Paraphrase or parasite? The Semiotic Stories of Translation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChinese Semiotic Studies. 2020, 16(1), 1–46 10.1515/css-2020-0001
Translation, for Saussure, assumed the codified rule of language respecting the difference between synchronic and diachronic linguistics. Translation may be regarded as a theoretical possibility, though impossible for the creative speech of language speakers. Peirce’s logical semiotics reasoned the linguistic-and-cultural (linguïcultural) interpretants of received signs. Semiotranslation is a semiotic game to change the symbiosis of two languages into one language. Identified with both Saussure and Peirce, Jakobson’s intralingual, interlingual, and intersemiotic forms of translation propose rewording, translation proper, and transmutation. Peirce’s semiosis creates simple and complex symbols but navigates between translation, semiotranslation, and transduction. Translation derives from the para-functions of replicas in “paraphrase” and “parasite” to signify the multiplicity of ideas and trends in biotranslation. The source text can be re-organized into the iconic activity of Saussurean paraphrase; or the target text can be indexically recontextualized in the parasitical evolution of Peirce’s instinct and facts of life applied to arts — neither approaching pure science.