Interpreting for Relevance:

Discourse and Translation



Institute of English Studies

University of Warsaw






Previous post-conference publications




Wałaszewska, E. and A. Piskorska (eds.) (2012) Relevance Theory: More than Understanding. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.




Introduction. Relevance Theory: More than Understanding

Ewa Wałaszewska and Agnieszka Piskorska


Part I: From Procedural Meaning to Epistemic Vigilance



Chapter One

Deirdre Wilson “Modality and the Conceptual-Procedural Distinction”

Chapter Two

Christoph Unger “Epistemic Vigilance and the Function of Procedural Indicators in Communication and Comprehension”

Chapter Three

Astrid Nome “Norwegian Translations of alors: A Relevance-Theoretic Account”

Chapter Four

Susana Olmos “Spanish pero ‘but’ as a Marker of Contrast and its Relation with Focalising Particles”


Part II: Humour



Chapter Five

Francisco Yus “Relevance, Humour and Translation”

Chapter Six

Marta Dynel “What RT Cannot Do, IR Can – On the Incremental Interpretation of Jokes in (Non)relevance-Theoretic Terms”

Chapter Seven

Agnieszka Solska “Relevance-Theoretic Comprehension Procedure and Processing Multiple Meanings in Paradigmatic Puns”

Chapter Eight

Agnieszka Piskorska “Humour or Horror? On Propositional Attitudes in Humorous Discourse”


Part III: (Im)politeness



Chapter Nine

Anna Wiechecka “Linguistic (Mis)behaviour? On Marked and Unmarked Impoliteness”

Chapter Ten

Anna Muszyńska “Non-Echoic Sarcasm – a Distinction from Irony within Relevance Theory”

Chapter Eleven

Ewa Nowik-Dziewicka “Banter and the Echo/Pretence Distinction”


Part IV: (Mis)communication



Chapter Twelve

Caroline Jagoe “Schizophrenia and Metarepresentational Abilities in Conversation: A Preliminary Analysis of Question Interpretation from a Relevance Theoretic Perspective”

Chapter Thirteen

Manuel Padilla Cruz “Cautious Optimism in Second Language Learning, or How to Make L2 Learners more Competent Hearers”


Part V: Translation and Style



Chapter Fourteen

Kirsti Sellevold “Style as Linguistic Resemblance. Translating the “Disjoynted, Broken and Gadding” Style of the Essais

Chapter Fifteen

Piotr Szymczak “Whose Line Is It Anyway? A Jewish Translation of the New Testament as a Challenge to the Notion of Foreignization as an Inert Context Marker”


Part VI: Philosophical Insights into Relevance Theory



Chapter Sixteen

Thorstein Fretheim “Relevance Theory and Direct Reference Philosophy – a Suitable Match?”

Chapter Seventeen

Ewa Wałaszewska “The Relevance of Aristotle for Relevance Theory: The Case of Metaphor”


Kisielewska-Krysiuk, M., A. Piskorska and E. Wałaszewska (eds.) (2010) Relevance Studies in Poland: Exploring Translation and Communication Problems. Vol. 3. Warszawa: Warsaw University Press.






Part One: Translating across contexts



Andy A. Alo, “Translating the metaphor LIGHT from an Ancient Hebrew and Greek text Into Lugbarati (Nilo-Saharan): A relevance-theoretic Application”

Daniel Hankore, “The role of key words in a cross-cultural translation process: The case of vow in ancient Hebrew and Hadiyya”

Ramadan Chan Liol-Agueng, “Translating the concepts of justice and righteousness in the Hebrew of Amos: Challenges toward a universal definition

Jalil Seddiq, “Relevant translation of culturally-loaded concepts from Persian into English”

Izabela Szymańska, “Omissions in literary translation – a RT-based interpretation

Magdalena Kizeweter, “Relevance of domesticating techniques in translation of proper names”

Edyta Źrałka, “Explicitness in legal translation”


Part Two: Other aspects of communication



Marta Dynel, “How do puns bear relevance”

Jacqueline J. A. Othoro, “Situational irony and liminality – can the two be married?

