n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - A Cognitive Linguistics approach to the 'less is more' paradox of communication, with specific reference to public relations messages

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



In this article the spotlight falls on the challenge to public relations practitioners to achieve a 'less is more' approach - not less communication, but less ambiguity. This article focuses on the way in which Cognitive Linguistics tools can facilitate clarity in public relations messages, as illustrated in the analysis of a slogan.The relationship between assumptions within this framework and issues in public relations is pointed out and illustrated. Within the Cognitive Linguistic analysis presented here, it is argued that public relations messages can be analysed in terms of specific conceptual metaphors, and that ambiguity can be limited by proposed mental mechanisms. The analysis ties in with the claim that much of our conceptualisation of experience is metaphorical, which both motivates and constrains our creativity.The advantages of an analysis within Cognitive Grammar are shown to reside in its potential to interpret linguistic expressions metaphorically and to account for stylistic phenomena.

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