Research article
Issue: № 8 (15), 2013

Иноземцева Н.В.

Доцент, кандидат филологических наук, Оренбургский государственный университет



Современный этап развития российского общества характеризуется значительным повышением интереса к изучению иностранных языков. Рекламный текст принадлежит к числу наиболее популярных предметов исследования в современной лингвистике. Все возрастающее внимание к созданию рекламного текста в отечественном языкознании, а также неослабевающий интерес к определению коммуникативно-прагматических и экспрессивных особенностей построения эффективной рекламы обусловливают актуальность нашей темы. Целью нашей работы является исследование структурно-семантической организации малоформатных текстов (МФТ), представленных англоязычными рекламными риэлтерскими объявлениями (АРРО).

Ключевые слова: малоформатный текст (МФТ), текст, дискурс, прагматика.

Inozemtseva N.V.

Associate Professor, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Orenburg State University



The current stage of development of Russian society is characterized by a significant increase in interest to the study of foreign languages. Advertising text belongs to the most popular research subjects in modern linguistics. The increasing attention to the creation of advertising text in domestic linguistics, as well as unrelenting interest to the definition of communicative,  pragmatic and expressive features of effective advertising construction course the relevance of our theme. The aim of our work is to study the structure of the semantic organization of small-format texts (SFT) submitted by the English-language advertising real-estate ads (ELAREA).

Keywords: small-format texts (SFT), text, discourse, pragmatics.

Studying of the language actual functioning is a determinative stimulating integration of scientific interests in the field of pragmatists, sociolinguistics and general linguistics. Application of this approach assists formation of wider interdisciplinary approach to studying a specific text and a discourse.

In this connection it is represented appropriate to make a brief retrospective view in the history of development of the interdisciplinary approach to studying language units, within the limits of which the researches are based on the cumulative aspects of various scientific schools and on the directions of a modern science about the language.

The beginning of the 70’s is the period of active development of a new interdisciplinary science - cognitive science, directed on research of important and extremely complex phenomena - mental processes (E.S.Kubrjakova, V.Z.Demjankov, J.G.Pankrats, O.V.Aleksandrova, N.N.Boldyrev, I.M.Kobozeva, V.I.Gerasimov). Cognitive science otherwise represents the nature and the mechanism of functioning of language: «Language is a means of idea transferring and in this meaning it acts mainly in the form of original "packing" [7]. Thus it is emphasized, that the knowledge used at its decoding, besides actually linguistic knowledge, include also knowledge of the world, a social context of the statement, the skill to take the stored information out, to plan, to rule a discourse, etc.

Cognitive direction as E.S.Kubrjakova fairly specifies, «not only allows connection to its research program of the problems connected with a discourse, but also dictates consideration of the speech activity... From new positions » [8], it is the integrating factor for connection of such directions of linguistics, as linguistics of the text, the pragmatics, the theory of speech acts, discourse analysis. All this allows to treat a situation in Modern linguistics as «a development of new, non-functional or a constructive paradigm of the knowledge, a defining feature of which is a successful synthesis of cognitive and communicative approaches to the language phenomena» [8: 21].

Thus, nowadays the researches of the text and of the discourse are carried out within the limits of the interdisciplinary approach with use of knowledge and the experience, saved up in the field of functional linguistics, pragmatics, cognitive science, an artificial intellect and social sciences. In our research this approach is a methodological base of the analysis of typological characteristics of an advertising discourse within the limits of which the English-speaking realtor announcements presented in advertising magazines are regarded.

It is appropriate to systematize the information on such conceptually important concepts for our research, as "text" and "discourse".

It is known, that actually linguistic use of the term "discourse" belongs to Z.Harris who has designated “a method of the analysis of coherent speech”, intended “for descriptive linguistics development out of one sentence at present time and for correlation of the culture and the language by it” [4].

With the development of this methodologically focused direction there was a set of treatments and interpretations of the term "discourse". Among them it is possible to detect three basic discourse models, which differ by both formal, and substantial parameters corresponding with various national traditions and contributions of specific authors.

