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Nicht auf Sand gebaut: Diachrone und kognitive Studien zu Bibelidiomen
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of German.
2004 (German)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation, 80 biblical idioms from German translations are analysed and compared. No comparison with the original languages is made. Luther’s 1534 translation forms the basis of the examination. In order to get an idea of the translation of the corresponding passages in the Bible prior to this translation, the first German translation of both the Old and the New Testament, the Mentel-Bible, is included in the analysis. The purpose is to find out in which Bible an idiom appears for the first time; which Bibles present the same translations; in which Bibles translations of the corresponding passages without the idioms in question appear, and if special traditions of translations or groups of Bibles with the same translation emerge.

This dissertation consists of a diachronic and a synchronic part. The same Bible texts are the basis of the analyses in both parts.

In the diachronic part the Bible texts are analysed from a historical point of view. Seventeen quotations from different translations are presented for each passage from the first complete German Bible of 1466 to the Bible of 1983. The translations are the subject of a semantic as well as a quantitative and a qualitative analysis. The results show one main tradition of translation – the tradition which starts with Luther’s translation. The distribution of the first appearance of the idioms in the Bibles, the translations without the idiom in question as well as the translations differing from Luther’s translation are accounted for.

The source for the quotations regarding religious ideas and socio-cultural conditions in biblical times are Bible commentaries.

As the material is relatively little, no conclusion can be drawn as to whether the results would also be relevant to other parts of the Bible or to the Bible as a whole.

The subject of the synchronic part is an analysis of the complex structure of the idioms from a semantic-cognitive perspective. The embedding in the text of the idioms is explained by means of propositions. These are divided into primary, secondary, tertiary etc. presuppositions, depending on their semantic nearness to the idioms.

The interaction between idiom and context is brought into focus. An attempt is here made to explain the path of the idioms from their literal meaning to the figurative meaning in the special texts. This is made by inference procedures with imaginable presuppositions. Here, encyclopedic and socio-cultural knowledge plays an important role.

This method of analysis has produced 36 types of sequences consisting of two main groups: a) simplex structured types built up by either left-hand or right-hand directed propositions; b) complex structured types of sequences composed by both left-hand directed and right-hand directed propositions. Group b) has proved to be the largest of the two main groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2004. , 328 p.
Studia Germanistica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5160 ; 44
Keyword [en]
German language, Bible translations, Bible texts, idioms, cognitive synchronic–diachronic phraseology, literal–idiomatic meaning, left-hand–right-hand directed propositions, primary, secondary, tertiary etc. presuppositions, inference procedures, socio-cultural conditions, religious ideas
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4276ISBN: 91-554-5826-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4276DiVA: diva2:164670
Public defence
2004-05-06, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt Centrum, Villavägen 4, Uppsala, 13:00
Available from: 2004-04-14 Created: 2004-04-14Bibliographically approved

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