The main place in the structure of the advertising text is occupied by the slogan – a concise, clear and easily perceived wording of the evaluative idea in the texts of advertising. If used successfully, it contributes to the creation of a vivid advertising image and increases the impact of advertising on a potential consumer. Speaking about the slogan features it is important to outline its influence on the audience mass consciousness and the development of communication skills of recipients of advertising information. On the one hand, the slogan can be viewed as a mirror of culture objectively reflecting the communication environment of the society. This reveals the uniqueness of the slogan as a social phenomenon. The slogan seeks to “talk” in the same language with the consumer, to be as clear and close to the audience as possible. Since the advertising texts have to be “tempting” and a slogan is the central component of any advertising message it is necessary to highlight its rhetorical features. The following are among them: brevity, rhythmic and phonetic repetition, contrast, language game and the effect of hidden dialogue. The expressiveness and strength of the impact of its content on a potential buyer largely depends on the peculiarities of the syntactic design of the advertising slogan.
It is hard to imagine our modern word without advertising. Advertising is highly demanded since it plays an important role in the development of the economy. According to the fair point of Matveeva (2016) “the goal of an advertising text is not only to attract attention, to arouse the reader’s interest in the advertised item, to form a preferential attitude towards it, but to convince the consumer to purchase this particular product or service” (p. 39). That is why it is necessary to pay special attention to the form of the language used in the advertising text, selection of the language means, and the syntactic organization in particular. It should be remembered that a good advertising slogan is “a good balance of both the content and the form” (Pesotsky, 2012, p. 8). Therefore, the expressiveness and strength of the impact of its content on a potential buyer depends on the features of the syntactic design of the slogan. The use of various possibilities of the syntactic structure of the language allows one to effectively influence the target audience (Romanova, 2013).
In recent decades advertising in Russia has become widespread due to the changed economic conditions. In this regard there arose a need in linguistics for a multidimensional analysis and description of advertising texts. The expressiveness and strength of the influence of the content of the advertising slogan on the potential buyer largely depends on the peculiarities of its syntactic design. The use of various possibilities of the syntactic structure of the language allows one to effectively influence the target audience.
Together with the advertised proper name the slogan expresses the main meaning of the advertising concept. It is not a rare case when the entire advertising text consists of the advertised proper name and the accompanying slogan. Therefore, the slogan can be considered one of the independent genre types of advertising text and, since the slogan is the most expressive type of the advertising text, it is reasonably important not only to consider its semantic components, but also to identify the features of its syntactic organization. One-member sentences are a special semantic-structural type of a simple sentence. Brevity, dynamism, foregrounding of the most important thing in the communicated message are the special properties of one-member sentences, which make it possible to implement the main function of journalism, the function of influence. The material for this study was the Russian texts of modern advertising slogans of various Russian television channels. Over 150 advertising texts were collected and analyzed.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the work is to analyze the features of the functioning of one-member sentences in the modern Russian-language advertising slogan.
Traditional methods of observation and linguistic experiment are involved in this study.
Advertising must be dynamic that is why it does not tolerate complex syntactic structures (Crompton, 1998). This explains the frequency of the use of one-member sentences in the structure of an advertising slogan. In contrast to two-member sentences, one-member sentences have one main part which is self-sufficient for expressing semantic and predicative relations and which simultaneously names an object, phenomenon, state, as well as indicates its presence in reality, conveys an attitude towards reality (Valgina, 2003). One-member sentences clearly demonstrate that not only the lexical and phraseological composition of the language, but also the “arsenal of syntactic constructions” (Babaytseva, 2004) are capable of expressing the most subtle semantic nuances. Brevity, dynamism, foregrounding of the most important thing in the communicated message – these are the special properties of one-member sentences.
Traditionally one-member sentences are divided into verbal and nominal based on the means of expression of the main part or member. One-member sentences the main member of which is expressed in a verb form representing an independent predicative feature make up verbal one-member sentences. The classification of structural and semantic varieties of verbal one-member sentences is due to the different content of predicative meanings (tense, modality, person) and the use of certain verb forms designed to express this meaning (Babaytseva, 2004). Hence follows the division into indefinitely personal, definitively personal, generalized personal, impersonal and infinitive verbal one-member sentences.
Verbal one-member sentences in the advertising slogan structure
The need to emphasize the action itself explains the frequency of the use of one or another type of verbal one-member sentences in the structure of an advertising slogan.
is “a type of one-member sentences where the main part or member is expressed by a personal form of the verb indicating a specific person” (Valgina, 2003, p. 76). In such sentences the verb form not only denotes the action itself, but also clearly indicates the character. That is to say the foregrounding of the predicative semantic subject occurs due to the form of the verb, the main member of the sentence indicating the speaker or his interlocutor (Skoblikova, 2012).
