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Empirical Methods in Language Studies

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Edited By Krzysztof Kosecki and Janusz Badio

«Empirical Methods in Language Studies» presents 22 papers employing a broad range of empirical methods in the analysis of various aspects of language and communication. The individual texts offer contributions to the description of conceptual strategies, syntax, semantics, non-verbal communication, language learning, discourse, and literature.
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Compliments in film subtitles: a pragmatic and cognitive study of translations from English into Polish

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Abstract: The primary goal of this paper is to present a novel approach to the analysis of compliments in subtitles. The methodology advocated in the study conflates a pragmatic perspective on compliments with tools deriving from cognitive linguistics known as construal operations. The applicability of selected tools used in cognitive linguistic analysis to audiovisual translation is demonstrated on the basis of several scenes gleaned from a romantic comedy. The study demonstrates that construal operations may enrich the traditional analysis of subtitles by revealing details concerning the possible conceptualisations of compliments in different languages.

Keywords: Compliments, construal operations, subtitles, film discourse, cognitive linguistics.

1. Introduction

The primary goal of this paper is to present an alternative approach to the analysis of compliments in subtitles. The proposed research tools, specifically the so-called construal operations, which are borrowed from cognitive linguistics (CL), are believed to yield an insightful description of different types of compliments in filmic discourse. Audiovisual Translation, and subtitles in particular, may benefit from the application of construal operations as such an analysis is detailed and thorough, and it may complement a discussion on subtitling strategies. Several instances of compliments will be retrieved from the original English soundtrack of a romantic comedy, and they will be compared with their renditions gleaned from the Polish subtitled version. The sample scenes will be examined for illustrative purposes in order to demonstrate that by enriching a pragmatic analysis with a cognitive approach to film translation, a...

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