A Pragmatic Analysis of Presuppositions in Web- based Political Advertisements


ABSTRACT This study is regarded as a pragmatic analysis of the political web advertisements; it is primarily based on ads collected from the web, analyzing them mainly in terms of the pragmatic presuppositions they involve to bring out advertisement's meaning, and to uncover possible intentions, or shared knowledge behind their language and graphs. More narrowly, the study investigates the possibility of identifying presupposition as a kind of pragmatic inference. One of the goals of the present study is to investigate the notion of presupposition that can be achieved in the different kinds of media ads in general and the political ads in particular. This concept can help the readers to make assumptions about the existence of certain information which is not made explicitly from what is actually said but concluded from what was said. The use of the very concept can be regarded as an integral part of the kinds of human communication. However it is particularly used in advertising as a way of making the represented realities as convincing as possible. This study aims at shedding light on the pragmatic presupposition by analyzing certain political web ads, and revealing the meanings that lie behind these ads by linking between the picture, the language, the facts, etc., that could be seen as shared knowledge between the advertiser and his audience. It is hypothesized that (1) there is a set of properties that can be used in defining the presupposition, and these properties are also used as tests for figuring out this topic, (2) there is no remarkable difference between the presupposition that is identified in our daily communication and the presupposition that is identified by the readers in the political ads, and (3) the behavior of syntactic and lexical linguistic features can also have their pragmatic basis for their use other than the pragmatic , due to the impact of the context requirements, bearing in mind the topic consideration. Based on the results of data analysis conducted on the adapted models, certain remarkable points have arisen. The most important conclusions are: through out the analysis of the selected 16 political ads, the models that are used have demerits, and that’s why the researcher analyzes the data eclectically. And the concept of presupposition is existed in every piece of communication whether if it is verbal or non verbal, and this is what makes the communication meaningful and successful at the same time. In addition to those conclusions, some recommendations and suggestions for further studies are provided at the end of the study.