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ERIC Number: ED534830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 275
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-3414-3
Semantic and Pragmatic Failure in Translating Literary Texts: Translators' Inconsistency and/or Textual Resistance
AlBzoor, Baseel Ali
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
Liyerature;Drawing upon intrinsic linguistic and cultural premises, the present study is an attempt to explore semantic and pragmatic failure, evidently and frequently arising while translating literary texts. This researcher has adopted a functional approach that hinges upon basic semantic and pragmatic premises that best fit the framework of an integrated communicative approach of meaning as cogently advocated by mainstream scholars of communicative interests such as Wilss (1982) and Hatim (1997), who concur in this regard with the premises of the integrated functional approach, advocated by Hornby (1988), Neubert and Shreve (1992) and Nord (1997), "et al." Therefore, the scope of this study is specifically restricted to examining five literary works as representing some creative literary genre--two short stories, two novels, and one play- namely, Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; as well as Salih's "Doum Tree of Wad Hamid", "A Handful of Dates", "Season of Migration to the North" and "The Wedding of Zein". Therefore, the English-to-Arabic data in the first section have been analyzed in light the fundamental implications of lexical and sentential semantics such as repetition, oxymora, collocations, synonymy, paraphrase, polysemy, homonymy and homophony. Four renditions of a single English text by four Arab translators were closely examined and analyzed. These translators show various degrees of consistency in their translation strategies and methods of translation while handling these semantic problems. Nonetheless, all of them proved a strong tendency to prioritize the dynamic communicative function at the expense of the rigid forms of the source language text. These semantic lacunae, drawbacks and mistakes in these four renditions were definitely condemnable; however, they did not substantively affect the flow of the communicative thrust because most of them were pertinent to meaning at the lexical and phrasal levels. In the second section, both the macro and the micro pragmatic levels have been investigated. The former exhibited how the socio-cultural features of the SLT were totally lost as a result of the translator's inadvertent effort to consider the informal register while rendering these texts that comprise two disparate language varieties. No TL reader can figure out the intended socio-cultural implications conveyed through the vernacular choice in the SLT. The latter on the other hand manifested serious pragmatic problems that the translator often failed to appropriately tackle. These problems were strictly appertaining to misinterpreting a number of illocutionary speech acts as well as conventional and conversational implicatures specifically encoded in the SLT. These utterances were simplistically and formally rendered out of their contextual milieu, without paying any heed to the mismatch between their semantic content and their pragmatic force. These pitfalls primarily resulted from the translator's inconsistent treatment of many culture-specific expressions and formulas; his misunderstanding of the intended meaning or his excessive loyalty to the semantic content of such utterances. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A