Call for papers:
North and South
British dialects in fictional dialogue
Status Quaestionis, an on-line, peer-reviewed journal of the Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies of Sapienza University of Rome, launchesa call for papers to inaugurate a series of yearly issues entirely dedicated to linguistic and translational themes.
The first collection of essays of this linguisticseries will focus on British dialect varieties in all forms of fictional dialogue which contributors are asked to analyse both in its deviations from expected sociolinguistic patterns and similarities with face-to face conversation. This collection will ideally concentrate on the function of dialect varieties in literary and dramatic texts and their linguistic construction as fictional artefacts, as well as their translation in any given language. Texts foregrounding different language varieties have always posed challenges for translators and translation scholars. In some European countries, the use of dialects in fiction has been strictly linked to the problem of linguistic correctness, thus the translation of dialect is inexorably linked to issues of censorship and ideological manipulation.
Dialect has been used to sketch character stereotypes in both diatopic and diastratic ways in literature, theatre, cinema and television. For what concerns the British linguistic landscape in particular, ‘mythical’ geographical coordinates have contributed to the construction of almost archetypical stereotypes: the ‘North-South divide’ and the web of associations linked to the image of the barbaric Northerner as opposed to the more civilised Southerner (Wales 2002) are, for example, ingrained in popular perception of British dialects and have influenced literary, stage and film authors in their portrayals of individual characters and speech communities.
Stereotyping, however, is arguably more evident and widespread in film and television (Lippi-Green 1997, Hodson 2014) – part of what Kozloff (2000), writing about American films, calls exploitation of the language resources - while the use of dialect in literature is often more nuanced and justified as means to give a distinctive stylistic mark to the text as a whole (i.e. Irvine Welsh’s and James Kelman’s Scots in novels).
As far as sociolects are concerned, contributions on the underresearched ‘upper classes’ and their lingustic features in fictional texts are particularly encouraged, as the subject has notoriously received little attention even by researchers in natural conversation.
Themes that may be addressed by contributors include but are not restricted to the following:
- British dialects in literature and stage plays
- British dialects in films and television
- British dialects in literary and audiovisual translation
- style shifting, speech accommodation and audience design in relation to dialect
- dialect analysis in relation to aspects of filmmaking (mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound)
- sociolects rendered through geographical dialects
- British dialects in non-British works of fiction
- British vs. American stereotypes
- speech communities in fiction as connoted by dialects and sociolects
Abstract deadline: 30th November 2015. Abstracts should be max 300 words (excluding references) and include title of the contribution, name of the author and affiliation. A brief bio-sketch of no more than 100 words should also be included.
Notification of acceptance: 4th January 2016.
Article deadline and start of peer-reviewing: 15th April 2016
Online publication: September 2016
Proposals should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org