AbstractThis paper examines the role of the adjective “unique” in car manufacturers’ websites. The presence of adjectives is generally acknowledged to be a significant feature of advertising texts; however, analyses often focus on issues relating to the statistical frequency of occurrence of such items. Based on a corpus of sixteen UK car manufacturers’ websites, the present study considers the adjective “unique” in order to extract lexical information about its use and possible interpretation. From a relevance-theoretic approach to lexical pragmatics, findings indicate that this item shows an extraordinary sensitivity to context, and a number of ad hoc concepts are identified. Results also show that the word “unique” performs a significant persuasive role in online car advertising, adapting perfectly to the defining characteristics of this medium, as well as to the distinguishing features of the automobile as a commodity product
Copyright (c) 2020 Marisa Díez Arroyo
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