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Last week I wrote about new words from the Philippines that were being
considered for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The OED actually
mentions them as words from Tagalog (e.g., “utang na loob”) or from
Philippine English (e.g., “advanced,” as in a watch being advanced).

Looking at the words allows us to analyze how dynamic our languages are
in relation to the outside world. Today, I thought of another article on
languages, this time looking at internal dynamics or domestic developments
around the evolution of words in Filipino.

These dynamics (and the dynamism) have been deftly captured in the annual
“Salita ng Taon” or Word of the Year event sponsored by the Filipinas
Institute of Translation where scholars “nominate” a word that has been—if
I might borrow a word from social media—trending in terms of frequent use
during the year, sometimes morphing or mutating from its original meaning.
Readers might remember winners across the years: canvass (2004),
huweteng (2005) lobat (2006), miskol (2007), jejemon (2010), wangwang
(2012) and selfie (2014).

I’m relying here on an incisive book, “Sawikaan: Isang Dekada ng Pagpili

ng Salita ng Taon” by Eilene Antoinette G. Narvaez and published just this
year by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the Pambansang Komisyon
para sa Sining at Kultura (probably better known to many as the National
Commission on Culture and the Arts or NCCA).

Narvaez, I am proud to say, is with UP Diliman’s Sentro ng Wikang Filipino

and the book is derived from her thesis, where she subjected the nominated
words, totaling 86, to deep analysis, suggesting why they became popular.
In the social sciences, the research method used here is called “critical
discourse analysis” (CDA), where researchers analyze the social and
political circumstances behind the exchange of words (and, by extension,
ideas and opinions).

Discourse analysis started out as a tool for studying languages and was
picked up by the advertising industry to look for words and phrases that are
significant for a target audience. One early example was “iba ang may
pinagsamahan,” which captured the camaraderie associated with drinking…
San Miguel beer in particular.

“Spin doctors” or people behind politicians’ campaigns have been busy

lately doing their version of discourse analysis to look for words that brand a
particular candidate, and punch lines and words that stir the emotions. We’ll

see a lot of this applied discourse analysis in the months ahead as election
fever grips the United States and the Philippines.
Critical discourse analysis is more academic, looking at the social and
political contexts behind the use of words. I won’t go into all the details in
Narvaez’s CDA, which she derives as well from the people who sent in
nominations for the Salita ng Taon. What I wanted to pick up and share with
readers are the “journeys” taken by these words, including their rise to
popularity, like I did last week with our contributions to English.

Cell phones, Internet, politics

But first I wanted to quickly demonstrate a little exercise in what is called

“domain analysis” with the winners of the Salita ng Taon. Look at them and
you will see all but one (jejemon) do not belong to one of two domains:
current politics and information technology.
First the political domain. “Canvass” reflected the tensions around elections
being held in 2004 while “huweteng” emerged in 2005 at the height of
allegations of former president Gloria Arroyo being connected with
gambling lords. “Wangwang” was chosen in 2012 although it first
catapulted into wide use when the current president, Benigno Aquino III,
first used it in 2010 to talk about his government reforms.
No more wangwang, he proclaimed as he banned sirens used by the rich and
the powerful to beat the traffic (and create gridlocks for lesser mortals). It
was a good move which I hope will stay after his term is over. But, sadly,
wangwang picked up another meaning, that of noisy but meaningless
political promises, sometimes used against President Aquino himself.
The other winners of Salita ng Taon are from the world of cell phones and
the Internet: lobat (2006), miskol (from missed call) in 2007 and selfie in

But the winners from the new information technologies gained currency not
just because of the technology but because of opportunities for added layers
of social meaning. Miskol is perhaps the most polysemic (many meanings),
all referring to a deliberate dialing of a number but not expecting an answer.
One reason for making a miskol is to hear a particular song used as the
ringtone. Another is to look for a missing cell phone. Another is to check if
you still have enough load to call. And the last, the most poignant, is to save
on costs, especially on an overseas trip, with an understanding that a person
is to call once he or she reaches the overseas destination. The goal,
“pakiramdaman,” is difficult to translate but speaks of how we emphasize
the need to let people we love know that we have arrived at our destination,
away from home. There is poignancy here because you have to be content
with knowing the person has made a safe voyage, but you can’t talk to the

The nominated words come from a variety of languages, many from English.
Spanish seems to live on as a source of local words as in tsika, from chica, a
little girl (chico being a little boy). Salbakuta’s origins startled me: salvaje
(or savage) and hijo de p–a or son of a b—h. Its meaning is to act in an
uncivilized way. (In my column last Friday I wrote about the speculation
that “salvage,” meaning extrajudicial executions, may have come as well
from the Spanish salvaje.

