Television Dramatic Dialogue: A Sociolinguistic Study

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Overview

When we watch and listen to actors speaking lines that have been written by someone else—a common experience if we watch any television at all—the illusion of "people talking" is strong. These characters are people like us, but they are also different, products of a dramatic imagination, and the talk they exchange is not quite like ours.

Television Dramatic Dialogue examines, from an applied sociolinguistic perspective and with reference to television, the particular kind of "artificial" talk that we know as dialogue: onscreen/on-mike talk delivered by characters as part of dramatic storytelling in a range of fictional and nonfictional TV genres. As well as trying to identify the place this kind of language occupies in sociolinguistic space, Richardson seeks to understand the conditions of its production by screenwriters and the conditions of its reception by audiences, offering two case studies, one British (Life on Mars) and one American (House).

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kay Richardson is Reader in Communication Studies, School of Politics and Communication Studies University of Liverpool.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction 3

Chapter 2 Previous Research 21

Chapter 3 What Is TV Dialogue Like? 42

Chapter 4 What TV Screenwriters Know about Dialogue 63

Chapter 5 What Audiences Know about Dialogue 85

Chapter 6 Dialogue as Social Interaction 105

Chapter 7 Dialogue, Character, and Social Cognition 127

Chapter 8 Dialogue and Dramatic Meaning: Life on Mars 151

Chapter 9 House and Snark 169

Chapter 10 Conclusion 187

Appendix: List of Television Shows 198

Notes 219

References 227

Index 237

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