A Discursive Semiotic Analysis Of Chrome English Language Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Advertising has become a vital part of societies. It has an influence on people's daily life. It helps consumers selecting what to buy. It is the reflection of cultural aspects of a community. Due to the great impact of advertising on people's life, many researchers and linguists tried to investigate the field of advertising. Thus, a number of questions has arisen: What makes people buy some products and not others? Why do we prefer some brands over others? Do print ads and TV commercials actually influence our behavior?

To answer these questions, various research strategies-psychological, social, and cultural-help advertisers understand consumers and value the effectiveness of advertising messages directed to them.

These researches led to the conclusion that advertising is a specialized discourse. It has its own specificity, its special register, its specialized structure and its signs too.

This research paper aims at analyzing a men's fragrance advertisement, Chrome Azzaro, using a discursive-semiotic approach. This approach involves two main aspects: Discourse Analysis and Semiotic Analysis.

Advertisement as a Specialized Discourse:

Introduction:

Definition of Discourse

The term " discourse" is defined in different ways. Traditionally, discourse has been treated as "a continuous stretch of (especially spoken) language larger than a sentence…a discourse is a behavioural unit which has a pre-theoretical status in linguistics…" (Crystal 1991: 106).So according to this definition, Discourse is spoken.

Yule and Brown (1987: 1) state that "the analysis of discourse, is necessarily, the analysis of language in use. As such, it cannot be restricted to the descriptions of linguistic forms independent of the purposes or functions which these forms are designed to serve in human affairs". Thus, Discourse here is a social act represent with written language.

Stubbs (1983: 1) points out "that language and situation are inseparable". In other words, situation is the basis of the context. This definition leads us to the difference between Text and Context.

Text and Context in Discourse

Text refers to all linguistic aspects in written or spoken natural language, i.e. the words used to form the utterance or written text. The text takes place within a given situation or context. Context compromises different factors, not all of which always appear at once in a given situation. According to Cook (1992: 1) context includes:

Substance - the physical material which carries or relays text.

music and pictures;

Paralanguage - meaningful behaviour accompanying language, such as voice quality, gestures, facial expressions and touch (in speech) and choice of typeface and letter sizes (in writing);

Situation - the properties and relations of objects and people in the vicinity of the text, as perceived by the participants;

Co-text - text which precedes or follows that under analysis, and which participants judge to belong to the same discourse;

Intertext - text which the participants perceive as belonging to other discourse, but which they associate with the text under consideration, and which affects their interpretation;

Participants - they are described as senders, addressers, addressees and receivers; and

Function - what the text is intended to do by the senders and addressers, or perceived to do by the receivers and addressees. In other words what language is used for; its purpose.

Therefore, advertisement discourse is defined as text occurring within a specific context.

Discourse Analysis in Advertisements

In advertisements, text and context are complementary. Cook (1992: 4) states that there are hundreds of discourse types "which merge into each other and defy exact definition". This explains the nature of advertisement discourse.It contains many types of discourse at once such as: joke, song, cartoon and the like.

Characteristics of Advertising Discourse:

The various characteristics of advertising as identified by Cook (1992: 214) ï‚· They have the typical restless instability of a new discourse type.

ï‚· They seek to alter addressees' behaviour. (Persuasive advertisements are prime examples.)

ï‚· They change constantly. (Advertisements for a specific product change intermittently.)

ï‚· They are a discourse on the periphery of attention. (Advertisements are not regarded as being "serious".)

ï‚· They are unsolicited by their receivers. (Advertisements appear in the media, e.g. on television.)

ï‚· They are parasitic: appropriating and existing through the voices of other discourse types. (In magazines, newspapers and on television and radio.)

ï‚· They merge the features of public and private discourse, and the voices of intimacy and authority, exploiting the features common to both. (Private conversation and public addresses can be used.)

ï‚· They use various substances for discourse (e.g. a perfume strip in a magazine).

ï‚· They are embedded in an accompanying discourse (e.g. in a newspaper).

ï‚· They provoke social, moral and aesthetic judgements, either positive or negative.

ï‚· They are often heard in many contradictory ways simultaneously.

ï‚· Advertisements provoke controversy (e.g. Bennetton advertisements).

ï‚· They are multi-modal and can use pictures, music and language, either singly or in combination (e.g. television commercial).

ï‚· They are multi-submodal, in their use of language and can use writing, speech and song (e.g. radio advertisement).

ï‚· They contain and foreground extensive and innovative use of paralanguage (e.g. body language in a television commercial).

ï‚· They foreground connotational, indeterminate and metaphorical meaning, thus creating fusion between disparate spheres (e.g. Mercedes-Benz with luxury).

ï‚· They make dense use of intra-modal and inter-modal parallelisms.

ï‚· They use a heteroglossic narrative.

ï‚· They make extensive use of intra- and inter-discoursal allusion.

ï‚· They are presented in short bursts (e.g. television commercial of 30 seconds).

ï‚· They follow a principle of reversal, causing them to change many features, as soon as they become established, to the opposite.

ï‚· They are identified by their position in an accompanying discourse.

ï‚· They use their space and time to give pleasure.

ï‚· They use code-play.

ï‚· They answer a need for display and repetitive language. characteristics of advertising as identified by Cook (1992: 214).

Conclusion:

The major role of advertisement is to convince the consumer to take a specific action, i.e, the consumer is directly manipulated to change or modify his/her behavior.

