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Textual Semantics and Literature: Corpus, Texts, Translation

Abstract : Realizing that linguistics ignores textuality to concentrate on sentences understood as mere additions of words and that literary criticism takes it as reflection of a reference (the world, the author, society, the reader) or as vehicle of concepts, François Rastier initiates a textual semantics aiming to combine textual disciplines which have been isolated or have fallen into oblivion (like rhetoric), in order to promote a new hermeneutics meant to account for those specific combinations between dialect, sociolect and idiolect. Textual semantics offers linguistic tools to study textuality, literary or not, and literary tools to interpretive linguistics. This paper locates textual semantics within the linguistic sphere, alongside other semantics, and with regard to literary criticism. Then, three areas are selected where research has been fruitful. The relationship between corpus and texts is examined from various angles, first genetic, then generic and intertextual. The one between texts and passages is meant to show how semantic backgrounds and forms are perceived, with the latter standing out against the former, how backgrounds can follow each other or be connected, how forms can be reshaped by adding or deleting traits. Finally, translating offers a field where textual semantics allows assessment of the plausibility of interpretations, and consequently of the value of successive productions. The translating practice teaches that one does not only translate from one language to another, but also from one genre to another, located within another culture, and that the challenge is to recreate a semantic context rather than a sum of sentences. It shows that in addition to the description of the combination between the said and the saying, what is raised is the question of the articulation between point of view and guarantee, an issue which can also be addressed to the wide range of cultural objects.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 9:10:31 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 11:00:04 AM

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Christine Chollier. Textual Semantics and Literature: Corpus, Texts, Translation. Signata - Annales des sémiotiques, Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2014, Littérature et sémiotique, pp.77-99. ⟨10.4000/signata.461⟩. ⟨hal-02561020⟩

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