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Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements


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Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements


Jeramie B. Landicho

De La Salle Lipa, Lipa City Batangas, jeramie_landicho@dlsu.edu.ph

Follow this and additional works at: https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/jeal Recommended Citation

Recommended Citation

Landicho, Jeramie B. (2022) "Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements," Journal of English and Applied Linguistics: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 2.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.59588/2961-3094.1001

Available at: https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/jeal/vol1/iss1/2

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the DLSU Publications at Animo Repository. It has been accepted for inclusion in Journal of English and Applied Linguistics by an authorized editor of Animo Repository.


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge leap from in-person to online shopping.


more consumers rely on products that can be bought online for convenience, variety, and safety. The vast choices in websites and mobile applications have provided the consumers with lots of features for the products to be sold, bought,

and reviewed. Yang et al. (2019) emphasized how the internet has been extensively developed and applied, especially in business transactions.

Phonthanukitithaworn et al. (2019) explain that digital marketing also helps the sellers to expand their channels, distributions, and customers’


Copyright © 2022 by De La Salle University RESEARCH ARTICLE

Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements

Jeramie B. Landicho

De La Salle Lipa, Lipa City Batangas jeramie_landicho@dlsu.edu.ph

Abstract: Recognizing the speech act patterns used by American and Filipino online sellers provide us with information on how they structure their descriptions and promotions in the field of advertising. Pragmatically, this also gives an array of information about their cultural contexts to understand the marketing strategies of those who are in the inner and outer circles in Kachru’s model. This study used a self-collected corpus of 30 American and 30 Filipino online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace. These advertisements were analyzed using the speech act theory. A descriptive method of analysis was also conducted to determine emojis/emoticons, recurring punctuation marks, and symbols. The findings highlighted that the common speech act patterns between the two are assertive (A), directive-assertive (DA), directive (D), assertive- directive (AD), and assertive-expressive (AE). All these patterns are evident in the American advertisements, which convey that Filipino online sellers are also exposed and follow the Western format. Expressive patterns that promote rapport and relationships are also evident in Filipino online selling advertisements. The language of advertising continues to evolve, and the emotions and the culture are given significance.

Keywords: advertisement, culture, marketing, online selling, speech acts


Filipinos, being prolific users of social media, have also welcomed and taken advantage of e-commerce.

Moreover, a significant number of Americans have also engaged in shopping items on the web. The intensification of this digital shift has been brought about and became more famous by the sudden swing of context when people are asked to stay at home.

Bashir et al. (2015) explained that hundreds of websites and applications are created every year to cater to the high demands of online shopping. These platforms offer promotions, options, and information that can easily be conveyed in the comfort of your home. Indeed, providing clear information and accurate images helps in promoting the products. Due to the convenience that these offers, online selling continues to flourish at the stake of the fingertips.

The structure of this paper will be as follows. First, the next section will present the relevant literature and related studies about online selling and speech acts. Second, the methodology will be presented to gain an understanding of the corpus to be used. Third, the results and discussion will answer, validate, and confirm the findings. Finally, the scope and limitations, as well as the conclusions and future directions will also be established.

Review of Related Literature and Studies Advertising plays a significant role in persuasive communication. It serves as a tool to reach out to prospective buyers. Without it, companies, distributors, and sellers will have difficulty providing sufficient information about what they offer in the market. This is one of the reasons why maintaining the advertising activities should continuously be seen through various forms of media. Durant and Lambrou (2009) highlighted that the language of media is a system of words and images. These words and images can be understood and interpreted in oral and written channels.

Korgaonkar et al. (2010) maintained that advertisers must be cautious about the use of language because most, if not all, prefer to advertise using a language that can be understood in different regions or parts of the world. Mueller (2009) cited some reasons for doing so including an extra budget for the language translator, avoidance of potentially mistranslations and misinterpretations, and English as a well-recognized language in advertisements.

Online selling is an act of promoting and selling goods through websites and social media platforms.

This provides convenience and accessibility to customers, especially those from other regions who would want to reach and avail of the products being sold. Online selling is known to others as presenting, advertising, and selling products and services. In this process, the communicative aspects of language are observed. Every seller would want to persuade their target consumers for product promotion and increase sales. Goi (2009) explained that marketing must include the 4Ps with product, price, place, and promotion. These are needed to persuade their potential customers.

In an online selling set-up, the seller finds convenience in not putting up a physical store, applying for several permits, and waiting for ocular inspections.

It also allows them to promote merchandise of any kind and at any time of the day. All they need is a gadget, internet connectivity, platform, product catalog, and advertisements.

