LINGUIST List 14.1043

Mon Apr 7 2003

Diss: Translation: Serban "Audience Design in..."

Editor for this issue: Anita Yahui Huang <>


  1. A.Serban, Translation: Serban "Audience Design in Literary Translations..."

Message 1: Translation: Serban "Audience Design in Literary Translations..."

Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 11:25:46 +0000
From: A.Serban <>
Subject: Translation: Serban "Audience Design in Literary Translations..."

Institution: Heriot Watt University
Program: PhD Languages
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Adriana Serban
Dissertation Title: 
Audience Design in Literary Translations from Romanian into English: A
Corpus-Based Analysis of Deixis and Presupposition

Linguistic Field: Translation 

Subject Language:
Romanian (code: RUM )
English (code: ENG )

Dissertation Director 1: Ian Mason

Dissertation Abstract: 

The aim of this study is to investigate audience design in literary
translations from Romanian into English. Following work on the
communicative, interactive, and interpersonal nature of written texts
in general (e.g. Myers 1989 and 1999; Nystrand 1989), and of
translations (e.g. Hatim and Mason 1997), the study takes as its
starting point the assumption that the notion of audience design (Bell
1984 and 2001) is applicable to literary translations. It seeks to
examine audience design in the translated novels and short stories
belonging to a corpus designed for the purpose of this research, and
to identify trends in audience design which might be in operation in
some or all of the translations included. Both quantitative and
qualitative methods are used and the analysis is based on a model
designed specifically for the purpose of the study, focusing
principally on deixis and presupposition. While quantitative analysis
is primarily concerned with numbers of occurrences of translational
shifts, the qualitative analysis, which draws mainly on pragmatics,
explores non-obligatory translational shifts in their co-text and
context, in order to seek evidence of audience design. The
qualitative analysis also looks at the interaction of shifts across
larger text units, to try to ascertain their impact on the overall
audience design of translations compared to that of the original
texts. The study concludes that the nature of the audience design in
the translations in the corpus is one of distancing, whereby target
readers are positioned as less involved with the text, or the
characters, ideas, and events presented in the text, compared to the
audience of the original text. A further important finding is the
uniformity of this trend, which manifests itself, to a greater or
lesser extent, in virtually all the translations in the corpus.
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