1st Edition

Fathoming Translation as Discursive Experience
Theorization and Application

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 29, 2021
ISBN 9781138335875
July 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
236 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In his positive approach to translation studies featured in this highly original volume, Chunshen Zhu brings into perspective from the vantage point of translation the workings of human factors in text production, interpretation, and dissemination in and through translation in varying social situations.

This book examines a variety of key issues heatedly debated or largely neglected in the field of translation studies and beyond, e.g., meaning making, nature of the Unit of Translation, augmentation of transitivity by modification, signification of repetition, and cognitive effects of syntactic iconicity, by critically engaging insights from functional linguistics and philosophy of language, among other fields of study. These issue-driven, phenomenon-focused, and theorization-oriented studies, presented in eight chapters with ample exemplification and case studies, form a coherent whole to bring a network of correlations between theory and practice, linguistics and literature, form and content, information structure and communicative function, intention and effect, and textuality and experience to bear upon the study of translation, fathoming its depths not only as a linguistic operation but more significantly as a textually accountable process of intersubjective and cross-lingual sign making that facilitates humans’ understanding of themselves and of the world.

The book is therefore a useful reference for scholars, teachers, and postgraduate and research students who are interested in a comprehensive yet focused approach to translation as an academic subject straddling linguistics and literary, cultural, and social studies, as well as for those who would like to observe bilingualism and cross-cultural communication through translation in general and translation involving the Chinese language in particular.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter One

Introduction: Towards a positive study of translation

    1. 3+1 childhood diseases
    2. ‘Theory’
    3. ‘Theories’ or ‘turns’
    4. Relativity of validity
    5. Bourdieu’s language theory revisited
    6. Insights from Friedman and Iser
    7. 1.6.1 Friedman’s (1953) characterization of positive economics outlined

      1.6.2 Iser’s (2006) conceptual framework of critical theory outlined

    8. Positive translation studies
    9. Between theory and practice: Theorization and application
    10. About this book

Chapter Two

Structure of Meaning (SOM): Making of meaning and Triggering of discursive experience

2.1 Preamble

2.2 Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL): Translation as text re-creation

2.3 Speech acts: Intentionality in translation

2.4 Structure of Meaning (SOM): An integrated three-dimensional model of meaning making

2.4.1 The compositional dimension

2.4.2 The interactional dimension

2.4.3 The experiential dimension

2.5 Relationships between the dimensions of SOM

2.5.1 Dimensions of SOM: A generic view

2.5.2 SOM: Form and substance

2.6 Translation: A discursive experience in three dimensions

2.7 Summary

Chapter Three

From structure to experience: Meaning making in translation

3.1 Preamble

3.2 What we have understood about translation: A brief overview

3.3 Sense, meaning, and meaning making

3.4 Dynamics of meaning making: Ingarden’s conception of ‘moments’

3.5 Reading and experiencing: A tryout

3.6 Experiment with focus management in translation

3.6.1 A linguistics text in translation

3.6.2 The opening sentence of The Old Man and the Sea in Chinese translation

3.6.3 A linguistics text in translation re-examined: Management of information focus

3.7 Discussion and conclusion

Chapter Four

The Sentence as Unit of Translation (UT): From function to experience

4.1 Preamble

4.2 Between text and sentence: UT redefined

4.3 Case study one: Within and beyond a sentence

4.4 Case study two: From sentence to text

4.4.1 Textual integrity of sentences in the source text

4.4.2 A translation experiment from the perspective of textual integrity

4.5 Discussion and conclusion

Chapter Five

Augmentation of transitivity: Modification and attention management in translation

5.1 Att- and adv-modification: A preliminary framework

5.2 Modification: To indicate, to describe, or to define

5.3 Comparability between att- and adv-modification in attention management

5.4 Modification: Information distribution and attention management

5.5. From external to internal modification: Looking into a word

5.5.1 Meaning structured in a word

5.5.2 Internal modifiers: Morphemic and sememic

5.6. From morphemic to sememic modification: Looking into a morpheme

5.6.1 Word meaning development and its implications for translation

5.6.2 ‘Skewed’ correspondence and its implications for translation

5.7 False and pseudo morphemic modifiers

5.7.1 False morphemic modifiers

5.7.2 Pseudo morphemic modifiers

5.8 Attention management and manipulation through modification: Three case examples

5.8.1 Angry Birds, Twelve Angry Men, etc.

5.8.2 The Wife

5.8.3《鋼的琴》‘steel deatt qin

5.9 Summary

Chapter Six

Touching base with text: Repetition and signification in translation

6.1 Preamble

6.2 What kind of linguistics?

6.3 Why (not) literary texts and literary translation?

6.4 Leitmotif as VTU in literary translation: The mapping of a textual network

6.5 Operation of leitmotif as VTU: Case examples

6.5.1 From Chinese translations of John Galsworthy’s The Apple Tree

6.5.2 From Chinese translations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

6.6 Discussion: Textual network, effect, and apurposiveness of literary translating

6.6.1 Accountability for the network of signification: Leitmotif as VTU

6.6.2 The apurposiveness of artistic creation: From illocutionary to perlocutionary

6.7 Conclusion

Chapter Seven

Language in action: Syntactic iconicity and translation

7.1 Of arbitrariness and iconicity: From language to text

7.2 Syntactic iconicity: Form, function, effect

7.3 Iconicity as ‘foreignization’ in creative writing: Wang Meng’s ‘The Eye of Night’

7.3.1 Case One: Iconicity of short sentences

7.3.2 Case Two: Iconicity in a long sentence

7.4 Iconic in translation: To be, or not to be

7.5 Conclusion

Chapter Eight

Deceptive language and conflicting experiences: Text (re)production and dissemination through translation

8.1 Situation, culture and text (re)production

8.1.1 Relating skill to situation

8.1.2 Culture: Its behavioural dimension of tool making

8.1.3 From tool making to sign making

8.1.4 Text as sign

8.1.5 Cultural awareness in text (re)production and dissemination

8.2 Text (re)production and dissemination: A case study

8.2.1 The historical situation of the source text production

8.2.2 A present-day situation of translation

8.3 Critique and discussion

8.3.1 The translation as a primary sign

8.3.2 The translation as a secondary sign

8.4 Conclusion


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Chunshen Zhu is currently Professor of Translation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), Honorary Research Fellow at Centre for Translation, Hong Kong Baptist University, and Adjunct Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Prior to this, he was a professor at the City University of Hong Kong.