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Exploring Intersemiotic Translation Models -- A Case Study of Ang Lee’s Films

ZHANG, HAOXUAN (2020) Exploring Intersemiotic Translation Models -- A Case Study of Ang Lee’s Films. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Roman Jakobson’s notion of intersemiotic translation provides an opportunity for translation studies scholars to respond to the broad move from the dominance of writing to the dominance of the medium of the image. Due to the linguistic bias of translation studies, however, intersemiotic translation has yet to receive systematic attention. The present research is thus designed to respond to this under-discussed and yet growing phenomenon in the age of digitalization and aims to contribute an understanding of intersemiotic translation by focusing on the case of film as one of the most notable instances of intersemiotic translation.
Though intersemiotic translation enables film to be discussed through the prism of translation studies, past research in this area, which perceives film as a transmission from verbal signs to non-verbal signs, oversimplifies the mechanism of film-making. This comes at a price, however, since the researchers neglect the fact that other parameters of film language, such as cinematography, performance, setting and sound are governed by audio-visual patterns that are included in film’s other prior materials. To remedy this deficiency, a rigorous investigation of these audio-visual patterns has been carried out, and answers are provided for the research question: How do intersemiotic translators translate?
In this dissertation, these quality-determining audio-visual patterns are considered as the film-maker’s intersemiotic translation models, which provide translation solutions for verbal text segments in the screenplay. Using elements from Even-Zohar’s polysystem theory and Rey Chow’s theory of cultural translation, a multi-levelled system of intersemiotic translation is proposed, comprised of a hierarchy of two levels: cultural and semiotic. In this system, each intersemiotic translation model is considered to be the result of a cross-level combination that relates to a specific type of semiotic system within a specific cultural system, employed in one or several parameters of film ‘language’. These intersemiotic translation models and their functions are explored through case studies of three of Ang Lee’s films, namely, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lust, Caution, and Life of Pi.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Oct 2020 09:27

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