A Systemic Functional Linguistic Analysis of Teen Dialogue in Teen Films of Different Ratings

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Creator: 

Lewis, Shayna Michelle

Date: 

2021

Abstract: 

Language is one factor which may contribute to film rating assignments in the United States. However, linguistic concerns have been largely reduced to isolated instances of profanity. Furthermore, many US films feature characters under age 18, mirroring the audience demographic most restricted by ratings. This thesis examines peer language of teenage characters in two films, exploring the extent to which non-explicit dialogue may also contribute to a film's rating. To this end, Systemic Functional Linguistics is employed to analyse textual and interpersonal features of dialogue in How to Train Your Dragon (PG) and The Hunger Games (PG-13). Results show that Dragon illustrates a protagonist's linguistic shift in gaining acceptance among a pre-established peer group. Meanwhile, Games emphasizes its protagonist's linguistic adaptation through several idiosyncratic relationships. Findings suggest that a stronger grasp of language might be needed to follow the underlying tones in the PG-13 film.

Subject: 

Linguistics
Cinema

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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