The Science of Linguistics in the Art of Translation

Some Tools from Linguistics for the Analysis and Practice of Translation

By Joseph L. Malone

Subjects: Linguistics
Series: SUNY series in Linguistics
Paperback : 9780887066542, 241 pages, July 1988
Hardcover : 9780887066535, 241 pages, July 1988

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Table of contents




Basic Goals of the Book

0.1.1 Linguistics and Translation

0.1.2 The Science of Linguistics

0.1.3 The Art of Translation

0.1.4 The Analysis and Practice of Translation

Linguistic Scaffolding

0.2.1 Primary Organizational Components

0.2.2 Secondary Organizational Components

0.2.3 An Extended Illustration

0.2.4 Compositional Levels

0.2.5 Representational Strata

Format of Translational Examples and Bibliographical References

0.3.1 Translational Examples

0.3.2 Bibliographical References

Overview of the Book's Structure

List of Terms and Symbols Not Defined Elsewhere

A Note on Terminology


Part One

Chapter 1
Trajections; Matching (Equation and Substitution)

1.1 Trajections in General

1.1.1 Basic Characterization

1.1.2 Preliminary Examples

1.2 Equation

1.3 Substitution

1.4 Matching

1.4.1 Carry-over Matching

1.4.2 Calque Matching, Prefab Matching, and False Friendship


Chapter 2
Zigzagging (Divergence and Convergence)

2.1 Divergence

2.1.1 Linguistic Cues

2.1.2 Situational Cues

2.1.3 Stylistic Cues

2.1.4 Artistic Suspense; Stylistically Induced Divergence

2.2 Convergence

2.3 Zigzagging


Chapter 3
Recrescence (Amplification and Reduction)

3.1 Amplification

3.1.1 Compensatory Amplification—Glossing

3.1.2 Classificatory Amplification

3.2 Reduction

3.2.1 Compensatory Reduction

3.2.2 Variational Reduction

3.3 Recrescence

3.3.1 Minimax Size Adjustments for Metrical Fit

3.3.2 Global Preferences for Larger or Smaller Units

3.3.3 Japanese kureru-yaru and Author's Empathy


Chapter 4
Repackaging (Diffusion and Condensation)