Naidu and Chand (2017) discussed how culture could also influence the sellers’ intentions. The culture can become socially acceptable and can provide a favorable environment. If a culture accepts the norm, entrepreneurs become more productive and motivated to offer some products that the consumers will need and love. Muhammad et al. (2020) provided a cultural understanding of how this factor can contribute to the success of a business community.

The advertisements posted by the seller provide ample time for them to assess whether the word choice, content, communication style, or layout will convince the customers. Veenhoven et al. (2021) shared that consumers’ happiness also matters for sellers because more and more are concerned about the happiness that they can get out of the purchases the consumers make. Suggestive sales talk through advertisements might guarantee a buyer in return. Ansari and Gupta (2021) alluded to this view that the speech act proposes that language in use, either written or spoken form, conveys the intention of the speaker through the communication style being chosen and delivered.

Besides, advertisements also provide them a venue not only to showcase their products but also to express their power in terms of the number of their consumers, hits of likes and shares, and reviews they receive. Tonio et al. (2019) emphasized that countermeasures to validate product reviews are also beneficial on the part of the


capitalists as these will check and determine who has purchased their products.

Research Gap

A significant number of researchers have focused on speech acts in various genres. Most of them have also used the top online shops as a platform to be investigated. However, speech act patterns have not been applied in investigating online selling advertisements, especially on Facebook Marketplace.

Most of the studies focused on the analyses of advertisements for a particular product (Kfouri, 2020), online shopping experiences (Trevinal & Strenger, 2012), and product reviews (Tonio et al. 2019). Data were gathered through the corpus of advertisements and reviews. Because very limited studies focused on the part of the sellers, even a cross-cultural comparison between online selling advertisements, especially in the field of applied linguistics, it will also be interesting and relevant to analyze the speech act patterns in American and Filipino online selling advertisements.

Moreover, this will also be advantageous on the part of the customers, who will have an array of options and comparisons to be able to choose the right products according to their needs.

This will be beneficial to the online sellers as they strategize and conform to how online selling advertisement is being structured, and also to the consumers so that they can assess if the strategies on speech act patterns are effective. Moreover, other researchers may find light on this topic to understand more about the pragmatic sense of online sellers in an American and Filipino online space.

Theoretical Framework

The analyses of online selling advertisements will be guided by two theories. Speech act theory (Austin, 1975; Searle, 1975) provided the background about language-in-use. This theory explains how words are being used when speakers convey their message and carry out actions. These utterances lead others to perform activities or movements.

The three acts (locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary) are interrelated. Locutionary act refers to the utterance of a sentence. This becomes meaningful if the listener can grasp the statement properly. The illocutionary act means the intention of

the speaker in uttering the sentence. This legitimized the utterance as the speaker encapsulates the meaning of the statement. The perlocutionary act denotes the performance of the action. Thus, these acts propose how the message of the speaker will sway the minds of the readers.

Searle (1975) further extended the theory by classifying speech acts into types. These include representatives (assertive), commissives, directives, expressive, and declarations. Representatives (assertive) indicate truthfulness to the speaker’s thoughts. Speech acts that suggest, claim, conclude, and others are some of its examples. Commissives denote speakers’ future acts (promise, pledge, vows).

Directives mean the want of the speaker for the listener to act on something. Some of the examples include ask, order, command, request, invite, permit, and advise. Expressives refer to the psychological state of the speaker that is shown to the listener, like giving thanks, congratulations, and welcome.

Declarations state institutionalized speech acts like to declare, judge, and pronounce.

Moreover, this study will also be examined through the register theory (Reid, 1956). This theory distinguishes language variations based on the users and use. Therefore, it provides explanations behind the language used in a particular purpose and context.

Halliday (1989) explained the three strands that are related to registering. Field refers to what is being talked about and what the text is about. The term means the people involved in the communication.

Mode denotes the role of the language and how the text is being organized.

Research Objectives

This study aims to determine the speech act patterns of the American and Filipino online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace. This study sought answers to the following questions:

What are the speech act patterns in American and Filipino online selling advertisements?

What are the similarities and differences of speech act patterns in

American and Filipino online selling advertisements?

What do the findings tell about American and Filipino online selling advertisements?



In this section, the research design, corpus/material, data collection procedures, coding of data, method of analysis, scope, limitations, and significance of the study are presented. These are supported by theoretical and methodological bases from the literature that further help the researcher in investigating the speech act patterns in American and Filipino online selling advertisements.

Research Design

This study used the descriptive method of research.

Nassaji (2015) connoted that the data in this type of research may be collected qualitatively, but is analyzed through frequencies, percentages, averages, or other types of statistical analyses to recognize relationships.