Tsunami is originally Japanese, referring to the tidal waves generated by

earthquakes. In 2006 it was nominated as a Salita ng Taon but over the years,
Narvaez notes, it has taken on new meanings—like “tsunami walk” used to
refer to Shamcey Supsup in the Miss Universe pageant in 2011.

Ukay-ukay, sutukil

Then, too, there are local languages. I was not aware, for example, that
ukay-ukay came from Cebuano, given the way it is now used throughout the
country. Then there is sutukil to refer to grilled seafoods, popularized as a
Cebuano term but derived from English “shoot to kill,” referring to a seaside
place in Cebu with many small eateries where you could get fresh seafood
catches to grill.

Languages are vigorous because they are used in a rapidly changing world.
We coin new words not just to describe things but the dynamic processes of
change, as in korkor, used to refer to the popularity of things Korean, from
telenovelas to Korean facial features, those features in fact referred to
“gandara,” specifically used to refer to a preferred aesthetic of fairness and
“Oriental” eyes.
At the rate we’re going, it will become more difficult each year to decide on
a Salita ng Taon.

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(Pangalawang Artikulo)

This article intends to orient MA students, language researchers, among

others about Discourse Analysis. It describes commonly used metadiscourse
strategies and markers in the newspaper advertisements in the Philippines.
Please read as to how advertising companies use discourse analysis to
influence readers into buying their products.

According to Ken Hyland, metadiscourse is essential to advertising because

it focuses on the aspects of a text that organizes the discourse, engages the
audience and signals the writer’s attitude. As a central pragmatic construct,
metadiscourse allows one to see how writers seek to influence reader’s
understandings of both text and their attitude towards its content and the

The use of metadiscourse strategies and markers helps companies earn much
through advertisements. Below are 20 examples of advertisements from
newspapers in the Philippines, which were analyzed and interpreted using
discourse analysis.

Discourse Analysis of 20 Newspaper Advertisements

1. Alaska

The advertisement uses a celebrity. Gary Valenciano and his daughter

endorse Alaska Powdered Filled Milk. The copywriter uses emphatics like
more important and most nutritious.

The ad says that growth gap is more important than generation gap. Since
kids experience a slow-down in growth after the toddler years, they must be
given Alaska, which is the most nutritious powdered-filled milk.

The use of person marker as “natin” or our is also a metadiscourse which the
copywriter used to influence the target reader to buy the product. In this case,
Gary V. emphasizes that not only his children need Alaska but also other
children and thus, he is trying to get the attention of the parents.

Aside from being interpersonal, this ad is also textual. The use of

endophoric marker is visible. The picture of Gary V. and his daughter is put

in the middle. It is bigger than the rest of the ad. Gary gives his daughter
Alaska and she loves to drink it as manifested in her smile. She is also
holding a glass of Alaska milk.

It also uses a directive when he says: “Ngayon nila kailangan ang tulong ng
superior nutrition ng Alaska.” (This is the time they need help from Alaska
– the most nutritious powdered-filled milk).

2. Jollibee

What is being endorsed in this ad is not really Jollibee as a fast food but its
particular product Swirlybitz. This is manifested by a small logo of Jollibee
placed at the right side bottom of the ad. The picture of Swirlybits is much
bigger than the logo. And the font size of the text is also bigger.

The copywriter uses personal marker yourself and an emphatic delicious

which fall under interpersonal. It means that a reader is enticed to taste the
delicious mix of swirling vanilla ice cream with bits of chocolate and

The ad also uses endophoric marker by showing in the picture how delicious
and creamy it is. However, the copywriter does not forget to tell where this
product could be found and it is in Jollibee. The speech act used is directive
when it says, “Treat yourself…”

3. Brand’s

The ad shows a picture of the product. Since it has the essence of the
chicken, one can see the two feathers which show that he can do or perform
better by using this product. The use of your as person marker and scientific
studies from renowned institutions as emphatics help the reader understand
the value and the credibility of this product and thus motivated him to buy.

In addition to that, the phrases “have no preservatives, cholesterol-free,

all-natural and caffeine- free,” all written in capital letters and bold-faced
can get the attention of the reader. The reader is challenged to perform better
and that speech act is known as a directive.

4. French Baker

The metaphor is used in this advertisement, “Freshness takes over Sucat”.

This is a kind of evidential which means that French Baker opens its branch
at SM Sucat.

Also the person marker “you” are used to showing interpersonal relationship
between the product and the reader. For textual, it is not only the use of
metaphor but also the product and the outlet in forming coherent texts.

It can be seen that the copywriter does not emphasize “French Baker is now
open at Sucat”; however, he tries to connect the metaphor to the pictures of
bread, pastries and the outlet itself. Then, the reader’s schema now works
that these are available only at French Baker by showing the smaller font
size of “French Baker opens…” as compared to the “Freshness takes over
Sucat!” and the use of smaller logo at the bottom.

