SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.61 número4-1New and old treasures: The 2020 Afrikaans translation of the Bible as a retranslationThe Hebrew base text and the 2020 translation of the Bible in Afrikaans índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google


Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


VAN NIEKERK, Angelique. Idiomatic language as an instrument to create an image of the intended target audience: Insights from relevance theory. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2021, vol.61, n.4-1, pp.987-1019. ISSN 2224-7912.

The spontaneity with which idiomatic expressions are included and adapted in spoken language is clearly seen in the use of multi-lexical items (MLIs) such as, "Die kalf is op die spit", instead of, "Die kalf is in die put" (meaning a complex situation difficult to solve) and the expression, "Van 'n kers 'n kandelaar maak", instead of the conventional idiomatic expression, "Sy maak van 'n molshoop 'n berg" (meaning to exaggerate). The use, adaption and interplay with the literality of MLIs in printed advertising is the focus of this investigation to determine: • the thematic patterns in MLIs in printed advertising in Afrikaans and • the link between MLIs and market segmentation. A pilot investigation revealed that 91 examples of the total data set of 200 advertisements in magazines gathered between 2009-2019 for a copy-writing project including MLIs such as idioms, proverbs and biblical proverbs that were all linked to one of four themes in terms of literality. For this investigation, all Afrikaans printed advertisements in the 2019 and 2020Pendoring advertising competition that included any of the above-mentioned MLIs were analysed, as is evident in Table 1. A thematic pattern in terms of literality was evident from the start. All examples could be placed in one of four categories (Table 1, Column A), namely spirituality (biblical reference), food, nature and human character. The three articles by Bosman on MLIs in 2000 were a central part of the theoretical point of departure in the investigation. Insights from the Relevance Theory of Wilson and Sperber (2004) formed the basis of the analysis, as can be seen in Table 1 and in the headings, "Cognitive effort" and "Cognitive effect". The analysis in Table 1, Column E also highlights another interesting pattern in the use of MLIs in the dataset. In all instances the implied marketing message communicated something positive about the target audience and almost nothing about the brand name/ (product/service) per se. The use of MLIs such as idioms, proverbs and biblical proverbs can directly be linked to market segmentation, since the comprehension of complex structures such as MLIs is aimed at a very specific audience that can associate or at least comprehend the implied message as target audience. The analysis in Table 1 indicates the cognitive leap required from the non-conventional meaning (Column A to Column F). This cognitive distance is justified in the description by Bosman (2000a:36) focusing on the fixedness of meaning, idiomaticity and the meaning of the unit (and not individual words). Based on the information in Columns A and F of Table 1, the intended Afrikaans target audience of the Pendoring advertisements in 2019 and 2020 is characterised by one or more of the following characteristics: • Pride in language, which includes an active idiomatic language knowledge; • A person with a love for nature and animals; • Spiritual awareness and/or active knowledge of the Bible; • Human character known for intense emotion, a belief in hard work and an appreciation for feeling at home. Language choice in advertisements and the use of higher-order language forms such as MLIs (idioms, proverbs) can be regarded as a form of market segmentation. Only the intended target audience will be able to identify the MLI and the relevant meaning put into the effort to reach the implied marketing message (Column F) in Table 1.

Palavras-chave : Multi-lexical item (MLI); proverbs; idioms; fixed expression; Relevance theory; advertising language; cognitive effect.

        · resumo em Africaner     · texto em Africaner     · Africaner ( pdf )


Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons