DOI of the published article https://doi.org/10.25189/2675-4916.2023.v4.n1.id718
Translations of unaccompanied punctuation marks in comics
Keywords:punctuation marks, multimodality, gestures, comics
We compared four versions of the same comic book, namely: Asterix, the Gaul in the original (French) and three translations (English, German and Portuguese) focusing on the unaccompanied punctuation marks – which are actually the same in the four languages. We therefore look for exclamation marks, question marks and ellipsis that appear in speech bubbles alone, repeated or combined with each other. The first question we ask ourselves is whether, in translations, these signs are taken over from the original (the drawings are) or whether they are translated (like all words). We compared our findings with Neil Cohn's hypothesis that unaccompanied punctuation marks in comics make up a visual morphology, meaning that their nature would be imagetic. The second issue is related to the role that these unaccompanied signs play on the panel, considering that the drawings already express the content of the speech bubbles. Our conclusion is that punctuation marks are linguistic signs – the proof is that they are rewritten by translators – that play a role similar to co-speech gestures.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Lou-Ann Kleppa
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