Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt

Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt

Lexico-Semantic, Stylistic and Structural Analysis of Language Units/Sense Units of the Excerpt

The analysis of this excerpt, like any complex analysis of a text, should be started from the title, which is metaphorical by nature (Arrangement in Black and White). Here is a case when the real mean­ing of the title can be established only after a thorough semantic and stylistic analysis of the passage. Apart from this, some extralingual factors, as the once strained racial relationship between the whites and blacks in the USA, should be taken into account. And yet the title, as becomes clear from its component parts (Arrangement, be­tween, Black, White) already discloses the main idea of the excerpt. At any rate it hints to the intention of the white woman character to get acquainted with a well-known Negro singer, performer of spiritu­als. This gives the clue to some suggestions conceiving the meaning of the title, which may have the following versions in Ukrainian: 1. “Влаштування зустрічі білої з чорним”, 2. “Зустріч білої з негром-співаком”, 3. “Знайомство білої з кольоровим співаком”.

None of these suggested titles, however, is felicitous enough to be accepted as final, since neither of them fully expresses the main idea of the excerpt and the story as a whole. Each of the suggested titles fails to express the falsehood of the woman character who is not simply a white, but a racist white. Taking this negative feature of the character into consideration, one can offer some additional Ukrainian versions for the title, which might be more expressive and closer to the original sense: 1. “Біла на концерті чорного співака”; 2. “Біла на концерті кольорового співака”; 3. “Відвідини концерту кольорового співака білою “поклонницею” таланту”; 4. “Біла “поклонниця таланту” кольорового співака”.

Out of these four offered versions only the last appears to be close to the content of the story and intention of the authoress. It expresses to some extent the falsehood and the double-dealing con­duct of the woman character, which is partly reflected in the title. It also hints to the hidden negative features of the main character of the story, though even this Ukrainian version does not fully express the meaning of the original title. Nevertheless, it may be the beginning to the solution of this far from easy question and serve as a basis for other versions, which may be closer to the concept of D.Parker, who has given a most vivid portrayal of a regular mentally and psychologically split character who proclaims her principle of respect to the equal­ity of different races and acts, just on the contrary. This striking fea­ture in the psychological state and behavior of the female character gives grounds for suggesting some more Ukrainian versions of the title, some of which may be really final: 1. “Поклонниця” таланту кольорового митця”, 2. “Біла “поклонниця” таланту чорного співака”, 3. “Вдавана поклонниця таланту”, and even a single word version “Хамелеон”.

The most fitting in comparison with the preceding four suggested titles may be considered the last two of these offered versions, one of which may be chosen (with some transformation) as absolutely ac­ceptable in Ukrainian: “Вдавана поклонниця таланту” or “Палка “прихильниця” таланту”.

The lengthy contemplation upon the title of the excerpt/story testifies to the difficulties facing the translator of belles-lettres, which may sometimes become insurmountable. In view of this, some losses, as a result of the great “resistance” of the original text, must be condoned (виправдані). Despite the difficulties, the translator should never desist from the efforts to select the most fitting target language variants for any language unit/sense unit of the source language.

It must be emphasized that the process of selecting the se­mantic and structural equivalents for certain sense units in the target language requires not only profound knowledge of the source language, but also, and not to a smaller degree, that of his native tongue. Hence, of paramount importance is the translator’s skill in selecting among synonymous sense units of the source language the only suitable versions in the target language, as will be observed further, when analysing separate blocks of sentences from the excerpt. This aim is achieved via a thorough lexico-semantic, grammatical/structural and stylistic analysis of sense units during the process of translating each single sentence of the excerpt/passage below. It may also be inter­esting, and not only for an inexperienced translator, to follow the analy­sis beginning with the structure of the first primary predication word-group, which reads as follows: The woman with the pink velvet pop­pies turned round the assisted gold of her hair…

The predicate turned round may be erroneously understood by the student as вінок навколо пофарбованих у золотавий колір кіс/волосся, which would be ab­solutely wrong, since turned here means повернула голову з пофарбованим у золотавий колір волоссям. A proof to this is the second homogeneous predicate traversed (the crowded room) with an interesting gate combining a skip with a sidle. The Ukrainian versions/ equivalents of this participial word-group may be: 1. енергійно боком проштовхалась через переповнену залу, 2. прожогом, бочкуючи, проштовхалась… These two variants are possible due to the sense of the word-group (combining) a skip with a sidle (in a word-for-word translation “боком з підскоком”). Equally of interest may also be the last homogeneous predicate with its conclusion clutched the lean hand of her host, which should be transformed through addition into the following sentence: /, наблизившись до господаря, схопила його за худорляву руку.

The dialogue between the woman character and her host is of interest both from the structural/syntactic, stylistic and semantic points of view. All these dialogues are both abrupt, elliptical, and sentence-type, presenting in some places regular monologues. Their peculiar features, naturally, must also be maintained in Ukrainian. The highly emotional nature of speech presented in the dialogues of the woman character, her extensive use of subjective and objective modality of­ten requires the employment of such means of expressing modality in Ukrainian as modal particles.

Part 2: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 3: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 4: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 5: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt