Pragmatic Role of Offline Hashtags: Guide to Readers’ Inference
Keywords:relevance theory, offline hashtags, inference, pragmatics, offline advertisements
This research seeks to throw light on pragmatic role of hashtags used in the offline contexts. Guided by the relevance-theoretic perspective, the study shows that hashtags used in any utterance contribute to relevance by activating and making more accessible some contextual assumptions, therefore guiding the reader in inferring the utterance to reach the intended meaning of the addresser. The content of the hashtags helps the readers to derive both explicit and implicit messages of the context they are used in. In order to present more information in limited space, the hashtags have been adopted from the cyber space and appropriated for use in offline contexts. This study in particular highlights the use of hashtags in offline advertisements and the way they help in communicating the overall message to the audience.
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