Research article
Issue: № 3 (51), 2024


The present work explores the personal determinacy of the Chinese advertising slogan as a type of microtext. Despite numerous studies on advertising texts, in particular on advertising slogans, much of this topic remains unexplored. In favor of the relevance and novelty of this study, the problem of identifying and describing text-forming categories that reflect the most general and essential characteristics of an advertising slogan as a type of microtext is still little studied. To summarize, it should be noted that the text-forming category of personality, formalized in most cases by personal or possessive pronouns, is often found in this type of text in the form of an address to the reader/listener. The rare use of first-person singular narration in advertising slogans suggests that the advertising slogan gravitates toward the impersonal nature of the narrative, which can be interpreted as a characteristic feature of this type of microtext. These artistic techniques are important for the semantic aspect of the advertising slogan, because its main goal is to arouse the interest of the addressee.

1. Introduction

In our opinion, of all the components of an advertising message, an advertising slogan has the most interesting potential for research for several reasons. Firstly, information richness and the ability to increase expression contributed to the identification of an advertising slogan as a microgenre of the language of mass communication. Secondly, the slogan has specific textual and linguistic features of construction. Therefore, we can assume that an advertising slogan refers to a microtext that has a special internal and external organization, which can be studied in detail using the example of the Chinese language.

This study is devoted to the issues of revealing the algorithm for constructing and functioning of invariant characteristics of the text-forming category of personality based on the material of Chinese advertising slogans.

In accordance with the goal, the following tasks are solved:

1. highlighting language models of advertising slogans based on the concept of speech acts by John Searle


2. establishing a set of invariant features of the text-forming category of personality, which will be used to analyze the linguistic means representing this text category;

3. identification of typological features of an advertising slogan: universal, general and individual, within the framework of the text category under study.

2. Research methods and principles

The material for the study was 200 advertising slogans in Chinese, obtained by continuous sampling from the Internet and from modern Chinese magazines “Chinese National Geography”


We used a complex research methodology, which includes: structural and semantic analysis of language material, the method of typological study of texts and their individual components, as well as the method of contextual analysis.

The category of personality at the text level is associated with such linguistic markers that have an indication of the presence of a person or contain a link to it. These can be explicit linguistic means, namely: personal, possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, relative, indefinite pronouns, personal forms of the verb, imperative; as well as implicit linguistic means, such as: modal verbs, interrogative sentences, interjections, particles that may indicate the presence of an interlocutor


The typological potential of the grammatical category under consideration is revealed on the basis of a number of invariant features


1. Determinacy, that is, the stable presence in the text of linguistic means with the seme “person”.

2. One- or two-system, that is, representation of the author’s speech and the speech of the characters.

3. Mono- or polypersonality, that is, identification of single or different persons in the narrative.

4. Homogeneity or heterogeneity of the category of personality based on the presence of various linguistic means with the seme “personality”.

It should be emphasized that the category of personality, being an obligatory component of the category of predicativity, turns out to be a necessary indicator of any statement or text, therefore an advertising slogan as a microgenre of media language should not be an exception


3. Main results

Let's start with an analysis of the advertising slogan-commissive (advertising promise) in Chinese:

CANON EOS. 招呼想象的视角会今你惊叹。[Zhāohū xiǎngxiàng de shìjiǎo huì jīn nǐ jīngtàn]. You will be pleasantly surprised if you trust your imagination. (hereinafter the author’s translation)

In this advertising message, the address is made using the personal pronoun of 2nd person singular form “you” – 你[nǐ]. The type of microtext of a commissive slogan from the point of view of the textual category of personality is defined as monopersonal and single-system, represented by a monologue of the author, where no response is expected. Based on the identified language marker with this personality, it can be argued that the studied slogan-commissive in Chinese as a type of microtext has a deterministic personality using personal pronoun 你[nǐ].

Let's move on to the analysis of advertising slogan-directive (imperative speech act):

飞利浦 – 让我们做得更好 [Ràng wǒmen zuò dé gèng hǎo. Philips] – Let us do it better.

This Chinese advertising incentive is constructed using the causative verb 让[ràng], which means “permission to do smth.” The linguistic signal with the seme “person” here is the personal pronoun of the 1st plural form – 我们 [wǒmen], which communicates the intentions of the author. The advertiser consciously uses the presented linguistic techniques to activate the addressee's attention on the described object or event and create the appearance of conversation.

The personal framework of this advertising directive is defined as single-system and mono-personal (only the author's speech in the 1st person), homogeneous in its gradual construction. Thus, personal architectonics here is determined by the personal pronoun 我们 [wǒmen].

Consider this slogan-directive:

可口可乐 –喝可口可乐吧! [Kěkǒukělè –hē kěkǒukělè ba!] Drink Coca-Cola!

