MODIFIERS IN ADVERTISEMENTS INTHE PUNCH AND THE SUN NEWSPAPERS

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ABSTRACT

The world of advertising may seem commonplace but its language is actually arcane to many, for they are naive to the subtlety and nuances behind such theatrics. Readers hardly pause to think about its nature as a form of discourse, as a system of language. This study recognizes advertising as a form of discourse that has its own terminology. The thesis therefore sets out to investigate the impact and invaluableness of modifiers in advertising language. This problem is introduced in chapter one, with the attendant research questions to which the linguistic investigation intends to find answers. The task of summarizing previous studies on the language of advertisingis done in the second chapter; this review helps to highlight the gap the research will fill. This close reading adopts a theoretical framework that is built on Searle’s philosophy of speech act. It employs the Searlean typology of illocutionary acts, which comprise five classes namely, assertives, expressives, declaratives, directives and commissives. However, only four of them are used in this work. The discourse of advertising does not involve ‘assertives’, which are statements of facts. Advertising agencies hardly sell the truth, and rightly so. This hypothesis is delineated in chapter three. The study analyses modifiers, showcasing the intersection between semiotics and pragmatics, which culminates in semantics. This is to be found in chapter four, whereby extracts from advertisements are presented and analyzed. The analysis is accompanied by discussion of the findings. The primary data comprises phrases and expressions which are directly lifted from the selected dailies. Finally, chapter five deals with the conclusion and recommendations for further research.

MODIFIERS IN ADVERTISEMENTS INTHE PUNCH AND THE SUN NEWSPAPERS

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