Persuasive and Informative Functions in Russian Advertising Discourse of Late Nineteenth Century
Based on the corpus of advertisements compiled from Russian provincial newspapers of late nineteenth century the paper studies the balance between the informative and persuasive functions of Russian advertising discourse taking into consideration the following parameters: performative verbs and evaluative language. Three distributional patterns of performative verbs are defined: third person performatives; performatives expressed by an infinitive; canonical performatives. The study reveals that the functions of the patterns are contingent on the semantics of the verbs used. The first pattern with the verbal phrase ‘donosit’ do svedenia’ relates to the informative function and employs negative politeness strategies to address the recipient of the advertising text with respect; the second pattern with an infinitive preceded by the verb ‘vinuzhdat’ ‘to compel’ in the finite form is used to minimize pressure on the recipient of the advertising text whenever a request is employed; on the contrary, the canonical performatives with the verbs ‘sovetovat’ (to advise), ‘recomendovat’ (to recommend) signals the authority of the advertiser. The distribution of the patterns with the performatives indicates that while the informative function is significant in the period under investigation the advertisers start influencing the recipients by emphasizing their knowledge and expertise, which is indicative of the persuasive function. The distribution of evaluative parts of speech shows that positively evaluated words are not frequent, the advertisers rarely praise goods or services and mainly emphasize a wide choice of products and reasonable prices.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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