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Translation procedures (Spanish/Portuguese) of the obscene lexicon present in the work Los mares del Sur, of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

Grant number: 15/07289-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Applied Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Angélica Karim Garcia Simão
Grantee:Flávia Seregati
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


The present work intends to approach the incidence of pragmatic-communications factors in the translation of simple and complex words (phraseological units) considered linguistics taboos. For this purpose, it is used as corpus the Brazilian Portuguese translation of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's work " Los mares del Sur". In contemporary literature, many literary works use the taboo lexicon in order to achieve a high degree of authenticity (Rojo López & Valenzuela Manzanares, 2000) in the attempt to confer to the characters' universe an effect of verisimilitude that approaches them to the real usage contexts, that are marked social and historically (Britto, 2012). Since detective novels frequently deal with characters inserted into marginalized contexts, these novelists make use of this lexicon, herein understood as the lexicon considered indecent such as insulting words, words that refer to the sexual organs or the sexual intercourse itself and the gross and vulgar eschatological lexicon, all of them part of what is also known as obscene language. This kind of vocabulary is an asset present in every language, however, its perception and use is different in some societies, or even in different social groups of the same linguistic community. According to Preti (2003), these phraseological units are being increasingly accepted in our society, both in printed media and television programs. Rundblom (2013) argued that the use of this vocabulary is motivated by different reasons and may have psychological, social or discursive grounds. This paper is based on the hypothesis that the incidence of different pragmatic-discursive motivations for the usage of a taboo vocabulary may produce different translations for similar words.

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