Formal structural approach (Kokh 1978; Moskaljskaya 1981; Van Deijk 1989; Stepanov 2000; Kinch 1983; Borbotjko 1998; Stubbs 1983) within the limits of which "discourse" means “texts in their text reality”. In the dictionary of linguistics text terms the discourse is defined as a multiple-valued term of linguistics of the text, used by a number of authors in almost homonymous meanings. The major of them are:

1) a coherent text;

2) a colloquial form of the text;

3) a dialogue;

4) a group of the statements connected among themselves according to the sense;

5) a speech work as a reality - written or oral ” [3].

Later the linguists investigating a discourse within the limits of a formal structural approach, start to mark, that the discourse is not only “a reality of the text”, but it also “is a system language structures of the whole text”, and “the speech act process leading to structure formation” [11].

The second approach to definition of the concept "discourse" is based on E.Benvenista's point of view who considers a discourse as a pragmatised form of the text (Benvenist 1974; Bulygin 1990; Vinokur 1980; Sussov 1983; Suhih 1998; Bogdanov 1990; Sedov 2002; McCarthy 1985, etc.). The word "discourse" (discourse) which in French linguistic tradition was interpreted as speech in general, has found terminological meaning of "the speech given by the  speaker”, and differentiating the plan of a narration (récit) and the plan of a discourse. “Speech (discourse) should be understood thus in the widest meaning, as any statement assuming speaker and listener and intention of the first definitely influence on the second [2: 250-251].

There has been developed a pragmalinguistic model of a discourse taking into account the thesis about the nature of the communication which will consist of communicative steps and speech acts (Bezmenova 2001; Gerasimov 1988; Gordon, Lakoff 1985; Kobozeva 2000; Pocheptsov 1995; Romanov 1988; Hook 1998; Austin 1986; Searle 1986; Ballmer 1985; Clark 1990; Yule 1996).

As speech acts in many works of this direction serve as an original unit of the  discourse analysis or as a discourse marker, there appeared special reviews in which the basic characteristics of speech acts on a material of texts of various functional registers are summarized.

According to our point of view the most perfect classification has been offered by D.Serlem who differentiates illocutive and propositional components of the statement.

V.I. Karasik gives a set of various points of view on a problem of the definition of “discourse” in the foreign and domestic criticism in his work «the Language circle: the person, concepts, a discourse» [6: 167-169].

So, M. Stubbs allocates three basic characteristics of a discourse: in a conventional attitude it is a unit of language surpassing a sentence in volume; in substantial plan the discourse is connected with the use of language in a social context; on the organization of the discourse is interactive [11].

Summarizing various definitions of a discourse in linguistics, it is obviously possible to allocate the basic coordinates by means of which the discourse is defined: formal interpretation (understanding of a discourse as formations above a level of the offer), functional interpretation (use of language, i.e. speech in its all versions). In brief, a discourse is defined as a complete set of functionally organized units of the use of language where the context brings to a focus of researchers to opposition of that has been told, and consequently, a situational definition of a discourse is an account of social, psychological and cultural meaningful conditions and circumstances of dialogue.

The most harmonous and actual for our research is the concept of "discourse" given by N.D. Arutjunova which in «the Linguistic encyclopedic dictionary». She defines a discourse as «the associated text in aggregate with extra linguistic - pragmatical, psychological, etc. factors; the text taken in event aspect; the speech considered, how purposeful, social action is». The discourse is a speech, «shipped in a life» (in this connection the term "discourse" we shall not apply to ancient texts) [1:136]. On the other hand, the practice (from the middle of 1970s) of discourse analysis is interfaced to research of laws of movement of the information within the limits of a communicative situation. In the 80-90s the discourse is regarded as a complex communicative phenomenon uniting alongside with the text, paralinguistic means and the extra linguistic factors which are necessary for speech understanding.

