LINGUISTIC REPLACEMENT IN THE MOVIES
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In this paper, the author discusses the use of the English language in movie dialogues where, logically, other languages would have been used by the fictional characters. A shared characteristic of many Hollywood movies (as well as countless other fictional narratives, written or performed) is the notion of 'linguistic replacement'. Even when the depicted story would realistically have taken place in a different linguistic setting, the language(s) are replaced by the base language of narration; in his case, English. Using a taxonomy of semiotic strategies proposed by Petr Mares as a point of departure, the author discusses examples of linguistic replacement from a corpus of twelve recent, commercially successful Hollywood movies with European and American settings. He argues that even though the different strategies (e.g. the use of L2 accents or the presence of the replaced language in filmed writing) fulfill more complex symbolic functions than that of compensatory realism, there has been a recent shift away from linguistic replacement altogether.
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