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Essay on the Linguistic Features in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The literature on J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is prolific. People have written on various topics dealing with issues such as translation, etymology and diverse areas concerning the language. In this essay, I examine whether linguistic features such as reporting verbs, adverbs of manner and adjectives contribute to the depiction of heroic and villainous characters. Before conducting this research, my assumptions were that there would be a great difference in the value of the words depending on the character they were associated with. I wanted to see if the heroic characters used verbs and adverbs with positive connotations, and the villainous characters verbs and adverbs with negative connotations. I also wanted to know if the adjectives describing the characters could, in themselves, clearly indicate whether a character was a hero or a villain.

The results of my research suggested that the choice of particular verbs and adverbs contributed only indirectly to the depiction of the characters. Without context, it was not possible to know if the character was a hero or a villain simply by identifying the verbs and adverbs used to describe their speech. By contrast, the choice of particular adjectives did appear to indicate more clearly whether a character was hero or villain. Finally, the results of my research indicated that context, rather than the use of particular linguistic features was often the most important factor in contributing to the portrayal of characters in the novel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
: Harry Potter, linguistic features, reporting verbs, adverbs of manner, hero, villain, depiction of characters, portrayal, language
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1283OAI: diva2:189785
Available from: 2006-09-18 Created: 2006-09-18Bibliographically approved

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