The imperative signal in this advertising slogan is the modal particle 吧 [ba], which is placed at the end of the sentence and expresses a request, call or order to perform the described action. No other markers with seme personality are used in this Chinese slogan.

The personal framework of this imperative speech construction is also defined as single-system and mono-personal (only the author's impulse). Thus, personal architectonics in this advertising microtext has zero indicators.

Let's analyze rare Chinese slogan-interrogative (rhetorical question):

她可爱吗?迷你. [Tā kě'ài ma? Mínǐ] Is she cute? MINI.

This rhetorical question is also constructed using personal pronoun of the 3rd person singular form 她 [tā] — “she”, the author deliberately uses the animate form of the pronoun to describe the brand of the car, thereby focusing our attention on the undeniable exceptional qualities of the car, which can become the best girlfriend.

The personal structure of an advertising microtext has the following characteristics: single-system and mono-personality due to the monologue of the author. The main characteristic is personal determinacy, ensured by the personal pronoun 她 [tā].

Let us turn to the consideration of the slogan-axiom (the author’s undeniable statement):

Red bull. 红牛。你的能量超乎你的想象。[Nǐ de néngliàng chāo hū nǐ de xiǎngxiàng]. Your energy goes beyond your imagination.

In this slogan, the author uses the possessive pronoun 你的 [nǐ de] – “your”, with the help of which the author addresses to an interlocutor and creates an atmosphere of relaxed communication. The interpretation of the personal architectonics of this advertising microtext comes down to the following invariant indicators: single-system and mono-personality (statement in the 1st person), homogeneity of the linguistic structure due to the possessive pronoun. The main indicator is personal determination, based on the possessive pronoun.

Let us pay attention to the group of advertising slogans-qualitatives (nominative statement):

1. Canon. 佳能Power ShotG7X我理想的相机。[Wǒ lǐxiǎng de xiàngjī.] My dream camera.

2. 福特FORD你的世界,从此无界! [Nǐ de shìjiè, cóngcǐ wújiè!] From now on, your world is limitless!

In the presented examples, as explicit indicators of personality, the authors use the possessive pronouns “my” — 我的 [wǒ de], “your” — 你的 [nǐ de], which indicate that the advertised object belongs to the listener/reader of the advertising message. The identified language markers make it possible to identify the personal structure of this type of microtext as single-system and mono-personal (the author's remark in the first person) and homogeneous due to the possessive pronouns of the 1st and 2nd person. The type of microtext also has a deterministic personal composition, expressed by explicit indicators — possessive pronouns.

Let's look at the last group of slogans-qualitatives:

1. 别克Buick当代精神,当代车 [Dāngdài jīngshén, dāngdài chē.] Modern spirit, modern car.

2. 简单,聪明,能干! [Jiǎndān, cōngmíng, nénggàn!] Simple, smart, capable! SKODA

No personal category indicators were found in these nominative constructions. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that in most cases the advertiser does not directly address the audience, but simply gives a description of the advertised product. In terms of diachrony of narrative subsystems, we can talk about the single-system and mono-personality of advertising slogans as a type of microtext. The personal architectonics of the studied examples has zero personal characteristics.

4. Discussion

To summarize all of the above, it can be noted that various language models of Chinese advertising slogans can have a deterministic personal composition, expressed mostly using personal and possessive pronouns:

– slogan-commissive has a deterministic personality due to the personal pronouns of the 1st and 2nd person;

– slogan-directive shows a deterministic personal structure with the help of personal pronouns or zero personality, due to the lack of linguistic indicators with this personality;

– slogan-interrogative expresses a certain personality also through personal and possessive pronouns;

– slogan-axiom also have a deterministic personality based on personal, possessive pronouns;

– slogan-qualitative can express either zero personality in the complete absence of synsemantic indicators with the seme “person”, or deterministic personality, provided by forms of possessive pronouns.

During the linguistic analysis of advertising slogans in Chinese, we can identify the following parameters of the text-forming category of personality in this type of microtext:

1. Personal determinacy of the Chinese advertising slogan, built using a very narrow set of linguistic means:

• personal pronouns of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd person singular and plural;

• possessive pronouns of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd person singular.

2. Zero personality is also a common indicator of this type of microtext in Chinese.

3. Single-system due to the author’s speech is a universal criterion.

3. Monopersonality as a universal feature.

4. The homogeneity of the personal structure is also a constant indicator.

5. Conclusion

Developing the concept of the typological potential of advertising slogans, it should be noted that the study of the grammatical structure of the analysed microtexts made it possible to reveal the principles of functioning of the text category of personality in Chinese advertising microtexts based on five invariant features. These characteristics help to identify a slogan as a grammatical type of microtext in the language of mass communication.

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