The Brand Naming of Japanese Sake. A Linguistic Analysis of 200 Varieties

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: This paper reports on a study conducted on the brand names of the 200-top ranked Japanese rice wines in Japan in the year of 2016. The brand names are content analyzed using the same framework as was used for the Chinese brand names in the two studies by Chan & Huang (2001) and Chan & Huang (1997). With some modifications to fit the different orientation of this paper. The purpose of this study is to show the main semantic theme in brand names of sake, to give insight into the linguistic aspects of the brand names of sake, and to do several comparisons with previous studies that was conducted on Chinese brand names. The applied linguistic parameters are semantic context, semantic connotation, modifier-noun phrase, kanji character and syllable count. Alongside the results, there will be discussions to get a deeper understanding of Japanese brand naming. The results show that Japanese brand naming shares many of its linguistic aspects with Chinese brand naming. But it also revealed a difference in the syllable structure of the brand names of the two languages. Moreover, it showed that the most frequently occurring semantic theme of Japanese brand names is company names and personal names. Which fits the general image of the Japanese market in which corporate branding is the most frequently used method for branding products.

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