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Ana Maria Lisboa de Mello Elaine Turk Faria Érico João Hammes Gilberto Keller de Andrade Helenita Rosa Franco Jane Rita Caetano da Silveira Jerônimo Carlos Santos Braga Jorge Campos da Costa Jorge Luis Nicolas Audy – Presidente José Antônio Poli de Figueiredo Jurandir Malerba Lauro Kopper Filho Luciano Klöckner Maria Lúcia Tiellet Nunes Marília Costa Morosini Marlise Araújo dos Santos Renato Tetelbom Stein René Ernaini Gertz Ruth Maria Chittó Gauer EDIPUCRS

Jerônimo Carlos Santos Braga – Diretor Jorge Campos da Costa – Editor-Chefe


Porto Alegre, 2010


© EDIPUCRS, 2010

Vinícius Xavier Revisão de texto Autor

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EDITORAÇÃO ELETRÔNICA

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EDIPUCRS – Editora Universitária da PUCRS Av. Ipiranga, 6681 – Prédio 33 Caixa Postal 1429 – CEP 90619-900 Porto Alegre – RS – Brasil Fone/fax: (51) 3320 3711 e-mail: edipucrs@pucrs.br - www.pucrs.br/edipucrs

Dados Internacionais de Catalogação na Publicação (CIP) T674 Topics on relevance theory / org. Jorge Campos da Costa, Fábio José Rauen. – Porto Alegre: Edipucrs, 2010. 160 p. ISBN 978-85-7430-956-9 1.Teoria da Relevância (Linguística). 2. Linguística do Texto. 3. Interpretação (Linguística). 4. Cognição. I. Costa, Jorge Campos da. II. Rauen, Fábio José. CDD 410 Ficha Catalográfica elaborada pelo Setor de Tratamento da Informação da BC-PUCRS.

TODOS OS DIREITOS RESERVADOS. Proibida a reprodução total ou parcial, por qualquer meio ou processo, especialmente por sistemas gráficos, microfílmicos, fotográficos, reprográficos, fonográficos, videográficos. Vedada a memorização e/ou a recuperação total ou parcial, bem como a inclusão de qualquer parte desta obra em qualquer sistema de processamento de dados. Essas proibições aplicam-se também às características gráficas da obra e à sua editoração. A violação dos direitos autorais é punível como crime (art. 184 e parágrafos, do Código Penal), com pena de prisão e multa, conjuntamente com busca e apreensão e indenizações diversas (arts. 101 a 110 da Lei 9.610, de 19.02.1998, Lei dos direitos Autorais)


SUMMARY Presentation...................................................................................... 7 Relevance, kluges, emotions: provocative reflections Jorge Campos.................................................................................... 11 On relevance and irrelevances Fábio José Rauen................................................................................ 23 Relevance, cognition, inference and deductive processes Ana Ibaños....................................................................................... 45 Cognition, relevance and textuality Jane Rita Caetano da Silveira............................................................... 55 Explicitness and explicitation in translation:a relevance-theoretic approach Fabio Alves....................................................................................... 77 Reassessing the concept of competence using a relevance theory approach

José Luiz Vila Real Gonçalves................................................................ 99

Legal translation in the light of relevance theory Cristina Lopes Perna........................................................................... 115 Cognitive Linguistics and Relevance Theory: perspectives for the construction of an interface theory for inferences Heloisa Pedroso de Moraes Feltes.......................................................... 133 The Authors....................................................................................... 157


Presentation Relevance Theory (RT), as proposed by Sperber & Wilson (1986; 1995), may be identified as one of the most influential research programs on the interface of communication/cognition in the last decades. As a matter of fact, RT presents all the ingredients of an ambitious theoretical framework, in its search for an inferential approach based on human cognition as an alternative to the previous rigid code models. Having its foundation on two base principals, namely the Cognitive Principle of Relevance and the Communicative Principle of Relevance and developed by means of the notions of informative and communicative intention ruled by the notion of relevance, as a cost-benefit relation, RT aims at describing and explaining the bases of rarionality in human communication. Moreover, as we may see from the number of papers and experiments on the RT today, both in Europe as well as in the North America, the wealth of this investigation program, which spreads elucidations to diverse areas, attracts the international critical thought so as to validate or contradict its potential predictions. This means that, by being a consistent proposal that bears a high explanatory value, RT unleashes a strong interdisciplinary impact in which innumerable attemps of proving its applicability as well as theoretical efforts so as to determine its limitations and frailties coexist. The present work is an attempt into two directions: (1) to illustrate the great potential for the applicability of RT and, at the same time, to give rise to some of its difficulties and challenges for the coming years. In the origins of this work we may find some editions of Celsul1, the ones of 1997, 2006 and 2008, and especially, the collaboration of the investigation programs of the School of Letters at PUCRS (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul) and at Unisul (University of Southern Santa Catarina). In the first chapter, Jorge Campos raises issues that He considers problematics for RT, due to some of its essential cognitive commitments. The text, which bears a reflexive and provocative character, questions the very notion of relevance, to the extent that we may consider the irrelevance of the innumerous daily communicative processes various daily communicative processes. So as to corroborate his argument, Jorge Campos reintroduces seven challenging examples, previously addressed in his article The Relevance Theory and the irrelevances of daily life (2005). 1

Circle of Linguistic Studies of the South of Brazil.

