Engagement and graduation resources as markers of translator/interpreter positioning

Jeremy Munday

Abstract

This article examines the application of appraisal theory (Martin and White 2005) to the analysis of translation. It develops the findings in Munday (2012), which focused on attitudinal meanings, and explores the potential for the use of engagement resources and graduation as a means of determining translator/interpreter positioning. Using a range of examples from texts of international organizations, it discusses the translation of reporting verbs and intensification as a signal of the translator’s/interpreter’s degree of ‘investment’ in a proposition and control over the text receiver’s response. This is framed within the concept of ‘discourse space theory’ (Chilton 2004) to provide a reference for future work in this field.

Keywords:
Table of contents

In this article my main concern is the linguistic modelling of translator positioning through applications of appraisal theory. I draw strongly on a systemic functional linguistic (SFL) model of language in which the actualization of ‘meaning potential’ expresses and constructs a certain discourse and view of reality. Following Halliday (1978, 109), “meaning potential” refers to the range of lexicogrammatical and other choices open to the text producer at all points in a text, constrained by genre and text-type conventions. There is always meaning behind these mainly paradigmatic selections (O’Grady 2013, 2), but we need to be aware of the choice available in order to reliably evaluate the text producer’s, and the translator’s, interventions (Munday 2007).

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

References

Alba-Juez, Laura, and Geoff Thompson
2014 “The Many Faces and Phases of Evaluation.” In Evaluation in Context, ed. by Laura Alba-Juez and Geoff Thompson, 3–24. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Ardekani, Mohammed Ali Mokhtari
2002 “The Translation of Reporting Verbs in English and Persian.” Babel 48 (2): 125–134. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
[ p. 420 ]
Assis Rosa, Alexandra
2009 “Narrator Profile in Translation: Work-in-Progress for a Semi-automatic Analysis of Narratorial Dialogistic and Attitudinal Positioning in Translation Fiction.” Linguistica Antverpiensia New Series 7: 227–248.Google Scholar
2013 “The Power of Voice in Translated Fiction, or Following a Linguistic Track in Descriptive Translation Studies.” In Tracks and Treks in Translation Studies, ed. by Catherine Way, Sonia Vandepitte, Reine Meylaerts, and Magdalena Bartłomiejczyk, 223–245. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Calzada Pérez, María
2007Transitivity in Translating: The Interdependence of Texture and Context. Oxford: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Chilton, Paul
2004Analysing Political Discourse: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Collins Spanish Dictionary
2009 9th ed. Glasgow: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
Fairclough, Norman
2001Language and Power. 2nd ed. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Halliday, M.A.K
1978Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
Halliday, M.A.K., and Christian Matthiessen
2004An Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd ed. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
Hermans, Theo
2014 “Positioning Translators: Voices, Views, and Values.” Language and Literature 23 (3): 285–301. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hunston, Susan
2011Corpus Approaches to Evaluation: Phraseology and Evaluative Language. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
Hunston, Susan, and Geoff Thompson
eds. 2000Evaluation in Text: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hyland, Ken
2004Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
2005Metadiscourse: Exploring Interaction in Writing. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
Martin, J.R
2000 “Beyond Exchange: Appraisal Systems in English.” In Evaluation in Text, ed. by Susan Hunston and Geoff Thompson, 142–175. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Martin, J.R., and Peter R.R. White
2005The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Munday, Jeremy
ed. 2007Translation as Intervention. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
2012Evaluation in Translation: Critical Points of Translator Decision-making. Abingdon: Routledge. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
O’Grady, Gerard
2013 “Introduction.” In Choice in Language: Applications in Text Analysis, ed. by Gerard O’Grady, Tom Bartlett, and Lisa Fontaine, 1–28. Sheffield: Equinox.Google Scholar
Oxford Spanish Dictionary
2003 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Qian, Hong
2012 “Investigating Translators’ Positioning via the Appraisal Theory: A Case Study of the Q&A Part of a Speech Delivered by the U.S. Vice President Cheney.” Sino-US English Teaching 9 (12): 1775–1787.Google Scholar
Stockwell, Peter
2002Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Thompson, Geoff, and Ye Yiyun
1991 “Evaluation in Reporting Verbs Used in Academic Papers.” Applied Linguistics 12 (4): 365–382. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Vandepitte, Sonia, Liselotte Vandenbussche, and Brecht Algoet
2011 “Travelling Certainties: Darwin’s Doubts and Their Dutch Translations.” The Translator 17 (2): 275–299. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
[ p. 421 ]
Winters, Marion
2007 “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Die Schönen und Verdammten: A Corpus-based Study of Speech-act Report Verbs as a Feature of Translators’ Style.” Meta 52 (3): 412–425.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar