For my language investigation I will be examining the difference between the film of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the novel of the same name. These will be analysed in terms of lexis and semantics, discourse, pragmatics, syntax and phonology. The novel is similar to the film because both include information on situational context of the dialogue, where the conversation takes place, what the speakers are doing etc. However, we can see only in the film how they are positioned in relation to each other. These factors affect what is being said, how it is being said and the meanings the speakers are conveying to each other.
In the novel, there are many paralinguistic features absent which may have contributed significantly to the meanings in the conversations example gestures, eye contact and other body language which all play vital part in the language of conversation. Even if we just consider the verbal aspects of the conversation, the novel offers few clues about the prosodic features- the intonation, stress, tempo and dynamics (i. e. volume of the speech) let alone the accents of the speakers but in the film this can be clearly seen. Methodology
The first step I took was to read the Harry Potter chamber of secrets novel and watch the film to decide which chapter I would investigate. I then decided to investigate Chapter two because it was my favourite scene in the film and novel and it had a lot of dialogue. I then made a transcript for the film and began my investigation. Analysis In the opening of Chapter two of the novel, we are told that the conversation begins with the greeting “Er-Hello” , this greeting was omitted from the movie because the filler “er” indicates hesitation to speak. Instead in the novel the declarative sentence “Harry Potter!
So long has Dobby wanted to meet you Sir. Such an honour it is” was used as the opening formal greeting of the film but the subordinate clause “So long has… ” was omitted to make the opening speech shorter and openings usually being with strong stress as in the film “Harry Potter! ” and high pitch “Such an honour it is”. In the novel Dobby says “Dobby sir, just Dobby, Dobby the house elf”. This adverbial phrase “Just Dobby” was not included in the film because it’s an unnecessary repetition and we can see that Dobby is following Grice’s maxim of quantity and being brief.
This was also used in the book to reinforce his status but in the film this is done visually. In the film Harry says “Oh-really? ” Er- I don’t want to be rude or anything but this isn’t a great time for me to have a house elf in my bedroom. The phrase “Er- I don’t want to” was replaced with the adverb “Not”. This changed the phrase into an adverbial phrase, which was done because more adverbial phrases are used in speech than in writing. In both the film and novel Harry repeats the coordinating phrase “… or anything” example “… offend you or anything” “…
rude or anything” but they are both used in different contexts. Dobby says “Oh yes Sir, dobby has come to tell you… it is difficult sir… Dobby wonders where to begin” but in the film “Oh, Oh yes Sir, Dobby understands it’s just that… Dobby has come to tell you, it is difficult sir, Dobby wonders where to begin. ” Note there was an addition of the lexical filler “oh” in the film, showing hesitation in speech and an omission of “sir” because it’s repeated too many times. There is also an addition of the phrase “Dobby understands it’s just that…
” is used as part of the speech to convey to the audience that Dobby understands but has something else to add which would make the audience want to know what Dobby means and pay careful attention to hear his next utterance. In the novel, the imperative sentence “Sit down” was used but in the film this is changed into a interrogative sentence “Why don’t you sit down? ” which softens the request to a acceptable degree of politeness. The second person singular object pronoun “you” was used to refer to Dobby directly.
In the novel Dobby says “Dobby has never been asked to sit down by a wizard -like an equal” but in the film “Dobby has heard of your greatness Sir, but never has he been asked to sit down by a wizard- like an equal. ” This sentence was changed into a complex sentence in the film by the use of the coordinating conjunction “but” to make the speech flow naturally. The sentence “You can’t have met many wizards then” was used in the film but in the novel the adverb of time “then” was omitted because it makes the sentence sound like a question. However in the film Dobby thought it was a question because Harry used a questioning tone of voice.
In the novel Dobby shook his head and said “That was an awful thing to say” however in the film there is an addition of another sentence “No, I haven’t. ” This is the first time in speech that we see Dobby replacing his name with the firstt person singular subject pronoun “I”. Because in both film and novel Dobby constantly refers to himself as “Dobby” instead of using first person pronouns because it sounds more formal and traditional and he always remains the subject of the sentence examples include “… Dobby understands… ” “Offend Dobby… ” “Dobby has heard… ” In the film Dobby says “The wizard family Dobby serves Sir.
