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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to account for gaps between language as a linguistic system and comics as a visual semiotic system. It is not uncommon in comics studies to encounter the claim that comics are a language. While this metaphor is an attractive way of explaining the nature of comics, it ultimately does a disservice to comics studies because it unnecessarily limits the theoretical and analytical frameworks available to us. This chapter explores what language is from a linguistic perspective, including sociolinguistic and discourse perspectives, dialect, language acquisition, and translation studies. It concludes by calling for scholars to turn away from “the language of comics” as a theoretical framework.

Keywords: comic books, dialect, language acquisition, language of comics, linguistics, standard language, translation, visual semiotic

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