Having the goal to compare the speech act patterns in American and Filipino online selling advertisements, the locutions and graphic symbols, as well as the values or culture behind the patterns, were investigated. Word frequencies, emojis, and symbols that are relevant and contributory to the study were quantified. These add information to online selling advertisements that were analyzed. The descriptive analysis also reveals

“what exists” and “what is” and tells the associations among concepts that are important in forming the generalizations (Travers, 2001).

The data were analyzed based on the theories of speech act patterns used in online selling advertisements.

Hussein and Albakri (2019) argued that learners not only need to know the grammatical rules and structures of a language but also their speech act, which denotes the use and function of the language. Whong (2011) emphasized language as two complementary terms:

(a) language as a form that is more concerned with structures and (b) language as a function that focuses on what the language does.

Research Corpus/Material

The data is based on the self-collected corpus of 30 American and 30 Filipino online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace. This e-commerce platform was chosen because most of the studies in the past focused on the two leading online shops.

Because most people are also into Facebook, I find it interesting to explore the language used in Facebook Marketplace. Also, it is specifically selected according to two criteria: (a) sellers’ reach and convenience and

(b) listing of products. Facebook users/shoppers do not need to leave the platform and check for the items/

products in other apps. The friendly listing of products also provides the sellers with a thorough description of the items, star ratings, and product reviews.

The selected online selling advertisements cover a specific period from March 2020 to March 2021. To keep the ethical principles and not damage any reputation, products are marked as [AB] in the advertisement. The sellers’ information, commerce profile, and location are checked for the reliability of the study. Only the sellers who have 10 and above Marketplace followers are selected to assess how active they are on the platform. However, their personal information will not be used as variables in the study, so there is no need to present them. Products that only show pictures with no advertisements are not included in the study. This study does not focus on any brands.

Random assessment of commoditized products (electronics and gadgets, beauty and health products, and food) is done to check the availability of online selling advertisements. After the initial assessment, it was found that the food category has a differentiated way of promoting the products, unlike the other two product categories, which others may seldom find items that go beyond the product specifications.

Data Collection Procedure

The corpus was purposely chosen from selected American and Filipino food product listings on the Facebook Marketplace (Appendix A). The listing varies among grain products (bread, biscuits, cereals, pasta), vegetables and fruits, dairy products, desserts and sweets, ready-to-eat food meals/packages, and beverages. The corpus is equally divided according to the list provided. Only sellers with a given full name are chosen to counter-check their profile, commerce profile, and location. Food product advertisements are also collected through screenshots.

Coding of Data

I, together with a graduate in Applied Linguistics, served as the inter-raters. Their knowledge and understanding of the coding of the content analysis add to the reliability of the findings. The agreement among inter-raters is determined by cross-tabulating their ratings to determine the marginal frequencies through the kappa test for agreement between two raters. The strength of the agreement will be determined through


the given scales by Landis and Koch (1977). The kappa statistic ratings are: <0.00 (poor), 0.00–0.20 (slight), 0.21–0.40 (fair), 0.41–0.60 (moderate), 0.61–0.80 (substantial), and 0.81–1.00 (almost perfect). A range from .61 (substantial) to 1.00 (almost perfect) is considered acceptable. McHugh (2012) explained that if there are disagreements between two raters, such findings would require action to either retrain raters or redesign the instruments.


Both inter-raters analyzed the data to determine the appropriate speech act to be used (Appendices B

& C). This provided a reliability check to determine the speech act patterns, which is the main goal of this study. In the initial analysis of speech acts between online selling advertisements, I and the inter-rater had disagreements on some items, which

got an average of 15%. Specifically, for the American online selling advertisements, assertives got 66%, directives (17%), expressives (2%), commissives, and declarations (0%). On the other hand, Filipino online selling advertisements recognized the following:

assertives (42%), directives (37%), commissives (1%), expressives (11%), declarations (0%), and a disagreement average of 9%. With these specifics, a kappa value of .660 for American online selling advertisements and .857 value for Filipino online selling advertisements were derived.

Tables 1 and 2 show that the measure of agreement between two inter-raters has not yet reached the 100%.

This is the reason why we discussed once again the items where we had disagreements. After a thorough analysis, we both agreed to come up with agreed speech acts related to the items. In the second round of analysis, Tables 3 and 4 reveal the final results.

Table 1

Initial Interraters’ Kappa Value on American Online Selling Advertisement

Value Asymp. Std. Errora Approx. Tb Approx. Sig.

