Onomastic words in English mini-format abstracts of educational and scientific books


The article deals with the analysis of onomastic units in specialized advertisements. The research is based on the English advertising abstracts of textbooks and scientific books from the 2019–2020 catalogues of British and American publishers. The purpose of this work is to identify semantic and pragmatic parameters of proper names and to determine their role in the realization of the pragmatic function of the text. Abstracts of educational and scientific books are treated as mini-format syncretic units which combine the pragmatics and the linguistic features of advertising and academic discourses. A significant percentage of proper names in the advertising abstracts is considered to be a manifestation of scientific discourse that contributes to the realization of the persuasive function of the advertisement. Semantic analysis of the onomastic units combined with their quantitative analysis result in defining nuclear and peripheral semantic clusters within the aforesaid group of words. Further discourse analysis allows to describe the pragmatic potential of proper names and also to reveal their role in the mechanism of persuasive function realization. Thus, the names of authors, their titles and positions, names of books, universities and their locations turn out to bear the greatest pragmatic charge. Names of literary awards, of structural parts of the book, as well as the names of months specifying publication details prove to be pragmatically significant. The peripheral position is occupied by miscellaneous groups of semantically heterogeneous proper names which are determined by the topic of a particular book. As a result, the high proportion of onomastic units in mini-format advertising abstracts, as well as their high concentration in a narrow semantic field prompt a conclusion that proper names are highly effective in fulfilling the pragmatic potential of the advertising abstracts due to their ability to simultaneously inform and affect.


About the authors

M. V. Cherkunova

Samara National Research University, Samara, Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4167-4530

Candidate of Philological Sciences, associate professor, associate professor of the Department of English Philology, Samara National Research University

E. V. Ponomarenko

MGIMO University, Moscow, Russian Federation

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3725-4461

Doctor of Philology, associate professor, professor of English Language Dpt. 4, MGIMO University


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