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How English Triggers Processes of Norm Variation in Other European Languages
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How English Triggers Processes of Norm Variation in Other European Languages

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  1. How English Triggers Processes of Norm Variation in Other European Languages Juliane Housejhouse@uni-hamburg.de

  2. Structure I Project Background, Research Questions and Hypotheses II Analytical Procedureand Analysis III Some Results

  3. 1. The Project “Covert Translation” • Globalized communication leads to an ever increasing demand for „parallel“ texts or covert translations • Research question: whether and how English as a global lingua franca influences German and other languages through processes of parallel text production and covert translation

  4. Parallel texts texts on comparable topics, which belong to the same genre and fulfil the same function • Covert translation the function which a source text has in its discourse world is maintained in the translation through the use of a "cultural filter“ (House1977,1997), with which culture-specific source language norms are adapted to the norms holding in the "receiving" language community

  5. The Impact of Global English • Traditional process of cultural filtering may now be in a process of change! • Is maintenance of target culture norms in parallel text production and covert translation no longer operative such that source and target norms are converging?

  6. General assumptions • German (French, Spanish, later Persian, Chinese) textual norms are adapted to Anglophone ones • Adaptations can be located along a limited set of dimensions of culturally determined, empirically established communicative preferences (e.g. preferred foci on interpersonal or ideational function, on informational vagueness or specificity)

  7. The Project‘s Hypotheses 1. A shift from a conventionally strong emphasis in German discourse on the ideational function of language to an Anglophone interpersonal orientation focussing on addressee involvement. 2. A shift from a conventionally strong emphasis on informational explicitness in German texts to Anglophone inference-inducing implicitness and propositional opaqueness.

  8. 3. A shift in information structure from packing lexical information densely and integratively in German texts to presenting information in a more loosely linearised, "sentential" way. 4. A shift in word order such that the German “Satzklammer” with its two discontinuous left and right parts gives way to more continuous, juxtaposed positions of the two parts.

  9. The Corpus • about 650 texts (over 800 000 words) • Texts reflect a sphere of production and reception which is of pervasive, global socio-cultural influence

  10. Covert Translation Translation and Parallel Text Corpus PARALLEL CORPUS PRIMARY CORPUS ENGLISH TEXTS German Translations VALIDATION CORPUS French Translations Spanish Translations GERMAN TEXTS English Translations FRENCH TEXTS SPANISH TEXTS Interviews Background Documentation

  11. Translation- and Comparable Corpora (Example: English-German)

  12. Corpus • English-German originals and translations (French and Spanish control texts) • Popular Science Texts • Scientific American,New Scientist and their satellite journals • Micro-diachronic: 1978-1982; 1999-2002 • 500 000 Words • Economic Texts • Annual reports by internationally operating companies • Letters to shareholders, Missions, Visions, Corporate statements • Reverse Translation Relation: German-English, French/Spanish-English • 130 000 Words

  13. Method • Combination of qualitative and quantitative methods • Qualitative: House Translation Evaluation Model • Quantitative: Frequency Counts • Renewed qualitative analysis

  14. Three Phases of Study Phase 1: Qualitative Analyses - Result: differences in subjectivity and addressee orientation in originals and translations Phase 2: Quantification - Result: differences in frequency of linguistic means of expressing subjectivity and addresssee orientation Phase 3: Re-contextualising qualitative analyses: isolation of all occurrences of vulnerable elements - Manual annotation to locate co-occurences with e.g. tense, mood - Do equivalent elements occur in same linguistic context? - Are equivalent elements used for same communicative function? - translation relation, genre-contrastive Statistics: Multivariate analyses, complex co-occurrence patterns

  15. Genres • Popular Science: articles from Scientific American and National Geographic, UNESCO Courier • (External) Business Communication: annual reports, letters to shareholders, „visions" and „missions", product presentations • Computer Instructions: software manuals

  16. Texts were scanned, transcribed, formated and segmented according to orthographic utterance units (sentences, paragraphs, titles and subtitles must be recognisable) • Comparability: textual stretch functioning as an introduction

  17. 2. Qualitative analytic procedure • House‘s (1997) translation model • Two functional components co-present in every text: ideational & interpersonal that need to be kept equivalent in translation • Source and target texts to be analysed in terms of the levels of Language and Text, Register and Genre. Outcome is as textual profile and the text‘s function

  18. Language, Register and Genre • Genre as content-plane of Register, and Register as expression plane of Genre; Register as content plane of Language, Language as expression plane of Register • Function of a text: co-presence of two functional components: an ideational and an interpersonal one • Textual function NOT identical with functions of language

  19. Superordinate Features: Field, Tenor and Mode • Field of Discourse: nature of the social action in the text, field of activity, content, degree of lexical generality and specificity • Tenor of Discourse: author and his personal stance vis-à-vis the content, relationship between author and addressees (social power, distance, affect) • Mode of Discourse: cohesion, coherence, degrees of "spokenness" and "writtenness"

