Publication details [#656]

Bourne, Julian. 2002. He said, she said: controlling illocutionary force in the translation of literary dialogue. Target 14 (2) : 241–261.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Journal DOI


In this article it is suggested that the translation of speech-act report verbs may provide a scope for achieving stylistic and pragmatic aims. Analysis of the translation of fictional dialogues from a contemporary English novel reveals considerable diversity in the choice of Spanish verbs used to render ‘said’ in the context of impositive directive speech acts. While the choice of a speech act with similar illocutionary force to “said” may fulfill only stylistic objectives, a pragmatic dimension is introduced by the selection of a speech-act verb with a different force. In the context of impositive directive speech acts such a choice may be viewed as an aspect of “pragmastylistics”, defined in Hickey et al. (1993) as “the area where pragmatic and stylistic considerations converge”.
Source : Based on abstract in journal