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Translation of dialect and cultural transfer : an analysis of Eduardo De Filippo’s theatre

By Alessandra De Martino Cappuccio


The thesis sets out to examine cultural transfer from Neapolitan dialect into English, in the\ud translations of plays by the contemporary Neapolitan playwright Eduardo De Filippo\ud (1900-1984). It involves a comparative textual analysis of English translations of a\ud selection of De Filippo’s plays in order to identify the translation strategies employed by\ud each translator to represent Neapolitan cultural identity. Eduardo De Filippo can be defined\ud as one of the most prominent contemporary Italian playwrights who employed dialect to\ud portray characters who trespassed the boundaries of both Neapolitan and Italian society and\ud to address social issues which were comprehensible to a vast public. In fact, his innovative\ud contribution resided in the ability to bring vernacular theatre to national and international\ud level. Thus the objective of the study is to bring to light the universality of De Filippo’s\ud message albeit the limited linguistic medium and to show how his theatre is represented in\ud the Anglo-Saxon milieu. The aim of previous critical studies on the matter has been to\ud focus on the stage representations of De Filippo’s oeuvres, without particular emphasis on\ud the analysis of the dialect. Drawing on a variety of theatre as well as translational\ud frameworks (critical work on translation and in particular on theatre translation, the\ud polysystem theory, the descriptive approach, anthropology, and sociolinguistics) I argue\ud that dialect theatre represents an autonomous genre, separate from standard Italian theatre,\ud which needs to be accounted for in translation, and in particular that the domestication of\ud the language reduces the cultural impact of the original plays. The thesis is the first study to\ud suggest that lexicological issues reflect the interpretation of the Neapolitan society in the\ud translated texts and to provide evidence of the appropriation of Neapolitan culture by the\ud receiving theatrical system through the linguistic choices made in translation

Topics: PQ
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3666

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