Journal Article

Advertising to Italian English Bilinguals in Australia: Attitudes and Response to Language Selection

Marco Santello

in Applied Linguistics

Volume 36, issue 1, pages 95-120
Published in print February 2015 | ISSN: 0142-6001
Published online December 2013 | e-ISSN: 1477-450X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amt037
Advertising to Italian English Bilinguals in Australia: Attitudes and Response to Language Selection

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This article explores attitudes and response to language selection in advertising targeting Italian bilinguals who belong to a defined speech community. The research builds upon (i) research on multilingual advertising by investigating its attitudinal correlates, and (ii) studies on advertising to bilinguals through the verification of the presence of processing fluency effects among Italian English bilinguals in Australia. Results drawn from a focus group show that attitudes towards the two languages are shaped both by the consideration of the audience’s bilingualism and the socio-psychological features the languages carry. Further data collected through a 2 (language of advertisements: English versus Italian) × 2 (language dominance: English versus Italian) between-subject experiment particularize these findings. A total of 103 circumstantial bilinguals of Italian descent evaluated four print advertisements. Arguably due to their high level of proficiency, subjects do not experience any processing fluency effect when exposed to advertising in their dominant language. On the contrary, English dominants respond more favourably to messages in Italian whereas Italian dominants respond more favourably to messages in English.

Journal Article.  9773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Teaching Theory and Methods

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