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The Usage Types and Communicational Properties of Chinese Characters in Korean Advertisements

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2004, 12(2), pp.157-180
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

남미혜 1

1서울대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the usage pattern and communicational attributes of Chinese characters in Korean advertisements. Advertisements in printed newspapers and journals were sources of data. The study produces five significant findings. First, one function of Chinese characters in printed advertisements is to show ideograms, to elevate the presentation, and to convey the professional nature of the contents. Second, the concise nature of Chinese idioms (composed of only four characters) used in printed advertisements provides the benefit of smaller paper space requirements. Third, Chinese characters in printed advertisements are used intentionally to indicate multiple meanings through homonyms. Fourth, Chinese characters in printed advertisements force readers to deduce the meanings of Chinese characters through cognitive efforts, which could be linked to increased recall or retention in the readers. Fifth, contrary to the purpose of general communication, i.e., clear messages, advertisements using Chinese characters are able to convey vague messages that can lead the readers not only to interpret them in various ways but also to have more curiosity on the advertised items.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.