The speech act used is also directive when it says “whether you’re
shopping … French Baker provides the perfect place”. Emphatics such as
fresh, pleasurable, perfect are used.

5. Equal

A very palatable fruit salad is shown in the ad. And the text says, “For sweet
cravings during the Christmas season.” Equal targets a specific customers –
the diabetics! So the copywriter tries to tempt a diabetic to eat sweet stuff
this season without making the level of their blood sugar high and it is only
possible by using Equal.

You, or your (person markers) and many doctors recommend it (emphatic)

are used in persuading the readers.

Of course, the use of picture (endophoric) helps a lot in stimulating the

appetite of a diabetic. It is still directive by saying, “Now, doesn’t that make
for a sweeter Christmas?” The reader is asked to use Equal.

6. Visine

This ad uses a cartoon to illustrate how cool is Visine. This is also

intensified by putting the word COOL to the face of the caricature and the
two Os are used as his eyes. The copywriter is very artistic in persuading the
reader that Visine is cool and can wake up tired eyes.

When I asked the media director of a well-known advertising company, why

this ad uses a cartoon instead of a model, she said: “Probably the company
made some cost-cutting…paying a model or celebrity is more expensive or

Also, if it is a model or a celebrity, the word COOL cannot be placed on the

person’s face! Otherwise, it will become hilarious and unbelievable!

This ad also uses a person marker you. Again, a directive is used when it
says, “try and wake up tired eyes.” The person is requested to use the
product and emphatics are also used like new, soothing and cool.

7. Anchor

The ad shows how curious the kids are. They discovered many things and so
they are prone to get more germs.

In the picture, we can see a boy with a dog and it seems that both of them
have just finished licking the ice cream. In effect, the boy gets the germs.

The copywriter establishes a situation wherein parents could not control and,
therefore, could not protect their children. In this vein, they are persuaded to
buy Anchor because it has with Nutri-care that can protect kids from germs.

The “you” is also used to establish an interpersonal relationship and the

endophoric marker (picture) for textual. The speech act used is directive, a
command when it says, “give him Anchor.”

8. Lux

The copywriter does not use person marker. Instead, he uses emphatics like
new, revitalize, breakthrough, innovation and more beautiful. These move
the readers (women) buy what is being offered because they feel that Lux is
necessary for today’s modern world.

The picture shows the three different variants of Lux and since each one has
a description, a reader may choose which one is best for her. Therefore, the
copywriter also uses emphatics and endophoric markers.

9. Marks and Spencer

The person markers our and you (implied) are used to convince the reader.
Aside from person markers, the copywriter also uses emphatics like sinful,
tempting, luscious, drizzled with, more and very. Not only the emphatics are
used but also the irresistibly delicious cake in the picture. The adjective
sinful is used to emphasize how tempting the cake is.

And since the target customers are sexy who do not like to get fat, he uses a
speech act – directive, when it says, “give in to our….” It means that they
need not argue because they will only taste it for this season and thus, they
will not really get fat. What matters is, they have tasted it.

10. Popeyes

The use of much bigger font size for “now open” and “popeyes” gets the
attention of the reader at one glance. The you (implied) and emphatic world
famous are the metadiscourse markers used by a copywriter.

He also tries to convince the reader by providing a picture of a chicken and a

drawing of a man and a woman. The man shows his love for the woman by
giving her flowers and there is a banner which shows the love for chicken. It
means that Popeyes’ chicken is delicious and crispy and one will love it the
way a man shows his love for the girl. Again, the directive is used for love
that chicken and visit us.

11. Astring.O.Sol

It can be seen that the bottle is filled with ice. But of course, it is not literal.
The ad shows how cool the mouthwash is. It is as cold as ice and there is a
word chill as the emphatic marker. Now, the copywriter also tries to connect
the word “cool” to dining places. The “cool” for dining places does not
mean that the place is cold as ice but what the copywriter is trying to put
across is that these places are cozy and have a good ambiance.

The person marker “you” (implied) and emphatics like “cool” and “chill”
are used. The directive is more of a request than a command because it is
only an invitation when it says, “experience instant …”

12. Bocaditos

“As pizza as pizza gets” is a kind of evidential. It shows that Bocaditos

chips taste like a real pizza. And also the use of emphatics little and big.

The reader’s schema works that having Bocaditos (pizza flavor) as a snack
is like having a slice or a whole of pizza. Aside from that, it is cheaper than
to buy a pizza.

So if a reader wants to eat pizza and has no enough money for that, he can
buy Bocaditos. Interpersonal and textual metadiscourse are used.

13. Silka Papaya

At the first glance, one cannot see any interpersonal marker but if one will
move his eyes at the bottom, he can see in the black background the phrase

nature’s radiance. Radiance is emphatic. The copywriter uses endophoric
marker by interrelating the picture with words.