  20. Genre • A socially established category characterised in terms of occurrence of use, source and a communicative purpose or any combination of these • Links a single text to a class of texts united by a common communicative purpose • Reflects language users' shared knowledge about nature of texts of the same kind

  21. A Scheme for Producing, Analysing and Comparing Original and Translation Texts

  22. Overt and coverttranslation • Coverttranslation: like a second originalNot marked pragmatically as a translationMay have been created in its own right • Translator creates equivalent speech eventthrough the use of a „cultural filter“

  23. Cultural Filter • Functional equivalence in covert translation achieved through changes on the levels of Language/Text and Register • Text is adapted to target culture norms • Translator looks at source text ‚with the eyes' of target text readers and acts accordingly • Most imortant are changes to a text‘s interpersonal functional component for which values along dimensions of Tenor and Mode are crucial

  24. Translators need reliable information about culture-specific communicative preferences drawn from contrastive pragmatic discourse analyses • E.g. German speakers‘ tendency to emphasise the ideational functional component of texts, whereas English speakers tend to give equal weight to the interpersonal functional component

  25. Analytical Process 1. Analysis of English original along the dimensions Field, Tenor and Mode - Setting up a text-profile on the basis of analytical findings on lexical, syntactic and textual levels that reflect the individual textual function 2. Analysis of translation along the same dimensions 3. Comparison of source and translation

  26. 3. Qualitative contrastive analyses of English-German translations in two genres 3.1 Popular science texts English original texts mostly taken from the popular scientific magazine Scientific American Addressees are interested lay readers Specialised lexis is mostly absent in English originals, texts are more „popular“ than „scientific“!

  27. - German translations of these texts appeared in the German satellite publication Spektrum der Wissenschaft - Higher level of technical, specialised language in German texts - Generally more explicit, translations give etymological derivations, "unpack" informational content, tend to provide detailed explanations and interpretations.

  28. (1) HIV Vaccines: Prospects and Challenges, in: Scientific American, Juli 1998/ Wie nahe ist ein HIV-Impfstoff, (BT: How close is a HIV vaccine) in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Oktober 1998

  29. Most vaccines activate what is called the humoral arm of the immune system. • Die meisten Vakzine aktivieren den sogenannten humoralen Arm des Immunsystems (nach lateinisch humor, Flüssigkeit) (BT: Most vaccines activate the so-called humoral arm of the immune system (after Latin humor, liquid.)

  30. (2) Gazzaniga, M., The Split Brain Revisited, in: Scientific American July 1998/ Rechtes und linkes Gehirn: Split-Brain und Bewußtsein, in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Dezember 1998 (BT: Right and Left Brain: Split-Brain and Consciousness)

  31. Groundbreaking work that began more than a quarter of a century ago has led to ongoing insights about brain organisation and consciousness. • Jahrzehntelange Studien an Patienten mit chirurgisch getrennten Großhirnhälften haben das Verständnis für den funktionellen Aufbau des Gehirns und das Wesen des Bewußtseins vertieft. (BT: Decade-long studies on patients with surgically separated brain hemispheres have deepened the understanding of the functional organisation of the brain and the essence of consciousness.)

  32. (3) Buchbinder, S., Avoiding Infection after HIV-Exposure, in: Scientific American July 1998 / Prävention nach HIV-Kontakt, in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Oktober 1998 (BT: Prevention after HIV-Contact)

  33. Treatment may reduce the chance of contracting HIV infection after a risky encounter. • Eine sofortige Behandlung nach Kontakt mit einer Ansteckungsquelle verringert unter Umständen die Gefahr, dass sich das Human-Immunschwäche-Virus im Körper festsetzt. Gewähr gibt es keine, zudem erwachsen eigene Risiken. (BT: An immediate treatment after contact reduces under certain circumstances the danger that the human immuno-deficiency-virus establishes itself in the. There is no guarantee for this, moreover new risks arise.)

  34. “Didactic tenor“of German translations • Translators may have assumed a lack of knowledge on the part of the reader • In the English texts, the addressees are “drawn into the text” to make them personally involved • Addressees of English texts are "invited" to identify with the persons depicted in the text’s discourse world through the use of various linguistic means

  35. (4) Buchbinder, S., Avoiding Infection after HIV Exposure, in: Scientific American, July 1998/ Prävention nach HIV-Kontakt, in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Oktober 1998 (BT: Prevention after HIV-Contact)

  36. I 1 Suppose you are a doctor in an emergency room 2 and a patient tells you she was raped two hours earlier. 3 She is afraid she may have been exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS 4 but has heard that there is a "morning-after pill" to prevent HIV infection. II 1 Can you in fact do anything to block the virus 2 from replicating and establishing infection?

  37. 1 In der Notfallaufnahme eines Krankenhauses berichtet eine Patientin 2 sie sei vor zwei Stunden vergewaltigt worden 3 und nun in Sorge, dem AIDS-Erreger ausgesetzt zu sein, 4 sie habe aber gehört, es gebe eine "Pille danach", 5 die eine HIV-Infektion verhüte. 6 Kann der Arzt überhaupt irgendetwas tun, 7 was eventuell vorhandene Viren hindern würde, 8 sich zu vermehren und sich dauerhaft im Körper einzunisten?

