SEMANTIC VARIATIONS OF APPRAISAL IN PORTUGUESE AND BRAZILIAN RE-INSTANTIATIONS OF THINGS FALL APART AND ARROW OF GOD

Abstract This article expands the investigation in Dias (2018), on semantic variations of appraisal in Brazilian translations of two of Chinua Achebe’s novels, Things Fall Apart (1994[1959]) and Arrow of God (1969[1964]), to the Portuguese translations of these texts. It aims at identifying semantic variations of appraisal in the retranslations as well as testing the retranslation hypothesis originated in Berman (1990). According to theoretical assumptions in this text, the translation of a literary text would be an “incomplete” act that could only achieve completion through retranslations. Previous works on translation of literary texts do not usually investigate appraisal from a discourse-semantics perspective, disregarding it in unfolding texts and using a corpus analysis methodology. Dias (2018) draws on a discourse-semantics model to study Brazilian translations as re-instantiations. This work focuses on excerpts of the Portuguese reinstantiations Tudo se desmorona (2008), from Things Fall Apart, and A flecha de Deus (1979), from Arrow of God. The study uses appraisal analysis as a method to investigate patterns of evaluative configurations of attitude, engagement and graduation in the excerpts studied. The findings, compared to those in Dias (2018), suggest there are semantic variations between the pairs of re-instantiations regarding the appraisal mode, the different coupling and commitment of values, and non-re-instantiations or the instantiation of new values. These results suggest the two reinstantiations are different types of paraphrases of the source text. They also confirm the retranslation hypothesis.