The analysis of a discourse is the interdisciplinary area of knowledge which are being on a joint of linguistic, sociological and philosophical sciences. V.I.Karasik comes to conclusion, that the discourse represents the phenomenon of the intermediate order between speech, dialogue, language behaviour, on the one hand, and the located text, with another [6].

Judging by the above-stated, in our work we regard a discourse as the associated text in aggregate with extra linguistic, pragmatical, psychological and other factors, «the text taken in event aspect; the speech considered as purposeful, social action, as a component participating in interoperability of people and the mechanism of their creation» [1].

In the modern world alongside with social and political variations scientific, technical and cultural changes which are objectively reflected in language system are observed. Studying of the processes accompanying these variations, in the language, is in the center of linguists, philosophers, psychologists’ attention, therefore a problem of functioning of texts in an advertising discourse, studying of mechanisms of its influence represents special interest for modern linguists (V.N.Telija, V.Gak, A.M.Gorlatov, E.S.Kubrjakova, M.V.Golomidova, D.I.Yermolovich). Penetration in particular actions of the mechanism of information transferring, as well as rendering of influence owing to limitation of a format in ESARA is represented especially actual during active use of the given type of texts in the modern Russian advertising industry. The objective of the advertising message is not only to draw attention of an audience, but also to induce its some part to action, to purchase of the advertised real estate.

Actual material of this research has been represented by ESARA SFТ, selected from 18 information-advertising periodicals: REAL ESTATE Quarterly and Herald International Tribune published by The New York Times.

The text of English-speaking advertisements represents a system of measures of purposeful influence on the consumer, shaping and adjusting movement of the goods in the market of realtor services which have the objective to generate a positive image in consciousness of the potential client as the advertising communications are regarded as a special social communications. Thus its originality is that the addressee and the sender do not enter direct contact, but dialogue between them occurs indirectly. The advertising text is a product of the advertising communications, the special text type possessing the following features: feature of the communicative task (for realization of influence), an essential role of extra linguistic factors, an originality of a composition; special choice of language means, the description of subject matter of advertising by means of creation of an picture-image, ambiguity of interpretation of the advertising text, orientation to a plenty of addressees.

Thus, we defined the text of our advertisements as small format text since discourse is a particular case of text, then we need to consider advertising discourse aspects. Advertising discourse is a kind of institutional discourse. From the position of sociolinguistics, V.I. Karasik singled out two main types of discourse: personal (person-centered) and institutional.  In the first case, the speaker came out as personality in all the richness of his inner world, in the second case he is as a representative of a certain social institution. Institutional discourse is a dialogue in the given framework of status and role relations. Its conventionality of communication fundamentally differs institutional discourse from the personal one. Institutional discourse is distinguished by the basis of the two backbone attributes: the objective (s) and the participants of the communication. The purpose of the advertising message is not only to attract the attention of the audience, but also to spur a certain part of it (it's desirable to spur the greatest) into action. The main participants of institutional discourse are the institute representatives (agents) and the people who apply to them (clients), for example, the sender of advertising and the consumer. Communicative cliché in the framework of institutional discourse is a kind of key for understanding the entire system of relations in the respective institute. Advertising discourse is "pragmatic discourse" on the ground that definite communication strategies realize in it.

Pragmatics (from the Greek. pragma - business, action) is a broad field of linguistics. The basic idea of pragmatics is that language can be understood and explained only in the broader context of its use, i.e. through its functioning. The concept of functioning is basic in the pragmatic aspect to the language both in foreign and native linguistics.

Pragmatists G.V. Kolshanskiy and N.D. Arutyunova underline the functional aspect in their definitions. Pragmatics studies all terms, on which linguistic signs are used. Under these terms of use we understand terms of adequate choice and usage of linguistic units for the purpose of achievement the influence on the partners in the process of speech as a main purpose of communication.

