Qur’an-related Intertextuality: Textual Potentiation in Translation

Aladdin Al-Kharabsheh


Qur’an-related intertextuality, envisaged as an enriching communicative act both monolingually and interlingually, represents a case of semantic complexity that is wired to present inconceivable translation challenges. Drawing on Derrida’s (1977) dichotomy iterability/citationality, Kristeva’s (1980) vertical intertextuality, Fairclough’s (1992a; 1992b; 1995 & 2011) manifest intertextuality, and Bakhtin’s (1986) double voicing or re-accentuation, the study argues that Qur’an-related intertextuality is conducive of conceptual densities, the ‘harnessing’ of which requires ‘mobilizing’ those translation strategies that should exceed the lexicographical equivalence (Venuti 2009) to establish intertextual relations relevant to the form and theme of the foreign text. To resolve the arising translation problems, the study basically proposes two synthetic approaches: the gist-paratextual and the gist-exegetical. Translation skopos has been found to be central to the production and reception of intertextuality and to determining which of the two proposed synthetic approaches to operationalize. Finally, analysis shows that Qur’an proved to be a virtual breeding ground for textual dynamism and potentiation.


Qur’an-related intertextuality, semantic complexity, exegetical translation, gist translation, paratextual action, translation skopos, registral difference

Full Text:



Agha, A., & Wortham, S. eds. (2005). Discourse across speech-Events: Intertextuality and interdiscursivity in social life. Special Issue of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 15(1).

Alawi, N. (2010). Intertextuality and literary translation between Arabic and English. An- Najah Univ. J. of Res. (Humanities), 24(8), 2437-2456.

Alexieva, B. (1985). Semantic analysis of the text in simultaneous interpretation. In H. Bühler (Ed.) Proceedings of the Xth World Congress of FIT (pp. 195-198). Wien: Braumüller.

_________ (1992). Types of texts and intertextuality in simultaneous interpreting. In Mary Snell-Hornby, Franz Pöchhacker and Klaus Kaindl(Eds.), Translation Studies: An Interdiscipline (pp. 179-188). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Allen, G. (2000). Intertextuality. London: Routledge.

Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogical imagination. Translated by Emerson, C. and Holquist, M.,University of Texas press: USA.

_________(1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Emerson, C. and Holquist, M. (Eds.),Texas: University of Texas press.

Barton, J. (2000). Intertextuality and ‘the final form’ of the text. In A. Limaire & M. Saebo, (Eds.) Congress Volume: Oslo 1998, Volume 80 (pp. 33-37).. International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament. Brill: Leiden, (pp. 33-37).

Bassnett, S. (2007). Influence and intertextuality: A reappraisal. Form for Modern Languages Studies, 43(2), 134-146.

Bauman, R. (2004). A world of others’ words: Cross-cultural perspectives on intertextuality. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

________ (2005). Indirect indexicality’, identity, performance: Dialogic observations. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 15(1), 45-150.

Bazerman, C. (2008). Intertextuality: How texts rely on other texts. In Bazerman, Charles and Prior, Paul (Eds.), What writing does and how it does it: An introduction to analyzing texts and textual practices. USA: Lawrence Erlbaum

Bernstein, B. (1990). The structuring of pedagogic discourse: Class and control. Vol. IV, London: Routledge.

__________(1996). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity. London: Taylor and Francis.

Birch, D. (1986). Cunning beneath the verbs: Demythologising Singapore English poetry. In P. Hyland (Ed.), Discharging the canon: Cross-cultural readings in literature (pp. 147-190). Singapore: Singapore University Press.

_________(1989). Working effects with words -whose words? Stylistics and reader intertextuality. In R. Carter and P. Simpson(Eds.), Language discourse and literature: An introductory reader (pp. 257-273). London: Unwin Hyman.

Bolter, J.D. (1991). Writing space: The computer, hypertext, and the history of writing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Chouliaraki, L. and Fairclough, N. (1999). Discourse in late modernity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Clayton, J. and Rothstein, E. (1991). Influence and intertextuality in literary history. USA: The University of Wisconcin Press.

Culler, J. (1981). The pursuit of signs: Semiotics, literature, deconstruction. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

______________(1976). Presupposition and intertextuality. MLN, 91(6), 1380-1398.

Derrida, J. (1977): Limited inc.: Evaston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

Dickins J. et al. (2002). Thinking Arabic translation. A course in translation method: Arabic to English. London & New York: Routledge.

Fairclough, N. (1992a). Discourse and text: Linguistic and intertextual analysis within discourse analysis. Discourse and Society, 4(2), 133-168.

____________(1992b). Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity.

____________ (1995). Critical discourse analysis. London: Longman.

____________(2011). Media discourse. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Farahzad, F. (2009). Translation as an intertextual practice. Perspective: Studies Translatology, 16(3&4), 125-131.

Farghal, M. 1993. Arab fatalism and translation from Arabic into English. Target, 5(1), 43–53.

__________1995. Euphemism in Arabic: A Gricean interpretation. Anthropological Linguistics, 37(3), 366–378.

Federici, E. (2007). The translator's intertextual baggage. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 43(2),147-160.

Fewell N. D. (1992). Reading between texts: Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible. Kentucky, USA: Westminster/John Knox Press.

Fishbane, M. (2000). Types of biblical intertextuality. In A. Limaire & M. Saebo (Eds.), Congress Volume: Oslo 1998, Volume 80 (pp. 39-44). International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament. Brill: Leiden.

