Relative and Dynamic Aspects of Variation in Response to Lexical Repetition: A Corpus-Based Case Study of The Translations of Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury into Lithuanian, Polish And Russian

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis reports on an exploratory corpus-based study of the dynamic and hybrid aspects of response to lexical repetition in the three translations of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury into Lithuanian, Polish and Russian. The main aim was to explore and devise the dimensions of comparing the translators’ choices in terms of shapes that I argue to be variably sensitive to the factors of frequency, content and distance among word repetitions found in an original text in contrast to the mainstream assumption of Translation Theory that the tendency is to lose repetitions for aesthetic reasons.

One of the methodological problems of research into translating repetitions is that choices for repetitions are usually quantified unsystematically with a focus entirely on repetition loss. Thus the underlying patterns of difference and similarity in response to repetition remain invisible in comparison. The solution was to systematically analyze all the choices that the translators had made for a given set of repetitions. Analysis had to be data-driven and its method had to befit the idea that, though they are scattered across an original text, word repetitions have a continuing effect on the translators.

Digital tools are many, but few offer straightforward solutions for the manipulation of translated texts in relation to each other and to their common original. To search for meaningful patterns in unruly frequency data within and across the translations, those tools had to be applied in a way for which they were not specifically designed. The method of string analysis and experimental visualization were employed to identify meaningful patterns in non-contiguous frequency data.

The results of this study offer hermeneutical insights into the significance of frequency data in building theory on how word repetitions are translated across different languages as well as the practical tools of string analysis for further large scale research.
Date of Award30 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorWillard McCarty (Supervisor)


  • literary translation
  • data visualization
  • word frequencies
  • text modelling
  • digital humanities
  • William Faulkner

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