Psycholinguistics of translation universals
Serhiy Zasyekin (Volyn Institute for Economics and Management in Lutsk, Ukraine)
The question of language universals along with translation universals has been taken up by a number of scholars (Greenberg et al., 1963; Chesterman, 2004; Toury, 2004), who argue that, by cross-linguistic and cross-cultural analysis, it may be possible to reveal common features in compared languages and translation versions. Notably, the topic of translation universals became central at the 2001 Congress of the European Society for Translation Studies. Undoubtedly, the scholars’ contributions also foster psycholinguistic research of translation universals within the descriptive approach framework, since the latter seem to take origin in deep semantic structures (re)produced by translators.
This paper focuses on the discussion of the relationship of psycholinguistics and literary translation. It is conventionally believed that familiarity with the source and target languages, as well as the subject matter on the part of the translator is enough for a good translation and serves a solid bridgehead for further translatology investigation (cf. Riazi, 2002). However, due to the findings in the field of psycholinguistics and text analysis (Brosig, 2004, 2006; Al-Salman, 2004, Zasyekin, 2006), the role of a translator’s mental processes as well as his/her translating preferences depending on cognitive style now seem more vital in translation. Therefore, we follow the experimental psycholinguistic approach to revealing translation universals in text of fiction and to determining their nature.
The results prove that interpreters’ universalism occurs just at the stage of inner speech, i.e. at the level of forming a semantic idea preceding subsequent syntactical patterning of thought. Next, the operational (target) language here (Ukrainian or English) is of less importance. The findings are closely related to the translator’s cognitive style (associative-artistic vs. verbal-logical) and verbal creativity quotient (VCQ). Thus, the empirical data obtained support the purely psycholinguistic nature of translation universals and seem to contribute to further investigation in the field of psycholinguistics of translation.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and