讲座题目：Intra-language Generalizations and Variations of Narrative Viewpoint: A Multiple-Parallel-Text Approach to “Tense Shifting” in a Tenseless Language
主讲人：吕维伦博士 (Language Center and the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University)
Wei-lun Lu is Assistant Professor at the Language Center and the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Wei-lun Lu holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from National Taiwan University. Prior to his appointment, he was a Fulbright Scholar to Rice University (2009-10), U.S.A., Guest Researcher at Leiden University (2011-12), The Netherlands, Assistant Professor at National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences (Fall 2012), and a Research Fellow in the English Department of Masaryk University (Spring 2013-Fall 2015). He adopts a linguistic (discourse-analytic) approach to culture and thinking. His research specialization includes translation of world masterpieces and cognitive linguistics.
The present paper presents a Multiple Parallel Text (Multi-ParT, see Lu and Verhagen 2016; Lu, Verhagen and Su 2018) approach to contrastive stylistic research on narrative viewpoint, comparing an original world masterpiece and multiple versions of published translation in one language. The study focuses on tense shifting in English narratives (a tense-marked language) and their Chinese translations (which is a notorious tenseless language, e.g. Lin 2012 and Liu 2014).
Past research on narrative viewpoint has been methodologically based on introspection or use of mono-lingual texts/corpora. However, as language production is heavily influenced by all sorts of context, there has been no way of studying the interaction of the linguistic tool and narrative viewpoint by controlling for the same linguistic, physical and social context, while keeping the language production contextualized. In view of this problem, I propose that use of parallel texts (translations) constitutes an efficient methodological opportunity for contrastive stylistic research across languages in a contextualized way—if one sees the author and the translator(s) equally as sensible text producers, then by keeping identical most other contextual factors, including linguistic, physical, social context, production mode and genre, researchers may empirically study the role played by the linguistic tool in viewpointing stretches of discourse where all text producers try to get across highly similar (if not identical) messages. However, such use of multiple parallel texts (or translations) in studying viewpoint has received only little attention (with an exception being Tabakowska 2014).
I propose that with multiple translated versions in the same language of the same source text, the methodology allows one to control for the contextual factors not only for text producers of different languages but also for a given number of high proficient ones of the same language. The methodology is powerful in the sense that it allows one to make generalizations over a number of verbalizations of the same literary scene, which will show how one language systematically differs from another in verbalizing and conceptualizing the same usage event. It also allows one to see to what extent the language users vary in terms of viewpoint management, when the various contextual factors are controlled. Use of published translations also ensures the quality of the language production.
The research issue of the paper is: how is a literary scene viewpointed (Dancygier and Sweetser ed. 2012) in narratives of the same content in different languages? In particular, tense shifting is the conventional linguistic tool for marking narrative viewpoint in English, but do Mandarin translations, without a corresponding tense marking system, have a systematic solution to the stylistic effect? To what extent do the translations vary and converge?
It is hoped that the paper will help deepen our understanding of how narrative viewpoint work cross-linguistically and provide a useful methodological option for contrastive stylistic research, with tense shifting as the most typical illustration.
Dancygier, Barbara and Eve Sweetser (eds.). 2012. Viewpoint in language: A multimodal perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lin, Jo-wang. 2012. Tenselessness. The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect, ed. by Robert I. Binnick, 669-695. New York: Oxford University Press.
Liu, Danqing. 2014. Lun yuyan kucang de wujinqiyong yuanze (On the principle of maximum utilization of linguistic inventory) 论语言库藏的物尽其用原则. Zhongguo Yuwen 中国语文 362:387-401.
Lu, Wei-lun and Arie Verhagen. 2016. Shifting viewpoints: How does that actually work across languages? An exercise in parallel text analysis. In Barbara Dancygier, Wei-lun Lu, Arie Verhagen (ed.). Viewpoint and the Fabric of Meaning: Form and use of viewpoint tools across languages and modalities, 169-190. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Lu, Wei-lun, Arie Verhagen and I-wen Su. 2018. A Multiple-Parallel-Text Approach for Viewpoint Research Across Languages: The Case of Demonstratives in English and Chinese. Expressive minds and artistic creations, ed. by Szilvia Csábi, 131-157. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tabakowska, Elżbieta. 2014. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in grammatical wonderlands. In Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds.), Cognitive Grammar in literature, 101–116. Amsterdam: John Benjamin.