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Title: A corpus-driven investigation of translator style : a study of Humphrey Davies' Arabic-English translations of Midaq Alley and The Yacoubian Building
Author: Altamimi, Bader Abdulaziz S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 312X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of this study is to isolate the individual stylistic traits of one translator, Humphrey Davies, within the framework of descriptive translation studies. Davies’ English translation of the Arabic novel Midaq Alley is compared, using a corpus-driven approach based on keyword lists, to another English translation of the same source text by another translator, Trevor Legassick. By making this initial corpus-driven comparison and subsequently generating a keyword list for Davies’ Midaq Alley, the stylistic features regarded as indicative of the translator style and meriting further investigation declared themselves and, accordingly, hypotheses regarding Davies’ translator style were constructed and then tested by carrying out a thorough corpus-based investigation. A consistent pattern of choices was identified in the translation of four types of words: culture-specific items, including culture-specific common expressions and proper nouns; terms of respect; reporting verbs and function words, including the contraction ‘’d’ and ‘that’ as complementizer, relativizer, demonstrative pronoun and demonstrative determiner. For lexical words, the results show that Davies’ tends to transliterate foreign words and supplement them with extratextual gloss, reproduces the structures of proper nouns, preserves the terms of respect by literal translation and translates literally the reporting verbs. Regarding function words, Davies tends to make heavy use of contractions and all types of ‘that’. Generally, the findings show that Davies stays close to the source text compared to Legassick who moves much further from the source text. The identified stylistic features are investigated in Davies’ English translation of another Arabic novel (The Yacoubian Building) to check whether these features are stable across one of his other translations. The findings show that most of the features revealed through the comparison of Davies to Legassick are stable across the Davies’ two translations. Despite limitations, it is anticipated that the approach developed in this study will be fruitfully adapted for further rigorous and replicable analysis of translator style.
Supervisor: Munday, Jeremy ; Dickins, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available