The main member of definitively personal sentences can be expressed by a verb in the singular or plural form of the first or second person, present-future tense, indicative mood, for example: (Sovcombank); (Orient); (Dixi stores chain); singular and plural imperative verb, for example: (Camelot);(Sprite); (Pepsi); (Persen drug). Sometimes to express the meaning of the motivation for a joint action a verb in the first person plural is used, for example: (Persil washing gel);(Head and Shoulders shampoo). In terms of their semantics and structure such sentences are synonymous with two-member sentences and are easily transformed into them by including the corresponding subject-pronouns (Valgina, 2003). However, at the level of functioning, one-member and two-member sentences synonymous with them have fundamental differences, i.e. the general “stylistic tonality” of these sentences is different (Beloshapkova, 2008). Definitely personal sentences give the text more energy, dynamism and make it more concise. It is not without reason that the famous linguist Peshkovsky (2001) when comparing synonymous one-member and two-member sentences came to the conclusion that two-member sentences represent “more sluggish, diluted, calm, but not clearer speech” (p. 44).
In imperative sentences typical of the structure of an advertising slogan, one-member definite personal constructions prevail since the verb in the imperative mood is self-sufficient to foreground the subject of the action, for example: (Beeline); (Brooke Bond); (Nuts);; ! (Skittles); (Samsung);(Jockey); (Mig painkiller);(tic tac);(Hankook).
When functioning in the structure of an advertising slogan, a verb in the form of an imperative mood in a narrative context, there is a tendency towards a softer, recommendatory character (Romanova, 2013). That is, in this case, the advertising text advises and unobtrusively recommends to do things jointly with the advertised product. For example:(Claritin drug); (Garnier);(Princess Nuri); (AVON);(Hochland);(Opel Astra).
are “one-member sentences the main member of which names a process or state independent of the active agent (or a feature independent of its bearer)” (Valgina, 2003, p. 115). The predicative feature of an impersonal sentence is expressed through the most impersonal form of the verb and its lexical meaning. In its turn the action is presented as occurring outside of involvement with its producer. It is the absence of an active agent that is the semantic basis of such sentences, but an indication of an agent or bearer of a feature can be presented in a form that does not allow for a grammatical subject. In general, the appearance of impersonal constructions denoting natural phenomena, the internal or physical state of a person was initially associated with a certain ‘mythical figure’, but as a result of the development of abstract thinking there was a clear distraction of action from a specific figure.
The stylistic possibilities of one-member impersonal sentences are unusually unlimited, which is why they are widely used in advertising texts. They give the advertising slogan a high stylistic color. The advertising is simple and understandable for everyone, for example:(Hylak-Forte); (Lay’s);(Gillette);. (Oreo). The impersonal sentences are irreplaceable when it is necessary to highlight the action itself and its result: (Pyaterochka store).
The grammatical types of impersonal sentences are quite diverse. Valgina (2003) singles out verbal impersonal and nominal impersonal sentences. In the advertising slogan both types are implemented, but the most frequent, according to our observations, are nominal impersonal sentences with an impersonal predicative word in the role of the main member, for example:(Gerber baby food); (Beeline);; (M-Video home appliances store); (Skoda). Impersonal predicative words are etymologically associated with short adjectives and some nouns the semantic feature of which is the expression of various states: easy, fun, healthy, sorry, it is time, etc., and “the meaning of lack of subjectlessness is revealed in relation to the carrier of this feature” (Valgina, 2003, p. 115):(Mezim drug). Such sentences in the composition of the main member often have an adjacent infinitive, for example: (House in the village dairy products);(Golden barrel beer).
are a special type of one-member sentences the main member of which is represented by an independent infinitive expressing various modal-expressive shades: motivation, obligation, permission, desirability, etc. (Babaytseva, 2004).
In the infinitive sentences the main member – the form of the infinitive of the verb – appears outside its relation to the verbal connective, since, if present, the infinitive is an adjoining component and takes a dependent position (Danilova, 2018).
The semantic specificity of infinitive sentences is their designation of an unreal (potential) action, that is, an action that “is destined to take place, which is desirable or undesirable, possible or impossible, expedient or inappropriate” (Valgina, 2003, p. 115), for example:(Nissan Nout);(Tchibo); (Korega gel). The infinitive sentences, as a rule, always have different modal shades, conveyed by intonation differences.
Despite some synonymy with impersonal sentences infinitive sentences differ from them in structural features: In infinitive sentences modal shades are contained in the infinitive itself and in an impersonal sentence they are expressed by lexemes, in combination with the infinitive, for example:(Calcium D3 Nycomed); (Maisky tea); Pampers.; (Pampers).
Nominal one-member sentences in the advertising slogan structure
The analysis of modern advertising texts made it possible to single out from all types of nominal one-member sentences the nominative ones (in their various categories), which regularly function in the structure of advertising slogans.
are one-member, segmented sentences where the semantic subject and its predicative attribute express the fact of existence, presence in objective reality. The main member of such sentences is a noun in the nominative case, which denotes the subject of thought and at the same time serves as a sign of a certain situation (Danilova, 2018).