4.1 Diffusion

4.1.1 Diffusion versus Amplification

4.1.2 Definitional Diffusion

4.1.3 Diffusion of Grammatical Inflections

4.1.4 Diffusion of Sentences

4.2 Condensation

4.2.1 Condensation in Response to Poetic Requirements

4.2.2 Condensation to Compensate for Syntactic Deficiency

4.3 Repackaging

4.3.1 Size Adjustments and Preferences

4.3.2 Repackaging and Recurrence Chains

4.3.3 Repackaging and de novo Translation


Chapter 5

5.0 Preliminaries

5.1 Reordering to Optimize Comprehension

5.2 Reordering Relative to Narrative Flow

5.3 Reordering of Target-Alien Stylistic Patterns (Greek hysteron-proteron)

5.4 Feature Reordering


Chapter 6
Some Dimensions of Trajectional Analysis

6.0 Preliminaries

6.1 Levels of Composition: Recoding

6.2 Relations Between Trajections

6.2.1 Implications

6.2.2 Hook-ups

6.3 Trajections as Applied-Linguistic Constructs


Chapter 7
Some Trajectional Parameters

7.0 Preliminaries

7.1 Structural-Strategical Parameters

7.2 Linguistic-Stylistic-Situational Parameters

7.2.1 The Chiaroscuro Nature of Stylistic Patterns

7.3 Compensatory-Classificatory Parameters

7.4 Paradigmatic-Syntagmatic Parameters

7.5 Positive and Negative Hook-ups

7.6 Translinguistic-Unilinguistic Parameters


Part Two

Chapter 8
Systemic and Formalistic Techniques

8.0 Preliminaries

8.1 The Systemic Perspective: Sets and Scatters

8.2 Charts and Diagrams: Set-to-Set Substitution, Set-to-Scatter Equation

8.3 Japanese Self-Referent Pronouns; French Dizaines versus English Dozens; Scatter-to-Set


8.4 Formal and Functional Sets


Chapter 9

9.0 Preliminaries

9.1 Taxonomic Conflation

9.2 Matching and Diffusional Deconflation

9.3 Nonce Conflation


Chapter 10

10.0 Preliminaries

10.1 Zeroes in Recurrence and Coreference Chains; Biblical Hebrew Parallelism

10.2 Zeroes in the Study of Style and Textual Ambiguity


Chapter 11
Abstract Syntactic Representations

11.0 Preliminaries: The Notion of 'Government'

11.1 The Latin Accusative-with-Infinitive Construction

11.2 Some Guidelines for Synthesizing Abstract Syntactic Representations (ASRs)

11.3 Derivations, Rules, and Strata of Representation


Chapter 12
Bridge Technique

12.0 Preliminaries

12.1 Basic Properties of the Technique

12.2 Spanning: French tâcher and Spanish procurar versus English try

12.3 Refashioning; Antispanning, Lexicalization

12.4 Situational and Stylistic Patterns

12.4.1 Spanish versus English Gender

12.4.2 Hebrew versus English Subject Raising

12.4.3 Norwegian Word Order versus English Extraposition

12.5 Disassembly and Reassembly: Representational Strata and Trajections


Part Three

Chapter 13
Phonetics, Phonology, and Poetic Form

13.0 Preliminaries: Phonetic Transcription

13.1 Cenematics and Orthometrics

13.2 Feature and Subsequence Rhyme

13.3 Two Modes of Linguistic Application

13.4 Cenematic Strata and Derivations; APRs


Chapter 14


14.1 Turkish Rhyme

14.2 Alliteration in Old Irish

14.3 Transduction

14.3.1 'Ahi Ali Baba'

14.3.2 'Slieve Cua'


Chapter 15

15.0 Preliminaries

15.1 Paronomasia and Other Cenematic-Plerematic Complexes

15.1.1 Alliterative and Rhyming Binomials

15.1.2 Mimesis

15.1.3 Free Association

15.1.4 Eponymy

15.2 Source-Text Recurrence Chains

15.2.1 Symbolism

15.2.2 Situational Inducement

15.2.3 Patterned or Arbitrary Distribution

15.2.4 The Distance Factor

15.2.5 Author's Proclivity


Chapter 16

16.0 Preliminaries

16.1 Displacement Parallax

16.2 Antipodal Parallax

16.3 Macroscopic Parallax

16.4 Microscopic Parallax

16.5 Personalizing Parallax

16.6 Depersonalizing Parallax

16.7 The Functions of Parallax in Literary Language



Index of Persons and Translational Resources

Index of Languages

Index of Subjects


Drawing from more than two hundred examples representing twenty-two languages of wide genetic and typological variety, the author guides the reader through a broad collection of situations encountered in the analysis and practice of translation. This enterprise gains structure and rigor from the methods and findings of contemporary linguistic theory, while realism and relevance are served by the choice of "naturalistic" examples from published translations. Coverage draws from a variety of genres and text-types (literary works, the Bible, newspaper articles, legal and philosophical writings, for examples), and addresses a thorough selection of structural-functional aspects. These range from discrepancies between source and target languages in sentence construction, to dfiferences between source and target poetic traditions with respect to meter and rhyme.

Joseph L. Malone is Professor of Linguistics and Departmental Chair at Barnard College, Columbia University.


"It provides a precise, concise, and comprehensive linguistic description and analysis of what a good translator does in the act of translation. Like good criticism, this book makes one aware of the seemingly mystifying things that go on in translating from one language to another. The concepts are basic to linguistics and the examples are well chosen." — Edward L. Greenstein, Jewish Theological Seminary of America