  38. (BT: In the emergency room of a hospital a patient reports that she had been raped two hours ago and was now worrying that she had been exposed to the AIDS-Virus. She said she had heard that there was an "After-Pill", which might prevent an HIV-infection. Can the doctor in fact do anything which might prevent potentially existing viruses from replicating and establishing themselves permanently in the body?)

  39. English texts • „Mental processes“ are used to establish a personal relationship with the addressee • A text‘s Field is made familiar to addressees • Further linguistic means: mood switches, dramatisation of scientific reports • Strong cohesion through extensive use of repetition, structural parallelism, linguistic routines, deliberate ‚framing‘ of a text

  40. German texts • Feature only relational and material processes (in the sense of Halliday) in different distributions • Lack of mental processes • No offer of identification to addressees • Syntactically more complex structures (left branching pre-nominal modification, absence of rhetorical mechanisms such as parallelism) • Less macro-cohesive, more „micro-organized“

  41. Summary of Findings • Reduced emotional engagement in German texts • Less persuasive attitude • Reduced convictionon the part of the text producer that scientific research is successful • Generally more "neutral" lexis • Fewer "emotive" connotations and intensifiers • More negative connotations • Orientation towards persons reduced in favour of orientation towards institutions, things, concepts, abstract phenomena

  42. 3.2. Economic Texts • “Missions" and "visions“, letters to shareholders • In English texts: simple colloquial style with few specialised economic terminology • Routinised lexical phrases reminiscent of advertisements • Positive connotations, comparatives, superlatives, intensifiers, • Optimistic, consistently positive, often enthusiastic self-presentation of companies and their agents • Heavy use of personal deixis as identification anchors • In German texts all these features less pronounced!

  43. Connected Creativity 1 I want to be part of a company where I am challenged to: 2 - Have fun creating new ideas that improve our performance in the market 3 - Obsessively search for new ideas, by observing, listening and learning from everyone Connected Creativity 1 Ich will Teil eines Unternehmens sein, das mich herausfordert: 2 - Mit Spaß neue Ideen zu kreieren, die unsere Performance am Markt verbessern 3 - Intensive neue Ideen zu suchen durch beobachten, zuhören und lernen von jedem (5) Multisyn Vision 2000 (BT: I want to be part of a company which challenges me: - with fun to create new ideas, whichimprove our performance in the market - to look for intensive new ideas through observing, listening and learning from everyone.)

  44. Single-minded passion for winning 1 I want to be part of a company where I am challenged to: 2 - Have unrelentingly high expectations of myself and others 3 - Say "No" to anything that is not clearly aligned with the winning strategy Single-minded passion for winning 1 Ich will Teil eines Unternehmens sein, das mich herausfordert: 2 - Hohe Erwartungen an mich und andere zu stellen 3 - "Nein" zu sagen, zu allem, was nicht klar mit der Gewinnenwollen-Strategie verbunden ist (BT: I want to be part of a company which challenges me to - put high expectations onto me and others - say "No" to everything that is not clearlyconnected with the Want-to-win Strategy.)

  45. Summary of Qualitative Analysis of Texts in Two Genres • None of our hypotheses confirmed • But: indication of a shift in the use of those linguistic means which realise the interpersonal functional component („stance“, „expressivity“, „point of view“, addressee orientation) • First signs of adaptation processes of German to Anglo-American textual norms (genre-mixing)

  46. Rapprochementto Anglophone textual norms expressed in a stronger presence of "subjectivity" and "addressee orientation” – to be examined under the dimension TENOR and its subcategories Stance and Social Role Relationship, SocialAttitude and Participation

  47. “Subjectivity” • A speaker’s ability to represent and constitute himself in and through language as a “subject” • Related in systemic-functional theory to Stance (Biber 2004): • "epistemic stance" relating to the speaker’s assessment of the truth of the proposition • "attitudinal stance" referring to the author’s personal attitude, his value judgements and expectations

  48. Hunston & Thompson (2001): subjectivity examined under the category of "evaluation" consisting of "stance" and "viewpoint" vis à vis the proposition • Smith (2002, 2003):two types of subjectivity: (1) "point of view" (linguistic units expressing a way of looking at things) and (2) "perspective" ('perspectivising' utterances that present a situation or state of affairs from a certain standpoint)

  49. But subjectivity can also be said to relate to the function certain linguistic means have when it comes to influencing hearers (Smith 2003; Nuyts 2001): interactive function, “Intersubjectivity” • Similar labels are Epistemic Modality (Salkie 2002; Facchinetti et al. 2003), Emotive Prosody (Bublitz 2003), Evidentiality (Chafe & Nichols 1986), Metadiscourse (Le 2004, Hyland 1998, Hyland & Tse 2004), as well as “politeness in text” (House 1998, 2005)