Measure of Agreement Kappa .660 .092 6.689 .000

N of Valid Cases 59

Table 2

Initial Interraters’ Kappa Value on Filipino Online Selling Advertisement

Value Asymp. Std. Errora Approx. Tb Approx. Sig.

Measure of Agreement Kappa .857 .048 11.088 .000

N of Valid Cases 90

Table 3

Final Interraters’ Kappa Value on American Online Selling Advertisement

Value Asymp. Std. Errora Approx. Tb Approx. Sig.

Measure of Agreement Kappa 1.000 .000 8.188 .000

N of Valid Cases 59

Table 4

Final Interraters’ Kappa Value on Filipino Online Selling Advertisement

Value Asymp. Std. Errora Approx. Tb Approx. Sig.

Measure of Agreement Kappa 1.000 .000 12.341 .000

N of Valid Cases 90


Method of Analysis

The American and Filipino online selling advertisements were analyzed through the speech act theory. The locutions and patterns of graphic symbols for each speech act will also be examined. Word frequencies, emojis, recurring punctuation marks, and symbols were quantified for additional information.

The 10 most frequent content words, emojis, and symbols in the corpus were also identified. Then, the patterns were examined in terms of their similarities and differences. These findings yielded in providing descriptions of the speech act patterns in online selling advertisements between two cultures.

Results and Discussion

The data used in this study were taken from the American and Filipino online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace. Each set has its way of presenting creatively and attractively their advertisements. The emphasis of this study is to identify the speech act patterns and provide relevant information that will lead to further attention on how these are structured and presented through the lens of World Englishes.

The analysis generally covers the content of the online selling advertisements. Before deriving the different speech act patterns, the following are the different angles that were looked at: (a) word frequencies; (b) paralinguistic cues such as the use of emoticons, emojis, and symbols, recurring patterns in punctuations; and (c) classification of speech acts.

To show a clear picture of the data analysis, this section will use tables and graphs that precede the interpretation of the findings on American and Filipino online selling advertisements.

Table 5 shows the occurrences in word frequencies and paralinguistic features of American and Filipino online selling advertisements. Based on the data presented, Filipino online selling advertisements got higher word counts, although the same number of advertisements and types of food products were analyzed. This highlights that both of them have their promotional marketing strategies among their consumers. Moreover, their unique ways of creating awareness about their products and services provide rich data for further investigation and analysis.

In terms of paralinguistic cues, Filipino online selling advertisements have also used several emojis, reduplication of punctuation marks, and symbols.

These can also be observed from the data because a majority of Filipino online sellers used these for markers, emphasis, and expressions. Although American online selling advertisements also use these at times, the numbers are not that close to what Filipinos have used.

Among the list of content words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are chosen and analyzed based on Quirk et al.’s (1985) open classes classification of words. However, it intentionally excluded the function words, numbers, and proper nouns, especially because the latter only provided brand names or product names.

Table 6 highlights that among the word classifications, adjectives make up the largest proportion of the corpus, followed by nouns, verbs, and adverbs. Also, American online sellers prefer to use simple words that can be easily understood by their consumers, which will not require them to use a dictionary (Ke & Wang, 2013). Indeed, with the list of words presented, online sellers will have an idea of what words are usually used and appealing not only among their fellow business person but among the buyers as well. These adjectives also provide a good image that will cause others to read, follow, and buy.

Table 5

Word Frequencies and Paralinguistic Features

American Online Selling

Advertisement Filipino Online Selling Advertisement

Word Frequencies 1653 1658

Emojis 3 13

Reduplication of Punctuation Marks 5 25

Symbols 12 112


Ke and Wang (2013) explained that adjectives must be appropriate with nouns. This is very crucial as it is being presented to the public on social media. They further added that when these adjectives are proven to be right in terms of usage, this helps the products to be known, and the sellers gain trust from their consumers.

Table 7 presents that among the classifications of words, adjectives and nouns occupy most of the corpus, followed by verbs and adverbs. Similar to the American online selling advertisements, Filipino online sellers also used simple words to reach people from all walks of life. Using common adjectives will not annoy them when asking for or searching for their meaning. More so, these adjectives modify into believing that the

product possesses the particular characteristics and may spin a situation into something positive, like being able to convince a buyer to try the product.

Nouns such as delivery, PM, price, and location are closely associated with online selling. These words give an impression that something is being offered or sold.