Gordon, C. (2003). Intertextuality in family discourse: Shared prior text as a resource for framing. Ph.D. diss., Georgetown University.

Hanna, M. and Smith, J. (2000). The media and their audience: Intertextuality as a paradigm. In Ulrike H. Meinhof, and Jonathan Smith (Eds.), Intertextuality and the media: From genre to everyday life (pp. 1-18). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hatim, B. (1997). Intertextual intrusions: Towards a framework for harnessing the power of the absent text in translation. In Karl Simms (Ed.), Translating Sensitive Texts: Linguistic Aspects (pp. 29-45).The Netherlands: Editions Rodopi, Atlanta.

Hatim, B. and Mason, I. (1990). Discourse and the translator. London: Longman.

Hatim, B. and Mason, I. (1997). The translator as communicator. London: Routledge.

Hatim, B. and Munday, J. (2004). Translation: An advanced resource book. London & New York: Routledge.

Hiramoto, M. and Sung-Yul Park, J. (2010). Media intertextualities: Semiotic mediation across time and space. Pragmatics and Society, 1(2), 79–188.

Hodges, A. (2011). The 'war on terror' narrative: Discourse and intertextuality in the construction and contestation of socio-political reality. New York: Oxford University Press

Holthuis, S. (1994). Intertextuality and meaning constitution: An approach to the comprehension of intertextual poetry. In János, Petöfi and Terry, Olivi (Eds.), Approaches to poetry: Some aspects of textuality, intertextuality and intermediality (pp. 77-93). Berlin: de Gruyter.

Irwin, W. (2004). Against intertextuality. Philosophy and Literature, 28(2), 227-242.

Khanjan, A. and Mirza, Z. (1386/2008). Intertextuality and its theoretical consequences in translation. Translation Studies, 5(20), 5-29.

Kristeva, J. (1980). Desire in language: A semiotic approach to literature and art. In Leon S. Roudiez (Ed.) and translated by T. Gora et al. New York: Columbia University Press.

Kuleli, M. (2014). Intertextual allusions and evaluation of their translation in the novel silent house by Orhan Pamuk. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 158, 206-213.

Lemke, J. L. (1995). Intertextuality and text semantics. In P. Fries & M. Gregory (Eds.), Discourse in society: Systemic functional perspectives: Meaning and choice in language: studies for Michael Halliday (pp. 85-114). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Neubert, A. and Shreve, G.(1992). Translation as text. Kent and London: Kent State University Press.

Orr, L. (1986). Intertextuality and the cultural text in recent semiotics. College English, 48(8), 811-823.

Picthall, M. .(1930/2015). The Meaning of the glorious Qur’an: Explanatory translation. Revised Edition. Beltsville: Amana Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.islamicbulletin.org/free_downloads/quran/quran_pikhtal.pdf

Ray, T. (2006). Multimediality, interactivity, and hypertextuality.” In Ray T. (Ed.), Online journalism: A basic text (pp. 34-59) University Publishing Online.

Reader, K. (1990). Literature/cinema/television: Intertextuality in Jean Renoir’s Le Testament du docteur Cordelier. In: Worton, Michael and Still Judith, eds. Intertextuality: theories and practices (176-189). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Riffaterre, M. (1978). The Semiotics of poetry. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

__________ (1994). Intertextuality vs. hypertextuality. New Literary History, 25(4), 779-788.

Sanatifar, M. (2015). Lost in political translation. (Mis)translation of an intertextual reference and its political consequences: The case of Iran. The Journal of Specialized Translation, 24, 129-149.

Schäffner, C. (2010). Political communication: Mediated by translation. In Urszula, Okulska and Piotr, Cap (Eds.), Perspective in politics and discourse (pp. 255-279). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

___________(2004). Political discourse analysis from the point of view of translation studies. Journal of Language and Politics, 3(1), 117-150. doi:10.1075/jlp.3.1.09sch.

___________(2012). Intercultural intertextuality as a translation phenomenon. Perspective: Studies in Translatology. 20(3): 345-364.

Semino, E. (2009). Text-worlds. In G. Brône and J. Vandaele (Eds.), Cognitive poetics: Goals, gains, and gaps (pp. 33-71). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Tannen, D. (2006). Intertextuality in interaction: Reframing family arguments in public and private. Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse Communication Studies, 26(4-5), 597–617.

Thibault, P. J. (1994). Intertextuality. In R. E. Asher (Ed.), The Encyclopaedia of language and Linguistics (pp. 1751-1754). Vol.4. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Tovares, A. V. (2005). Intertextuality in family interaction: Repetition of public texts in private settings. Ph.D diss., Georgetown University.

Venuti, L. (2009). Translation, intertextuality, interpretation. Romance Studies, 27(3), 157-173.

Voloshinov, V. (1973). Marxism and the philosophy of language . Translated by Matejka, L. and Titunik, I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Worton, M. (1986). Intertextuality: To inter textuality or to resurrect it. In Kelley D. and Liasera I. (Eds.), Cross-references: Modern French theory and the practice of criticism, (pp.14-23). Society for French Studies. W. S. England: Maney & Son Lid.

Zhang, W. and Zhao, N. (2015). Analysis of the translators’ social and psychological trends from the perspective of intertextuality. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 6(1), 157-162.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.6p.195


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.