The research, which is aimed at constructing a theoretical framework for analyzing translations of literary texts, is based on an evaluation of earlier attempts in this direction and on the results of a psycholinguistic and psycho-semantic empirical study of translations.
Among the main psycholinguistic methods are the associative test and Ch. Osgood's (1957) semantic differential that make it possible to define the semantic universals of a word-stimulus and to measure the semantic distance of a certain concept in the semantic space of the original and the target language recipients.
The results of our investigation show that the semantic spaces of the original and the target text recipients are never identical, since the imagery and concreteness quotients of word-stimuli vary. Thus, translation is viewed in this framework as a psycholinguistic process of the interaction between the verbal-logical and the concrete-imaginal information codes.
The model is based on the functional asymmetry of the human cerebral hemisphere that seems to be crucial for structuring a fictional text by its author and for its processing by the interpreter. The model helps explain why translation is vital for the survival and development of a certain culture within the global semiosphere. The degree of similarity in the semantic spaces determines the translator's linguistic choice and the target language reader's aesthetic reaction.