The picture of a nude woman or her torso is radiating as manifested by

white color surrounding her entire body and the use of yellow-orange as the
background. This ad tells that if one will use Silka she will have a whiter,
silky skin.

14. Cellasene

The ad shows three models who are nude. And there is a banner at their
buttocks which says, “The naked truth!” The naked truth is an idiom and it
is under evidential. Evidential is used to develop intertextuality.

In this ad, the three models are connected to the idiom and to the product
itself. If one will take Cellasene, she will have a sexy body – no cellulite on
the buttocks, hips and thighs.

Since it uses hedges like “may,” the copywriter is still successful in

persuading the customer although it weakens the statement. He is able to do
it by using the models and the idiom which are much bigger in size. There is
a tendency for a reader not to notice the word “may” because she is already
deceived by the picture and the idiom.

A directive is used when it says, “take 2-3 capsules a day and see the
difference.” The person markers such as you and your and emphatics like
clinically-tested, breakthrough, top selling, firmer and ideal are also used.

15. Hugo

The model is alluring, trying to seduce her man and she can do it by using
Hugo. The person marker “your” persuades woman that they should wear
this perfume to get the attention of their crushes or to attract their men. This
ad also has an endophoric marker – a model who looks so seductive by
using this perfume.

16. Sunsilk

The ad is trying to compare Sunsilk to another shampoo. At the top are the
different bottles of shampoo with different colors and then, there is a text
“clear” at the bottom of the bottles. Then, at the right bottom of the page is
the bottle of Sunsilk crystal shampoo and there are bubbles as the
background. The bubbles are very clear and one can see the flower inside
each bubble.

Then, there is a caption, clear and nourishing. The copywriter lets the
readers decide which is actually clear. Based on the picture, the answer
would be Sunsilk.

The emphatics used are crystal clear, only one, full-bodied and beautiful.
The use of the different bottles and Sunsilk is known as an endophoric

17. Beefeater

It can be seen that the copywriter only uses the bottle as the endophoric
marker and emphatics like bold and new. A spirit pertains to the gin that it is
new and bold. Bold because it is strong – a taste which men look for a dry

The background is black to give life to the bottle which is white. The letters
of the phrase “a bold new spirit” are capitalized and bold-faced. However,
the background of the ad is black and red is a good color for the text which
may symbolize boldness. Thus, if one is looking for a bold and new dry gin,
he will buy beefeater.

18. Carl’s Jr.

The copywriter tries to activate the reader’s schema of the Devil’s fork. The
Devils would like to temp people and so, they are doing everything just to
tempt us. By just looking at the picture, one is informed that the burgers are
delicious. They do everything to make it delicious and they are serious about
doing it.

Therefore, once a person tastes it, he will come back because of its taste.
The person markers “our” and “you” are used and the endophoric marker
which is the picture.

At the right bottom, is a small logo of Carl’s which means that you can buy
the burgers only at Carl’s. A directive is more on challenge rather than
request because the reader’s curiosity is challenged how delicious is the
burger at Carl’s and thus, he will try it.

19. Nestle’ Yogurt

This ad is different from the other samples because the page has still a lot of
space. It simply means that it is all that they want to say and to be different

from others. It is not a typical ad wherein a copywriter uses a celebrity or a
bigger picture of the product.

However, he is successful in his aim by using person marker “our” and

emphatics like creamy, delicious, healthy, and irresistibly. Then at the
middle, there is a caption below the bigger text which says, “After begging
the photographer to spare just spoonful.”

This statement connotes that this product is delicious and irresistible. Also, a
speech act is used to show the interpersonal function of the language, “but
get this…” is a command and a kind of directive.

20. Goldilocks

Noyping-noypi, golding-goldi is a kind of evidential. It is used to make the

readers memorize and recall the product. The ad also uses a celebrity and
the picture of delicious pork barbecue.

The use of yellow-green as a background gives life to the color of barbecue

which is brownish-red. Likewise, the emphatic marker like “sarap”
(delicious) is used in showing that it is palatable and by using a celebrity
like Jessa.

Now, can you identify the markers that the copywriters used to influence the
readers in the discourse analysis? What are those markers? Of these markers,
what do you think are most commonly used in newspaper ads?


Hyland, K. (2005). Metadiscourse. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (September 27, 2015). Discourse
Analysis of 20 Newspaper Advertisements. In SimplyEducate.Me.
Retrieved from


Kahulugan ng Diskursso
Ang Pasalita at Pasulat na Diskurso
Ang Teksto at Konteksto ng Diskurso
Pagpapakahulugan Batay sa Kombersasyon o Konteksto ng Nagsasalita
Mga Teorya sa Diskurso
A. Sosyolinggwistikong Teorya
B. Accommodation Theory ni Howard Giles
C. Speech Act Theory
D. Teorayang Pragmatiks