A Stylistic Study of Proverbs and Idioms in the Translated Novels of D.O Fagunwa

Author: Fatuase, Alfred Adeniyi

Supervisors: Adeyemi Daramola and Segun Awonusi

Stylistics is the study of style and its effect in the process of choice-making in a language encounter. These two concepts cannot be separated, thus dominating the work. Issues of stylistics, linguistic features and literary translation were examined including the role of translation software in producing the English versions of the three novels, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale , (translated after three decades) as Forest of a Thousand Daemons by Wole Soyinka; Irinkerindo Ninu Igbo Elegbeje, (translated after five decades) as Expedition to the Mount of Thought by Dapo Adeniyi and Igbo Olodumare, (which was translated after seven decades) as In the Forest of Olodumare by Wole Soyinka. The efforts of Soyinka and Adeniyi in translating the Fagunwa classics and the inclusion of the books in the school curriculum provided the impetus for this study. Earlier researches that have been done on proverbs and idioms were copious, but this present study was conducted on contextual translations. A purposive sampling procedure was used to generate data, yielding 220 items. Systemic Functional Linguistics and Linguistic Stylistics were used to analyze the texts. The study found that three major translation processes- the metaphrase, paraphrase and imitation were present in each novel; the metaphrase style was dominant and it affected the source meanings; stylistic equivalence was ignored in 30% of the translations and the translation software failed to retrieve cultural items. Consequently, 47% of the Yoruba expressions lost their meanings. The research is considered significant to all stakeholders in the language, teaching and communication business. Based on its findings, the study recommended that the paraphrase (sense-for-sense) style should be used in literary translation while machine translation should be limited to non-literary texts. The study concludes that translation models must match translation purposes by enhancing inter-cultural access.