Dobby is bound to serve one family forever” But in the novel he says “Dobby is a house-elf bound to serve one house and one family forever. ” This sentence was changed into two sentences in the film and the word order was changed from passive voice to active voice. Active voice is used in the novel because it makes reading easier. Dobby keeps referring to Harry Potter as “Sir”, this is because it’s the first time they are meeting and shows politeness and respect as they both have different status; Dobby is a house elf whereas Harry is a wizard. The compound noun “house-elf” was used has connotations of servants.
In the novel “But Dobby has come to protect Harry Potter, to warn him” was changed to “If they ever knew Dobby was here but Dobby had to come,” note the change of the present perfect tense verb “has” in the novel to past perfect “had” in speech because “had” states, he came because he was obliged to and “has” makes it seem that he came of his own free will. The use of the coordination conjunction “but” in the film was used to change a simple sentence into a complex sentence whereas the use of “but” in the novel is used in signalling the underlying logic of its sense and sequence.
We know that as soon as we see this word, that what follows will in some sense contrast with what has gone before. In the film Dobby says “Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry this year. There is a plot. A plot to make most terrible things happen. ” Whereas in the novel “There is a plot Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of wizardry and witchcraft this year. ” As we can see there is change in word order of the sentence, “Harry Potter” is the subject in the sentence in the film but in the novel “plot” becomes the subject.
The prepositional phrase “at Hogwarts school of wizardry and witchcraft this year” is mentioned in the first sentence of the film to make viewers aware of the name of the school. The synonyms witchcraft and wizardry belong to the semantic field of magic. In the novel Harry Potter uses the simple declarative sentence “You can’t say I understand” but in the film there is an addition of the filler “ok” and the word order changes “Ok, I understand you can’t say”. “I” becomes the subject of the sentence instead of “you”. The sentence is now written in the active voice where the doer of the action is the subject of the sentence.
In the novel Uncle Vernon says, “What the devil are you doing? You’ve just ruined the punch line of my Japanese golfer joke… one more sound and you’ll wish you’d never been born boy” In the film this complex sentence was separated into three sentences followed by an answer from Harry example “What the devil are you doing up here? ” “I was just… ” which is an eliciting exchange “You’ve just ruined the punch line of my Japanese Golfer joke” “Sorry” which is a informing exchange “One more sound and you’ll wish you’d never been born boy and fix that door” “Yes sir,” which is a directing exchange.
These exchanges in the conversation are linked because they contain strong chains of grammatical and lexical cohesion. Also in speech, the length in each turn has to be fairly short. This gives each participant the right to a fair share of turns. Uncle Vernon keeps interrupting Harry because the turn shifts to Uncle Vernon before Harry has finished his utterance. This interruption is rude and shows lack of interest, it is a sign of conversation power and control. In the exchange, the priority of turn taking was given to Uncle Vernon because Harry sees Uncle Vernon as having superior status because of the age difference and also shows respect.
In the film addition of the lexical filler “w-well” in the declarative sentence in the novel “W-well I expect they’ve been… ” shows hesitation in speech and shows that the speech is spontaneous and not planned as in a novel. In the novel Harry asks, “Have you been stopping my letters” but in the film this sentence is omitted because there’s no need to say this as the viewers can deduce that Dobby has been stopping Harry Potters letters. In the film Harry uses the imperative sentence “Give me those now! ” Dobby replies, “No” instead of saying, “Give me my friends letter” which was used in the novel.
The demonstrative pronoun “those” was used as a deixis in the film to refer to the letters, which were part of the context in which the words were spoken. There was also the addition of Dobby’s reply in the film, “No” which is a directing exchange as there was an initiation (command) followed by a response. Throughout the conversation type of turn taking used between Dobby and Harry is smooth speaker switch because both Harry and Dobby follows the maxims of HP Grice. In the film Dobby says “Harry Potter mustn’t be angry with Dobby.
Dobby hoped that if Harry Potter thought his friends had forgotten him… Harry Potter might not want to go back to school sir” In the novel the prepositional phrase “… with Dobby” is omitted and instead there was a pause which indicated Dobby wanted Harry to speak but because Harry didn’t speak Dobby continued. The use of the negative form of the deontic modal auxiliary “can’t” was used to strengthen the command. Also the use of the epistemic modal auxiliary verb “might not” indicates that Dobby isn’t sure if Harry Potter might go back to school.