The three texts of this section deal with translation, a field where Meschonnic is of particular influence and importance. Meschonnic’s own experience of translating the Bible, and a very particular understanding of meaning-making procedures in biblical Hebrew, establishes in fact the basis for his theory. The exposure to the semantic accent system of biblical Hebrew allowed Meschonnic to develop a theory of language which saw meaning as residing not only in linguistic reference but in what he called a ‘serial semantics’: motivated forms of verbal patterning, chains of signifiers, prosodic contours, distributions of and connections between speech sounds and motifs across a longer text. He posits that, more than what a text says, it is what a text does that is to be translated: its force. The third text on translation then offers a demonstration of how Meschonnic applies the continuous of his theory of language to a text.
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