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Moreover, the complexity of the notions of cost/ benefit, crucial and problematic for sustaining the theory, is discussed by the author. In the second chapter, Fábio José Rauen, who sistematically takes into account the challenges to the cognitive principle of relevance addressed by Costa in 2005, proposes an alternative approach, in which the cognitive principle of relevance is kept intact, but suffers the contingency of individual energy consuming and of a background of saturated knowledge, that is considered as guaranteed, optimally certain, transparent and irrelevant. Rauen’s text also presents a review of RT, based on Wilson (2004) that may be instructive as an introductory reading of the discussions put forth in this book. In the third chapter, Ana Ibanõs challenges the alledged existence of incompatibility between the systems of demonstrative logic and practical reasoning. The author argues that the principles and the rules of Classic Logic are included, in a wider and more flexible manner, in the syntactical, semantic and pragmatic inferences that are the fundaments of daily reasoning. Her text is based on the Theory of External and Internal Interfaces (Campos, 2004), whose central argument is that the correct approach for analysing inferential processes is dependent on the type of interface chosen for the explanation of the concepts and phenomena. In the fourth chapter, Jane Rita Caetano da Silveira argues that, considering an interface with cognitive sciences, textuality should be analyzed through the concept of relevance, without which the integrations of the innumerable aspects that guarantee the unit of the text would remain unexplained. The author then analyzes the efficiency of the approach guided by relevance in the analysis of communicative pieces, as opposed to the use of traditional concepts of cohesion and coherence. In the fifth chapter, Fábio Alves addresses explicitation in translation. According to the author, one needs to analyze the psycholinguistic characteristics in the inferential process of explicitation, mainly the ones from expert translators. Alves questions the factors that lead the translators to circumvent problems of coding and context, by means of explicitation in the target text, of passages in the sourcetext whose characteristics do not allow the translation to be based solely in the linguistic coding of the source language. Based on the concepts of conditioned explicitation by linguistic norm and strategic explicitation (Englund-Dimitrova, 2005), the text discusses samples of explicitation among novice and professsional translators and proposes the application of the cocepts of explicature and implicature to model the inferential characteristics of translation from a network of decisions motivated by the relation cognitive effort/contextual effect and by the attribution of relevance. In the sixth chapter, José Luiz Vila Real Gonçalves discusses the role of the theoretical framework of RT for the concept of translator competence. The text argues that the notion of competence must be conceived as a construction of cognitive subnetworks in congruence with the socio-interactive phenomena experienced by the individual and not as a genetically pre-configured especialization. By adopting the 10

Jorge Campos da Costa and Fábio José Rauen (Organizers)


systemic model by Alves and Gonçalves (2007), the author proposes the use of concepts of RT to describe the composition of the system of sub-competences for translation. Gonçalves argues that RT presents congruence with conexionist postulates, although it has a modular basis, indicating processes of regulation and otimization of relations between effort and cognitive effects in the construction of the individual’s knowledge systems, his cognitive environment. In the seventh chapter, Cristina Lopes Perna analyzes the translation of contracts and discusses the difficulties in ensuring faithfulness in a realm that presents innumerous asymmetries. Evidences of the mismatches in legal concepts will be given in order to claim that a total direct translation approach is an untenable task. Moreover, she argues that the translation of contracts must not be seen as a mere choice between orientations, namely source text versus target text, for it does not shed light on the process. A different theoretical framework that sees legal translation as being faithful not because of its equivalence to the source text but rather, because of its interpretive resemblance to the source text will be proposed (cf. GUTT, 1991, 2000). By adopting some of the constructs of the theory such as the concept of optimal relevance and suggesting strategies based on the notion of concept loosening, concept narrowing and echoic use of concepts (Carston, 1996), the work attempts to suggest a solution for the problem. In the eighth chapter, Heloísa Pedroso de Moraes Feltes evaluates the possibility of constructing na interface theory that by using the Principle of Relevance could contribute for the implementation of a compositional-computational level for inferences by means of a conexionist-based architecture, once we admit that Cognitivist Linguistics and, in special, Neural Theory operate with some sort of compositionality and, operationally and circumstancially, with a computational level. The result the author finds is based on two meanings: (1) finding elements for the strengthening of the descriptive appropriateness of Cognitive Linguistics embodied in the hypothesis of Harder’s (1999) partial autonomy, thus avoiding certain problems resulting from the continuism syntax-semantics-pragmatics; (2) raising the hypothesis of a RT rebuilt as an interface theory based on the Principle of Relevance, which, for the author is a principle that is capable of surviving in a computational level without compromising with a modular architecture. Porto Alegre, October 31st, 2008. Jorge Campos Fábio José Rauen

Topics on Relevance Theory

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Topics relevance  

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