Persuading by addressing: a functional approach to speech-act comparison

  • Christiane Nord Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal, Magdeburg, Germany Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Afroasiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice, University of the Free State; Please address correspondence to: JA Naudé, Department of Afroasiatic St


Advertisements are intended to persuade the addressees to buy a particular product or service. In order to achieve this communicative purpose, text producers make use of various strategies. Apart from directly appellative speech acts like recommendations, requests or invitations, they use referential, expressive and phatic utterances as an indirect means of persuasion. The phatic function, which, according to Jakobson (1960), provides the appropriate channel for communication, is of particular importance in this respect. If the channel does not work properly, the persuasive function will never fulfil its aim. In the following paper, a small corpus of English, Spanish and German advertising texts is analysed in order to find the indicators of the phatic function, which is instrumental in making persuasion work.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2008, 26(2): 283–293

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614