Evaluation in English and Chinese marketing communications : an adaptation of the appraisal framework for the genre of luxury fashion promotional texts
Ho, Nga Ki Mavis
MetadataShow full item record
This study draws attention to how evaluation in marketing communications is realised from a linguistic perspective and concludes that evaluation strategies can be different in two languages albeit in the same genre and with the same targets of evaluation. The overall aim of this study is to identify evaluation strategies in the genre of luxury fashion promotional texts in English and Chinese. This is achieved through the application of an adapted Appraisal framework under Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Two comparative corpora, one in English (17,268 words) and the other in Chinese (19,103 words), are compiled from articles taken across the English and Chinese websites of three top-selling multinational luxury clothing companies: Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton between 6th January and 8th March 2017, at the time of data collection when all the luxury fashion brands held fashion shows and their websites had potentially more updates, i.e. more articles. To identify the evaluation strategies, an extended framework of the Appraisal theory is established from Martin and White’s (2005) and Don’s (2016) as their frameworks are for general texts and a more specific framework for luxury fashion promotional texts is needed. This entails a great extension under the subsystem of Appreciation, in which subtypes related to the concepts of luxury and fashion are developed. The main findings indicate that firstly, the evaluation in the Chinese corpus is more explicit than the English corpus. This is not only due to the Chinese corpus having more instances of explicit evaluation, but even when the occurrence frequencies of implicit evaluation instances are similar in both corpora, the ways evaluation are implied are still comparatively more explicit in the Chinese corpus. Secondly, the Chinese corpus adopts a more emotive approach than the English corpus because of the substantially higher frequency of one particular subtype of emotional markers (identified as Reaction:Quality in the Appreciation system) in the Chinese corpus. Findings also show implications for marketing communications between the two languages in expressing some luxury- and fashion-related values. Despite a few caveats such as the researcher’s subjectivity, and some degrees of ambiguity in between subtypes in the original Appraisal framework, it is argued that this research can contribute to the studies and practice of SFL, marketing, intercultural communication and transcreation.