The effects of deaf and hard-of-hearing subtitles on the characterisation process: a cognitive stylistic study of The Wire

Dan McIntyre, Jane Lugea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a project to investigate the discrepancies between audio dialogue and corresponding subtitles for deaf and hard-of hearing (DHOH) viewers in episode 1 of HBO's police procedural drama The Wire. We isolated and categorised discrepancies between the dialogue and the subtitles and used a cognitive model of characterisation to determine whether such differences were likely to lead to differing conceptions of character for DHOH viewers. We found that most omissions from the subtitles were of interpersonal features of dialogue, such as discourse markers, and that indications of the relationships between characters were adversely affected as a result. We suggest that the model of characterisation that we used can be valuable to professional subtitlers as a way of assessing the likely impact of deletions when subtitling drama.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-88
Number of pages27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


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