A number of studies have argued that recent English has been following a path of colloquialisation, that is, a trend towards an increasing degree of colloquiality over time (e.g. Fairclough 1992, Leech et al. 2009). Starting from such premise, the present paper will look at colloquialisation in film dialogue, a register with respect to which colloquialisation has only been suggested (e.g. Kozloff 2000) but not assessed empirically. American films from the 1950s and the 1960s will be compared with their remakes from the 1990s and the 2000s, respectively. The corpus of originals and remakes under investigation comprises approximately 166,000 words and was constructed following various criteria. The data will be investigated using Multi-Dimensional Analysis (Biber 1988), a statistical approach making it possible to identify co-occurrence patterns among a wide set of POS-tagged linguistic features, co-occurrence patterns which, in turn, will be interpreted here as indicators of colloquiality. By means of Multi-Dimensional Analysis, this paper will carry out a contrastive assessment of the degree of colloquiality of the originals and their remakes on a quantitative basis. The study will show that a certain strengthening of colloquiality has occurred in the remakes. Also, a comparison with the Italian films analysed by Rossi (1999) will be used to underline that transnational and local dynamics are active in the process of colloquialisation. In particular, it will be highlighted that the originals’ degree of colloquiality is already significant, an aspect which seems to be a distinctive feature of American cinema, as opposed to the situation found in Italian films.

English in the traditional media: The case of colloquialisation between original films and remakes

Raffaele Zago
2017

Abstract

A number of studies have argued that recent English has been following a path of colloquialisation, that is, a trend towards an increasing degree of colloquiality over time (e.g. Fairclough 1992, Leech et al. 2009). Starting from such premise, the present paper will look at colloquialisation in film dialogue, a register with respect to which colloquialisation has only been suggested (e.g. Kozloff 2000) but not assessed empirically. American films from the 1950s and the 1960s will be compared with their remakes from the 1990s and the 2000s, respectively. The corpus of originals and remakes under investigation comprises approximately 166,000 words and was constructed following various criteria. The data will be investigated using Multi-Dimensional Analysis (Biber 1988), a statistical approach making it possible to identify co-occurrence patterns among a wide set of POS-tagged linguistic features, co-occurrence patterns which, in turn, will be interpreted here as indicators of colloquiality. By means of Multi-Dimensional Analysis, this paper will carry out a contrastive assessment of the degree of colloquiality of the originals and their remakes on a quantitative basis. The study will show that a certain strengthening of colloquiality has occurred in the remakes. Also, a comparison with the Italian films analysed by Rossi (1999) will be used to underline that transnational and local dynamics are active in the process of colloquialisation. In particular, it will be highlighted that the originals’ degree of colloquiality is already significant, an aspect which seems to be a distinctive feature of American cinema, as opposed to the situation found in Italian films.
978-88-207-6740-2
English linguistics, applied linguistics, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, colloquialisation, register, film dialogue, spoken English
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/371758
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