The Possibility of Language

A discussion of the nature of language, with implications for human and machine translation

| Brigham Young University at Provo
| Brigham Young University at Provo
ISBN 9789027216144 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781556196959 (USA) | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027283573 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
This book is about the limits of machine translation. It is widely recognized that machine translation systems do much better on domain-specific controlled-language texts (domain texts for short) than on dynamic general-language texts (general texts for short). The authors explore this general — domain distinction and come to some uncommon conclusions about the nature of language. Domain language is claimed to be made possible by general language, while general language is claimed to be made possible by the ethical dimensions of relationships. Domain language is unharmed by the constraints of objectivism, while general language is suffocated by those constraints. Along the way to these conclusions, visits are made to Descartes and Saussure, to Chomsky and Lakoff, to Wittgenstein and Levinas. From these conclusions, consequences are drawn for machine translation and translator tools, for linguistic theory and translation theory. The title of the book does not question whether language is possible; it asks, with wonder and awe, why communication through language is possible.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 14]  1995.  xxvi, 276 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Foreword: Rapprochement and reconciliation
Marilyn Gaddis Rose †
Foreword: Languages and machines
W. John Hutchins
1. Limits in search of a cause
2. Macine translation
3. The wall
4. Possibilities
5. Implications
Subject index
Author index
“No readers are going to be neutral or indifferent. [This book’s] arguments deserve the most careful consideration by all those concerned with the fundamental aims and future prospects of both human and machine translation.”
“For nearly half a century, linguistics and comparative literature have disputed the terrain of translation studies. ... For practicing translators, who have belittled this dispute from a distance, now is the time to start reading [this book].”
Cited by

Cited by 22 other publications

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2017.  In Crowdsourcing and Online Collaborative Translations [Benjamins Translation Library, 131], Crossref logo
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2017.  In Reflections on Translation Theory [Benjamins Translation Library, 132], Crossref logo
Casillas, Arantza & Raquel Mart�nez
2004. Bitext Generation Through Rich Markup. Computers and the Humanities 38:3  pp. 223 ff. Crossref logo
Chesterman, Andrew
1998. Causes, Translations, Effect. Target. International Journal of Translation Studies 10:2  pp. 201 ff. Crossref logo
Chesterman, Andrew
2001. Proposal for a Hieronymic Oath. The Translator 7:2  pp. 139 ff. Crossref logo
Gambier, Yves
2018.  In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 179 ff. Crossref logo
Giammarresi, Salvatore & Guy Lapalme
2016.  In Border Crossings [Benjamins Translation Library, 126],  pp. 205 ff. Crossref logo
Jiménez-Crespo, Miguel A.
2020. The “technological turn” in translation studies. Translation Spaces 9:2  pp. 314 ff. Crossref logo
Jorgensen, Stig W.
1999. Is MT translation? Reflections on a recent assault. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 11:4  pp. 531 ff. Crossref logo
Kenny, Dorothy
1999. CAT Tools in an Academic Environment. Target. International Journal of Translation Studies 11:1  pp. 65 ff. Crossref logo
Kenny, Dorothy, Joss Moorkens & Félix do Carmo
2020. Fair MT. Translation Spaces 9:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Killman, Jeffrey
2018.  In Translation, Globalization and Translocation,  pp. 137 ff. Crossref logo
Laygues, Arnaud
2006. Le traducteur semeur d’éthique. TTR : traduction, terminologie, rédaction 17:2  pp. 45 ff. Crossref logo
Melby, Alan
1996. Machine Translation and other Translation Technologies. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 16  pp. 86 ff. Crossref logo
Nurminen, Mary & Maarit Koponen
2020. Machine translation and fair access to information. Translation Spaces 9:1  pp. 150 ff. Crossref logo
O’hagan, Minako
2004. Book Review: Douglas Robinson. Performative Linguistics: Speaking and Translating as Doing Things with Words. New York/London: Routledge, 2003. ix+260pp.. Machine Translation 18:4  pp. 337 ff. Crossref logo
Quah, C. K.
2006.  In Translation and Technology,  pp. 22 ff. Crossref logo
Sandra, Halverson
2002. Cognitive Models, Prototype Effects and 'Translation'. Across Languages and Cultures 3:1  pp. 21 ff. Crossref logo
Somers, Harold
1997. A Practical Approach to Using Machine Translation Software. The Translator 3:2  pp. 193 ff. Crossref logo
Somers, Harold
2003.  In Recent Advances in Example-Based Machine Translation [Text, Speech and Language Technology, 21],  pp. 3 ff. Crossref logo
Trujillo, Arturo
1999.  In Translation Engines: Techniques for Machine Translation [Applied Computing, ],  pp. 267 ff. Crossref logo
Whyman, Edward K. & Harold L. Somers
1999. Evaluation metrics for a translation memory system. Software: Practice and Experience 29:14  pp. 1265 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 07 february 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  95045373 | Marc record