Publication details [#66845]

Messerli, Thomas C. 2019. Subtitles and cinematic meaning-making: Interlingual subtitles as textual agents. Multilingua 38 (5) : 529–546.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
De Gruyter


This theoretical paper adopts the viewpoint of the audience of subtitled films and outlines a theory of subtitles as communicative agents within the participation structures of film reception. Based on examples from three Swiss fiction films, the following communicative effects are found and illustrated: uniformity, authorisation, foregrounding, aestheticisation, foreignisation. These effects are conceptualised in terms of Constitutive Communication theory and textual agency (cfr. Cooren, 2004).