Page 6 - Translation Journal July 2015
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Steiner’s model some of the more prominent morphosyntactic realizations of goal are:

• mood
• ellipsis / non-ellipsis
• tense
• transitivity (in particular, agency patterns)
• conjunctive relations
• patterns of thematic progression
• patterns of topic construction
• paragraphing
• rhetorical relations

1.2.2. Tenor

As Steiner puts it, Tenor is concerned with the relationship between participants (author and translator). Steiner distinguishes between
three main sub-variables (Manfredi, 2012):

• Agentive roles
• Social roles
• Social distance

Translation problems often show up when we have to do with Tenor, for differences in languages, texts and contexts, not only because
of different morphosyntactic structures, but also of different cultural practices.

Agentive roles is the first sub-variable. It is related to the semiotic roles defined by the type of action that takes place and also the goal(s)
attributed to author, reader or hearer such as:

• vendor vs. customer
• giver vs. receiver
• sayer vs. listener
• teacher vs. learner, etc.

In most cases, morphosyntactic realizations are:

• Mood
• Ellipsis
• Modality
• Use of specialist language

Social roles are concerned with social power relationships between participants that are encoded in a text. They can be defined on the
basis of hierarchies or according to the extent of certainty. With regard to the former, such hierarchies can be concerned with:

• Social class
• Gender
• Age
• Ethnicity
• Religious affiliation

As for the degree of certainty they can depend on the Level of expertise and the Level of education of the participants.

The basic option seems to be between equal and unequal statuses. Steiner finds its common linguistic realizations in the interpersonal
systems and in those structuring texts and dialogues such as:

• modality
• mood
• choice of specialist terminology
• forms of address
• formality

The third sub-variable of tenor is social distance. It refers to the frequency of previous interaction and is indicative of a choice between
‘familiar’ and ‘anonymous’. Its morphosyntactic realizations are:

• tagging
• modality
• types of forms of address
• colloquialism

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