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Fillmore's "Scenes-and-Frames-Semantics" and Their Use in translation

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Edda Bock

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of Fillmore's "Scenes-and-Frames-Semantics" and Their Use in translation

Motivation Tackling the Issues Case Frames Scenes-and-Frames-Semantics Scenes and Frames in Translation Checklists and Prototypes "Checklist semantics" and prototype semantics can help us determine the meaning of words and concepts. Current Zeitgeist In order to bring the motivation to life, a linguist needs to add some research and some creativity. Fillmore's Scenes-and-Frames-Semantics and Their Use in Translation Example: In text linguistics, the two levels of frameworks also apply: interdisciplinary work "The need for an integrated view of language structure, language behaviour, language comprehension, and language acquisition" making the material for this need accessible The idea that scientists from different linguistic research areas will be able to speak the same language one day When we see an object, we try to categorize it in order to determine its meaning. In order to do this, we can create a "checklist" of criteria that the object must fulfill to belong to a certain category. Example Category: Cups Checklist: drinking vessel
one handle
small
comes with a saucer This one fulfills all criteria, so I will call it a cup. Prototype Semantics "Checklist Semantics" A prototype is a cognitive reference point against which the object in focus is compared. It is the best representative of a particular category. It relies on experiental knowledge: Our experiences and memories of past situations. Example Category: Cups Prototype Peripheral Member no. 1 Peripheral Member no. 2 A Little Criticism These two types of semantics indicate that category boundaries are clear-cut. However, category boundaries are fuzzy. Would you still consider peripheral member no.2 a cup? Encoding sth. as a cup in a new situation means comparing it to the prototype and to past experiences. Bibliography: John paid Henry (three dollars for) the sandwich. John: Agent paid: predicate Henry: beneficiary the sandwich: object The verb "pay" requires three semantic roles: Agent
Beneficiary
Object The semantic roles (or: "deep cases") are determined by the predicate, which acts as a frame. A Little Criticism Characteristics of Case Frames A case frame limits the perspective given to the sentence. A case frame limits the ways in which the participants can be given grammatical roles. Example: In our sentence, there are three participants to the commercial action: John
Henry
the sandwich agent beneficiary object The verb "pay" requires only one agent, beneficiary, and object. Thus, the possibilities of combination are limited by the case frame. As not everyone is familiar with the term "deep cases", in my opinion, "case frame" is ill chosen. I would prefer the term "predicate frame" since it is much more clear. Two levels of frameworks level of general information provides information of all aspects of an event which belongs to a category, e.g. 'commercial event' goods, money, transfer of ownership, ... level of perspective provides information on a particular event John, Henry, sandwich, pay When I am familiar with the general level, it will be easier for me to understand the particular level. If I know what belongs to a commercial action, I will easily understand our example sentence. creation of the setting/scene in the reader's mind filling the scene with more and more details as the text goes on + = comprehension process This comprehension process is similar to a child's language acquisition: "pencil" the child learns to label the different parts of this situation: paper, pencil, desk, ... The scene is created through personal associations and linguistically encoded by the frame. Scene visual scenes
transactions between people
experiences Frame words
grammatical rules
grammatical categories scenes and frames activate each other. Scenes and Frames Applied: 1 In a dialogue, new frames are introduced constantly: A B A: What are you doing? B: I'm writing. A: What are you writing? B: A letter. asks for scene introduces frame "write" asks within new frame introduces frame "correspondence" Scene "write" "correspondence" Scenes and Frames Applied: 2 Why do we need to distinguish between the two concepts? Sometimes there are scenes we do not know the frame for. Scene ?? Frame: squeegee When we learn the word, only the frame changes, not the scene! Some other Characteristics of Scenes Scenes can be static or dynamic. example: flowers vs. someone drawing a picture of flowers Some scenes require further knowledge of history or culture. example: scar in order to understand the meaning, you have to know that there was a wound first. ... or experiences. example: nausea, fever, ... ...or psychology. example: anger, fear, ... ...or actions and everything connected to them. example: buy, sell, borrow, ... In translation, the frame is represented by the source text in its linguistic components. the translator reads the text, and scenes are evoked by the frame. The scenes in the author's head are, most of the time, not the same as the scenes evoked in the reader's mind. The Process of Translation In order to fully understand the text, the translator must have a working knowledge of the topic at hand. He/she can work with the scenes evoked in the text and add prototypical scenes from his/her own experience. With the preconditions in mind, the translator can... Understand the small scenes within the text Assemble the small scenes into one "big scene" behind the text Find the corresponding frame in the target language The Challenge of Translating The translator has to understand the scenes behind the frames in the SL and transform these into appropriate frames in the TL. Example Analysis Italian stocks fall sharply after Prime Minister Mario Monti says he will resign early and former premier Silvio Berlusconi signals he will run for office again. bbc.co.uk, December 10, 2012 Scene 1: Monti says he will resign early
Scene 2: Berlusconi says he will run for office again
Scene 3: Italian stocks fall sharply Previous knowledge demanded of the translator:

stock markets, especially Italy's
political system of Italy Transforming the Evoked Scenes Into TL Frames Scene: Monti's early resign Monti - Rücktritt - frühzeitig - Amt des Premierministers - Italien Scene: Berlusconi's second run for power Berlusconi - lässt verlauten - erneute Aufstellung - ehemaliger Premier Scene: stock regression Aktienmarkt - Index fällt drastisch - Folge der Neuigkeiten Translation: Auf dem italienischen Börsenmarkt kam es zu einem drastischen Fall der Aktien, nachdem der Premierminister Monti seinen frühzeitigen Rücktritt ankündigte und Silvio Berlusconi, der vor Monti das Amt des Premiers bekleidete, verlauten ließ, sich erneut für den Posten aufstellen lassen zu wollen. Fillmore, Charles (1977): "Scenes-and-frames-semantics". Fundamental Studies in Computer Science. Ed. Antonio Zampolli. Amsterdam. Vannerem, Mia and Mary Snell-Hornby (1994). "Die Szene hinter dem Text: ‚scenes-and-frames-semantics‘ in der Übersetzung". Übersetzungswissenschaft - eine Neuorientierung : zur Integrierung von Theorie und Praxis. Ed. Mary Snell-Hornby. Tübingen: Franck. Kortmann, Bernd (2007). Linguistics: Essentials [2005]. Berlin: Cornelsen. Express the scene within the frame of the target language
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