronald and goddard, angela, reah danuta et al. working with texts. london:

routledge,1997)
    if the definitions of advertising were too vague and abstract to comprehend, a few words of its function would help to clarify this crucial term. broadly speaking, advertisements have at least one of two functions: informing or persuading, although overlap may often take place in one single piece. the trick here is that an informative advertisement informs "the customer about goods, services, or ideas and then tells how to get them means of an identified sponsor" (bolen 6). examples of informative advertisements are not a few, ranging from flyers to insertions in magazine and newspapers, all of that aim to advertise new products/services or special prices on certain products/services. this type of advertisement gives basic, factual information and sometimes shows a photos or an illustration of the product/service to give the target audience a better view about the advertised product.
    persuasive advertisements are thus the instruments used by advertisers "who have defined their target audiences and determined the effect they hope to achieve through persuasive advertisements in the media" (bolen 9). and a persuasive advertisement should try to persuade the potential customers to buy the new product. (bolen 6) the persuasive function is not only limited to attracting the potential customer into buying a certain object, but also including the selling of services, ideas, norms and values.
    to summarize, we would get the idea that firstly advertising is a communication process. secondly, at least a medium is used. thirdly, this communication process has a definite purpose to convince the target audience. the above three characteristics suggest advertising is closely connected with the society, employing its media, interconnecting with its people and guiding their buying habit. also in achieving the advertising effect, the advertising language should be vivid and attractive, whose linguistic c

haracteristics would be covered in the chapter 3.
    chapter 2 theoretical background
    2.1 advertisement
    2.1.1 definition and goal
    advertising is the paid, impersonal communication of information about products or ideas by an identified sponsor through mass media in an effort to persuade or influence behavior. not all advertising is alike. advertisements differ depending on who the message is intended for, where the advertisement is shown, which media are used, and what the advertiser wants to accomplish.(see table 2.1)
    table 2.1
    advertising can be classified in four ways: by target, geographic area, media used, and purpose.
    by target by geographic area by media used by purpose
    audienceconsumerbusiness: industrial trade professional agriculture internationalnationalregionallocal print: newspaper magazineelectronic: radio television internetout-of-home: outdoor transit direct mail directories other media productive or nonproductivecommercial or noncommercialprimary demand or selective demanddirect action or indirect action
    the purpose of copywriting is to persuade or remind people to take some action to satisfy a need or want. but first people need to be made aware of the problem or, if the problem is obvious, of a solution. to create awareness, the copywriter must first get people's attention-for example, by using large type and provocative visuals. next, the copywriter must stimulate the prospect's interest in the product and build credibility for the product claims. then the copywriter focuses on generating desire and finally on stimulating action. these five aspects should be present in every advertisement or commercial.
    here is the advertising pyramid.
    2.1.2 elements of an advertisement
    as one will see, an

y advertisement is made up of several elements. most advertisements used all of them. they include the headline or display line; the illustration; the body copy or text; the theme line or slogan, trade character, seal, and other marks; and the logotype or signature. each will be considered in some detail below.
    (1)headlines
    the headline or display line appears in most advertisements for several reasons. first, it is an attention-getting device; secondly, it also selects an audience by appealing to a specific group, as this line dose: arthritics reduce painful inflammation and get stomach upset protection. (an ad for medicine) finally, it is the key factor in getting people to read the body copy.
    (2)illustration
    in addition to headlines, most advertisements contain illustrations. the illustration like the headline, attracts attention, selects the audience, and stimulates interest in body copy. what is more, the illustration can be invaluable in showing the product or product use and explaining graphically certain ideas or situations that are cumbersome to put into words. the old saying that one picture is worth a thousand words has much merit in it.
    (3) body copy
    to begin with, some explanation of the word copy is necessary. the job of body copy is to stimulate interest in the product or service or idea being advertised, creates desire for it, and urge action. this is a big task and calls for right words. although headlines and illustrations clear the way, it is body copy that must carry the burden of the selling job.
    (4)theme lines, slogan, trade characters, seal and other marks
    a number of different marks and devices may appear in an advertisement, including theme lines, trade characters, and seals; for example, general foods uses the corporate identity symbol in all its advertisements. the a

utomatic use of these elements in the advertisement, however, does not diminish their importance.
    2.2 stylistics
    2.2.1 the need for stylistics
    when talking about the english language, one should not be misled into thinking that the label should in some way refer to a readily identifiable object in reality, which he can isolate and examine in a classroom as a test-tube mixture, a piece of rock or a poem. the label of the english language is in fact a complex of many different 'varieties' of language in use in all kinds of situations in many parts of the world. naturally, all these varieties have much more in common than differentiates them-they are all clearly varieties of one language, english. but at the same time, each variety is definably distinct from all the others.
    as an educated speaker of english, a student of english is, in a sense, multilingual: for in the course of developing his command of language, he has encountered a large number of varieties, and to certain extent, has learned now to use them. a particular social situation makes him respond with an appropriate variety of language, the language of conversation, the language of newspaper reporting, the language of advertising and so on. but what is stylistics?
    2.2.2 definition
    in the past, men have been intrigued with style and many students of human communication have offered their ideas about it. some are concerned with clarity-or lucidity, as aristotle called it. for this ancient greek critic, it was important that the speaker or writer not only has ideas but that he says them 'in the right way', a way an audience can understand clearly. he also said that style should be neither above nor below the dignity of the subject but must be 'appropriate'. another student of language and human use of it, the scottish writer george campbell, also believed words (the author's dict

ion or word choice) were the foundation of style. he believed the best style comes from diction that the listener notices so little that he is barely 'conscious that it is through this medium diction he sees into the speaker's thoughts' (the sense of style by geoffrey n. leech). but unfortunately, they do not clarify matters greatly, at least four commonly occurring senses of the term style need to be distinguished.
    style may refer to some or all of the language habits of one person-as when people talk of shakespeare's style (or styles), or the style of james joyce. more often, it refers to a selection of language habits, shared by a group of people at one time, or over a period of time, as when we talk about the style of the augustan poets, the style of old english 'heroic' poetry, the style in which civil services forms are written, or styles of public-speaking.
    style is given a more restricted meaning when it is used in an evaluative sense, referring to the effectiveness of a mode of expression. this is implied by such popular definitions of style as 'saying the right thing in the most effective way' or as 'good manners'. (investing english style by david crystal & derek davy)
    partly overlapping with the three senses just outlined is the wide spread use of the word style to refer solely to literary language. style has long been associated primarily or exclusively with literature, as a characterized 'good', 'effective', or 'beautiful' writing.

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  •  更新時間:2012-09-18 12:23:45  作者:佚名 [標簽: 英語 語言 英語 語言 英語 廣告語 廣告 ]
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