N.D. Arutyunova refers pragmatics to the field of semiotics and linguistics research that studies functioning of linguistic signs in speech, including set of issues, concerned with speaker, addressee and their interaction in communication and with the communicative situation. Speech act theory is connected with the name of J. Austin, who has drawn attention to the fact, that pronouncing an utterance may represent not only the reporting information, but also other actions (claim, advice, warning). Within J. Austin and J. Searle linguistic philosophy theory differentiation of locution (speech act), illocution and perlocution (an impact on other people thoughts, feelings, actions and premeditated/ unpremeditated impact effects) was suggested. Two actions are realized simultaneously by the speech act: locutionary and illocutionary act (claim, etc). In spite of message reporting, the realization of speaker`s communicative purpose occurs. According to J. Austin, the utterance may be destined to the accomplishment of an impact on the listener, i.e. to have a perlocutionary effect. Set of issues under pragmatics study is also relevant to advertising activity, particularly, influence of the utterance on addressee.

Realizing the fact that pragmatics is the theory of speech effect, we can point out that the positive pragmatic orientation of advertising discourse is the agent determining its specificity and it seems crucial factor for creation of the other outstanding features of printed ads. Text pragmatic orientation of this type defines the logical and emotional core statement, general keys of discourse, dictates the selection of linguistic and non-linguistic features and the way of their presentation and organization.

According to the statements above we came to the conclusion that the text of the English estate agent advertisements is a small format text. In our work we turned to Kubrjakova’s definition, who suggested to consider the meaning of the text as “informational self-sufficient speech message which has exact purpose and is oriented on its recipient” because the advertisements have such features as richness of the content, semantic completeness, pragmatical integrity and having a recipient. Within the confines of discoursive field we can study English advertisements from the point of the text categories. According to this statement it becomes possible to attribute English advertisement to the category of small format text (SFT). E.S. Kubrjakova suggested that a small format text is more suitable for analysis because it can be seen and studied in the small details.

Being studied texts refer to the texts of small format, they are based on the point of view of E.S. Kubrjakova, SFT is visible and observable in the smallest details text, which has such important characteristics as a separate, dedicated, formal and semantic self-sufficiency, a theme certainty and a completeness. Moreover, in such texts their information content is clear, their cognitive background is the meaning  of its consciousness, its general plan and implemented in a particular linguistic form up to create a special semantic space.

From the point of view of O.I. Tayupova the characteristic feature of such texts is a «visual concision», which is connected with deep-schematic and communicative aspects of speech product.  At the same time, the SFT have relative autonomy and completeness and include not only the nominative, but also sufficient communicative and pragmatic potential. [19]

Discourse characteristics of ESARA SFТ are defined by a combination of advertising and informative components. Interpretation of an informative component of the advertising discourse of ESARA SFТ requires description of those formal-substantial components which are used in verbal registration of SFТ, however nonverbal means are components which most effectively appeal to those cognitive fragments of consciousness, to that cognitive base which are regarded as general for group of people interested in the given object of the real estate.

The content analysis of ESARA SFТ in terms of the concepts allows to reveal those world outlook postulates which are realized by means of the text of the announcement. In other words, to describe and to understand valuable paradigm of society during a certain period of its progress is possible through the description of system of cultural meaningful markers of advertising texts. The text of the announcement is an original cell of culture, an original embodiment of an English-speaking language picture of the world. The system of the concepts is embodied in the advertising text in the form of system of key concepts and images that assists adequate understanding of English-speaking culture. For this reason adequate decoding of the information concluded in the text of ESARA is so important.

The toolkit of the conceptual analysis in this case is represented as the most effective since it provides the objective base leaning on linguistic data in their all completeness of interoperability with national-cultural characteristics of modern English-speaking community.

Thus, ESARA represent a generalized model, a cumulative image of an English-speaking language picture of the world which reflects a pragmatical orientation of the given type of texts as fragments of the advertising discourse. Basic pragmatical problem of ESARA is to induce the consumer to get the advertised real estate, as well as adequately to inform him on its most favourable sides and qualities.


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