Anabella-Gloria Niculescu-Gorpin, “Is there a continuum between literal use, approximation, hyperbole and metaphor?

Helga Schröder,  Do high-context cultures prefer implicatures?

Anna Wiechecka,  Various types of linguistic impoliteness in Polish political discourse – the example of pre-election debates”

Kamil Kamiński, “The relevance of verbing”

Katarzyna Jaworska-Biskup,  Visual concepts’ understanding by congenitally blind children in the aspect of Relevance Theory of Sperber and Wilson”

Józefina Inesa Piątkowska, “From metaphor to explicature: A composition pattern of Marina Tsvetaeva’s poetry”



Wałaszewska, E., M. Kisielewska-Krysiuk and A. Piskorska (eds.) (2010) In the Mind and across Minds: A Relevance-Theoretic Perspective on Communication and Translation. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.



Table of contents:


Introduction: A Relevance-Theoretic Perspective on Communication and Translation

Ewa Wałaszewska, Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk and Agnieszka Piskorska


Part I: Concepts and Ad Hoc Concepts



Chapter One

Yuji Nishiyama and Koji Mineshima,  “Free Enrichment and the Over-Generation Problem”

Chapter Two

Agnieszka Solska,Metaphors and Approximations in Zeugmatic Structures: A Challenge for the Relevance-Theoretic Continuity View of Metaphor?

Chapter Three

Ewa Wałaszewska,Narrowing and Taboo Contamination: Relevance Theory and Euphemisms”

Chapter Four

Agnieszka Piskorska, “The Use of Shape-Related Ad Hoc Concepts by Blind Children”


Part II: Concepts and Procedures



Chapter Five

Kaja Borthen and Heidi Bröseth, “The Procedural and Conceptual Meaning of they

Chapter Six

Susana Olmos,Different Degrees of Manifestness, Accessibility or Possible Inferences? A Critical Analysis of the Cognitive Status of the Assumptions Triggered by but

Chapter Seven

Keiko Abe, “Pragmatics of Negative Imperatives: A Relevance-Theoretic Approach”


Part III: Context, Metarepresentation and Communication



Chapter Eight

Maria Jodłowiec,  How the Context Emerges”

Chapter Nine

Aoife Ahern, “Speaker Attitude in Relevance Theory: An Overview”

Chapter Ten

Manuel Padilla Cruz,Metarepresentation and Indirect Complaints: A Relevance-Theoretic Approach”

Chapter Eleven

Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk, “Banter – A Case of Phatic Communication?”


Part IV: Irony



Chapter Twelve

Katarzyna Bromberek-Dyzman,Irony Processing – One Stage or Two?”

Chapter Thirteen

Mihaela Popa, “Ironic Metaphor: A Case for Metaphor’s Contribution to Truth-Conditions”


Part V: Across Minds and across Languages



Chapter Fourteen

Thorstein Fretheim,Indefinite such and Definite these/those in Source Texts and Target Texts”

Chapter Fifteen

Daniel J. Sax,Predictability, Non-Final Focal Stress and Word Order in English and Polish”


Part VI: Translation



Chapter Sixteen

Ernst-August Gutt, “Relevance and Translation: On the Value of a Good Theoretical Foundation of Translation”

Chapter Seventeen

Regina Blass,How Much Interpretive Resemblance to the Source Text is Possible in the Translation of Parables?”

Chapter Eighteen

Kirsti Sellevold, “Communication and Cultural Translation in the Early Modern Period: Montaigne’s Essais and Florio’s Montaigne”



Wałaszewska, E., M. Kisielewska-Krysiuk, A. Korzeniowska and M. Grzegorzewska (eds.) (2008) Relevant Worlds: Current Perspectives on Language, Translation and Relevance Theory. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.



Table of contents:


Introduction: Current perspectives on language, translation and Relevance Theory.

E. Wałaszewska, M. Kisielewska-Krysiuk, A. Korzeniowska and M. Grzegorzewska


Part I: Relevance Theory and Language



Chapter 1:
A. Solska, “The online processing of garden-path utterances: Accessibility-driven or relevance-driven”

Chapter 2:
A. Piskorska, “Why the average speaker does not appreciate the role of inferential processes in communication”

Chapter 3:
M. Dynel, “Wittiness in the visual rhetoric of advertising and the quest for relevance”

Chapter 4:
M. Jodłowiec, “What’s in the punchline?”

