Soap Opera Essay

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Data and Methodology In order to do research on the difference between television dialogue and nat-ural conversation, a large body of data is required. After a thorough research within existing literature about corpus linguistics and the query of suitable cor-pora and their availability, the decision was made in favour of two corpora, namely the Corpus of Contemporary American English and the Corpus of American Soap Operas, which are subsequently introduced in greater detail. Prior to that, the creator of these corpora and the software used within them are briefly outlined. Corpus of Contemporary American English Corpus of American Soap Operas Abbreviations COCA SOAP Time period 1990 to 2012 2001 to 2012 Word count 450 Million words 100…show more content…
Allen of the Museum of Broadcast Communica-tions (http://www.museum.tv/eotv/soapopera.htm), the term soap opera was first used in the 1930s by the American press in order to give a name to the “extraordinarily popular genre of serialized domestic radio dramas […]”. They were broadcast in daytime hours and sponsored by producers of domestic cleaning products, hence the term “soap”. As far as the “opera” is concerned, it supposedly suggested “an ironic incongruity between the domestic narrative concerns of the daytime serial and the most elevated of dramatic forms”. A main characteristic of a soap opera is its serial format, which means that there is a narrative connection between each episode and it thus requires the audi-ence to know what happened in the preceding episodes. Another characteris-tic feature of soap operas are the “loose ends” of its serial episodes, which leave the succeeding episodes to continue where it had stopped abruptly. Al-so, there are two types of soap operas; open and closed soap operas. The former do not indicate any “end point toward which the action of the narrative moves” whereas the latter do eventually come to a closure. Closed soap op-eras are more likely to be broadcast in Latin America, but “all U.S. daytime serials (General Hospital, All My Children, The Guiding Light, etc.)” are clearly open soap

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