Argumentative text structure and translation
This study proposes a method for describing the structure of argumentative texts. Two sample texts are described, and the descriptions are used as tools in translation quality assessment. The method contains problem-solution analysis, interactional and illocutionary analysis, and macrostructure analysis. The texts are shown to be hierarchical organisations of minitexts, in which the 'PS-components' of situation, problem, solution, and evaluation are identified. The problem alone can constitute a minitext. The text is looked at as an implicit dialogue in which an imaginary reader is assumed to challenge the writer. Therefore the problem component has an assertive illocution: the reader's agreement is not taken for granted. The problem component conveys the writer's thesis and its justification. The solution component has a directive illocution: it conveys a recommendation or a proposal. These features of the problem and solution are presented as text type markers. The relations inside and between minitexts are hypotactic or paratactic along the principles suggested by Grimes (1975). Macrostructure analysis organises the content of the texts into typologically distinct sets of macropropositions, which constitute summaries of the PS-components. The descriptions of the sample texts are used to assess translations of extracts from them. It is tentatively suggested that success or failure in the conveyance of the structure highlighted by the method may account for overall impressions of translation equivalence. It is also suggested that access to the entire text may help translators to perceive such structure and to convey it in the translation. Experiments are outlined for the testing of these hypotheses. ...
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