The frequency of the use of nominative sentences in the advertising text is explained by the fact that they concisely inform consumers about a new product or service. Nominative proposals in advertising affect the addressee through the presentation of facts, avoiding advice, conditions and appeals, leaving the addressee to make their own decisions, for example: (cosmetics advertising).
A distinctive feature of nominative sentences is fragmentation and, at the same time, a large capacity of the expressed content. They name individual details of the situation, but the details are important, calculated for the experience and imagination of the listener or reader, such that it is easy to imagine the overall picture of the described situation or event, for example: (Eldorado store); (Nescafe Classic); (Colgate Total 12).
Nominative sentences are used to emphasize the uniqueness and quality of the advertised product in advertising texts, for example:(Alpen Gold Express).
Besides, with the help of nominative sentences, a brevity, conciseness of the message is achieved and, thanks to the use of epithets, the essential characteristics of the advertised product are highlighted, for example: (Mentos);(Fairy);.
To express the maximum degree of quality in nominative one-member sentences, the superlative adjectives with the value of evaluativeness are used:; nouns and metaphorical expressions with evaluative semantics: (advertising of lingerie). In these examples, we observe the implementation of such a category of nominative sentences as evaluative-being. They have an expression for a particular object, product, situation and phenomenon.
The function of nominative interrogative sentences is the possibility of posing a problem, the key to which will be the subject of advertising:f(face-cream ad).
Exclamatory nominative sentences enhance the emotional fullness of the advertising appeal and give it additional expressiveness:(Bounty);(Mirinda);(The shoe factory network).
The chain of incomplete nominative sentences also makes the text expressive and even dramatic. Here is how the nominative sentences are used in an insurance company advertisement: Or the names of goods, services and their properties are simply listed: (car advertisement).
Sometimes nominative sentences in advertising slogans are built on the principle of antithesis. This allows you to emphasize the merits of the advertised item, highlight its positive qualities. For example:; (Nestle Classic for men); (Rostelecom).
Beside, when creating advertising texts based on nominative sentences, the parceling technique is sometimes used: (Photo studio 4Foto.ru); Parceled structures stand out from the general speech flow, they have an expressive emotional coloring and they enhance speech.
Advertising slogans consisting of nominative sentences often use words that refer to internal resources: soul, intuition, inner voice, knowledge, memory. When using them, the creators of advertising texts emphasize respect for the personality of the consumer and help him or her make the right choice, for example: (Stary Melnik beer).
A nominative sentence can consist of contextual synonyms in an advertising text:.
One of the special varieties of nominative sentences is the so-called nominative representation (nominative theme) (in the terminology of A.M. Peshkovsky). In such constructions, the nominative case, which is in the initial position performs the function of designating the subject of the message, the logical selection of the topic of the statement. According to Peshkovsky (2001), a similar form of the nominative case arises “from the desire to highlight a given representation and facilitate the forthcoming connection of this representation with another. At the same time, the idea is presented in two stages: First, an isolated object is displayed and the listeners only know that something will be said about this object, but now they must observe the object; the next moment the very thought is expressed” (p. 175). It is not surprising that such constructions are very frequent in the syntactic design of advertising slogans as this technique allows a potential consumer of a product to first imagine it, think about it and then listen to the proposed characteristic. For example:
It should be noted that almost no genitival nominal one-member sentences are found in the advertising texts. The main member of such sentences, expressed by the form of the genitive case of a noun, expresses the quantity in its existentiality, for example: This semantics of sentences is not really typical characteristic of the advertising genre, but quite often the genitival sentences function in a different genre of journalism, i.e. in newspaper headlines, for example: (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 195, dated 17.05.2019); (PROgorod, No. 24 (405), dated 16.06.2019).
Thus, when designing an advertising slogan, special attention should be paid to its language design and in particular its syntactic organization which the strength of the content’s impact on a potential buyer largely depends on. In the course of the analysis of the collected material the conclusion was made that when designing an advertising slogan, it is necessary to choose the most preferred version of its syntactic organization. In our opinion it is verbal one-member sentences (in comparison with two-member sentences) that are able to convey the expressiveness and dynamism of the content of the advertising text. Due to their brevity, the ability to express various modal shades one-member verbal sentences successfully perform the functions of an advertising slogan. Nominative one-member sentences are not inferior in their frequency in use in the genre of an advertising slogan. They are able to laconically emphasize the uniqueness and quality of the advertised product and draw potential buyer’s attention to its features.
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17 May 2021
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Danilova, E., Yurkina, T., Pastukhova, L., Yakushkina, Z., Lukicheva, O., & Vorobyeva, I. (2021). Stylistic Potential Of One-Member Sentences Of Modern Russian Language. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 314-321). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.43