DOI: 10.1111/stul.12219 ISSN: 0039-3193


Pau Francesch, Lluís Payrató
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


The goal of this work is to put forward a pragmatic and translational framework for analysing target texts (TT) and source texts (ST) containing conversational implicatures that lead to pragmatic ambiguity. Ambiguity, sensu lato, is deemed to be related to indeterminacy and vagueness. Nevertheless, in the strict sense, ambiguity is understood as ‘more than a single processing instruction for a given utterance’. More specifically, pragmatic ambiguity arises whenever differences in cultural conventions between SL speakers and TL speakers lead to differences in the existence, meaning and salience of implicatures among ST and TT. Using real translation cases selected from a purpose‐built corpus containing fiction written and oral texts, we show which pragmatic ambiguities translators come across, and how translation techniques are used, either to maintain ambiguity or to select one intended processing instruction.

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