Investigating explanations of translational phenomena: A case for multiple causality

Siobhan Brownlie

Abstract

The article investigates the issue of providing explanations for translational phenomena through discussion of data provided by a case study of the English translations of works by French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard. In the study four major sources of explanation are proposed: individual situations (the context of production of a particular translation and different translators’ attitudes); textuality (the conditions governing textuality implied in translation); translators’ norms; and intersecting fields (academic translation is envisaged as being situated at the intersection of three fields: academia, publishing, and professional translation). The paper makes a case for multiple causality in translation, and also considers the issue of relations between the different sources of explanation.

Keywords:
Table of contents

This article will consider the question of providing explanations for translational phenomena, through reporting on a case study which investigated why a particular corpus of texts was translated in certain ways. My approach is descriptive-explanatory. Examples of descriptive data are given in Appendices A and B.

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