A comparative multimodal corpus study of dislocation structures in live football commentary
I report on a comparative study of left and right dislocation in live football commentary. Comparable corpora of transcripts of the English, German and Swedish live TV commentaries of the 2014 FIFA men’s football World Cup final were analysed with a view to the (con-)textual functions of dislocation in relation to the live action visible on the TV screen. The findings show that while left dislocation is as rare in the transcripts as in spontaneous, unplanned speech examined in previous studies, right dislocation is a functionally-motivated, register-specific feature of live TV football commentary, being ten times more frequent in the target genre. Right dislocation serves important functions, most notably resolving referential ambiguity. The study highlights the necessity of examining language use in association with accompanying modes of communication and visualization in terms of a multimodal corpus approach.