Employing cognitive metonymy theory in the analysis of semantic relations between source and target text in translation
This article offers a model of translation which frames semantic relations between source- and target-text elements in terms of metonymy, and translation in terms of metonymic processing. Translators/interpreters constantly use approximations rather than exact one-to-one correspondences in their work, as meaning making is by nature partial and built-in matches between language systems do not exist. Approximation is identified as a recurrent theme in Translation Studies, while Metonymy Studies is seen as providing a toolkit for describing in detail the approximate semantic relations between source- and target-text elements. Models from Metonymy Studies are applied to two translation case studies and a translation revision case study. An original typology of metonymic relations is proposed based on whether or not source and target are encoded linguistically as vehicle and topic respectively. It is concluded that the semantic relations between source- and target-text elements in translation are distinctive in two respects: (1) they are characterized by facetization and zone activation rather than metonymization; (2) they are examples of Topic metonymy (both source and target concepts are encoded) and Code-switching metonymy (the source and target concepts are encoded in different languages).
Keywords: metonymy, translation, facetization, zone activation, metonymization, contiguity, indeterminacy, metonymic processing, metonymic shift
Published online: 05 November 2019
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