LINGUIST List 31.1693

Wed May 20 2020

Books: Semantic differences in translation: Vandevoorde

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 20-May-2020
From: Sebastian Nordhoff <>
Subject: Semantic differences in translation: Vandevoorde
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Title: Semantic differences in translation
Subtitle: Exploring the field of inchoativity
Series Title: Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing
Published: 2020
Publisher: Language Science Press

Book URL:

Author: Lore Vandevoorde
Electronic: ISBN: 9783961100729 Pages: 247 Price: Europe EURO 0 Comment: Open Access

Although the notion of meaning has always been at the core of translation, the invariance of meaning has, partly due to practical constraints, rarely been challenged in Corpus-based Translation Studies. In answer to this, the aim of this book is to question the invariance of meaning in translated texts: if translation scholars agree on the fact that translated language is different from non-translated language with respect to a number of grammatical and lexical aspects, would it be possible to identify differences between translated and non-translated language on the semantic level too? More specifically, this books tries to formulate an answer to the following three questions: (i) how can semantic differences in translated vs non-translated language be investigated in a corpus-based study?, (ii) are there any differences on the semantic level between translated and non-translated language? and (iii) if there are differences on the semantic level, can we ascribe them to any of the (universal) tendencies of translation? In this book, I establish a way to visually explore semantic similarity on the basis of representations of translated and non-translated semantic fields. A technique for the comparison of semantic fields of translated and non-translated language called SMM++ (based on Helge Dyvik’s Semantic Mirrors method) is developed, yielding statistics-based visualizations of semantic fields. The SMM++ is presented via the case of inchoativity in Dutch (beginnen [to begin]). By comparing the visualizations of the semantic fields on different levels (translated Dutch with French as a source language, with English as a source language and non-translated Dutch) I further explore whether the differences between translated and non-translated fields of inchoativity in Dutch can be linked to any of the well-known universals of translation. The main results of this study are explained on the basis of two cognitively inspired frameworks: Halverson’s Gravitational Pull Hypothesis and Paradis’ neurolinguistic theory of bilingualism.

Linguistic Field(s): Translation

Subject Language(s): Dutch (nld)
                            English (eng)
                            French (fra)

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 20-May-2020