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Title: Dialogue and Genre in Italian Cinema after the War. A Study of the Representation of Verbal Interaction in Films
Author: Piazza, Roberta
ISNI:       0000 0001 2433 3668
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2007
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The study is a linguistic investigation of dialogue in a number of Italian films. It begins to correct for the academic disregard for speech in film studies and the paucity of research on the portrayal of fictional discourse in areas other than drama and literary prose. The purpose ofthe research is to identify the speech patterns that reflect the representation of dialogue in various film genres; the hypothesis is that different discourse styles are indexed to specific film genres, therefore, an accurate definition of genre cannot fail to take into account the plane ofdiscourse, in addition to iconography, narrative and soundtrack. Film discourse is approached from the specific angle ofthe representation of conflict, and the study follows how characters in the various genres disagree and argue along a cline that goes from cooperativeness and solidarity-based conflict to uncooperativeness and disfluency-based confrontation. The choice of this particular angle is based on the conviction that conflict talk often highlights pivotal moments in films and can suggest the diverse patterns ofdiscourse characteristic of vurious genres. Four are the main genres explored in the study, namely comedy, mc1odrama, horror and westerns, and the period covered is the post-war time from the 1950s to the present day. Although clearly not exhaustive ofthe rich panorama of lIulian cinema, these genres are a sufficiently representative sample ofthis national l'inema and usefully suggest how discourse varies according to the type of film. The results are indicative of a strong correlation between genre and discourse and the research expectations are met in that, although some patterns ofconfrontational discourse can be found throughout all forms of cinematic dialogue, there are visible pullems ofdiscourse that characterise comedy as opposed melodrama, western or horror.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available