Theorizing in Unfamiliar Contexts: New Directions in Translation Studies

Hadley, James Luke (2014) Theorizing in Unfamiliar Contexts: New Directions in Translation Studies. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis attempts to offer a reconceptualization of translation analysis. It argues that there is a growing interest in examining translations produced outside the discipline‟s historical field of focus. However, the tools of analysis employed may not have sufficient flexibility to examine translation if it is conceived more broadly. Advocating the use of abductive logic, the thesis infers translators‟ probable understandings of their own actions, and compares these with the reasoning provided by contemporary theories. It finds that it may not be possible to rely on common theories to analyse the work of translators who conceptualize their actions in radically different ways from that traditionally found in translation literature. The thesis exemplifies this issue through the dual examination of Geoffrey Chaucer‟s use of translation in the Canterbury Tales and that of Japanese storytellers in classical Kamigata rakugo. It compares the findings of the discipline‟s most pervasive theories with those gained through an abductive analysis of the same texts, finding that the results produced by the theories are invariably problematic.
The thesis demonstrates that understandings of translation practice have been given to change over time, and vary substantially across cultures. Therefore, an individual theory is unlikely to be able to rationalize particular practices or features of translations irrespective of the cultural context in which they are found. Abductive logic aims to describe translations in particular, rather than translation in general. It can be used to infer factors that may have influenced translators‟ understandings of the roles their texts will take, and hence, their aims in translating. Many theories tend to be underpinned by inductive logic, which essentially restricts textual analysis to the application of pre-defined labels of translation phenomena. Abductive logic forms hypotheses based on the context in question, going far beyond this kind of textual categorization.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 11:00
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2014 11:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48683
DOI:

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