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Title: Construing musical discourses : axial reasoning for a contrastive description of habitual ideational resources in English and Korean, with reflection on translation
Authors: Macdonald, Kathleen Anne
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) based descriptions of English discourses have led to useful real world insights and applications: from extracting hidden ideologies in journalistic reports (Lukin, Butt & Matthiessen, 2004); to developing literacy programmes for disadvantaged learners (Christie & Derewianka, 2008; Martin & Rose, 2005). Its strength comes from not only the systematicity of key principles in the framework, but also from its history of comprehensive descriptions of languages. While the description of languages other than English in the SFL tradition has been seminal in its formulation, particularly Chinese (Halliday, 1956/1976, 1959), the work in and potential input from Korean language has only just begun (Kim, 2007; Choi, 2013; Park, 2013). In addition, linguistic scholars have long heralded translation for its potential to inform theories of language (Firth, 1957, 1961; Hjelmslev, 1947, 1961; Halliday, 1961). However, the work in Translation Studies has been predominantly concerned with how knowledge about language theory and translation principles can be usefully applied to translation training and everyday practice. Yet there is great potential for SFL-based descriptions of Korean and English to be further informed through phenomenological patterns which emerge in translating between the two languages. This has potential not only to inform such bilingual activities as language learning and the art of translation itself, but also to further theories of language and our understanding of the universe (Whorf, 1956). Importantly, it may help to bring into focus those realities created through language by the 'language habits of our community [which] predispose certain choices of interpretation' (Sapir, in Whorf, 1956) for a clearer understanding of ourselves and our neighbours. This study uses Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as a general framework to investigate particular differences in the ways that English and Korean represent experience and logic within the restricted domain of music (Firth, 1956; Bakhtin, 1981). Discoursing about traditional music provided a locus of 'reality' in the data, one which, as a cultural legacy, carries a sustained imprint of the psyche, customs and historical pulses of the peoples and their languages (Schopenhauer, 1966; Pollard, 2008). The data is composed by multiple authors and regard contemporary artists who perform and compose re-interpretations of music traditions with roots particularly in the 1800s: romantic music (reformulated as the authentic movement) with the fortepiano for the English context; and (chongak and) sanjo music (reinvented as changjak kugak) with the kayagum for Korean. Comparability was also achieved by selecting texts which served similar social functions in roughly similar situations. Following Ure, Matthiessen and Teruya's text typology for fields of activity (see Matthiessen, 2015), each of the 16 texts in the comparable corpus (8 English texts; and 8 Korean) performs socio-semiotic processes of either expounding on phenomena (in this case, explaining musical instruments, musical notation systems and manuscripts, music genre innovations) or reporting information (reports on music events and lectures, musician institutional profiles and biodata of musicians).
The comparable corpus, built in this way, allowed for investigation of divergence in structural realisations of ideational meanings at the level of lexis and grammar. These were investigated in the clause as experiential meanings (PROCESSES) and beyond the clause as logical relations (TAXIS, EXPANSION and PROJECTION). Perhaps the starkest differences were to be found in the patterns of preference in representing logico-semantic relations in the unfolding of experience in semiotic resources. For example, as a general observation, the English texts used more words, but packaged them in to fewer clauses (8,685 words:681 clauses), especially hypotactic clauses, than the Korean ones (7,372 words:1,031 clauses). Korean engaged far more embedding than English in all texts, but particularly in the expounding texts where embedding was a feature of relational: identifying processes. Moreover, Korean has a productive, although covertly operating, system of elaboration, and far more complex system of enhancement features than English. The finding challenges Choi's claims about elaboration in her study of logical meaning, based on a similar sized corpus in Korean (2013), but aligns with her findings on enhancement and those by Teruya in Japanese (2006). These findings were extrapolated to the level of discourse semantics, with lexicogrammar taken as the view from below in reasoning about contextual and cultural encoding in discourses of music, contributing empirically to Halliday's notion that a text stands in a metaphorical relation to the clause (Halliday, 1981). This study contributes to the dimension of systems of resources for English and Korean, by extending in delicacy the system networks elaborated by Halliday & Matthiessen (2014), Martin et al (1997; 2010) for English; and adding to the rigour of those put forward by Park (2013) and Choi (2013), for experiential and logical resources (respectively) in Korean. One systematic difference is the way that all Korean texts, regardless of text type, build an argument through evidence packaged in hypotactic clauses before offering the negotiable element in the final independent clause. In fact, given the lack of Tense-Aspect-Mood marking on many initial paratactic clauses, it could be argued that Korean has less true symmetry in parataxis (coordination). The study used an axial reasoning approach to describe and compare structural and systemic resources in Korean and English, with careful consideration of both overt linguistic structures and covert reactances (phenotypes and cryptotypes, respectively) (Whorf, 1956; Lee, 1996; Davidse, 1999; Quiroz, 2013). Consideration of these dimenensions and more general features of the respective ideational system networks, was useful for exploring how English and Korean speakers habitually construe the world. The study also uses translation as a means for identifying those linguistic resources most at risk, and alternatively most productive, when these discourses of music were construed in the language of the other (Catford, 1965; Munday, 2016). Thus, an additional parallel corpus was developed during the project as translations of the 16 texts (8 Korean-English translations, KE; and 8 English-Korean translations, EK), with the Korean to English translations being held under scrutiny for evidences of the Linguistic Relativity Principle (Sapir, 1921; Whorf & Trager, 1938; Whorf, LTR, 1956; Lee, 1996). The KE translations were analysed in the same way as the texts in the comparable corpus, and some interesting patterns emerged, distinguishing the translations from both the ideational meanings in their Source Language (SL, in this case Korean), as well as from that expected from the Target Language (TL, in this case, English). The KE translations, for example, tended to follow the Korean pattern of ordering dependent clauses before final ones in hypotactic arrangements, which is a more marked representation in English (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014, p.442). While delicate features in ideational meanings between the two languages resulted in borrowings from the other language, explications or conversely as untranslated or less accessible concepts, it was the more general features of the system networks developed earlier that lead to the greatest divergences from the original configurations. Those linguistic behaviours that are preferred in either language thus contribute to a divergent manner of construing musical domains. In a small way, this research offers empirical evidence for the influence of language in what we notice and value in the world around us, in support of insights from the great legacy of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee-Whorf nearly a century ago.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Discourse analysis
Translating and interpreting
Language and languages
Pages: 540 pages : color illustrations
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