Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Translation Studies

An Interpretative Study of Parody Word and Its Translation from the View of Mental Spaces Theory

Author LuoZuo
Tutor HeXiaoQin
School Jiangxi University of Finance
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords parody word Mental Space Theory blend formation mechanism translation Hong Lou Meng
CLC H059
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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The figure of speech "parody" was first proposed in China by Mr. Chen Wangdao in his Introduction of Rhetoric in the1930s, and was classified as belonging to what is known as material figure of speech. Such classification to some extent suggests that parody is created in language material other than the original word or phrase. The forms of parody are varied with a variety of materials as its composition. Among these forms, those featuring the lexical can mostly display the characteristics of Chinese parody. Since parody word is created from preexisting expressions, it carries a national stamp and as one of the most popular figures of speech frequently appears in literary works, advertisements, films and television programs, brands, daily conversations and so on. Its popularity is largely derived from the humorous ways of saying things and some catchy phrases. Thus it attracts linguists’attention.With the emergence of cognitive linguistics, a consensus has been reached among linguists that language is a kind of mental and social phenomenon. The view that human cognition can never be separated from human social activities can be traced back to the philosophical assumption that emphasizes the embodied mind----Embodied Philosophy raised by Lakoff and Johnson in1999. Among this school of linguists are also Fauconnier and Turner, who built Mental Space Theory on the basis of Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory. Mental spaces are some specific scenarios in which people understand, image, and memorize concepts. In these spaces people constantly build new spaces in order to process and blend the linguistic information they received or perceived, and finally integrate them into a conceptual integration network. Just like other human mental activities, this process is dynamic and open, involving most information in human social and cognitive activities.The Mental Space Theory has its own working mechanism.First, from the perspective of Mental Space Theory, the context and the connection between concepts can be connected to reveal the formation mechanism of parody word effectively, and help us to deepen the cognitive analysis and exploration, on the one hand, and on the other, more can be revealed of the study of rhetoric. The explanatory power of Mental Spaces is thus proved.In addition, the parody being a linguistic form derived from oral language and experiential and concrete in nature, the forms of parody can make use of the meaning, and also sound, glyph and so on. Parody words are created based on existing phrases, and the forms are various, so parody extends the possibilities of using the figures of speech. Therefore, the translation of parody word can be a challenging task. The language materials I adopt in this thesis is Cao Xueqin’s Hong Lou Meng and Hawkes’s translation. By analyzing the formation path of parody word through Mental Space Theory and the translation texts, my thesis focuses on the issue of translatability of the parody words and some relevant translation strategies.

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