The Characteristics of Advertising in Blurbs of Arabic and English novels


The paper is concerned with a linguistic analysis of the blurbs, used in advertising English and Arabic novels. A blurb is an advertising persuasive text, written on the back cover of a book. Blurbs of selected novels are chosen as representative examples. The selected blurbs belong to two languages, Arabic and English. The paper aims at studying the linguistic features that are characteristic of blurbs as advertising texts and making a sort of comparison between English blurbs and Arabic ones. A linguistic analysis on four levels is presented. Blurbs are tackled from the point of view of four linguistic disciplines that are phonology, syntax, semantics and discourse analysis. A reference is made to the linguistic features of the register of advertising, in general, not only blurbs for the sake of comparison. The paper reaches the following conclusions: blurbs of novels are classified as advertising texts, as they adhere to the linguistic strategies of persuasion; blurbs' abundant use of superlative constructions and long sentences but rare use of colloquial vocabulary items are points which differentiate blurbs from other advertising texts; and English and Arabic blurbs use the same persuasive strategies, like use of complimentary words, meaning manipulation, repetition … etc.