British English in American Movies: the Smart, the Bad and the Exotic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper investigates how language is used for characterization in American movies. Two movie genres, the American 'superhero' movies and American movies portraying a professional setting are considered. The conversations from the movies included in the corpus are analyzed in order to identify possible correlations between the accent of the movie character and personality traits or roles. In particular, the research takes into consideration the use of the American and British English varieties. The results of the analysis provided evidence of a greater variety of different accents in the superhero genre, which suggests that this genre relies more heavily on language as a tool for characterization. The study revealed that 'bad' character traits, as well as foreignness, command/authority, intelligence/expertise often correlate with a British English accent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe American Movie Corpus: A Tool for the Development of Spoken Lexico-Grammatical Competence
EditorsPierfranca Forchini
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • language varieties, accents, spoken English, movie language, characterization, personality traits, British English, American English, American Movie Corpus


Dive into the research topics of 'British English in American Movies: the Smart, the Bad and the Exotic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this