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Durham e-Theses
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Translating Linguistic Metaphors in Both Directions:
A Process-Oriented Study on English-Chinese Translation

WANG, YIFANG (2017) Translating Linguistic Metaphors in Both Directions:
A Process-Oriented Study on English-Chinese Translation.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Distinguished from conceptual metaphor, linguistic metaphor refers to metaphor in fixed linguistic form (words, phrases or sentences) of expression. (Lakoff 1993, pp. 202-203) With the development of modern technology, researchers started to investigate the translation process of linguistic metaphor from empirical approaches (e.g. Sjørup, 2013; Zheng and Xiang, 2011 etc.). However, one critical issue remains unexplored: the relationship between translation directionality and the process of linguistic metaphor translation.
To fill this gap on the language pair Chinese and English, this study is designed to investigate the impact of linguistic metaphor on cognitive effort, and whether this impact is affected by directionality. Thirty-eight novice translators performed a series of translation tasks (first language (L1): Chinese; second language (L2): English), and their performances were recorded by eye tracking, key logging and cue-based Retrospective Think Aloud devices. For objective description, four eye-key combination indicators are calculated in Generalised Linear Models to demonstrate translators’ allocation of cognitive resources, namely, Total Attentional Duration (TA duration), AU count, AU duration and pupil dilation.
The findings suggest that: for the sequential and parallel coordination of Source Text (ST) processing and Target Text (TT) processing, TT processing receives significantly more cognitive effort than ST processing and parallel processing, which partially confirms that Carl and Dragsted (2012) and Hvelplund (2011)’s views on translators’ allocation of cognitive resources are valid for the language pair English and Chinese. Furthermore, it is discovered that the qualitative data from the subjective reflection vary with the quantitative results in this study. For metaphor’s impact on cognitive effort, expression type (linguistic metaphor) can significantly affect participants’ allocation of cognitive resources in both translation directions (Sjørup, 2013; Dagut, 1987; Newmark, 1988), but the results of different indicators are not consistent. And there is also a significant difference between eye-key data and participants’ subjective self-reflections. For the translation directionality, the results partially confirm that the “translation asymmetry” (Chang, 2011) is valid on metaphor related processing: at some perspectives, the translation directionality can significantly affect the relationship between metaphor related expression types and attention-distribution pattern of translation process.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Eye tracking, key-logging, Retrospective Think Aloud (RTA), allocation of cognitive resources, metaphor translation, translation directionality
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Sep 2017 16:43

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