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Meaning and Translation

Part 1: Meaning


Tomasz P. Krzeszowski

Since translation cannot be approached in isolation from meaning, anything that is said about translation must necessarily be placed in the context of meaning. Accordingly, the first volume of the book concerns this necessary context, while the second volume will view translation in terms of the semantic framework presented in the first volume. Both volumes are to a large extent consistent with major tenets of cognitive linguistics. The work is addressed primarily to students pursuing translation studies but also to all those persons who are interested in semantics and translation for whatever other reasons. The main aim of the book is to provide the prospective reader with a quantum of knowledge in the two areas. A subsidiary aim is to tidy up the metalinguistic terminology, replete with such deficiencies as polysemy, whereby one term is laden with a number of senses, as well as synonymy, due to which one sense is connected with more than one term.


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Chapter Three: Axiological elements of meaning 171


Chapter Three Axiological elements of meaning 10. Axiological semantics 10.1 Preliminaries Verificationist and truth-conditional approaches to meaning are concerned with only one of the three classical valuable things, i.e. with “truth”.73 In traditional semantics the remaining two “goodness” and “beauty”, if at all mentioned, per- form only a marginal role and are relegated to the poorly defined area of conno- tations. Still, these axiological aspects of meaning have been extensively dealt with by semanticians, psychologists and philosophers, working outside the structuralist-generative tradition. They have considered them to be elements of emotive meaning, usually as aspects of connotation (see section 9). These emo- tive aspects or ‘overtones’ (cf. Ullmann (1962)) were only marginally dealt with by linguists working in mainstream semantics. The latter were mainly con- cerned with denotative aspects of meaning in spite of the fact that as early as the beginning of the twentieth century van Ginneken (1910-1913) compiled a lengthy bibliography of writings on various emotional overtones, embracing such aspects of connotation in the area of figurative speech as colours, sounds, odours, tastes, and many others, in a large number of languages. This bibliogra- phy testifies to the important function that these elements perform in natural languages.74 These overtones are strictly connected with ‘values’, which are the central sub- ject matter of axiology. Psycholinguists Osgood, Suci and Tannenbaum (1957), who introduced the term ‘semantic differential’, have shown that values perform a dominant function in the structure of concepts (see also Osgood 1980). Their research revealed that emotions...

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