Chapter 5:
K. Kosińska, “Conversational humour as a power game”

Chapter 6:
E.K. Nowik, “Banter – an attempt at a relevance-theoretic account”

Chapter 7:
K. Abe, “On echoic imperatives: A relevance-theoretic approach”

Chapter 8:
Z. Lin, L. Hongguang and Z. Lizhi, “The procedure meaning of the Chinese conjunction danshi/dan


Part II: Relevance Theory and Translation



Chapter 9:
P. Heltai, “The performance of Relevance Theory in Translation Studies”

Chapter 10:
W. Kasprzak, “’Prime eagle’ and ‘poor tit’ in a quagmire of translation – on processing cost savers”

Chapter 11:
E. Gumul, “Explicitation in simultaneous interpreting – the quest for optimal relevance”

Chapter 12:
M. Tsoumari, “The translation of EU texts and relevance”

Chapter 13:
E. Źrałka, “Theory of Relevance in the translation of official documents”

Chapter 14:
A. Szarkowska, “Translating appellatives in Polish soap operas into English

Chapter 15:
K. Sellevold, “Translation and relevance in the Early Modern Period”

Chapter 16:
M. Grzegorzewska, “Paradise Lost: Caught in-between. John Milton’s poem as a ‘translated version of heroic epic and a source text for modern translations”

Chapter 17:
I. Szymańska, “How the Relevance Principle helps to figure out when ‘the fifth’ should be translated as the ‘fourth’. On shifts of coherence in translation”

Chapter 18:
A. Korzeniowska, “James Kelman’ You have to be careful in the land of the free: Relevance Theory and national identity in translation”



Korzeniowska, A. and M. Grzegorzewska (eds.) (2005) Relevance Studies in Poland. Vol. 2. Warszawa: The Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw.



Table of contents:


Preface – A. Korzeniowska and M. Grzegorzewska


Part I – Relevance and Language



E.-A. Gutt, “Talking about life, not LIFE: A non-metarepresentational analysis of mention”

K. Abe, “Indirect directives re-examined”

E. Mioduszewska, “Multiplicity of senses, relevance-theoretic comprehension procedure and metarepresentation”

P. Cap, “The Cooperative Principle revisited: Evidence from the CL approach”

P. Mirecki, “Misunderstanding: A starting point for successful communication – a view from the relevance-theoretic perspective”

J. Roszkowska-Jagiełło, “Looking for relevance or looking for coherence? Our understanding of texts on the basis of chosen examples”

Z. Możejko, “Interpreting ambiguity: On the question of simultaneous processibility”

K. Kosińska, “Puns in relevance”

L. Haicun, “Explaining phatic utterance within the Theory of Relevance”

E. Wałaszewska, “A relevance-theoretic perspective on overextension in word learning”

M. Kisielewska-Krysiuk, “Modality and enrichment: A relevance-theoretic account of the meaning of Polish non-inflected modal verbs”

A. Solska, “Linguistically encoded contradictions in understanding verbal irony”

D. Rut-Kluz, “Analysing political speech from the relevance-theoretic perspective: Some implications for the theory”

E. K. Nowik, “Politeness of the impolite: Relevance theory, politeness and banter”


Part II – Relevance and Translation



I. Witczak-Plisiecka, English legal texts in translation – the relevance-theoretic approach”

E. Artowicz, “Extralinguistic knowledge and the interpretation of socio-political columns in Hungarian magazines”

A. Piskorska, “Before a blind student of English becomes a translator”

M. Kizeweter, “How to express the f*** idea if you are Polish? A few remarks about swearing in English-Polish translation”

T. Górski, P. P. Chruszczewski, “Discursive incommesurability and intertextual relations as markers of untranslatability”

