Introduction: Literary Texts and their Translations as an Object of Research
This special issue of the International Journal of Literary Linguistics offers seven state-of-the-art contributions on the current linguistic study of literary translation. Although the articles are based on similar data – literary source texts and their translations – they focus on diverse aspects of literary translation, study a range of linguistic phenomena and utilize different methodologies. In other words, it is an important goal of this special issue to illuminate the current diversity of possible approaches in the linguistic study of translated literary texts within the discipline of translation studies. At the same time, new theoretical and empirical insights are opened to the study of the linguistic phenomena chosen by the authors of the articles and their representation or use in literary texts and translations. The analyzed features range from neologisms to the category of passive and from spoken language features to the representation of speech and multilingualism in writing. Therefore, the articles in this issue are not only relevant for the study of literary translation or translation theory in general, but also for the disciplines of linguistics and literary studies – or most importantly, for the cross-disciplinary co-operation between these three fields of study.
The common theme that all these articles share is how the translation process shapes, transfers and changes the linguistic properties of literary texts as compared to their sources texts, other translations or non-translated literary texts in the same language and how this question can be approached in research. All articles provide new information about the forces that direct and affect translators’ textual choices and the previously formulated hypotheses about the functioning of such forces. The articles illustrate how translators may perform differently from authors and how translators’ and authors’ norms may diverge at different times and in different cultures. The question of how translation affects the linguistic properties of literary translations is approached from the viewpoint of previously proposed claims or hypotheses about translation. In the following, we will introduce these viewpoints for readers who are not familiar with the recent developments in translation studies. At the same time, we will shortly present the articles in this issue.