Translation as meaning-construction under co-textual and contextual constraints: A model for a material approach to translation

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Abstract

The concept of materiality challenges translation studies to reassess its assumptions about meaning in order to better account for translational phenomena that occur outside verbal communication and linguistic representation. This paper combines materiality with semiotic and textual theories to conceptualize meaning as a construct formed in the interplay of the text and its constituent elements, recipient, and environment of receipt. Building on this, translation is reconceptualized as a general-level semiotic process rather than just a linguistic or cultural phenomenon. Translation is seen as an asymmetrical process that involves the interpretation of a material text on one side and, on the other, the composition of a semiotic sign-complex whose form and meaning are constrained by cotextual and contextual constraints. This model shows how materiality allows for generalized translation theory that is applicable to a wide range of specialized cases and compatible with studies in other fields in a philosophically sustainable way.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTranslation Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • conceptualization of translation
  • materiality
  • semiotics
  • textual theory
  • translation process

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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