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Translation and Meaning. New Series, Vol. 2, Pt. 1


Lukasz Bogucki, Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Marcel Thelen

The volume contains a selection of articles on current theoretical issues in Translation Studies and literary translation. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in the world. The book will be an indispensable aid for trainers and researchers, but may be of interest to anyone interested or active in translation and interpreting. A companion volume in this series contains articles on audiovisual translation, translator training and domain-specific issues.

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How to sneeze off papers from the desk in Polish translation: re-conceptualization and approximation at work


Abstract: This study explores a range of constructions proposed by Polish translators for rendering the meaning of the sentence “Tom sneezed off papers from the desk” to examine how re-conceptualization and approximation, theoretical cognitive-linguistic frameworks proposed by Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (2010, 2012), work in the practice of translation. Since this particular English pattern does not have a readily-available lexical/syntactical equivalent in Polish, translators dealing with this linguistic structure must first absorb the message, then re-conceptualize the original scene in order to approximate its meaning in the target language. Based on 51 analyzed proposals, the results indicate a key role of construal (Langacker, 1987, 2008) in shaping the target language message, which is strongly affected by subjective preferences of individual translators in picking up or devising particular target language forms to convey the meaning of the source language text. From this perspective, equivalent structures emerge as dynamic blends established iteratively through the subjective interpretation of linguistic code against the semantic structures, which potentially involves numerous conceptual shifts and modulations.

Keywords: construal, re-conceptualization, approximation, motion events, caused motion, cognitive semantics, construction grammar

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