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Durham e-Theses
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The Pragmatics of It-Cleft and Wh-Cleft Sentences in Literary Texts with Reference to English-Arabic Translation

ELGERWI, IBTISAM,SA.,SH. (2013) The Pragmatics of It-Cleft and Wh-Cleft Sentences in Literary Texts with Reference to English-Arabic Translation. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Transferring the pragmatic meaning of cleft sentences from one language into another is one of the most problematic issues in any translation task whether oral or written. It requires adequate knowledge of the linguistic and structural features as well as of the cultural peculiarities of such constructs in both languages. Filature to apply such knowledge will result in an ambiguous and inaccurate translation, and hence, communication breakdown.
The aim of this study is to highlight the role of pragmatics in translation, focusing on IT-cleft and WH-cleft sentences involved in an Arabic translation of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities by Mounir Albᶜlbakki. The study tries to determine whether the translation of the clefts in this translated literary text is pragmatically transferred into the target text.
The analysis in this thesis is carried out to investigate the following hypotheses: (1) ignoring the pragmatic meaning of IT-cleft sentences and WH-cleft sentences leads to inadequate rendering and consequently communication failure; (2) understanding of the pragmatic meaning of a literary text requires a comprehensive knowledge of its setting; and (3) in translation, transferring the basic/general meaning of the source text is easier than transferring its pragmatic meaning.
For this purpose, this study provides a comprehensive linguistic and pragmatic analysis of the English novel and its Arabic translation. The researcher examines the translation of (32) from the total of (68) extracts in the light of their original settings and situations to pinpoint the pragmatic meaning of the clefts.
The results show that: (1) while 59 % of the pragmatic meaning of the analysed cleft sentences has always not been preserved nonetheless achieved 41 % success-rate has been achieved in this regard; (2) instances of non pragmatic achievment that occurred in the translation of the extracts were due to the translator’s unfamiliarity with or unawareness of the importance of translating such structures; and (3); Albᶜlbakki’s translation of the novel concentrate on lexical accuracy rather than conveying the communicative value and pragmatic meaning of the source text.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Dec 2013 15:36

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