Due to its widespread dissemination in worldwide societies, advertising is considered to be the art of the modern world that has become critical in shaping the new modern globalized culture, impacting collective awareness and transcending national boundaries. As a purely linguistic phenomenon, it is deeply enmeshed in social discourse by means of its fast diffusion. As media products, whether in electronic and print formats or in newspapers and magazines, advertisements play a crucial role in the modern society through the main function they perform, that of mass-targeting the promotion of products and services. Besides their pragmatic function, by way of intruding upon consumers’ private lives and feelings, advertisements perform a social function as well. (…)
The present thesis aims to examine the language of attitudinal appraisal with reference to sexuality on the basis of the discourse-semantic appraisal model proposed by Martin and White, a model that deems attitude as one of the three fundamental tools for making interpersonal interpretations into effect, judgment and appreciation. The model helps trace and implicitly decode the interpersonal level in language, being explicit about writers’ (and speakers’) subtle and subjective commitment to texts as they embrace stances relative to both the individuals they communicate with and the language they make use of in the process.
Primarily studied as a genre, with a focus on the linguistic and stylistic features, advertisements in the present thesis will be analyzed through the sub-genre of personal ads (PAs) with a view to explaining how, why and to what degree the language in the advertisement discourse builds and shapes attitudinal meanings with social effect.