Syntactic Variance and Priming Effects in Translation

Srinivas Bangalore, Bergljot Behrens, Michael Carl, Maheshwar Ghankot, Arndt Heilmann, Jean Nitzke, Moritz Schaeffer, Annegret Sturm

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    The present work investigates the relationship between syntactic variation and priming in translation. It is based on the claim that languages share a common cognitive network of neural activity. When the source and target languages are solicited in a translation context, this shared network can lead to facilitation effects, so-called priming effects. We suggest that priming is a default setting in translation, a special case of language use where source and target languages are constantly co-activated. Such priming effects are not restricted to lexical elements, but do also occur on the syntactic level. We tested these hypotheses with translation data from the TPR database, more specifically for three language pairs (English-German, English-Danish, and English-Spanish). Our results show that response times are shorter when syntactic structures are shared. The model explains this through strongly co-activated network activity, which triggers a priming effect.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNew Directions in Empirical Translation Process Research : Exploring the CRITT TPR-DB
    EditorsMichael Carl, Srinivas Bangalore, Moritz Schaeffer
    Number of pages28
    Place of PublicationCham
    PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)9783319203577
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319203584
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    SeriesNew Frontiers in Translation Studies

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