Филологические науки/7. Язык, речь, речевая коммуникация

PhD in Philology Ivantsiv O. V.

Ternopil V. Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Ukraine



The last three decades in linguistics have seen a considerable growth of interest in discourse analysis. Although the scope of discourse research in the sphere of business is extremely diverse, strikingly, very few studies have so far focused on corporate imagemaking (see, for example T. Ananko [1], O. Bulgakova [2], I. Lysychkina [4], O. Shefer [6], M. Valdebenito [7]). The majority of studies of this type of discourse do not refer to linguistics, although in some research papers a language component is undoubtedly present. However, the English imaging corporate discourse deserves much more attention from linguists. We consider it necessary to underscore that language as a semiotic system of signs must become a subject-matter in the analysis of this type of discourse.

Corporate imagemaking has become one of the most quickly developing areas of discourse. This has been the result of several factors, some of which include the availability of new technology in business communication and a massive information explosion, and, as a consequence, the compulsive nature of advertising and promotional activities in business and the essentially competitive nature of many of business activities.

The choice of the object of our study is primarily due to the increase in the value of communication in business, which leads to the importance of its research for optimization and efficient organization. To enhance competitiveness, to seize and retain their position in the market, to gain a good reputation and increase profits, to build and maintain a rapport with both existing and potential customers and shareholders, companies need to create a positive corporate image and establish effective communication and information processes, which requires a more detailed analysis of public relations (henceforth PR) communication.

Corporate image can be defined as a mental construct formed by communicative factors with the aim of establishing a stable set of conceptions and associations connected with a company in the addressee’s mental picture of the world.

Modern English imaging corporate discourse is characterized by the specific functioning of language in a corporate context, by the use of language resources in business activities and verbal and para-verbal aspects of PR communication. The analyzed discourse reveals its own communicative, pragmatic, lexical, syntactic, textual, visual-graphic, genre-stylistic and other features.

The major characteristics of modern English imaging corporate discourse embrace intertexuality, interdiscursitivity and interpractice. Thus, it can be defined as a complex type of discourse, a hybrid substance that is characterized by the integration of the features of various discourse types, such as media discourse, advertising discourse and marketing discourse, and is realized at their intersection.

The present research focuses on the strategic choices made by the addressers of the English imaging corporate discourse. The strategic approach is particularly relevant to the analysis of company’s image formation because the sphere of corporate imagemaking is characterized by detailed planning of communicative actions of the addresser.

Discursive strategy is a means of the realization of communicative aims in the social verbal interaction [5, p. 114]. The notion of discursive strategy correlates with the conception formulated by Teun A. van Dijk [3]. The main components of it are global and local strategies. Global strategy occupies a dominant position because it organizes discourse. It is implemented through local strategies, which are aimed at achieving certain goals and controlling the results at certain stages. These strategies form a general macrostrategy of discourse management [3, p. 274].

The communicative intention of the English imaging corporate discourse addresser lies in influencing the target audience to perceive the organization in a favorable light. This communicative intention is realized through a global strategy of company’s positioning which consists in programming the receipient’s mental picture of the world aimed at creating a positive image of a company as a reliable partner, a manufacturer of high quality and exclusive products, a desirable employer and a benefactor.

The global strategy of company’s positioning is concretized through the local strategies which help to specify the nature of influence potentially exerted on the conscious (argumentation) and subconscious (suggestion) levels.

In the English imaging corporate discourse, we distinguish three local discursive strategies. The strategy of rational argumentation is aimed at influencing the rational sphere of recipient’s consciousness. The strategy of emotional argumentation appeals to the emotional-psychological sphere of the recipient. Both of these strategies are tools in persuading the target audience in the company’s success and the effectiveness of the products it manufactures by developing substantial arguments. The strategy of subconscious suggestion is aimed at producing a deliberate impact on the addressee’s subconsciousness associated with decreased critical thinking during the perception and realization of the suggested content without its understanding, detailed logical analysis and assessment.

The instrumental aspects of these strategies in modern English imaging corporate discourse are discursive tactics. They are implemented by linguistic means of different language levels, in the selection of which the latest scientific achievements in the theory of speech influence, argumentation theory, rhetoric, logic, epistemology, axiology, psycholinguistics, cognitive science, neuro-linguistic programming, public relations and corporate marketing should be taken into account. Further research is necessary to examine the imaging corporate discourse in different spheres of business activity.


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