Catalan Review

Use and Translation of Demonstratives in Fiction: A Contrastive Approach (English-Catalan)

Catalan Review (2013), 27, (1), 27–50.

Abstract

Demonstratives are usually described as prototypical situational space deictics, but corpus analysis shows that situational deixis is not the most frequent function that they perform. This article shows the complexity of the use of demonstratives and the effects of such complexity on translation by analyzing some English examples and their translation into Catalan in two novels. Specifically, the English demonstratives this/these/that/those and their Catalan counterparts have been identified as a first step of the analysis. Secondly, their use has been analyzed taking into account the differences of the two deictic systems and other relevant variables. Finally, the general strategies activated in translation have been identified and described. The contrastive analysis highlights that non-situational uses outnumber situational ones, both in the English originals and the Catalan translations. It also gives some evidence in favor of the hypothesis that the different behavior of situational and non-situational demonstratives has an influence on the strategies activated by the translators. As a matter of fact, there is no one-to-one correspondence among demonstratives in the source and the target texts. They are rather translated in different ways and it is often the case that their translation does not correspond to differences in the distribution of the deictic space in the two languages considered.

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Author details

Ribera, Josep

Cuenca, Maria