CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
In this chapter, I situate the current study in the context of work done by other researchers on the use of English in advertising, with a view to showing how the present study is both similar and different from previous ones. The review of the literature engages other parallel studies and examines existing knowledge. The review also identifies the knowledge gap which needs to be filled. In this chapter, I review the literature on studies conducted on the use of English in advertising in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Western Europe, Poland, Japan, Vietnam, Nigeria and Ghana. I also review the literature on studies conducted on the use of English in advertising slogans.
Leech (1966) played a pioneering role in his research into the use of English in advertisements in the United Kingdom (UK). He analyzed the English employed in advertisements from different perspectives. The grammatical analysis revealed the use of words, phrases, clauses and sentences in the advertisements. The use of modifiers in the form of adjectives and adverbs were used extensively for the purpose of description of advertized products. From Leech (1966), minor grammatical units such as phrases and non-finite clauses were used as if they were independent or fully-fledged grammatical structures. The purpose of this approach was to attract consumers’ attention. From the semantic perspective, Leech (1966) postulated that the meaning of some advertising texts could be arrived at as a result of a collective interpretation of the lexical items employed in the advertisement. According to Leech, the English used in the advertisements that he studied were both idiomatic and figurative. Indeed, figures of speech were used in the advertising texts to either compare different phenomena or suggest a similarity and this created striking and memorable images. Human characteristics were bestowed on non-human entities in order to create mental pictures of advertized products. From the phonological perspective, Leech (1966) reported the use of sound effect devices in the English of advertising in Great Britain. This made the advertisements intriguing and attractive. Leech (1966) revealed that the rules governing the English language were violated in the advertising texts he analyzed in the media in the United Kingdom. According to Leech (1966) rules were broken at the orthographic level where words were spelt differently for the purpose of drawing attention to themselves. Harris (1989) points out that in the language of advertisements, linguistic rules are violated and this has a great impact on consumers. Leah (2001) researched into rule–breaking in a range of advertisements in French and English. Leah (2001) posits that linguistic violation is a tool advertisers use to make the product more attractive and to make the advertisement more effective.
Leech (1966) revealed the different components of the English of advertising in the media of Great Britain from the syntactic, morphological, grammatical, semantic, phonological and figurative perspectives. What is yet to be known is the use of Aristotle’s three artistic proofs in the English of advertising for persuasive effect. The current study fills this gap in the literature by investigating the use of the three proofs of Aristotle (logos, pathos and ethos) in the English of advertising in the print media in Ghana.
Koteyko (2015) also did a study on the English employed in advertisements in the print media in the United Kingdom. The study covered a cross-section of the newspapers and magazines in Britain and an enormous database of advertisements was generated for analysis; the corpus comprised three hundred and sixty-four (364) advertising texts. Koteyko (2015) employed a mixed method research design. She made use of numerical data and also interpreted and described the corpus of the advertising texts in her analysis. Koteyko (2015) adopted the multi-dimensional (MD) analytical framework of Biber (1988) in her linguistic analysis of the corpus. The MD model enabled her to represent the advertisement texts statistically based on the grouping of the grammatical units. It is worth noting that the MD framework had been applied to some linguistic investigations (Grieve et al. 2011; Biber 2006; Cao & Xiao 2013) but not to advertising. Koteyko (2015) bridged the gap in the application of the MD method to her analysis of the English of advertising in the British press. Koteyko (2015) employed the purposive sampling technique in the data collection process. In this regard, varied product advertisements were selected for the study; other data classifications were done based on the social status of the target audience of the advertising texts. The MD enabled the researcher to collect the data statistically and this was followed by a qualitative analysis as well. Then, the research corpus was categorized and labeled. This took the form of tagging and parsing as it was done in the British version of the International Corpus of English (Nelson et al. 2002).
The data analysis of Koteyko (2015) to a large extent could be described as mathematical, formulaic and graphic. The research yielded a number of findings: Koteyko (2015) discovered variations in the English employed in the advertisement corpus. Another research finding was that different grammatical units occurred in the varied advertising text and they exhibited different communicative functions. Koteyko (2015) also revealed that the English of advertisements in the British press reflected the sociolinguistics of the consuming public. Thus, the English employed in the research corpus considered the variations in gender of the audience. As a result, there were differences in the English used in the advertisement of a similar product to both men and women. While the English of the female advertisement was detailed and descriptive, the male advertisement was brief and more straight-forward. From Koteyko (2015), it can be deduced that persuasion in advertising is sophisticated and it takes great effort to achieve it.
Koteyko’s (2015) study and the current research were both similar and different in a number of ways: In the first place, both were based on a linguistic analysis of advertisements in the print media. However, they were different in terms of the research setting: While Koteyko (2015) was conducted in the UK, the current study was in Ghana. Secondly, both studies were focused on the use of grammatical units in the English of advertising. Nonetheless, the current study fills the gap in the literature by investigating the use of figures of speech and Aristotle’s three artistic proofs in the English of advertising in the print media in Ghana. Thirdly, both studies were parallel in terms of the use of the data collection method of purposive sampling. However, in terms of the research design, Koteyko (2015) was both quantitative and qualitative while the current study was mainly qualitative. Finally, while Koteyko (2015) investigated the use of English to reflect gender distinctions in advertising, the current study was on the use of figures of speech and the logos, pathos and ethos in the English of advertising for persuasive effects.
