Rewriting Romeo and Juliet for a young audience. A corpus-assisted case study of adaptation techniques


Abstract – Children’s literature has been explored from different perspectives. General agreement seems to exist on the fact that writing for children involves adjusting contents and language (vocabulary and syntax) to the target audience, but no systematic and detailed description of the linguistic strategies used or required to adapt texts to young audiences is available. The current chapter analyses two narrative versions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet written in contemporary English by the same author for two young audiences of different ages, and investigates this author’s adaptation techniques through corpus-assisted methods. The analyses show that the author has resorted to a clear set of adaptation techniques, with some differences in the two texts. These linguistic and cultural context adaptation strategies are in perfect keeping with the affective needs and cognitive abilities of each age group as described in theoretical and empirical studies on children’s literature and developmental psychology.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v27p43

Keywords: children’s literature; corpus linguistics; stylistic analysis; Romeo and Juliet; adaptation techniques


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