Vol. 61 No. 1 (2013)
Research Article

A Pragmatic-Cognitive Approach to Brand Names: A Case Study of Rioja Wine Brands

Published 2013-03-01



This paper analyzes a collection of Rioja wine names, looking into the pragmatic and conceptual mechanisms underlying their semantic configuration. It provides some insights into their linguistic adequacy and effectiveness, and offers a preliminary assessment on the strengths and weaknesses of Rioja wine trademarks. The branding of Rioja wines has traditionally been carried out by wine producers themselves. This trend, however, seems to be changing as wine companies increasingly turn to professional branding services. A systematic application of the pragmatic and conceptual strategies isolated in this study results in a rich pool of lexical extensions. It is argued that a careful choice of the initial inventory of key notions as well as of the source concepts used in metonymic and metaphoric extensions would help to minimize the generation of negative connotations. To the same end, branding experts should also take into consideration a number of pragmatic maxims and cultural models.


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