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A corpus study of splitting and joining sentences in translation

Frankenberg-Garcia, Ana (2017) A corpus study of splitting and joining sentences in translation Corpora, 14 (1). pp. 1-30.

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The use of corpora in translation studies has risen dramatically over the past years, contributing towards a growing body of empirical research focusing not only on what differentiates translated from non-translated language, but also on the changes or shifts that translators make from source to target texts. Most of the latter studies are centred on sub-sentential elements, such as the contrastive use of particular lexis or grammar. However, translation shifts can transcend the level of the sentence. For example, sentences can be split or joined in translation, or there can be complex shifts that combine the two. While there is some research on sentence splitting, there do not seem to be many studies about sentence joining, or indeed sentence splitting and joining together. The present study seeks to address this gap. Using a bidirectional parallel corpus of Portuguese and English fiction, over 90 thousand source-text sentences and their corresponding text in translation were analysed from a quantitative perspective, and a closer look was taken at a sample of over one thousand parallel text segments involving sentence joining and splitting. The main findings were that in both translation directions (1) there was a strong tendency for sentence preservation, (2) the differences between sentence splitting and joining were not significant, and (3) changes in sentence boundaries were predominantly associated with the standardization or normalization of syntax and a tendency for explicitation.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages
Authors :
Date : 25 October 2017
DOI : 10.3366/cor.2019.0159
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2017 Edinburgh University Press. This is an Author’s Accepted Manuscript of an article to be published by Edinburgh University Press in Corpora. The Version of Record will be available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords : translation, parallel corpora, sentence splitting, sentence joining, standardization, normalization, explicitation
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 25 Jul 2017 12:39
Last Modified : 28 Aug 2019 12:15

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