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CULTURE & RELEVANCE. BASIL HATIM Hong Kong 2007. IDEATIONAL MEANINGS. There is more to register than Field’s subject matter Technicality

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culture relevance

CULTURE & RELEVANCE

BASIL HATIM

Hong Kong

2007

ideational meanings
IDEATIONAL MEANINGS

There is more to register than Field’s subject matter Technicality

Thompson (1996: 28): We use language to talk about our experience of the world, including the worlds in our own minds, to describe events and states and the entities involved in them.

reality i
REALITY I
  • For he approached these faces – even of those near and dear – as if they were abstract puzzles or tests. He did not relate to them, he did not behold.
  • Sacks (1985)
reality ii
REALITY II
  • Photographs of 16 famous people, politicians, actors, etc., recognition of whom was expected for her educational level, were presented individually. She recognized only President Kennedy the first time, but not on subsequent occasions.
interpersonal meanings
INTERPERSONAL MEANINGS

There is more to register than Tenor’s Formality or Informality

We also use language to interact with other people, to establish and maintain relations with them, to influence their behaviour, to express our own viewpoint on things in the world, and to elicit or change theirs.

interaction i
INTERACTION I

How could he, on the one hand, mistake his wife for a hat and, on the other, function as a teacher at the Music School?

Sacks (1985)

interaction ii
INTERACTION II

She was observed to have severe memory impairment and difficulty naming objects….

textual meanings
TEXTUAL MEANINGS

There is more to register than Mode’s Spoken vs Written

In using language, we organise our messages in ways which indicate how they fit in with the other messages around them and with the wider context in which we are talking or writing.

human textualizing
HUMAN TEXTUALIZING

… and yet it is precisely the downfall of judgment (whether in specific realms, as with Dr P., or more generally, as in patients with Korsakov’s or frontal-lobe syndrome) which constitutes the essence of so many neuropsychological disorders

Sacks (1985)

robotic textualizing
ROBOTIC TEXTUALIZING

She was discovered to have severe visual agnosia in October 1967 during a naming task, and was institutionalized because of poor memory at the time….

the translation process
THE TRANSLATION PROCESS

In the translation process, the translator, consciously or unconsciously, often adjusts the original ideational/interpersonal and textual profiles with his or her own attitudes.

translation of ideology
TRANSLATION OF IDEOLOGY

BUT IS IT ALWAYS THE CASE THAT MOTIVES ARE PERSONAL/ IDEOLOGICAL? DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO ENTERTAIN A CONSPIRACY THEORY?

ideology of translation
IDEOLOGY OF TRANSLATION

COULD THE REASON FOR THE ALTERATION SIMPLY BE THE DESIRE TO UPHOLD THE NORMS OF THE TL TRANSLATION TRADITION, FOR EXAMPLE

rhetorical norms
RHETORICAL NORMS

INDEED, COULD THE REASON FOR THE ALTERATION NOT BE THE DESIRE TO UPHOLD TL RHETORICAL NORMS (EG THE CONVENTIONS OF A PARTICULAR GENRE, A PARTICULAR DISCOURSE, OR A PARTICULAR MODE OF ARGUMENTATION)?

text genre discourse triad
TEXT-GENRE-DISCOURSE TRIAD

DISCOURSE

GENRE

TEXT

culture magnitude
CULTURE MAGNITUDE
  • If culture is all that humankind creates, from mascara to myths, marriage vows to slang, then complexity comes as no surprise.
vantage points
VANTAGE POINTS
  • Civilization. Big C, heritage etc.
  • Communication. Verbal and non-verbal
  • Intercultural communication. The capacity to cater for other cultures
  • Group or community interactions. Insiders and outsiders, haves and have-nots
vantage points1
VANTAGE POINTS
  • Dynamic construction (of the other) including values or beliefs of self and others
  • Evolutionary psychology. The nature and function of the human brain. Innate biological commonalities
culture
CULTURE

Culture is not a material phenomenon; it does not consist of things, people, behaviour or emotions. It is rather an organization of these things.

(Goodenough 1964:36).

culture with a small c
CULTURE WITH A SMALL C

1) Ecology: Animals, plants, local winds, mountains, etc.

2) Material culture: Food, clothes, housing, transport and communications

3) Social culture: Work and leisure

culture with a small c1
CULTURE WITH A SMALL C
  • 4) Organizations, customs, ideas: Political, social, legal, religious, artistic
  • 5) Gestures and habits
culture with a capital c
CULTURE WITH A CAPITAL C

It is the forms of things that people have in mind, their models for perceiving, relating, and otherwise interpreting them.

