A Comparative Analysis between Walt Disney and DreamWorks Based on the Theory of Semantic Roles of Argument Nominals

Manping XU (Anhui University of Chinese Medicine)
Jiasheng Zhu (Anhui University of Chinese Medicine)
Bingjun Ma (Fuyang Normal University)

Article ID: 4260

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jler.v4i2.4260



Anchored on Yule’s categories of semantic roles, the present study examined the language of cartoon scripts with Chinese characters in Walt Disney’s Mulan 1 and 2 and DreamWorks’s Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2. Specifically it described the: (1) semantic features of the scripts in terms of semantic roles; and (2)similarities and differences in the language of the scripts semantically. Data analyzed were limited to 800 sentences which were randomly selected from the scripts of Mulan 1 and 2 and Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2. More specifically, 200 lines per film were analyzed by taxonomizing the utterances in terms of identifying the semantic roles of argument nominals in each utterance. Results revealed the roles of agent and experiencer in the subject positions are dominant in contrast with the frequency of occurrences of theme, goal, location and source. In conclusion, the language of animated film is relatively simpler, literal and direct to suit the level of the target audience who are generally children. Finally, this research suggests that more linguistic levels should be conducted to explore the language features on cartoon movies in the future. 


Key Words: comparative analysis; semantic roles; cartoon movies

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