Tuesday 23rd of July 2024


Me, lowly Chinaman: analisi linguistica, multimodale e pragmatica dell’eloquio di Charlie Chan e del suo doppiaggio italiano

Dora Renna and Francesca Santulli – Ca’ Foscari University of Venicepdf_icon_30x30

dora.renna(at)unive.it, francesca.santulli(at)unive.it

Abstract: Charlie Chan is one of the most typical images representing the Chinese diaspora in the US. The aim of this paper is to analyse his speech patterns in the movie Charlie Chan in London (1934) and its Italian dubbed version Il nemico invisibile (1934). The reason behind this choice is the crucial role played by Chan’s distinctive orality in defining both the character and the nature of stereotyping in early Hollywood cinema. We begin with a brief introduction of Chan’s character and his function as a diegetic device in Hollywood cinema and American society at large. Subsequently, we introduce the innovative methodology of analysis we used for this study, which allowed us to shed light on the character’s design from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective, taking into account language and multimodality at the same time. The results are divided in two parts. First, we provide an overview on different aspects of Chan’s speech patterns, from language variation to multimodality. Then we dedicate more specific attention to some particularly relevant pragmatic traits of the character, including politeness and proverbiality, which are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively.


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