The paper takes film dialogue as a test case for a corpus-driven investigation of phraseology. The analysis is mainly based on three strands of research, both linguistic and translational. These are: corpus work comparing contemporary film and television dialogue with natural conversation, research on translational routines in audiovisual translation (dubbese) and the phraseological approach to language. However, in order to focus on the formulaic features of English original film dialogue, the translational perspective is backgrounded. The study is corpus-driven in that formulae of filmic speech are extracted from the corpus on the basis of their frequency. Furthermore, the sequences thus found are compared to general reference corpora of British and American English in order to explore their distribution and functions.The results are shown to be relevant to a stylistic appraisal of scripted film dialogue as well as to an understanding of some methodological issues associated with corpus-driven studies of phraseology in general.
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