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Contrastive Functional Analysis, Andrew Chesterman

Contrastive Functional Analysis, Andrew Chesterman

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Published by Xenia
This is a summary of a book by Andrew Chesterman called "Contrastive Functional Analysis". A. Chesterman is an outstanding linguist, currently professor of Multilingual Communication at the University of Helsinki. This book deals with the concept of similarity, which is also present in translation theory. Current summary of it aims to show the major concepts and give general idea, but it doesn't replace the book, yet it might come in handy for those interested in linguistics and translation theory.
This is a summary of a book by Andrew Chesterman called "Contrastive Functional Analysis". A. Chesterman is an outstanding linguist, currently professor of Multilingual Communication at the University of Helsinki. This book deals with the concept of similarity, which is also present in translation theory. Current summary of it aims to show the major concepts and give general idea, but it doesn't replace the book, yet it might come in handy for those interested in linguistics and translation theory.

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Published by: Xenia on Nov 15, 2009
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Andrew Chesterman is a Professor of Multilingual Communication at the Department of GeneralLinguistics, University of Helsinki. He is the author of several books including ″ConstractiveFunctional Analysis″ and "Can Theory Help Translators? A dialogue between the ivory tower and the
 
wordface" (with Emma Wagner, 2002).
Contrastive Functional Analysis
 
Chapter One
″Contrastive Analysis″Chapter One goes into some general issues of contrastive methodology in some detail. We start withthe concept of similarity, how it can be defined, analysed and assessed. This leads to a comparison of 
 
the ways in which the crucial concept of equivalence has been understood and analysed in the two
 
related disciplines of Translation Theory and Contrastive Analysis. The contrastive functional approachadvocated in the book is closely related to issues of translation. It also links up with the
 
 psycholinguistic concept of interference: the general issue of psychological realism in Contrastive
 
Analysis is discussed, and related to a recent proposal in neurology. The first chapter concludes with anoutline of a falsificationist methodology built around the idea that contrastive studies should producehypotheses than can be empirically tested.1.
 
Similarity Assessment 
 Main problem:
 
Theoretically, what does it mean to compare or contrast two things? What is the “same” or 
 
“similar”? Is similarity transitive?We often compare things in order to give them evaluation.
Translation Theories
usually handle theissue of ‘equivalence’ between the two texts from this point of view. Contrastive grammar for instanceanalyses languages. The process of looking for similarities is present everywhere.The fact is that there are different similarities between things that can be perceived. Similarity as such
 
depends on the context. It is not necessarily transitive (A = B ; B = C ; A ≠ C) and not necessarilysymmetrical:e.g. the weather is exceptional today = the weather is abnormal today
 
my son is exceptional →
my son is abnormal?
 Conclusion: comparison and similarity as such are determined by relevance.2.
 
 Equivalence in Translation Theory
 Main problem:
 
In what way has the “similarity” as such been present in translation theories? The equativeview, the taxonomic view, the relativist view.The main thought that the equative view expresses is that the meaning should remain identical in
 
translation; we can change the form but not the meaning. It’s the oldest approach towards translation.
 
In the taxonomic view (Nida) the effect has a crucial role: the target text has to have the same impacton the reader as the source text, so the words may be changed to achieve this (
 I have arrived →
 
 я
 
пришла)
; it means to say that with some types of equivalence, identity is quite impossible. The
 
relativist view (Reiss, Vermeer) tells that aiming at the equivalence is a pure self-delusion, thisargument rejects sameness and similarity: translation takes shape in translator’s head. *Already the
 
languages are too different to speak about similarity: every language has its unique mechanisms, which
 
cannot be transferred in any way—translator makes up his mind how to “explain” them using themechanisms of the other language.Conclusion: similarity and equivalence as such are being regarded differently both in differenttranslation theories and by different linguists.3.
 
 Equivalence in Contrastive Analysis
 Main problem:

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