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Recreating the Images of Chan Master Huineng

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The book applies systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to the comparison of four English translations of the Platform Sutra (1930, 1977, 1998 and 2011) in the field of translation studies. The Platform Sutra is an ancient Chan Buddhist text that records the public sermons and conversations of the Chan master Huineng (638-713).

The focus of the book is on the image of Huineng recreated in each translation. The book integrates quantitative and qualitative analyses, adopting corpus linguistic tools such as SysFan, SysConc, and Wmatrix, with its methodology applicable in future studies. The analyses of the four translations are conducted from the perspectives of verbs of saying, personal pronouns, Mood and Modality, multimodality and evaluation, and textual complexity, which are within the ideational, interpersonal and textual metafunctions of SFL respectively. Both the recreating of images and the lexicogrammatical choices are further interpreted by taking the context of translation (Field, Tenor, Mode) into consideration.

The book provides an appropriate way to combine systemic functional linguistics with translation studies, highlighting the relationship between language, culture and translation. It also raises the question concerning the status of translated texts as the basis of scholarly research in the English world.

Published: Jul 20, 2019

Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Hailing Yu
List of Tables Hailing Yu
Preface Hailing Yu
Chapter 1
Introduction Hailing Yu
Chapter 2
Same Chan Master, Different Images: The Story of Huineng and its Translations Hailing Yu
Chapter 3
Verbs of Saying and Images of Huineng Hailing Yu
Chapter 4
Personal Pronouns and Images of Huineng Hailing Yu
Chapter 5
Mood and Modality and Images of Huineng Hailing Yu
Chapter 6
Images of Huineng on Book Covers and in Verbal Texts Hailing Yu
Chapter 7
Paratextual Attitude and the Image of Huineng Hailing Yu
Chapter 8
Text Complexity and Images of Huineng Hailing Yu
Chapter 9
Conclusion Hailing Yu
End Matter
Appendix: English Translations of the Platform Sutra Hailing Yu
Notes Hailing Yu
References Hailing Yu
Index Hailing Yu


Overall, with systematic frameworks and detailed case analyses, this book provides thought-provoking interdisciplinary research on SFL and translation studies. On account of the critical comments, we highly recommend it to students and translation researchers who have an interest in conducting empirical research in this field.