A semantic-pragmatic approach to sentence structure in advertising language

  • Angelique an Niekerk


This article sheds light on the play and manipulation of sentence structure in advertising language and the normative use of syntactically ungrammatical sentences irrespective of the rules of normal grammar. These rules require, for instance, a sentence to include at least a verb or the grammatical requirement of a clause that needs a main sentence to be a proper sentence that can be interpreted on a semantic and pragmatic level. However, the genre of advertising language allows certain exceptions. At first glance, the syntax in advertising language might seem ungrammatical. Therefore, this research addresses the strategic manipulation of the norms of the syntax of standard sentence construction in English and Afrikaans advertisements in the South African print media to enhance possible audience involvement and to create the intended illocution. It investigates the syntactic patterning in advertising language, taking into consideration the functional effect of the violation of grammatical norms to create meaning. These violations are normative for the genre to communicate more with less (less text and fewer visuals). An advertising message is often presented in a radically reduced form and various contextual and textual variables have to be considered to convey the intended illocution


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614