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This study demonstrates how new theories concerning language and cognition can be applied to our understanding of specific languages, and to the task of translation.
Section 1 documents the theory of scenarios, how people store, categorize, and access information in the brain, and demonstrates how these mental scenarios are reflected in the grammar and lexicon of texts. It shows how scenarios shared by speaker and audience allow effective communication without enormous verbal detail, and explains how miscommunication occurs, especially across cultural and linguistic divides.
Section 2 applies scenario theory to the Greek New Testament, demonstrating how specific grammatical forms, such as Participles and the Article, are linked to scenarios. This affects discourse analysis and exegesis, by giving textual evidence that certain scenarios are open, and thus certain information is implicit and intended to be communicated. Scenario theory is also applied to lexical choice, providing a theoretical framework for determining the topic of a passage, and clarifying exegetical decisions.
Section 3 applies scenario theory to texts in the Parkari language of Pakistan. This not only helps in textual analysis, explaining the choice and significance of certain grammatical forms, but also demonstrates that although Parkari, like New Testament Greek and English, uses different grammatical forms depending on whether a scenario is currently open or not, the specific forms used differ between languages.
Section 4 shows how the mismatch of mental scenarios, between original speakers of New Testament Greek and modern Parkaris, highlights potential problem areas in translation. It also suggests possible solutions to such problems, by using scenario theory not only to determine the author’s intended meaning, but also to provide strategies for communicating that same meaning in translation, specifically addressing the issue of what information is implicit in the source text, and when and how to make it explicit in translation.
Copious appendices provide further evidence in support of the claims made in this book regarding scenarios and their affect on the discourse of Greek and Parkari texts, as well as providing a transcription of the texts from which the Parkari data is extracted.