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A Linguistically-oriented Approach to Literary Translation: A Comparative Pragmatic Study of Three Arabic Renditions of the English Novel “Wuthering Heights”

Abualadas, Othman Ahmad Ali (2015) A Linguistically-oriented Approach to Literary Translation: A Comparative Pragmatic Study of Three Arabic Renditions of the English Novel “Wuthering Heights”. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The present study applies one branch of linguistics, namely pragmatics, to the study of translation. It analyzes pragmatic elements, namely (i) presupposition, (ii) implicature and (iii) deixis, in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) and three Arabic translations to identify the nature of shifts in these elements and their conditioning factors. The study adopts a descriptive approach (Toury 2012) that will contribute to research into the determining features of English-Arabic literary translation and ultimately to research into translation norms or universals. The features studied are manually identified and then analyzed through different qualitative and quantitative research methods. The analysis reveals several trends, most importantly, a tendency: (i) to claim lesser shared knowledge with readers, (ii) to avoid the flouting of conversational maxims and hence to enhance information quality, relevance, clarity and politeness at face value and (iii) to explicitate deictic knowledge and increase the deictic anchorage. This brings the main narrator (Nelly Dean) closer to the other characters in temporal, spatial, social and mental space, hence increasing her involvement in events and empathy towards characters. At the same time, it distances the outside frame narrator (Lockwood), who has limited contact with characters, and increases his detachment and antipathy. In both cases more is revealed of narrator-character relationships and the narrator’s evaluations, leading to a more subjective narrative mood. These findings, however, point to one overriding trend in the corpus: a tendency to communicate at the explicit level rather than the implied. Although this general trend may point to strengthening of textual and discoursal relations and to a text that is more ‘cohesive’, ‘explicit’ (Blum-Kulka 1986), ‘cooperative’ (Malmkjær 1998, 2005) and ‘fluent’ (Venuti 1995), it also suggests a text that is less stylistically varied and which tends to evoke less ‘reader involvement’ (Hickey 1998, Boase-Beier 2006, 2014). The shift is attributable to a number of factors: (i) the translator’s representation of her/his ‘conception’ or ‘concretisation’ of the original story (Levý 2011) and (ii) her/his attempts to explicitate the pragmatic forces of the original and ‘standardize’ its language and style (Toury 2012), with the likely purpose of avoiding processing difficulties or potential ambiguities and ensuring the success of this interlingual communication. These findings support the view that explicitation and standardization as universal strategies stem from the translator’s perception of his/her role as a intercultural mediator and her/his intention to help the reader (Munday 1997a, Pápai 2004, Pym 2005, Saldanha 2008, Becher 2010) rather than that explicitation is related to the translation process itself (Øverås 1998, Olohan and Baker 2000) and standardization to the relative dominance of the translated language and literature (Vanderauwera 1985). Lastly, it is hoped that the model will be applicable to different texts and language pairs to compare the results and gain more understanding of translation norms and universals.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.658745
Depositing User: DR O A A ABUALADAS
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 15:26
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9424

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