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Search for a Method in the Age of the Anthropocene
Series: Theory in Forms
Grundlagen, Forschung und Analyse – Eine problemorientierte Einführung

Abstract

Apart from perspectives from literature, culture, and linguistics, the field of translation studies is eager to call for new theories that are sufficiently rational to help researchers break traditional research boundaries. An increasing number of semioticians approve of translation activities as an important approach to interpreting symbolic behavior and describe translation as the meaning generation process in which a system of symbolic codes can be translated into another system of codes. This study attempts to apply the achievements in semiotics of the Tartu Semiotic School to the discussions of the relationship between the source text and the target text in the process of translation, in the light of cultural semiotics and biosemiotics. In addition, this paper reexamines the awareness of translation, the relationship between translation and Umwelt, and the extent of communication among all participants during the process of translation.

Abstract

With the rapid development of digital media technology represented by the Internet and convergent media, human society entered the “meta-media age” at the end of the twentieth century. Regarded as the “media of media,” meta-media, or the terminal screens connected by the Internet, integrate all existing media forms and their communication patterns by translating, remodeling, and even re-forming their sign-texts. Accordingly, “remediation” has become the dominant way to construct the meaning of signs in meta-media. It should be noted that the remediation of meta-media changes not only the form of the existing media, but also the way we communicate with signs. Hence, from the perspective of the semiotics of communication, this paper considers the features and cultural influence of symbolic communication in the meta-media age based on Roman Jakobson’s six factors/functions of signs model.

Abstract

This article interprets the sociosemiotic approach to translation from an ethical perspective. First, it briefly illustrates the necessity and feasibility of studying the sociosemiotic approach to translation from an ethical perspective, then shifts to the genres of ethics to be used in the interpretation. After that, it proposes an empirical study of the ethical values underlying the sociosemiotic approach to translation. The articles makes it clear that, in translating the referential meaning of a sign, translators who follow the sociosemiotic approach to translation tend to honor ethics of representation if this sign has an equivalent sign in the target language and would like to adhere to norm-based ethics if this sign has no equivalent in the target language. The article demonstrates that, in translating the linguistic meaning, translators who follow the sociosemiotic approach to translation often stick to ethics of commitment, which confers upon them the role of an expert as well as an arbitrator and makes it possible for them to mediate the conflicts between the various parties related to a translating mission. The article also exemplifies that, in translating the pragmatic meaning, translators who follow the sociosemiotic approach to translation, in most cases, prefer ethics of commitment, which allows them to represent the pragmatic meaning incubated in the source text either with the method employed in the source text or with a different method when the method applied in the source text is not appreciated in the target context.

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Abstract

Current Peirce Section editor Cary Campbell, interviews previous section editor Charls Pearson, on his life and work studying and systematizing C. S. Peirce’s semiotic science. Central aspects of Pearson’s philosophical project are discussed, such as, in particular, his proposal that semiotic logic leads to an integrated methodology of research and inquiry, bridging phenomenology and science. Additionally, Pearson discusses his Universal Sign Structure Theory (USST), and comments on recent post-Peircean developments in biosemiotics.

Abstract

Literature consists of works of language, but it has never been able to function as literature without being part of a cluster of interconnected media. From time immemorial, oratures require performances to work and thus cannot exist without use of bodily signs or use of various tools and instruments. Today, of course, this extended media landscape is vaster and more complex and distributed through more differentiated and numerous agencies than ever before, which also changes the mutual relation among the media involved in the production, dissemination, and use of literature, as well as changing the position of literature in the media landscape. A growing anonymity of the agents for mediation also challenges the articulation of history and memory in today’s cultures. The aim of the paper is to contribute to an understanding of the dynamics of the entire cluster of media with literature at its center, rather than making an account of the separate media involved. The canonical Anglo-Irish eighteenth-century writer Jonathan Swift will serve as my primary material.

Abstract

The origins and nature of consciousness have preoccupied mankind since human beings became aware of themselves as thinking beings. Seeking answers to these questions was the focus of the life-long research project of the former Soviet scholar, Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (1896–1934), who was intent on developing a holistic theory of psycholinguistics to explore consciousness through psyche. In this quest, he concentrated on rechevóye myshlénie, a key element of consciousness created through the unification of thinking processes and languaging processes (the processes involved in the acquisition and use of language). However, the fact Vygotsky used this concept to imply a psychological process/ formation/system is lost when understanding it as “verbal thinking.” Despite its centrality in his whole theory of psycholinguistics, Vygotsky’s analysis of rechevóye myshlénie as the cornerstone of the creation of znachenie slova (meaning through language) has not received the same attention as his analyses of other concepts. Therefore, in this article we attempt to make a detailed investigation of rechevóye myshlénie upon Vygotsky’s methodology of psychological materialism and a number of related concepts compared with some prevalent translations and interpretations.

Abstract

This paper reports on a translation project launched at Xi’an International Studies University (XISU) in 2017 that focuses on political news published by Hanban, which offers a platform for instructions and services for Chinese language and culture globally. Assisted by the metaphor identification method MIPVU (Metaphor Identification Procedure from Vrije Universiteit) and the data retrieval software HyConc, metaphors in the self-established corpus were efficiently and comprehensively identified. The metaphors were classified into 12 categories based on metaphorical images in the source domains. Next, an analysis of the cultural, communicative, and political characteristics or features of the metaphors was conducted under the framework of semiotics by using a diversity of images of the metaphors’ corresponding signifier and signified to trace the emergence, processing/understanding, and transformation of the metaphors through translation. Ultimately, three feasible translation techniques are proposed that are suitable for different types of metaphors: 1) preserving the metaphorical image, 2) preserving the metaphorical image with annotation, and 3) transforming the metaphorical image, in pursuit of providing reference for translators in related translation practice.