Macquarie University
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Patterns of coherence in translation: a case study of Hong Lou Meng

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posted on 2022-03-28, 10:29 authored by Xi Li
From the systemic functional linguistic point of view, coherence is a multidimensional concept, and is realized in different metafunctions. The patterns of coherence at the lexicogrammatical level in text are mainly manifested in ideational and textual meanings. This research investigates the patterns of coherence in translations from Chinese into English. A classic Chinese literary text, Hong Lou Meng, and its two English translated versions, The Dream of the Red Mansions (translated by Yang Xianyi & Gladys Yang) and A Story of the Stone (translated by David Hawkes and John Minford), are used as a case study. Through the application of systemic functional linguistics to translation studies, this study investigates the clause complexes from the logical metafunction, the cohesive chains from the textual metafunction, and also the ergative roles of the relevant tokens in the cohesive chains from the experiential metafunction. The joint effect these different metafunctions have on the realization of coherence is taken as the configuration of patterns of coherence. In translation, the similarities and differences these patterns display reveal the characteristics of translators in dealing with literary text translation from Chinese to English and also the different translators' styles. This study contributes to research in translation studies concerning coherence in both Chinese and English, and also to the translation of literary text within systemic functional linguistics.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. A systemic functional framework for the study of coherence -- 4. Methodology -- 5. Logical metafunction in building up coherence -- 6. Cohesive chains in forming the patterns of coherence -- 7. The patterns of coherence from the experiential, logical and textual meanings -- 8. References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 340-355

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Canzhong Wu

Additional Supervisor 1

Annabelle Lukin


Copyright Xi Li 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xiv, 355 pages) graphs, tables

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