Resource title

What Can Contrastive Linguistics Tell Us about Translating Discourse Structure?

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Paper presented at Pre-conference Workshop GSCL 2011: Contrastive Linguistics, Translation Studies, Machine Translation – What can we Learn from Each Other?, Hamburg, Germany ; This paper argues that translators can greatly benefit from contrastive studies of discourse structure. Cross-linguistic studies of Italianand Danish point to significant typological differences in information packaging in the two languages, especially in their use ofdeverbalisation. 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. Danishtext 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 rhetoricalstructure, and 3) the textualisation of rhetorical satellites.

Resource author

Iørn Korzen, Morten Gylling

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Resource language

eng

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8416

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