What can Contrastive Linguistics Tell us about Translating Discourse Structure?

Iørn Korzen, Morten Gylling-Jørgensen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that translators can greatly benefit from contrastive studies of discourse structure. Cross-linguistic studies of Italian and Danish point to significant typological differences in information packaging in the two languages, especially in their use of deverbalisation. Italian sentences tend to include a larger number of Elementary Discourse Units (EDUs), especially propositions, than Danish. A higher percentage of these is rhetorically backgrounded by means of non-finite andnominalised predicates. Danish text structure, on the other hand, is more informationally linear and characterised by a higher number of finite verbs and topic shifts. These typological differences are transferred into three simple translation rules concerning 1) the number of EDUs, 2) the rhetorical structure, and 3) the textualisation of rhetorical satellites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2011
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventPre-conference Workshop GSCL 2011: Contrastive Linguistics, Translation Studies, Machine Translation – What can we Learn from Each Other? - Hamburg, Germany
    Duration: 27 Sep 201127 Sep 2011

    Workshop

    WorkshopPre-conference Workshop GSCL 2011: Contrastive Linguistics, Translation Studies, Machine Translation – What can we Learn from Each Other?
    CountryGermany
    CityHamburg
    Period27/09/201127/09/2011

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