Language and Advertising


Advertising pervades our culture; interactions with advertising are an unavoidable fact of modern life. This class uses tools from linguistics and cognitive science to analyze these interactions, and understand the impact of advertising on its viewers. A central theme is to treat ads as communicative acts, and explore the consequences — what can theories of communication (from linguistics, psychology, and philosophy) tell us about ads? How do ads use central features of human cognition to accomplish their aims? Do ads manipulate, and if so, how successfully? The theories of communication we explore include Gricean pragmatics, theories of speech acts, linguistic theories of presuppositions, and more. Students will collect, analyze, and discuss advertisements in all mediums.

Please visit the Office of the Registrar for more information about this course.