2. Semiotic Analysis in Advertisements

Introduction

Semiotic Analysis

According to Ferdinand De Saussure in his book " Course In General Linguistics", Semiotics is a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life.

In advertising, Semiotics Analysis , thus deals with signs which reflect a cultural identity. To emphasize the function of semiotic analysis in advertisement, here are the three main fields of semiotics:

The sign. This entails the study of the various types of signs, and the different ways they have of conveying meaning, and the way they relate to the people who use them.

That to which the sign refers. In other words, the codes or systems into which signs are organised. This includes the ways that various codes have developed to meet the needs of a society or culture, or to exploit the channels of communication available for their transmission.

The users of the sign. In other words, the culture within which these codes and signs operate.

(Fiske 1982: 43).

The Sign in Semiotic Analysis

De Saussure described a language as a system of signs which have meaning by virtue of their relationships to each other (Cook 1992: 61). Every sign consists of (1) a signifier (the form which the sign takes), and (2) the signified (the concept it represents). The relationship between the signifier and the signified is called "signification". Thus the signifier is the term for the sign itself (the image); and the signified refers to the mental concept.

There are three types of Signs each conveys a meaning:

Icon: Here the sign and the object are alike .Visuals sign are good examples of this sign for instance photographs and diagrams.

Symbol: Here there is no relation between the sign and the object, for instance the word " Stop" .

Index: Here there is a direct relation between the sign and the object, for instance, smoke as index of fire.

Organization of Signs

According to De Saussure, there are two methods in which signs are organized, the paradigms and the syntagms. They are generally presented as axes, the vertical axis for the paradigmatic analysis and the horizontal axis for the syntagmatic analysis.

Aparadigm refres to signs ' classification that belong to a category , but each eign is different from other signs, e.g. The alphabet..Paradigms have two features:

Units must have something in common.

Units must be distinguished clearly .

A syntagm is signs' combination that makes a meaning i.e. a syntagm is formed when a unit paradigm is linked to other ubits.In advertisements, syntagmatic analysis studies its narrative sequence while paradigmatic analysis studies patterns in the text.

Metaphor and Metanomy:

Metaphor and Metanomy are meaningful in Advertisement, e.g. objects ued in Coca cola Ads are used to express good life. Another example is a shot of street with blood refers to violence.

Levels of Meaning: Connotation and Denotation

Denotation :( Sign Meaning)

Denotation means the signification between signifiers and significants within the sign.i.e.the literal or dictionary definition of a word.

Connotation: :( sign's cultural association).

Connotation refers to the association of signs.Here, cultural aspect is included as well as feelings, emotions, ideologies and subjective interpretations.e.g.Decemeber is the connotation of cold.

Intertexuality

Intertexuality refers to the way in which one text echoes or refers to another text. E.g. an ad which stated " to be in Florida in winter , or not to be in Florida in winter" would contain an intertextual reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Intertextuality can operate at many different levels of language, from phonological and lexical references in titles and slogans to visual aspects such as layouts and images.

Conclusion

Discursive-Semiotic Analysis of Chrome Azzaro

Discursive Analysis

Substance - the physical material which carries or relays text.

music and pictures;

Paralanguage - meaningful behaviour accompanying language, such as voice quality, gestures, facial expressions and touch (in speech) and choice of typeface and letter sizes (in writing);

Situation - the properties and relations of objects and people in the vicinity of the text, as perceived by the participants;

Co-text - text which precedes or follows that under analysis, and which participants judge to belong to the same discourse;

Intertext - text which the participants perceive as belonging to other discourse, but which they associate with the text under consideration, and which affects their interpretation;

Participants - they are described as senders, addressers, addressees and receivers; and

Function - what the text is intended to do by the senders and addressers, or perceived to do by the receivers and addressees. In other words what language is used for; its purpose.

Therefore, advertisement discourse is defined as text occurring within a specific context.

Semiotic Analysis

The sign. This entails the study of the various types of signs, and the different ways they have of conveying meaning, and the way they relate to the people who use them.

That to which the sign refers. In other words, the codes or systems into which signs are organised. This includes the ways that various codes have developed to meet the needs of a society or culture, or to exploit the channels of communication available for their transmission.

The users of the sign. In other words, the culture within which these codes and signs operate.

Icon: Here the sign and the object are alike .Visuals sign are good examples of this sign for instance photographs and diagrams.

Symbol: Here there is no relation between the sign and the object, for instance the word " Stop" .

Index: Here there is a direct relation between the sign and the object, for instance, smoke as index of fire.

Organization of Signs

paradigmatic analysis

syntagmatic analysis

Metaphor and Metanomy:

Metaphor and Metanomy are meaningful in Advertisement, e.g. objects ued in Coca cola Ads are used to express good life. Another example is a shot of street with blood refers to violence.

Levels of Meaning: Connotation and Denotation

Denotation :( Sign Meaning)

Denotation means the signification between signifiers and significants within the sign.i.e.the literal or dictionary definition of a word.

Connotation: :( sign's cultural association).

Connotation refers to the association of signs.Here, cultural aspect is included as well as feelings, emotions, ideologies and subjective interpretations.e.g.Decemeber is the connotation of cold.

Intertexuality

Intertexuality refers to the way in which one text echoes or refers to another text. E.g. an ad which stated " to be in Florida in winter , or not to be in Florida in winter" would contain an intertextual reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Intertextuality can operate at many different levels of language, from phonological and lexical references in titles and slogans to visual aspects such as layouts and images

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.