Usually, consumers will ask about the mode of delivery and its charges, the usual exchange of conversation between the seller and the buyer through private messages, the price range, and the location to know the estimated number of days/weeks before the product can be received. Through the exchange of messages, the seller and the buyer can build a good relationship where the former may send promo codes, give discounts Table 6

American Word List Types and Tokens

Category Words Rank f %

Nouns delivery 7 5 8.20

message 9.5 4 6.56

Verbs order 1 10 16.39

made 4.5 6 9.84

Adjectives fresh 2 9 14.75

available 3 7 11.46

homemade 4.5 6 9.84

free 7 5 8.20

delicious 9.5 4 6.56

Adverbs only 7 5 8.20

TOTAL 61 100

Table 7

Filipino Word List Types and Tokens

Category Words Rank f %

Nouns delivery 1 23 21.10

PM 3.5 11 10.10

price 8 7 6.42

location 6.5 8 7.34

Verbs order 5 10 9.17

Adjectives fresh 9.5 6 5.50

available 2 19 17.43

free 3.5 11 10.10

premium 9.5 6 5.50

Adverb only 6.5 8 7.34

TOTAL 109 100


and special offers, make follow-ups, and send personal greetings. Consumers feel more important because the seller can answer all their inquiries. Who would not want special treatment, freebies, and discounts?

Surprisingly, there are six words from the lists that are the same. These are delivery, order, fresh, available, free, and only. Three of them are adjectives (fresh, available, free), whereas one was recognized in a noun (delivery), verb (order), and adverb (only). The adjectives that are recognized in this study are different from what Ke and Wang (2013) identified. The list reveals the following: good, beautiful, real, better, best, great, perfect, and pure, which are also recognized from advertising slogans. Ke and Wang (2013) also stated that the adjectives from Crystal (1997) were also different from what they had determined after 15 years. This only means that advertising language continuously evolves.

Werry (1996) stated that spelling, punctuation, and capitalization also express or convey emotions and emphasis. These paralinguistic cues are used to echo what the other individuals would like to communicate in face-to-face interaction. In this study, I looked at how emojis/emoticons, recurring punctuation marks, and symbols were used.

Emojis/emoticons and other symbols are simple representations of faces or objects (Daniel & Camp, 2020). These are embedded alongside texts to add visual flair, to provide a certain context to computer- mediated communication (CMC), and to add positive or negative connotations to a statement. Unlike in face- to-face interaction, when the sellers can persuade the prospective buyers through words and other significant non-verbal cues, the digital platforms offer a different way of building rapport and relationships. The data highlights how these are used by both American and Table 8

Paralinguistic Cues in American Online Selling Advertisements

Paralinguistic Cues Icons/Symbols f %

Emoticons/Emojis 1 5

1 5

1 5

Recurring Punctuation Marks !!! 5 25

Other Symbols 5 25

2 10

1 5

1 5

1 5

1 5

1 5



Filipino online sellers. These were manually tallied to determine their frequencies.

Table 8 indicates the frequencies and percentages of the different paralinguistic cues in American online selling advertisements where the recurring punctuation marks (exclamation point) and fruit symbols got the most number in the corpus. It can also be inferred that the content of the American online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace is heavily texted in nature as there is a very limited number of paralinguistic cues that were identified. Surprisingly, out of 1,653 words, only 20 other characters were identified. Examples 1 and 2 present a sample online selling advertisement where recurring exclamation points and fruit symbols are given. Exclamation points were repeated in series to express emphasis, while fruit symbols were used as image representation.

Although the findings do not show the overall picture of American online-selling advertisements, the result itself provides interest that might give a cultural mirror reflecting the social values of the American sellers.



Table 9

Paralinguistic Cues in Filipino Online Selling Advertisements

Paralinguistic Cues Icons/Symbols f %

Emoticons/Emojis 7 4.67

6 4

Recurring Punctuation Marks

25 16.67

Other Symbols 28 18.67

13 8.67

24 16

10 6.67

17 11.33

8 5.32

12 8

TOTAL 150 100


Table 9 presents the frequencies and percentages of the different paralinguistic cues in Filipino online selling advertisements where the heart symbols got the most number of counts in the corpus. It was followed by recurring punctuation marks (exclamation points) and checkmarks. Based on the collected data, most Filipino online selling advertisements on Facebook Marketplace use these cues. Similarly, these are just the top 10 identified cues, but there are still a lot of emoticons, recurring punctuation marks, and symbols that got a lesser frequency. Examples 3 and 4 show how they appear in the advertisements.



These cues make them omnipresent in most Filipino online sellers’ marketing styles. They may appear in a single form or a series depending on the sellers’ intention. Others even apply them as markers to replace bullet points or punctuation marks. Kotler et al. (2010) emphasized that sellers nowadays understand this fact and accept that human emotions impact consumers’ behavior and consumption. This means that it may also add a factor or influence when the target buyer process himself/herself in the decision- making or even in the consumption process (Gibson, 2006).

Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements

Out of 30 American online selling advertisements, the following speech act patterns were identified:

assertive (19), assertive-directive (7), directive- assertive (2), directive (1), and assertive-expressive (1).


Example 5 is an assertive speech act pattern that shows the descriptions and explanations of the products. The use of freshly handpicked, local residential, and no fertilizers or pesticides create an image in the mind of the consumer about the kind of products. This type of description invites those who are health conscious, fruit lovers yet practical consumers to avail of the product. By also stating the number of pounds available, the buyers would be able to sense urgency with the limited quantity available.



Most American online selling advertisements from the data collected fall under this type of speech act. As sellers, they focus more on the statements and descriptions of their products. They must provide as much adequate information and good impressions as possible about the products they offer. Aziz and Othman (2020) affirmed that marketers mostly apply assertive speech act to persuade their target customers.



In an assertive-directive pattern, sellers do not only provide explanations and descriptions but also request and suggest that the consumers visit and avail of their promos. In this type of pattern, the sellers explain what products/services they have and what else awaits them as they patronize. This pattern can catch the interest of the target consumer because the common initial information that a buyer will ask for is already presented. The words such as fresh produce, restaurant supplier, home delivery service, together with website, location, Facebook page, code, and discounts are powerful in getting the attention of the consumers.



If in Example 6 it is description before suggesting, it is the opposite of Example 7. Some sellers give a command and insist first before giving the product descriptions, as in the given example. The interrogative at the beginning of the advertisement orders the buyer to try the nice cheeseboard and present other statements that give details about it. Through the given picture, a customer will have an idea of the product inclusion, varieties, estimated quantity, and more. This pattern is similar to a face-to-face encounter when a seller asks the customers what they are planning to buy, then orders them to try their product before telling the details.




Example 8 suggests that an image plus a command among the buyers can also be effective in persuading the customers. Descriptions and explanations may happen as the target customer starts to inquire through chats or messages. This can also be effective for those clients who are on the go and on a busy schedule. To them, they are more interested in acquiring the product, especially if they know that it has received good feedback or someone they know has tried or has referred it before.



Filipino online selling advertisements got the following speech act patterns, assertive-directive (13), directive- assertive (6), assertive (5), expressive-assertive (2), assertive-commissive (1), assertive-expressive-directive (1), expressive-directive (1), and directive-expressive (1).



The example of the assertive-directive pattern got the most number in Filipino online selling advertisements.

Most of the sellers would prefer first to introduce their products to their buyers before suggesting/requesting them to avail. It can also be inferred from the example that the seller has used as many adjectives as possible to describe the item. There were also code-switching like “Super Sarap,” ‘Super Tipid,” and “Sulit na sulit Lasang ULIT” in giving the descriptions. It implies the desire of the seller to reach and be comprehensible to all possible customers.



Directive- Assertive

Example 11 presents that some sellers would prefer to have it the other way around—directive-assertive. In this pattern, the seller first gives an order or command on how to claim or receive the products, such as last call and delivery details, before giving the details like the fruit inclusion in particular. Even the exact numbers for each kind of fruit are also provided.



Plain descriptions of products are also used by some sellers, like in Example 12. Product specifics such as the name of bread, location, available varieties, and day of meet up/pick up are provided to get to know more about what is being offered. Consumers who are familiar with the product and its branches, for instance, may have little information, whereas those who prefer homemade products need to specify and exert more effort in introducing their products.



In the expressive-assertive speech act pattern, Filipino online sellers first welcome the buyers on their product page before providing information about it. Here, the sellers try to build connections/relationships where everyone can be accommodated and welcomed; eventually, they introduce the items. Building connections and trust are important for these sellers before they can tell something about their products.




In the assertive-commissive speech act pattern like in (14), the seller provides first information before committing oneself. Sharing the available flavors and prices, as well as the manner of the preparation, adds conviction for the buyers to try the product. On the other hand, a commitment to offering free delivery when three loaves are availed is also a good marketing strategy. Making the word free in all capital letters also adds emphasis and excitement not only to the sellers but to the buyers as well.



Others prefer the assertive-expressive-directive pattern, such as Example 15. First, the seller presents the features of the product like varieties, amount, location, and date of availability. Second, they try to build a connection with the customer by showing appreciation and giving advice. Lastly, the seller directed the customer on how to order. This will initially have done by sending a private message to the seller if interested.

However, the image of the product that was posted is just a part of the assorted fruits that are available.

Providing a collage of fruit varieties will also be effective because this will give a glimpse of the different fruit product varieties of the seller.

