This paper presents the empirical backing, theoretical backing, methodologies, and results of a study looking at trends in the use of various auditory phenomena and prosodic patterns of speech used in American television advertisements. The age of targeted audiences, various categories of products, services, or causes featured in ads, and time length of television ads all proved to be significant factors in dictating how a television advertisement is designed to effectively persuade consumers to invest in featured phenomena. Additionally, a descriptive analysis of prosodic features of speech revealed trends in an informative style of speech implemented in many ads, a dialect of American English that I am calling Informative-Persuasive Voice Persona, or IPVP. These findings indicate that human thought and behavior may be more influenced by sound than we are currently aware of, and thus that research and regulation regarding the strategic use of prosodic patterns of speech apparent in television advertising should be considered by policymakers looking to preserve communicative quality in American culture as well as other cultures that speak English.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology


Linguistic Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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