The claim in this essay is that reflection on sign processes and reflection on translation processes can help each other to better identify the problems that concern them respectively, and orient their specific methodologies. In fact they study the same processes, the relation between a sign and another sign which in the role of interpretant confers a given meaning and sense on the preceding sign. To study this relationship means to become aware of its dialogical character. Therefore as much as the disciplinary spheres may be different, the theory, or science of signs, semiotics, and translation theory study the same process, semiosis. Semiotics and translation may act as interpretants of each other and thus illuminate different aspects of the signs forming the process itself, underlining at once their specificity and interrelatedness. Any one sign, verbal or nonverbal, is always and inevitably part of a larger network of signs, as clearly demonstrated by Thomas Sebeok with his global semiotics. Considering that interpretation is translation, that the relation between interpreted and interpretant is a relation of translation, and that interpretants defer to each other in open-ended chains of semiosis, global semiotics evidences the translational nature of semiosis, therefore the translational vocation of semiotics. Sebeok belongs to a line of development in sign studies that begins from Locke and passes through Peirce, and includes authors like Welby, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Morris. All have dealt with the problem of translation in one way or another, whether directly with their sign theory (Welby and Jakobson), or indirectly with reflections on dialogue and the relation between reporting discourse and reported discourse (Bakhtin), or whilst searching for signs to talk about signs (Morris in semiotics elects the language of biology). “Global semiotics”, as the expression itself suggests, is critical of anthropocentric and glottocentric approaches to the life of signs. The biosphere in its totality is pervaded by signs. And as a general science of signs semiotics, especially when practiced as global semiotics, is endowed with a constitutive propensity for dialogic encounter and translation. In the light of this general theoretical framework, this essay also focuses on the literary text. As an interpretive/translational phenomenon in itself and thanks to its specificity as artistic discourse which evolves in the « great time » to evoke Bakhtin, the literary text is among the expressions that best reveals the dynamics of semiosis in terms of the properly human. Central issues include the problem of dialogic otherness and responsive understanding among interpretants in translation, of responsibility/responsivity, of translatability/intranslatability, the role of iconicity, the relation between visible and invisible, between similar and dissimilar, therefore the paradox of translation.

Translation of semiotics into translation theory, and vice versa

PETRILLI, Susan Angela
2015

Abstract

The claim in this essay is that reflection on sign processes and reflection on translation processes can help each other to better identify the problems that concern them respectively, and orient their specific methodologies. In fact they study the same processes, the relation between a sign and another sign which in the role of interpretant confers a given meaning and sense on the preceding sign. To study this relationship means to become aware of its dialogical character. Therefore as much as the disciplinary spheres may be different, the theory, or science of signs, semiotics, and translation theory study the same process, semiosis. Semiotics and translation may act as interpretants of each other and thus illuminate different aspects of the signs forming the process itself, underlining at once their specificity and interrelatedness. Any one sign, verbal or nonverbal, is always and inevitably part of a larger network of signs, as clearly demonstrated by Thomas Sebeok with his global semiotics. Considering that interpretation is translation, that the relation between interpreted and interpretant is a relation of translation, and that interpretants defer to each other in open-ended chains of semiosis, global semiotics evidences the translational nature of semiosis, therefore the translational vocation of semiotics. Sebeok belongs to a line of development in sign studies that begins from Locke and passes through Peirce, and includes authors like Welby, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Morris. All have dealt with the problem of translation in one way or another, whether directly with their sign theory (Welby and Jakobson), or indirectly with reflections on dialogue and the relation between reporting discourse and reported discourse (Bakhtin), or whilst searching for signs to talk about signs (Morris in semiotics elects the language of biology). “Global semiotics”, as the expression itself suggests, is critical of anthropocentric and glottocentric approaches to the life of signs. The biosphere in its totality is pervaded by signs. And as a general science of signs semiotics, especially when practiced as global semiotics, is endowed with a constitutive propensity for dialogic encounter and translation. In the light of this general theoretical framework, this essay also focuses on the literary text. As an interpretive/translational phenomenon in itself and thanks to its specificity as artistic discourse which evolves in the « great time » to evoke Bakhtin, the literary text is among the expressions that best reveals the dynamics of semiosis in terms of the properly human. Central issues include the problem of dialogic otherness and responsive understanding among interpretants in translation, of responsibility/responsivity, of translatability/intranslatability, the role of iconicity, the relation between visible and invisible, between similar and dissimilar, therefore the paradox of translation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/176381
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