Article published in:Corpus approaches to telecinematic language
Edited by Monika Bednarek, Valentin Werner and Marcia Veirano Pinto
[International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 26:1] 2021
► pp. 95–126
Innovation on screen
Marked affixation as characterization cue in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This study explores marked affixation as a possible cue for characterization in scripted television dialogue. The data used here is the newly compiled TV Corpus, which encompasses over 265 million words in its North American English context. An initial corpus-based analysis quantifies the innovative use of affixes in word-formation processes across the corpus to allow for comparison with a following character analysis, which investigates how derivational word-formation supports characterization patterns within a specific series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For this, a list of productive prefixes (e.g. de-, un-) and suffixes (e.g. -y, -ish) is used to elicit relevant contexts. The study thus combines two approaches to word-formation processes in scripted contexts. On a large scale, it shows how derivational neologisms are spread across TV dialogue and on a much smaller scale, it highlights particular instances where these neologisms are used to aid character construction.
Keywords: characterization, non-codified language, affixation, suffixation, social networks
Published online: 08 December 2020
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