The Discourse of Classified Advertising: Exploring the Nature of Linguistic Simplicity / Edition 1

The Discourse of Classified Advertising: Exploring the Nature of Linguistic Simplicity / Edition 1

by Paul Bruthiaux
     
 

Linguists who have studied simplified varieties of a given language, such as pidgins or the language of care-givers, have tended to explain similarities in their structure by the fact that they use the same mechanisms of simplification. Bruthiaux tests this idea by looking at the structure of classified ads in American English, using a body of 800 ads from four

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Overview

Linguists who have studied simplified varieties of a given language, such as pidgins or the language of care-givers, have tended to explain similarities in their structure by the fact that they use the same mechanisms of simplification. Bruthiaux tests this idea by looking at the structure of classified ads in American English, using a body of 800 ads from four categories: automobile sales, apartments for rent, help wanted, and personal ads.

Bruthiaux's thesis is that strict, uniform constraints on space should result in uniformly simple texts, no matter which category they are in, and that any variation would be due to the particular needs of each category. To prove this he describes the linguistic structure of classified ads, and shows that they are characterized by a minimal degree of morphosyntactic elaboration. He then examines aspects of their conventions to highlight the role of pre-patterned and prefabricated segments whose collocational rigidity may force the inclusion of otherwise dispensable items. He finds that there is indeed significant variation across ad categories in terms of morphosyntactic elaboration, and concludes that this is due to a greater or lesser need to be explicit, as well as a greater or lesser anticipation of interaction. Finally, he examines the implications of these findings for the study of linguistic simplification and register variation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195100327
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1996
Series:
Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.76(d)
Lexile:
1570L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

1Theoretical issues3
2Situating the corpus23
3Syntactic elaboration39
4Conventionalization90
5Functional variation132
6Classified advertising in its linguistic context160
Appendix A: Summary of features of linguistic simplication177
Appendix B: Corpus selection criteria178
Appendix C: Glossary of abbreviations180
Appendix D: Test of editorial interference in Recycler ads184
Notes187
References193
Index204

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