Accompanying short texts: captions, subtitles, tags - linguistics and semiotics

Head: Donella Antelmi

Year 2019

The research provides a linguistic investigation of the short verbal texts that accompany other semiotic modes of meaning, such as images, symbols, gestures, music, and are presented on various media: printed materials, videos, websites, applications. The heterogeneity of the genres dealt with, while not covering all forms of linguistic brevity that are offered to common experience and investigation, shows the incredible spread of this mode of expression, which has its own characteristics, in which brevity does not necessarily coincide with the (limited) length, but has, on the contrary, its own rhetoric, style and poetry. The research has a dual objective: on the one hand, to observe and describe the use of language in multimodal contexts, in particular the tendency to narrate texts with informative purposes provided as "accompaniment" to other semiotic modalities (captions), and the rhetorical/stylistic forms that distinguish these texts (from the syntactic structure, to the lexical choices, to the enunciative forms), and, on the other hand, as a consequence of the global spread of multimodal digital texts, to record the discursive characteristics and conditioning that characterize the intercultural dimension of these texts. The analysis consequently offers an original point of view on the forms, textual genres and linguistic varieties that characterize the communication of the post-modern era, also allowing interlingual and intercultural comparisons to be made, with particular reference to the translation of subtitles.

  • Study day 18 June 2018: Words Worth Watching: Changing Perspectives on Captions, IULM.
  • Publication: Antelmi, D., Logaldo, M. (ed.), Accompanying short texts. Linguistics, Semiotics, Translation, Mantua, Universitas Studiorum, 2019