Expressive-Directive 16.

Directive-Expressive 17.


Online sellers also prefer either expressive-directive or directive-expressive in convincing their customers to avail their products. In an expressive-directive pattern, the seller builds first the connection before offering/suggesting the products. Expressions such as greetings, welcome, and any form of concerns are being used to establish the relationship. Directives include an invitation to order, promos such as buy 1 take 1, and send private message/s.

From the list of patterns presented, it should be made clear that


series of speech acts may also be used in advertisements. For instance, assertive-directive-assertive-directive-directive-assertive (ADADDA) and expressive-assertive-directive-assertive-directive (EADAD). Here, the online sellers have their way on how to persuade their clients in a manner that they provide a bit of information then, use another speech act, and go back to the previous one as in these examples.



The patterns indicated do not prescribe nor impose that this should be the pattern to be used, but these offer some options that other resellers may choose from.

The data also highlight that American online sellers prefer assertive, whereas Filipino online sellers go for assertive-directive based on frequencies. It can also be explained that Filipino online sellers commonly use expressive because, in our culture, we also love to entertain guests and visitors.

Similarities and Differences of Speech Act Patterns in American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements

The following patterns were evident in both online selling advertisements: assertive (A), directive- assertive (DA), directive (D), assertive-directive

(AD), and assertive-expressive (AE). This implies that all patterns that are present in the American online selling advertisements are also present in Filipino online selling advertisements. The Filipinos’ format of advertisements can also be attributed to how they view and expose themselves to the Western format.

Especially in the past decades, we depicted several formats of how advertisements are structured. Further, these can also be seen or accessed on almost all platforms and online selling sites.

Concerning the data collected, the following speech act patterns were not evident: expressive-assertive (EA), assertive-commissive (AC), and expressive- directive (ED). These patterns are all under Filipino online selling advertisements. Filipinos also try to create their pattern in online selling advertisements,


which they hope to be effective among their clients and with fellow sellers as well. This may also be connected to how they address their customers in a face-to-face encounter, so it also looks natural when stated in the advertisements.

Building empathy to establish relationships are also evident in the inclusion of exclusive speech act in Filipino online selling advertisement patterns.

Simons (2017) explained that this is significant as the words from buyers’ mouths may help them to reach other possible customers. Declarations are not evident in both advertisements, and no sellers have tried to explicitly state, “I hereby declare that this product is the best.” Aziz and Othman (2020) maintained that it is very rare that declarations are used by sellers for institutions, and well-known brands/companies usually use this promotion and advertising strategies.

American and Filipino Online Selling Advertisements

Data indicate that the identified speech acts patterns do not only express information about the product but also recognize the intention of the action.

The choice of words, as well as the patterns, provide clues on how the sellers view or promote the products.

Although sellers have control over the pattern to be used, their ideas and creativity continue to leak out in their advertisements. With the limited space that they are provided on Facebook Marketplace, online sellers must be effective enough to change or affect the decision of the buyers.

It is also not surprising that all American speech patterns are present in Filipino online selling advertisements because English has served as the common core language in advertising. Through the use of the English language, the scope of awareness is larger because bilinguals and multilinguals would be able to understand the content of the ad. This also serves as a vehicle for advertising in the globalized perspective, for one’s culture may be embedded in the speech act pattern of the seller’s choice (Bhatia

& Kathpalia, 2019). Being aware of how they use speech act patterns as online sellers will also provide information if they belong to the inner, outer, or expanding circles.

Advertisements continue to stimulate minds with words and patterns. Online sellers, be it in the inner circle or outer circle, continue to learn and find ways to fascinate their clients. These also build the

online identity of the sellers as they use the language and speech act patterns. Moreover, it also forms relationships among sellers of different cultures as they reach and contact others (Carr et al., 2012).

Language innovation as a communicative strategy in promoting product identity through advertising continues, whereas others are into who has the standard and intelligible. Similar to making products appealing, speech act patterns must be considered as well to create a stronger effect on the affective part of the customers.

This seems to establish a good realization about the advantages of availing products or services on the part of the clients.

The findings and discussion tell us that online sellers have a varied way of persuading their customers.

Some of these show similarities and differences in speech act patterns which convey that although they are in the same field and platform for promoting their products, they also consider the culture from where they belong.

No one, in particular, could say that a certain speech act pattern is better than the other, nor would it serve as the standard form of online selling advertisement.

Those who belong to the inner circle (United States) have their uniqueness which also makes them distinct from other Kachru’s circle, same with those who belong to the expanded circle (Philippines).

