The Cohesiveness of Personal Reference in Translation: A Case Study of French and English

Mohamed Abdou Moindjie


Personal reference is a co-hyponym of textual cohesion; it deals with the first, second and third persons singular or plural; it can occur exophorically, or endophorically as anaphora or cataphora. The present paper is a descriptive study on the cohesiveness and translatability of personal reference; it describes its occurrence and cohesiveness in translating from French into English. In doing so, the analyses are done on literary texts, Madame Bovary and Strait is the Gate. The data related to personal reference are identified and collected throughout reading the whole texts under study; then the data are analyzed. The findings indicate that English language uses more cohesive personal reference than French language due to language peculiarities like abstractness, prolixity in French language; concreteness and conciseness in English language. The research reveals that some shifts which occur in translating personal reference from French into English are obligatory in that they are required by language peculiarities, whereas some shifts which are required by language norms are found to be under the translator’s latitude. The cohesiveness of personal reference, therefore, depends on language peculiarities and language norms of both French and English, which are the determinants of the translation methods of personal reference in translating from French into English.


Cohesion, Personal Reference, Language Peculiarities, French Language Norms, English Language Norms, Translation Norms, Translation Procedure Determinants

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