26 - 2014

Audio description and textuality

Elena Di Giovanni


Studies of audio description have been flourishing in Europe over the past few years, with a host of analytical approaches set forth by scholars worldwide. However, most studies so far seem to have taken for granted the textual nature of audio description, which is born in the interstices of a filmic text and works as a complement to it for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired. It is precisely its ancillary nature, its verbalization of the non-verbal which comes to life in the absence of dialogues that makes the analysis of the textual nature of audio description all the more challenging. Making reference to some of the most prominent studies in text linguistics, this paper explores textuality in audio description, especially focusing on the presence or absence of coherence and cohesion. It also presents a comparative analysis of the English and Italian audio descriptions of the same film (Gran Torino), to see how textuality can be differently actualized across languages.


Audio description, textuality, text linguistics, audiovisual translation, accessibility

December 9, 2014
  26 - 2014