English Linguistics Terms/Glossary

Persuasive function of language characteristics and example

Persuasive function of language

The persuasive function of language is one that has the purpose of influencing the behavior of the receiver of the message and inducing a certain reaction in him. Persuasive function of language characteristics

The persuasive function of language is also known as the appellative function or the conative function, given the implicit intention that the receiver performs or stops doing a particular action.

This function of language is merely oriented towards the receiver and his interaction with the received message. To do this, the sender uses command voices and suggestive questions.

This function is predominant in the field of advertising and marketing. It is also used as a support resource in political speeches. Persuasive function of language characteristics

Characteristics of the persuasive function

In this type of language function, the sender wants to advise, influence or manipulate the receiver so that he does just what the sender wants.

To achieve this, imperative, enunciative and interrogative sentences are used. The use of vocatives is also used to specifically mention a person.

Persuasive texts are usually written in the second person. Consequently, the tone of the appellative phrases is personalized, and the personal pronoun “tú” is emphasized at all times.

These are generally short, concise and mandatory sentences, or closed questions that only admit one type of answer. For example, the question “did you do your homework?” It only admits one type of answer: yes or no.

Resources used in the persuasive function of language

1- Imperative phrases

They are used to state orders and commands. Depending on the context, these phrases are also used in a wishful way; that is, to issue requests or wishes.

Example

Go do your homework!” Persuasive function of language characteristics

2- Vocatives

It refers to the words that are used to designate a person.

Example

In the phrase “Raquel, come here”, the vocative is the name of the person, that is, Raquel.

3- Questions

Each question asks for an answer. Consequently, it is understood that the interrogative phrases implicitly require an interaction on the part of the receiver.

Example

When asking “have you had dinner yet?” it is understood that the person asking the question is waiting for the answer as to whether the recipient had dinner or not.

4- Connotations

These are expressions that, in addition to a literal meaning, have a figurative or metaphorical meaning. 

Example

“Get out of the bubble once and for all!”

5- Infinitives

It is a very common resource when giving instructions.

Example

“You must fix the clothes!”

6- Affective elements

They are dissuasive resources that seek to connect with the recipient based on pre-existing emotionality and emotional ties.

Example

“I’m telling you because I love you, that person is not for you!”

7- Evaluative adjectives

These are adjectives that give specific qualities to the noun on which they exercise the valuation action.  Persuasive function of language characteristics

Example

“Those gloves are gigantic, don’t use them.”

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