M. Garcarz, “Dubbing as a film translation method”

A. Szarkowska, What is relevant in audiovisual translation”


Part III – Relevance and Literary Translation



M. Grzegorzewska, “Words in (out of) place: On rhetoric and relevance in Polish and English versions of Psalms 68: Exurgat Deus et dissipentur inimoci Eius and 137: Super flumina Babylonis”

J. Wiśniewski, “Heaney MaÞelode: A new translation of Beowulf

B. Kowalik, “Chaucer’s rendering of The Aeneid in The House of Fame

A. Cetera, “Speak to me home; mince not the general tongue: (Ir)relevance in the translation of dramatic discourse”

I. Szymańska, “What is equivalence in translating wordplay? On the translators’ approach to conundrums in three Polish versions of The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery”

B. Keane, “Bringing it all home. On translating Wierzyński’s Laur olimpijski

A. Korzeniowska, “Translating the untranslatable. The notion of relevance in reference to Edwin Morgan’s sound poem: Unscrambling the waves at Goonhilly

Y. Jihe, “Three rhyme patterns adopted in translation”


Part IV – Workshops


J. Janecka, M. Kizeweter, “Subjective mechanisms governing the decision-making process in the act of translation”

A. Korzeniowska, “The day the sea spoke. On the translation of sound patterns in poetry”



Mioduszewska, E. (ed.) (2004) Relevance Studies in Poland. Vol. 1. Warszawa: The Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw.



Table of contents:


Preface – Ewa Mioduszewska


Chapter I – Relevance Theory and Language Description



I. Adamska, “Manifestness, truthfulness and relevance – the case of Polish modal particles”

M. Kisielewska, “From logical form to explicature – the case of Polish non-inflected verbs”

M. Łuczak, “Semantic underdeterminacy or pragmatic ambiguity?”

E. Mioduszewska, “Attributive metarepresentation and echoic use – division of labour?”

P. Mirecki, “Communication ‘failure’ – a definition and classification within the Theory of Relevance”

J. Roszkowska, “Metaphor induced search for relevance: a text sample from the Cosmopolitan

R. Ryan, “Encoded information and pragmatic inferences: what Relevance Theory can tell us about the conceptual structure of the ‘reflexive’?”

E. Wałaszewska, “What to do with response cries in Relevance Theory?”

E. Wałaszewska & M. Łuczak, “Metalinguistic negation, implicitness and rectification”

M. Zając, “Polish quantified sentences – from logical form to explicature: an analysis of selected examples from a corpus of young Poles’ everyday conversation”


Chapter II – Relevance Theory and Translation



E.-A. Gutt, “Interpreting core activities in translation: inferring, designing and comparing interpretations”

K. Hejwowski, “Relevance of titles in literary translation”

A. Korzeniowska & M. Grzegorzewska, “Relevance and the decision-making process in the translation of poetry”

A. Piskorska, “Translation and the implicit”

A. Sikora, “An application of relevance-theoretic perspective for comparative analysis of English Bible translations along doctrinal lines”

A. Solska, “”Whoever finds it relevant” – translating and retranslating Tao Te Ching in a relevance-theoretic perspective”

I. Szymańska, “The edge of the translator’s reason”

J. Warakomski, “Rhyme, rhythm and reason: translating children’s cartoon captions in verse”


Chapter III – Relevance Theory: Applications



E. Artowicz, “Indexing documents as searching for relevance”

R. Gozdawa-Gołębiowski, “Relevance defocus in teaching L2 system”

A. Niżegorodcew, “L2 classroom discourse in the light of input theory and relevance theory”


Chapter IV – Relevance Theory and Other Approaches



P. Chruszczewski, “’Semantic leaps’ in the interpretation of communicational grammars of discourse”

M. Garcarz, “Selected translation techniques used to defeat untranslatability in the translations of American rap lyrics”

M. Kizeweter, “A study of English and Polish taboo vocabulary relating to the human body and its functions, as presented in English-Polish and Polish-English dictionaries”

P. Kornacki, “Scripts of face – Chinese concepts of ‘Mianzi’ & ‘Lian’ from the Natural Semantic Metalanguage perfspective”

K. Sip, “On verbal manipulation: addressers’ texts versus receivers’ interpretation”