Supervisor: TÜ lektor Anu Treikelder
Opponents: Eva Havu, PhD, Helsingi Ülikool, teadur Heete Sahkai, PhD, Eesti Keele Instituut
Si nous n'avions point de défauts, nous ne prendrions pas tant de plaisir à en remarquer dans les autres. Kui meil enestel poleks vigu, siis meile ei pakuks nii suurt lõbu leida neid teistelt. [If we had no faults ourselves, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those of other people.] Comparing to Estonian version, in French, there is no conditional form in the subordinate clause of that François de La Rochefoucauld's maxim, and the conjunction siis ('then') is also absent in the main clause. Nevertheless, the message is understood the same way in both languages. The indicative mood in the subordinate clause of the French version passes on the same hypothetical nuance as the Estonian conditional form, and the translation into Estonian is, in fact, also possible without the correlative siis. Just as people themselves, the grammatical categories are mostly defined by opposing to each other. These oppositions can vary in different languages, but the linguistic functions are mainly universal. So the translator finds always the way how to transmit the message from the source language to the target one. The aim of the present thesis is to map the equivalences of the Estonian and French conditional forms in the translations in order to have more specific understanding of the functioning of these forms in both languages. If we try to expand the comparative aspect of the above mentioned maxim into the linguistic context, we may say that this is precisely the comparison with the other language system that can provide us some useful information on the studied linguistic phenomena. If the construction of the conditional clause seems quite parallel in French and in Estonian, the observation of the other functions reveals many differences. These differences may result from the systematic dissimilarities between the languages or be motivated by stylistic considerations and/or by the translator's personal preferences. For example, as in Estonian, there is neither morphological future nor the phenomenon of the sequence of tenses, one cannot translate into Estonian conditional the French forms that have been influenced by these phenomena. Or, Estonian journalists do not use very often the quotative forms in writing the news, even if it would be theoretically possible since one of the functions of French conditional which has nearly identical grammatical description appears very often in that context. In the present thesis, these and many other intriguing issues are discussed in the light of the polyphonic theory.