What Can Contrastive Linguistics Tell Us about Translating Discourse Structure?

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What Can Contrastive Linguistics Tell Us about Translating Discourse Structure?

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Title: What Can Contrastive Linguistics Tell Us about Translating Discourse Structure?
Author: Korzen, Iørn; Gylling, Morten
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 and nominalised 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.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8416
Date: 2012-03-01
Notes: Paper presented at Pre-conference Workshop GSCL 2011: Contrastive Linguistics, Translation Studies, Machine Translation – What can we Learn from Each Other?, Hamburg, Germany

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