Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Charles Dickens makes fun of idiolects in Martin Chuzzlewit

Adolfo Luis Soto Vázquez



Martin Chuzzlewit is considered a very rich linguistic mosaic where a number of characters are in the habit of speaking 'private languages' or idiolects. In this travel-book we find a source of Dickens's impressions of America and a treatment of a linguistic problem: to make each class, each group and profession speak in its own characteristic way. In the representation of American speech the Victorian writer uses features such as deviant spellings, unusual morpho-syntactic patterns, standard words used in a different context, extralinguistic capitals and hyphens. The technique in the dialogues of Martin Chuzzlewit is especially the graphic and humorous, by means of which he exhibits the most trifling and commonplace things in a new and amusing light.


Dickens, Charles; Martin Chuzzlewit; Literatura inglesa; Libros de viajes; Personajes literarios; Idiolectos; Humorismo


Copyright (c) 2005 Adolfo Luis Soto Vázquez

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