William Dunbar’s Tretis in Romance translations: a textual analysis

Bianchin, Ruggero (2020) William Dunbar’s Tretis in Romance translations: a textual analysis. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This thesis is concerned with the textual analysis and comparison of full prose translations of William Dunbar’s Middle Scots poem The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo (first attestation ca. 1507-8) into modern Italian (by Ermanno Barisone – published in 1989 as Il trattato delle due donne maritate e della vedova) and French (by Jean-Jacques Blanchot – published in 2003 as Récit des deux épouses et de la veuve).
By relying on the close linguistic ties between Italian and French and considering the influence, either direct or mediated, of Latin on both these languages and Older Scots, the thesis analyses the etymology and use of selected items and considers whether and how translators made use of cross-linguistic, cultural and literary connections to produce the target texts.
Qualitative analysis carried out by using lexicographical resources such as monolingual and bilingual dictionaries (among the former, DOST and OED for attestations of Older Scots; GDLI for Italian; TLF for French) and online corpora (CORIS for Italian; Frantext for French), demonstrates that Barisone’s resulting text was aimed at a more scholarly audience and is richer in archaisms and regionalisms, whereas Blanchot’s was aimed at a more general public and includes argotic expressions and colloquialisms. Matters of metre are also investigated, particularly since alliteration is a core semantic feature of The Tretis, posing additional challenges to translators writing in syllable-timed languages. The thesis also looks at the role of relevant paratextual features (particularly footnotes and the original text in parallel facing pages) in shaping the target texts.
The BOSLIT data set (Bibliography Of Scottish Literature In Translation) shows that The Tretis is the only Older Scots poem for which full translations have been published in different Romance languages, making it the only text which allows the comparison of different outcomes as regards metre and register. This thesis is a preliminary study of a wider research focusing on analysing Older Scots poetry in Romance translations; it has been instigated by the realisation that a large corpus of Scottish medieval literature has, indeed, been rarely translated into Romance languages (such as Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese among others), making its works less accessible.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright issues this thesis is not available for viewing.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Prof. Jeremy J. and Kopaczyk, Dr. Joanna
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Ruggero Bianchin
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-82031
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 08:28
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2021 08:29
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82031
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82031

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