Noriega and Blair (2008) did a psycholinguistic study of advertising to bilinguals in the United States (US). They set out to investigate whether the language that a copywriter advertized in, influenced the thinking process of the bilingual consumers in the US. The two researchers also hypothesized that an advertisement in the first language of bilinguals in the US might trigger thoughts about friendship, family relations, native country or domicile and this might lead to positive behavioural patterns. According to Linton (2004), the bilingual situation in the US is such that the immigrants speak their native languages at home and its environs while English is spoken at other settings outside the home domain. By this linguistic pattern, the bilinguals in the US preserve their native languages. For Noriega and Blair (2008), in advertising, if different languages are employed they will elicit distinct attitudes and thoughts about the advertized products and services. Previous research on language choice in advertising and its effect on bilinguals revealed that if an advertisement was in the native language of bilinguals it was more effective. The fact is that bilinguals give the advertisements they can identify with much attention; they feel recognized, acknowledged and respected (Deshpande et al. 1986; Deshpande & Stayman 1994; Whittler, 1991). The choice of the native language of bilinguals by advertisers makes it easier for the bilinguals to comprehend the message of the advertisement. Prior studies revealed that if the message of the advertisement was in the bilinguals’ second language, the bilingual might not be able to understand all the words of the advertisement (Luna & Peracchio, 1999, 2001). From another perspective, other studies revealed that some words in the native language of bilinguals appealed more to their feelings than words in the second language. This might be due to socio-cultural differences, in that, the culture of bilinguals might uphold certain concepts highly and this is realized linguistically (Luna & Peracchio, 2002, 2005). Noriega and Blair (2008) filled the research gap by investigating the extent to which language choice in advertising influenced the thinking of bilinguals in the US.
Noriega and Blair’s (2008) study was two-pronged: In the first phase, the research engaged both the bilinguals’ native-language and second language in the study. The bilinguals were to express their thoughts about two print advertisements in both languages. The research subjects were mature immigrants in the US who were pursuing a course in English as a second language. The purposive sampling technique was employed in the selection of respondents who were proficient in both their native language and the second language. The bilinguals’ native languages that were captured in Noriega and Blair (2008) were: Turkish, Russian, Korean, Czech, Mongolian, Spanish, Cambodian, Italian, French, Indonesian, Dutch, Japanese, Catalan, Vietnamese and Farsi. The thoughts of the respondents about the advertisements were coded from the perspective of Sauer et al. (1992). In the second segment of Noriega and Blair’s (2008) research, the focus was on Spanish-English bilinguals who were literate in both languages. A native language context was created for Spanish while a second language situation was provided for English. The study was psycholinguistic in nature; respondents were to indicate their thoughts on the advertisements that were provided. The second part of the study also investigated the attitudes of respondents and this was conducted from the perspectives of Neese and Taylor (1994) and Putrevu and Lord (1994).
The findings of Noriega and Blair’s (2008) research revealed that language influences the way we think about an advertisement and our decision to purchase an advertized product. This confirms the declaration of previous studies that language influences human thinking and cognition (Larsen et al. 2002; Marian & Neisser, 2000; Fivush, 1998). From Noriega and Blair (2008), advertisements that were in respondents’ native language had more influence on thoughts related to friendship, family relations, country of origin and domicile than advertisements in the second language. Another finding of Noriega and Blair (2008) was that language has a relationship with context. From the study, the contextualization of the advertisement corpus, triggered positive thoughts about the advertisement, brand and purchasing intentions. The research results also revealed that the choice of language in an advertisement was essential as it influenced certain positive thinking processes which yielded positive attitudes. From Noriega and Blair’s (2008) study it can be deduced that in the US advertisements in the bilinguals’ first language trigger positive thoughts and attitudes and this enhances the effectiveness of the advertisement.
It is worth noting that Noriega and Blair (2008) and the current study were both based on print media advertising. The purposive sampling technique was employed in both studies for the purpose of data collection. However, in terms of the research design, Noriega and Blair’s (2008) study was mainly quantitative; the corpus was analyzed mathematically and statistically and these were followed by interpretation and description of the data. The current study was mainly qualitative; it entailed analysis of textual data. From another perspective, while the current study was based on only English, Noriega and Blair (2008) involved English and the first languages of respondents. Noriega and Blair’s (2008) research was also sociolinguistic to some extent as it covered the use of language in its social context. Noriega and Blair (2008) generally did a psycholinguistic study of advertisements for the bilingual community in the US. In their study, they investigated the thoughts bilinguals experience when they read advertisements. However, the current study fills the gap in the literature by investigating the use of grammatical elements, figures of speech and Aristotle’s three artistic proofs as persuasive tools in the English of advertisements in the print media in Ghana.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.2 THE FOCUS OF ENQUIRY
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.7 ASSUMPTIONS UNDERLYING THE STUDY
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. 10 CHAPTER OUTLINE
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE STUDY
3.1.0 ARISTOTLE’S RHETORICAL THEORY
3.2 CONVENTIONAL FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE THEORY
3.3 STANDARD THEORY OF GENERATIVE GRAMMAR
CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.3.0 DATA COLLECTION
4.4 RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
4.5 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.6.0 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
4.6.1 Coding Categories
CHAPTER FIVE: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
5.1 RESEARCH QUESTION ONE
5.2 RESEARCH QUESTION TWO
5.3 RESEARCH QUESTION THREE
CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION
6.2 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
6.3 MAIN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
6.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
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