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Title: Explicitation through the use of connectives in translated Chinese : a corpus-based study
Author: Chen, Juiching Wallace
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 6121
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2006
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The present research aims to investigate explicitation through the use of connectives (i. e. conjunctions and sentential adverbs) in translated Chinese compared to non-translated Chinese, and the extent to which the phenomenon of explicitation is driven by the source texts. The study is based on a specially built 1.8-million-word English-Chinese Parallel Corpus (ECPC), which consists of thirteen English source texts of popular science writings and their translations into two Chinese versions produced in Taiwan and China respectively. In addition to ECPC, the science section of the 5-million-word Sinica Corpus of modern Chinese is used as a reference corpus. An integrated model of explicitation is proposed, relating the hypothesised phenomenon to both source texts and non-translated texts of the target language. A log-likelihood test is applied to identify connectives that are drawn on more frequently in translated Chinese compared to non-translated Chinese. Initial findings of the study show that, quantitatively, approximately one-third of all connective types in the Chinese translations produced in either Taiwan or China occur with significantly higher frequencies than their counterparts in non-translations. Qualitatively, connectives in translations from the two Chinese markets feature in syntactic and lexical patterns that are quite different from those found in non-translations. Some of the major differences are: departure from paired constructions and inter-sentential connection characteristic of non-translated Chinese (and conversely, gravitation towards stand-alone use and intra-sentential connection); loss of semantic prosody; and formation of new paired constructions. When the source text is brought into the picture, both sets of Chinese translations again reveal similar patterns - around 75% of the occurrences of all connectives are carried over from the source texts, while the remaining 25% are explicitieised (i. e. added) in the translation process. The highly similar patterns of explicitation through the use of connectives in the two data sets suggest that explicitation is likely to prove typical of Chinese translations of popular science texts in general. At the same time, the study shows that Taiwanese translations feature a higher degree of connective explicitation than their mainland Chinese counterparts, a result likely to arise from pedagogical and social norms in China that place greater emphasis on faithfulness in translation. The findings of the study are related to three potential explanations: linguistic habits of translators, commissioner's requirements of explicit translation, and pedagogical emphasis on explicitation. Based on the results obtained from analysing the use of connectives in ECPC, this research offers several suggestions for future corpus-based studies of translational features. These include distinguishing between process- and product-oriented explicitation; refining the definition of explicitation; seeking more evidence of explicitation in large-scale corpora of translation; incorporating a wide variety of genres, language pairs and interdisciplinary components into corpus-based studies; and investigating sociocultural and individual factors that might motivate the various features of translation attested in this study
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available