Dialectal Speech in Literature and Translation : Bachelor Degree Thesis in English Linguistics
Abstract: This essay studies how dialectal speech is reflected in written literature and how this phenomenon functions in translation. With this purpose in mind, Styron's Sophie's Choice and Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are analysed using samples of non-standard orthography which have been applied in order to reflect the dialect, or accent, of certain characters. In the same way, Lundgren's Swedish translation of Sophie's Choice and Ferres and Rolfe's Spanish version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are analysed. The method consists of linguistically analysing a few text samples from each novel, establishing how dialect is represented through non-standard orthography, and thereafter, comparing the same samples with their translation into another language in order to establish whether dialectal features are visible also in the translated novels. It is concluded that non-standard orthography is applied in the novels in order to represent each possible linguistic level, including pronunciation, morphosyntax, and vocabulary. Furthermore, it is concluded that while Lundgren's translation intends to orthographically represent dialectal speech on most occasions where the original does so, Ferres and Rolfe's translation pays no attention to dialectology. The discussion following the data analysis establishes some possible reasons for the exclusion of dialectal features in the Spanish translation considered here. Finally, the reason for which this study contributes to the study of dialectology is declared.
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