Dissertation > Literature > Literary Theory > Literary Creation > Literary Translation

A Study on Hybridity in Translations of Wuthering Heights

Author JiangZuo
Tutor XuJian
School Xuzhou Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Wuthering Heights Chinese translations hybridity corpus-based translation study
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Wuthering Heights, the masterpiece of the renowned English author Emily Bront? obtains a secure position in the canon of world literature. It also has long been one of the most popular and highly regarded novels in Chinese literature. Since its first Chinese translation came into public in 1930, it is roughly estimated that nearly 48 editions that have been published excluding those rewritten, compiled, simplified translations either for language teaching or adolescence reading by the year of 2010. Among those editions, four translations that distributed in three translation periods have been chosen for a small self-construct monolingual corpus. And in this study, a corpus-based research is conducted to probe into the phenomenon of hybridity mainly from aspects of language, culture and translation skills through both quantitative description and qualitative analysis. Explanations are also made on the factors that might influence the phenomenon of hybridity in each translation.This thesis aims to answer those two research questions. 1) Are the four canonical Chinese translations of Wuthering Heights hybrid? If they are, what are the hybridity in the translations? 2) How to explain the hybridity in the four translations? Major findings are as follows:The existence of hybridity is an inevitable result emerging from cultural contact, exchange, negotiation and acculturation. Hybrid text resulting from interaction of culture and language is a feature inherently possessed in contemporary literary translations. There is no exception to Chinese translations of Wuthering Heights. In general, statistics and examples in this research suggest that the phenomena of hybridity in the four translations are prominent in three aspects.Firstly, the language system in the four translations witnesses the phenomena of hybridity with changes and deviations being noticed from the lexical level, syntactic level to textual level. At morphological level, the emergence of transliteration and the tendency of affixation are capable of offering readers a direct sense of unfamiliarization at the first glance. And meanwhile, the process of absorbing and reconstructing of changes in the word formation also occurs aiming to make heterogenous phenomena more suitable to the Chinese tradition. At syntactic level, discussions are focused on changes and deviations both in sentence compositions and sentence types, which contribute to the phenomenon of hybridity. Referring to the changes in sentence compositions, more and more complicated attributive structures with new compositions as head words have been used in English-Chinese literary translations. This change helps to make a hypotactic and implicate logical relation in target language. New structures such as“NV Construction”,“PP-Construction”and“PP-de-Construction”are found in the corpora. This evolution of DV-Construction, an imitation of Indo-European language constructions blurs the distinction between verbs or adjectives and nouns by offering nominal functions to verbs or adjectives as substitutes for action nouns in Chinese. Referring to the sentence types, changes also took place in passives and descriptive sentences. Passives have been used to express positive and neutral meanings. The copular verb“shi (是)”, influenced by the Indo-European grammar system, is added between subject and predicate in conventional Chinese descriptive structure. This behavior, in a strict sense, makes those deviated descriptive clauses in the disguise of declarative clauses. As to the textual level, analysis is concentrated on hybridity that resulted from post-positioned subordinate clauses in the corpus. A quantity of connectives has been used in the corpus which serves as an accelerator in capturing a much more explicit semantic and logical relationship. A small percentage of adversative and conditional clauses are post-positioned, with the independent clauses being placed ahead of the dependent ones under the influence of European grammatical system. Statistics suggest that the phenomenon of Europeanization is prominently scattered in the corpora relating to all aspects of language. However, none of those changes or deviations has undermined the conventional Chinese linguistic system. Being an accelerator, those heterogeneous elements have helped to make the language system of the translations“third code”, a hybridization subordinates to both the source and target language systems for its impurity.Secondly, study on the culture-loaded words in the translations is another evidence for hybridity of the target texts. As a carrier of culture, a hybrid language system attributes to the hybridity in its culture. In general, there are two kinds of hybrid cultures in translated texts: the explicit and the implicit. The explicit hybridity in translations stands for the behavior of endowing source cultural identities to the target culture by making them sound heterogeneous or unfamiliar to the target readers. In this paper, analysis on culture-loaded words from kinship term, religious words to other social words aims to release the implicit hybrid elements in the target culture. The implicit hybridity refers to the subscription to acceptability originating in the target culture. This intention determines translators to filtrate or transplant exoticism of the source texts into phrases or words that readers in the target culture are accustomed to. In most cases, this kind of texts is often translated in complete accordance to the norms of target language and cultural systems. Thus they usually seem to be as smoothly and naturally as fully home-grown non-translated original works. Under such circumstance, it is hard to term such kinds of translations as hybrid if examinations are only focused on linguistic features. However, in light of the cultural disparity as well as taking the source context into consideration, the behavior of using equivalents in the target culture to filtrate or transplant heterogeneous phenomena of the source culture is just the right evidence for hybrid translations at cultural level.Thirdly, the phenomenon of hybridity also lies in the choice of translation skills employed by each translator. Examples from the corpus suggest that all of these four translators use a combination of translation skills in his or her translation process. All translated texts are products of hybrid skill pairs including amplification and omission, combination and division and so on.Besides, this paper also explains the factor—translator’s subjectivity that influences the degree of hybridity in each translation.This thesis consists of five chapters. The first chapter is a brief introduction of Chinese translations of Wuthering Heights, research purposes, significance of this study and layout of this thesis. The second chapter is literature review, which highlights the theoretical basis with an overview of previous studies on hybridity from disciplines of linguistics, literature and translation theories. And a review of previous studies on Wuthering Heights as well as on corpus-based translation studies is also given. The third chapter is methodology, which is composed of research design, research questions, principles and procedures of corpus construction as well as research tools adopted in this study. Chapter four is data collection and analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis will be initiated on hybridity in the corpus from aspects of language, culture to translation skills. Explanations on the factor that might influence the phenomenon of hybridity in each translation will also be given out. Chapter five makes a conclusion of the research findings and limitations of present study.

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