The application of case grammar to translation (summary) - peter newmark

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Chapter 12- The application of Case Grammar to Translation

Peter Newmark

Taken from Peter Newmark's A Textbook of Translation (1988)

• Lexis describes objects, actions, and qualities (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs)

• Grammar gives you the general and main focus about a text. It also indicates who does what to whom, why, where, when, how, etc. Its main function is to indicate the relation between the different objects.

• Halliday affirmed that lexis begins where grammar ends. Newmark, however, believes that they partly overlap.

• As translators, we are interested in grammar only as a transmitter of meaning. Therefore, structuralist grammar and the works of Saussure and Chomsky are of little interest to us. Since
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A word such as growth may have strong implications in a particular context, but it may be unnecessary to fill them in. It depends on contextual factors. Another example is the implied categories associated with the verbs ‘to happen’ (time/place) and ‘to behave’ (manner of behavior). The translator would have to supply these details if they are lacking in the SL text. On the other hand, the missing partner of genitive case expressions gives more specific form to the named term. Since valency theory posits the dependency of all cases on the verb, it does not include the semantic value of the genitive, even though it is dependent on a verb in the deep structure.

c) Optional: These are semantic and stylistic. The translator has the liberty to supply them or not as he wishes. This is partly a pragmatic decision. Typical examples are instances such as time, place and duration which may be optional.

d) Supplementary information: This is referential. It consists of additional information, not given in the text, but which the translator chooses to supply from his knowledge of the situation and the cultural context.

3) Various types of case-partner

A translator cannot restrict himself to a limited number of gaps. Faced with an incomplete verb or verbal noun or adjective, he may have to consider who does what, to whom, with what, how, when, where?. Newmark takes the essential to be ‘Who does what for

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