A Linguistic Theory of Translation

Ria P. Rafael Lingg 241


General Linguistic Theory

II. Translation: Definition and General Types III. Translation Equivalence IV. Formal Correspondence V.

Meaning and Total Translation

Hallidayan linguistics
y Systemic functional grammar ± the study of

language as communication, seeing meaning in the writer¶s linguistic choices and systematically relating these choices to a wider sociocultural framework.

Hallidayan model of language and discourse
Sociocultural environment Genre Register (field, tenor, mode) Discourse semantics (ideational, interpersonal, textual) Lexicogrammar (transitivity, modality, theme-rheme/cohesion)

General Linguistic Theory
y Language is patterned behavior. y Language is medium. y Levels of language  Medium-substance

Phonic and Graphic Event 


General Linguistic Theory


Phonic substance


Situation substance

Graphic substance



General Linguistic Theory
y Categories of linguistic theory 

Unit ± recognizable stretch of language which carries a grammatical pattern

morpheme, word, group, clause, sentence 

Structure ± an arrangement of elements


General Linguistic Theory
y Categories of linguistic theory 

Class ± grouping of members of unit in terms of the way in which they operate in the structure

class of verbal groups, class of nominal groups 

System ± finite set of alternants

number system (singular, plural)

General Linguistic Theory
y Scales 

Rank ± units are arranged in a grammatical or phonological hierarchy 

Exponence± exemplification Delicacy ± depth of detail

General Linguistic Theory

y Collocation ± lexical company y Lexical set ± group of items with similar collocation

Translation: Definition and General Types

replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL).

Translation: Definition and General Types
y Extent 

Full translation Partial translation

y Level 

Total translation Restricted translation

y Rank 

Rank-bound translation Unbounded translation

Translation Equivalence
y The central problem of translation practice is that

of finding TL (target language) equivalents. A central task of translation theory is therefore that of defining the nature and conditions of translation equivalence.

Translation Equivalence
y Textual translation equivalent 

Any TL text or portion of it, which is observed to be the equivalent of a given SL text or portion of it. 

That portion of a TL text which is changed when and only when a given portion of the SL text is changed.

Formal Correspondence
y Formal correspondent 

Any TL category which may be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the µsame¶ place in the economy of the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL. 

The degree of divergence between textual equivalence and formal correspondence may perhaps be used as a measure of typological difference between languages.

Meaning and Total Translation


total network of relations entered into by any linguistic form.

Meaning and Total Translation
y Formal relation 

Relations between one formal item with another in the same language

y Contextual relation 

Relationship of grammatical/lexical items to linguistically relevant elements in the situation

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