From the two sets of context and data studied, it can be inferred that in the American online selling advertisements, the following were the identified patterns: assertive, assertive-directive, directive- assertive, directive, and assertive-expressive. Filipino online selling advertisements, on the other hand, use the following speech act patterns: assertive-directive, directive-assertive, assertive, expressive-assertive, assertive-commissive, assertive-expressive-directive, expressive-directive, and directive-expressive.

Among the list of patterns, the following were identified as similar patterns: assertive (A), directive- assertive (DA), directive (D), assertive-directive (AD), and assertive-expressive (AE), which are all evident in American online selling advertisements. On the other hand, the following were recognized as differences that were all prevalent in Filipino online selling advertisements: expressive-assertive (EA), assertive- commissive (AC), and expressive-directive (ED).

As evident in the finding of the study, advertisements have the prerogative to modify and twist the language to be used according to purpose. It also proves that


English is the common language in both online sellers’ nationalities, and sufficient knowledge about the language will give you a ticket to promote your product on a platform like Facebook Marketplace.

A combination of the language of the present-day generation and the seasoned are both used not only to present the structure of the language but also the sociolinguistics aspects of advertising discourse.

Persuasion is not fixed; sellers will always try to make themselves comprehensible and implicit to their audience because not all will not assume based on their instinct. If buyers prove that online sellers are truthful in their descriptions and promotions, surely, the borderline that divides the hesitations in buying online will lessen, and the same trust that the customers put when products are in front of them and virtual will be the same.

Future researchers may collect a wider scope of corpus to further analyze the textual and visual strategies of online sellers. An online interview may also be conducted to delve into their experience.

It will also be interesting to include those who are in the expanding circles to better understand how they use speech act patterns in their online selling advertisements. A comparative study between language choice and advertising functions through speech act patterns may also be examined.

The field of advertising still has a lot to offer among linguists and scholars, especially those who are into digital platforms. The language of advertising continues to evolve, and the emotions and the culture are given significance.


The researcher would like to thank Dr. Leah Gustilo for her valuable supervision, Dr. Roy Dalisay for serving as the interrater, and all the Facebook Marketplace online sellers for making these advertisements available to the public.

Declaration of Possible Conflict of Interest The author does not declare any possible conflict of interest.


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Appendix A: Sample guide questions in choosing the corpus:

1. Is the seller Filipino/American?

2. Is his/her commerce profile show the appropriate demographic of the seller?

3. Does he/she follow at least 10 Markets?

4. Is his/her post from March 2020 to March 2021?

5. Does the product belong to a food category?

6. Is there an advertisement that goes with the photos of the products?

Appendix B: Sample American Online Selling Advertisements Coding:

American Online

Selling Codes Locutions Interrater

1 Interrater

2 Pattern

A1 Delicious homemade[AB]. Made with care in [X] myself. Everything made with best quality ingredients.


Soon you try one you will be order you second

one right away. D D

A2 [AB], fragrant and tasty they are made with durum semolina carefully selected and production process with a careful, respectful of the quality and characteristics of the raw material. The whole production process of AB and conducted to enhance the organoleptic qualities of the semolina and particularly gluten, so what is not lost in the cooking water, which must be the most possible clear.

Product of [X]


A3 Hello everyone! I have these [AB] for sale.

They have a layer of strawberries with glaze, a layer with homemade whipped cheesecake frosting and a layer of gram cracker. This makes a delicious snack.

Only $7 a cup for a 20oz. Located in [X]

Deliver available if you order 4 or more cups.


Appendix C: Sample Filipino Online Selling Advertisements Coding:

Filipino Online

Selling Codes Locutions Interrater

1 Interrater

2 Pattern

F1 [AB] for sale [AB] big size available flavors:

[AB] with free pencilcase [AB] [AB] 105php small size available flavor strawberry banana 60php [AB] available flavors smokey BBQ salt and seaweed [AB] Spicy green pepper [AB] cheese 60 php RESELLER ARE WELCOME Pick up or meet up add sf depends on locations or thru delivery apps shouldered by customer MOP GCASH


Pay first before deliver D D

F2 !!Hello Pasta Lover! E E EADAD

Healthy veggie pasta for as low as Php70

only! A A

Start your healthy lifestyle with the AB pasta

and sauce offerings! D D

Plant-based, vegan, diabetic friendly, and Pregnancy Safe Pasta KETO Almond Pasta, Baby-led Weain Pasta Gluten Free Pasta


Togethter, let’s switch to a healthy lifestyle

with AB! Grab a pack here at [X] D D

F3 Banana Loaf Bread A A A

Mga Sanggunian


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