The Language of Filmic Audio Description: a Corpus-Based Analysis of Adjectives
ARMA, SAVERIA (2011) The Language of Filmic Audio Description: a Corpus-Based Analysis of Adjectives. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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Audio description is a recent technique that allows primarily blind and low-sighted people to gain adequate access to audiovisual products such as movies, theatre performances, sport matches, museums, archives, web resources and sculpture works. An additional audio track describes the visual elements that would otherwise remain inaccessible to the visually impaired, such as settings, costumes, atmospheres and written titles. Though very recent, audio description has rapidly expanded worldwide and is widely used in English-speaking countries, where it is applied to most audiovisual fields and in particular to cinema, theatre and television. At the same time, audio description has attracted more and more attention from an academic perspective, for its being a technique that ‘translates’ the visual into verbal and ‘manipulates’ the original product in such a way to carefully select only those elements that are pertinent to the comprehension and might be described in the relatively short pauses between dialogues. From a linguistic perspective, so far most researchers have focused on more qualitative than quantitative investigations and have therefore analyzed case studies to apply, verify and discuss the existing guidelines. This research work is therefore conceived as an original attempt to bridge the gap between the various disciplines and to suggest how they can contribute to the comprehension of the language of audio description through a corpus-oriented approach. Since audio description is very scarcely developed in Italy both from a practical and an academic perspective, this work also aims at raising awareness about the importance of AD as a tool for audiovisual accessibility and as a matter of academic interest. In particular, this research works focuses on the use of the adjectival function from both a grammatical and a semantic perspective. The corpus-based analysis has been conducted on a corpus of 69 English AD film scripts by means of corpus analysis tools (AntConc and CQP in particular) and has combined both quantitative and qualitative information, based on the convergence of different disciplines, from Narratology to Film Studies, from Linguistics to Visual Literacy Theories.
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