Alfa i Omega

Andrzej Pawelec


Traffi c Problems on the Bridge: Translation Studies, Cognitive Linguistics and Literary Criticism
In her monograph entitled A Cognitive Approach to Equivalence in Literary Translation.
Illustrated by an Analysis of Images of Women in Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady and Its
Polish Translation
Portret damy, Monika Linke claims that the discipline of translation
studies can be selected to become a bridge between linguistic and literary theories
of translation. Moreover, linguists and literary scholars can profi t from translation
studies as well. Such a claim that emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of research is
admirable; as is the claim that cognitive linguistics should be recommended to tackle
the problems and challenges of translation criticism. However, no interdisciplinary
approach should constitute an excuse for shortages in the knowledge of contributing
disciplines. Unfortunately, Linke’s presentation of the two theories of cognitive
linguistics: Lakoff’s metaphor theory and Langacker’s theory of grammar, abounds
in misunderstandings and mistakes. Moreover, the theoretical part does not prove
very useful in the monograph’s second part, which offers ten case studies focusing
on selected linguistic aspects of the passages chosen from Henry James’s Portrait of
a Lady
and its Polish version. Linke’s ambitious aim to “facilitate the application of
cognitive linguistics to translation studies” has not been achieved.


Langacker R. W. 2008. Cognitive Grammar. A Basic Introduction, Oxford.

Okopień-Sławińska A. 2001. Relacje osobowe w literackiej komunikacji, w: A. Okopień-

Sławińska, Semantyka wypwiedzi poetyckiej, Kraków, s. 100–117.

Tabakowska E. 1993. Cognitive Linguistics and Poetics of Translation, Tybinga (Językoznawstwo kognitywne i poetyka przekładu, przeł. A. Pokojska, Kraków, 2001).

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