(Goodenough 1964:36).

language and social structure
Language and Social Structure

There is a dialectical interrelationship between language and social structure: the varieties of linguistic usage are both products and practices

products
Products

products of socio-economic forces and institutions - reflexes of such factors as power relations, occupational roles, social stratifications, etc. - and practices

practices
Practices

practices which are instrumental in forming and legitimating the same social forces and institutions

culture redefined
CULTURE REDEFINED

Definitions of culture revolve around three poles of a triangle:

  • Products (artifacts, forms)
  • Practices (behaviors, sociofacts)
  • Perspectives (ideas, knowledge, mentifacts, meaning, pragmatic signs)
products1
Products

Artificats

  • produced or adopted by persons/communities
  • located in physical space,
  • the environment (plants, animals, etc),
products2
Products
  • tangible objects (tool, clothing, written documents, buildings, etc)
  • more elaborate yet still perceptible constructions (written/spoken language, music, family, education, economy, politics, religion, etc)
two types of products
TWO TYPES OF PRODUCTS
  • SOCIO-CULTURAL

PRODUCTS

  • TECHNO-CULTURAL

PRODUCTS

practices1
Practices

The full range of

  • actions and interactions that members of the culture carry out, individually and with others,
  • verbal and nonverbal language in different contexts of communication
practices2
Practices
  • generic actions and communicative events associated with social groups, using cultural products, and governed by norms appropriateness
perspectives
Perspectives

The explicit or implicit perceptions, beliefs, values and attitudes that discursively

  • underlie the products
  • guide the practices of a culture,
perspectives1
Perspectives
  • providing meaning
  • constituting a unique outlook or orientation toward life – a worldview
example law enforcement
EXAMPLELAW ENFORCEMENT
  • Objects. Handcuffs, tickets, badges, two-way radios, accident report forms, structures such as local government and the judicial system
example law enforcement1
EXAMPLELAW ENFORCEMENT
  • Practices. Directing traffice, patrolling a beat, making arrests, gathering evidence, resolving disputes, reporting
example law enforcement2
EXAMPLELAW ENFORCEMENT
  • Perspectives. Values, beliefs, views of the law, civic duty
the minutes
THE MINUTES
  • XXX Meeting Minutes
  • DATE
  • PLACE
  • TIME

_____________________________________________________________________

  • Chair: XXX
  • Attended: XXX
  • The Chair called the meeting to order at 10.15 am
  • The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10.15 am
  • Faculty unanimously approved last meeting’s minutes.
  • Faculty unanimously approved the XX course syllabus.
degrees of markedness
DEGREES OF MARKEDNESS

PASSIVE WITH NO AGENT

PASSIVE WITH BY-AGENT

ACTIVE

minutes
MINUTES
  • Announcement: the Chair announced the approval of XXX Course
  • summarizing that we now have authorizations for 4 undergraduate programs and 5 graduate programs.
  • He also mentioned that the XXX and YYY courses are still in development
  • and we will bring them to the faculty before seeking authorization from XXX.
  • The Chair announced that Dr. X will be starting preparations of the XXX course
socio textual practices
SOCIO-TEXTUAL PRACTICES
  • social actions and communicative events (GENRES) associated with particular social groups,
  • using cultural products (including TEXTS),
  • conveying particular perspectives (DISCOURSE), and
  • governed by NORMS of effective, efficient and appropriate language use
the contextual map
REGISTER PRAGMATICS

ACTION

Social Processes/ Institutions (Ideational Field)

> <

Power/Solidarity (Interpersonal Tenor) > <

Physical Distance (Textual Mode) > <

SEMIOTICS

INTERACTION

Socio-cultural Practices

Socio-textual Practices

Genre

Text

Discourse

THE CONTEXTUAL MAP
slide42
TEXT
  • A unit of ‘sense’ which relates to how language users attend to particular rhetorical purposes and thus achieve a variety of rhetorical aims (e.g. arguing, narrating as texts).
text as macro sign
TEXT AS MACRO SIGN

