Pragmatics of Persuasive Discourse of Spanish Television Advertising

Hardin, Karol J

This investigation analyzes pragmatic ways in which Spanish is used to achieve persuasion in television advertising. The author applies pragmatic models to commercials for products and services from three countries--Chile, Spain, and the United States. She addresses the questions: (1) Which pragmatic devices occur most frequently? (2) How are these devices linguistically coded? (3) Are any differences evident between regional varieties of Spanish? and (4) How are pragmalinguistic features of television advertising used to effect persuasion? The most representative variables include speech acts, indexicals, politeness, implicatures, violations of Grice's Maxims, and speaker considerations.

The study contributes to the cross-linguistic understanding of pragmatics and of persuasion in Spanish by (1) offering a procedure that may be replicated; (2) addressing multiple pragmatic categories; and (3) examining the relationship between pragmatic strategies and persuasion among Spanish speakers. Given the vital role of the media in society, Spanish television advertising reflects the pragmatic communication of persuasion by and to Spanish speakers.

Pragmática de discurso persuasivo de publicidad de television en español

Esta investigación analiza las maneras pragmáticas en las cuales se usa el español para persuadir en la publicidad de televisión y contribuye al entendimiento lingüístico de pragmática y persuasión en español. El libro está escrito en inglés.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables

  1. Introduction
  2. 1.1 Media language
    1.2 Goals of this study
    1.3 Advertising and persuasive discourse
    1.4 Overview

  3. Procedure and Method
  4. 2.1 Design of the study
    2.2 Method of analysis
    2.3 Sample analysis of an ad

  5. Analysis and Results
  6. 3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Pragmatic strategies reflected in the data
    3.3 Linguistic realization of strategies in the data
    3.4 Distributive patterns
    3.5 Summary of analysis and results

  7. Pragmatics and Persuasion
  8. 4.1 Introduction
    4.2 How pragmatic strategies effect persuasion in the data

  9. Conclusions and Implications
  10. 5.1 Conclusions
    5.2 Support of existing literature
    5.3 Applications, limitations, and implications
    5.4 Conclusion

Appendix A: A Critical Review of Literature

A brief history of advertising
The language of advertising
Pragmatic categories addressed in this study
The Cooperative Principle and Grice’s Maxims
Other strategies in advertising

Appendix B: Database Sample

Appendix C: Number of Comparable Ads by Product in Each Country

Appendix D: Distribution of Pragmatic Strategies: Preference by Country


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