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Home / Regular Issue / JSSH Vol. 32 (1) Mar. 2024 / JSSH-8849-2022


Occurrence of Ellipsis and Shift in French-English Translation: A Study of Madame Bovary

Mohamed Abdou Moindjie

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 32, Issue 1, March 2024


Keywords: Cohesion, ellipsis, French-English translation, shifts, translation procedures

Published on: 19 March 2024

Ellipsis is a cohesive device that omits an element or elements in a sentence whose interpretation depends on presupposition in the context; it is about linguistic changes that occur in translation. This study aims to describe ellipsis, shift and their effect on meaning in French-English translation. The study is a qualitative research study carried out manually on Madame Bovary. The novel is wholly read, and passages of the novel which demonstrate cohesive devices of ellipsis and shift are selected and analysed. This study is supported by Halliday and Hasan’s theory (1976) of textual cohesion and Catford’s theory (1965) of translation shifts. The analysis reveals that English is more elliptical, whereas French is more demonstrative due to some language peculiarities and language norms. It specifies that some language peculiarities (concreteness and abstractness) and language norms (language usage options) are determinants of the translation procedures of ellipsis from French into English. Class shift and modulation are the translation procedures that are more functional than other shift categories and translation procedures in dealing with ellipses in French-English translation.

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