To be sure Indonesia and Malaysia are far from perfectly open…

Still the country’s carefully monitored multiculturalism has allowed Malays, Chinese and Indians to rub shoulders and get to know one another without much rancor…

text as macro sign1
TEXT AS MACRO SIGN
  • Of course this does not mean that we should defend all clergymen. Dependent, pseudo and ossified clergy have not been, and are not, few in number. There are even persons in the seminaries who are active against the revolution and against pure Mohammedan Islam. There are some people nowadays who, under the guise of piety, strike such heavy blows at the roots of religion, revolution and the system, that you would think they have no other duty than this ...
text as macro sign2
TEXT AS MACRO SIGN
  • Tomorrow’s meeting of OPEC is a different affair. Certainly, it is formally about prices…. Certainly, it will also have immediate implications for the price of petrol….
  • But this meeting … is not primarily about selling arrangements…. It is primarily about the future cohesion of the organization itself.
genre
GENRE

A unit of ‘sense’ which entails having to operate within highly conventionalized text structure and texture and thus upholding the requirements of conventionalized communicative events or occasions (e.g. the compositional format of a ‘cooking recipe’ as genre);

genre as macro sign
GENRE AS MACRO SIGN
  • Take for example the case of translating a philosophical text which started with the illustrative statement when recently. In translation, this appeared as not so very long ago, a miscue erroneously conjuring up the image of a drastically different genre - a fairy tale (Fawcett 1997).
genre as macro sign the tourist brochure
GENRE AS MACRO SIGNThe Tourist Brochure
  • The reptile and insect house has exhibits of many of the Arabian snakes, lizards, amphibians, common insects and arachnids. A huge aviary, with a waterfall cascading down rocks into a small lake and river, contains several species of local songbirds as well as some small raptors.
the english view
The English View
  • The English guide objectifies the zoo’s contents as if these existed quite independently of any visitor, who is not even mentioned.
the english view1
The English View
  • The displays and rooms are expressed as Actors of Actions like ‘having exhibits’, ‘containing species’, and ‘leading back’.
the english view2
The English View
  • The text world depicted by the English text is one in which the ‘visitor’ is held constant while the ‘world’ is allowed to go round him or her.
an arabic rendering
An Arabic Rendering
  • The visitor begins his tour by discovering the reptile department, which contains a variety of Arabian snakes and lizards. Then he continues the journey to find himself within a huge aviary, where waterfalls cascade on the rocks, a spacious place which contains different varieties of songbirds. The visitor continues his journey through a long corridor, which takes him to where there are baboons.
the arabic view
The Arabic View
  • The Arabic guide allots great prominence to ‘the visitor’, who performs specific types of Action like ‘beginning his tour’, ‘discovering the reptile department’, and ‘continuing his journey’.
the arabic view1
The Arabic View
  • The text world emerging from this orientation is one in which the ‘world’ is held constant while the visitor is allowed to go round it.
the anatomy of mills boon
The Anatomy of Mills & Boon
  • Core Actions: dash, rush, fly, hurry, scuttle vs. go, run
  • Cliches: They were entwined in a passionate embrace
  • Over-Modification:run quickly, dash hastily
mills boon
Mills & Boon
  • Sizzling Metaphors: definitely wasn’t girlish infatuation!
  • Embellishment: A slow, sweet, sensual pleasure drowned her mind
  • Fragmented Dialogue: the wedding? Or the merger?
mills boon1
Mills & Boon
  • Excessively Vivid Descriptions: glittering, rough, cool, broad, furious, loving, spine-chilling
  • Simultaneity: She sighed, remembering…
  • Non-Agency: Tears shook her
discursivity
DISCURSIVITY
  • Tears sprang to her eyes, streaming, coursing down her cheeks.
  • There is an implicit supposition that men like their stories to be ‘action-packed’, whereas women prefer a ‘heart-warming’ tale
discursivity1
DISCURSIVITY
  • “Tears welled in her eyes”
  • “Her heart missed a beat”
  • “He looked deeply into her eyes”
  • “It took her breath away”
  • “They were entwined in a passionate embrace”
discourse
DISCOURSE
  • Discourse or the requirement that a particular attitude is conveyed
discourse as a macro sign
DISCOURSE AS A MACRO SIGN
  • Consider how the translator of an Inuit legend decided to ‘distort’ the source text by suppressing the concept of ‘baby seals’ when rendering the legend in English simply as skins from seals less than a year old (Ireland 1989).
discourse as a macro sign1
DISCOURSE AS A MACRO SIGN
  • Had the translator been more ‘faithful’ to the original, she would most certainly have given rise to the wrong discoursal inference, thereby doing the environment-loving natives a great disservice through presenting them in a bad light to an environmentally conscious western audience.
the end
THE END

THANK YOU!