This article provides a quantitative analysis of Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq’s ninth-century translation of Galen’s Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms. It focuses in particular on the use of first person forms in both source and target texts. The present study categorises these forms into five semantic groups; namely (a) the personal expression of stance, (b) endophoric reference, (c) frame marking, (d) the expression of personal experience and (e) the impersonal expression of intersubjectivity. By employing these categories, the author shows that while Ḥunayn increases the use of personal forms in his translation, he does this to highlight the subjectivity of Galen’s text or enliven the translation, without making the text more subjective.
For example see Nigel Harwood“ ‘Nowhere has Anyone Attempted … In this Article I Aim to Do Just That’, a Corpus-based Study of Self-promotional I and We in Academic Writing Across Four Disciplines,”Journal of Pragmatics37 (2005): 1207–31. Iliana A. Martínez “Native and Non-Native Writers’ Use of First Person Pronouns in the Different Sections of Biology Research Articles in English” Journal of Second Language Writing 14 (2005): 174–90. Ken Hyland “Authority and Invisibility: Authorial Identity in Academic Writing” Journal of Pragmatics 34 (2002): 1091–112. Chih-Hua Kuo “The Use of Personal Pronouns: Role Relationships in Scientific Journal Articles” English for Specific Purposes 18 (1990): 121–38. Christine Webb “The Use of the First Person in Academic Writing: Objectivity Language and Gatekeeping” Journal of Advanced Nursing 17 (1992): 747–52.
Susan Fitzmaurice“The grammar of stance in early eighteenth-century English epistolary language,” in Corpus Analysis: Language Structure and Language Useeds. Charles Meyer and Pepi Leistyna. Amsterdam: Rodopi 2003 107–32.
Edward Finegan“Subjectivity and Subjectivisation: an Introduction,” in Subjectivity and Subjectivisation: Linguistic Perspectiveseds. Dieter Stein and Susan Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2005) 1–16. Taavistainen “Subjectivity as a Text-type Marker”.