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Use of English in advertising and journalistic discourse of the Expanding circle: data from Bulgarian magazines
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The combination of the socio-political changes following 1989 and the current status ofEnglish as the language of international communication promoted dynamic transformations ofthe attitude and usages of English in Bulgaria. The purpose of this study is to investigate theforms, functions and symbolic value of English in the Bulgarian advertising and journalisticdiscourse. The emphasis is on non-established words as opposed to established borrowings.Two hypotheses encapsulating the possible relation between English usages in advertising andjournalistic discourses are in the centre of investigation:

Hypothesis 1 The use of the English language remains on the symbolic and visual level in theBulgarian advertising and journalistic discourses.

Hypothesis 2 The symbolic value of English usage in advertising discourse is the same as thatof journalistic discourse.

Prior to the analyses, the study introduces an overview of the Bulgarian linguistic situationand a summary of studies in the area of contact phenomena between English and Bulgarian.Special attention is paid to publications discussing advertising and journalistic discourse.On the base of two principles – genre and readership – six magazines have been selectedto provide the data for the study: Маниджър(Manager); Story, НашДом(Our Home),ЖенатаДнес(The Woman Today), ЖурналзаЖената(Women’s Journal), and Top GearБългария(Top Gear Bulgaria). Using a set of criteria the process of collecting data hasextracted the occurrences of English from all advertisements, section and column headings,article titles, and the featured article of each issue. English occurrences have been classifiedfirst according to their generic function and position in the textual unity, and then, accordingto symbolic value ascribed by English.The statistical data confirms that the use of English in advertising discourse is common;on average 66% of the advertisements contain English words. Cross-reference with the type offunction reveals, however, that only 17% of the English used in advertisements adds semanticvalue to the Bulgarian-English mixing. Therefore, in advertising discourse English remainsmainly a tool for adding symbolic value. As far as the journalistic discourse is concernedEnglish usages are not as frequent; nevertheless, great variations are exemplified. Suchvariation is observed in the heading data where one of the magazines contains no English inthe headings while another uses English in all but four of its headings. The findings of thestudy reject both of the hypotheses although variations are observed and have been describedin this study. The analyses demonstrate that advertising discourse uses English in order toexploit the value of English as the lingua franca of the world, while the journalistic discoursedraws on the symbolic associations of English as the language of popular culture.The results of this study provide a comparison between advertising and journalisticdiscourses. Furthermore, it offers a picture of the situation in Bulgaria twenty years after thepolitical changes and a good intermediate point in the process of spread of English, whichcontinues to modify the linguistic situation of the country.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 83 p.
Keyword [en]
advertising discourse, journalistic discourse, Bulgaria, English, symbolic value
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40798OAI: diva2:326489
2010-06-04, English Department, 14:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-09-09 Created: 2010-06-23 Last updated: 2010-09-09Bibliographically approved

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