Advertising is a versatile and dynamic genre incorporating a constellation of subgenres, most of which are short messages subject to spatial or temporal restriction. One of them is the classified ad, a form of small, local advertising that, like other forms of written communication, has found its way on to the Web. The article, which investigates online classified ads offering properties for sale, is based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of a small corpus of texts downloaded from UK-based websites. It explores their main textual, discursive and linguistic features by combining corpus linguistics methodology with discourse analysis and genre analysis approaches. The study first outlines the evolution of the genre from print to the Web; then, it profiles the general features and structure of online classified ads, discusses variation across the texts in the corpus, and identifies the linguistic features by analysing frequencies and collocations of function words, verbs, nouns, adjectives, abbreviations and acronyms. The analysis also sheds some light on the phraseology of classified property advertising.
Pierini, P. (2011). “‘Fully refurbished end terraced house’. A Corpus Study of Online Classified Ads”. LINGUISTICA E FILOLOGIA, 31, 93-117.