Paralinguistic Devices as Mechanisms of Influence and Manipulation In Modern English Multimodal Advertising Discourse

Keywords: influence, manipulation, semiotic resources, syntactic compatibility, advertising, linguistic and paralingual components


The article provides an analysis of modern English-language advertising discourse, taking into consideration the paralingual components of communication. Attention is drawn to its heterogeneous and differentiating features. Sample advertisements  are displayed in which both linguistic and paralingual components are utilized in the construction of sentences. Substantiation is provided for the correlation between the linguistic and paralingual components which now operate in tandem within advertising discourse and serve as a powerful mechanism of influence on its recipients.

The role and the semiotic load of paralinguals are illustrated using specific examples, and the reasons for their involvement and their communicative and pragmatic loading are highlighted. The psycholinguistic features of advertising discourse are considered in the light of its prevailing tendency to semiotic convergence. The study suggests that English-language advertising discourse is characterized by a deviation from established syntactic norms. However, this pattern does not impede the understanding and perception of the product or service that is advertised; on the contrary, it is designed to activate visual receptors, and in that way, to more rapidly reach the side desired by the producer by increasing its revenue and inducing the recipient to use the advertised item, even if the latter initially had no intention of doing so.

The paper also demonstrates that this method of presenting information is indicative of the most recent trends in English-language expression—syntactic symbiosis. This leads recipients to consider such combinations not only as an aesthetic polysemiotic formulation, but as a new form of interaction which is intended to establish itself in the long-term memory of the recipients, appealing to the brain receptors through the visual channel.

The changes demonstrated at the syntactic level signal the transformational processes that are occurring in modern English. This testifies to the fact that now, for some reason, successful dialogue between the producer and the recipient is not always possible using linguistic means exclusively, and that paralinguals are not only interesting and successful in fulfilling their seemingly insignificant role, but that they are leading modes, which, unlike linguistic ones, are the key visually-oriented bases of influence on the recipient.


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How to Cite
Makaruk, L. (2018). Paralinguistic Devices as Mechanisms of Influence and Manipulation In Modern English Multimodal Advertising Discourse. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, (23(2), 148-164.