Herding together: On semiotic-translational branches, fields and disciplines

Ritva Hartama-Heinonen

Punctum, 1(2): 39-52, 2015
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2015.0014


Those ‘who pursue a given branch herd together. They understand one another; they live in the same world, while those who pursue another branch are for them foreigners.’ This quote summarizes how Charles S. Peirce not only characterized researchers in 1903, but also described how to classify different scientific branches. In the same Peircean vein, the article focuses on the essence of disciplinary fields and boundaries, and poses the question of whether semiotic translation research constitutes a field in which researchers understand each other and share the world of research both theoretically and methodologically. Semiotic approaches to translation can be divided into two: they contribute either to the semiotics of translation or to semiotic Translation Studies – a distinction that reflects the primary disciplinary adherence. Consequently, the question of herding-together-and-understanding is approached from two vantage points in search of a common ground: is it translation or semiotics as a discipline or a methodology that should be the combining factor? Evidence of reciprocal influence and understanding in general or the need for it is discussed with emphasis on five claims concerning the nature of the semiotics of translation.

KEYWORDS: Semiotics of translation; Semiotic translation studies; Translation Studies; Multidisciplinarity
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