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Academic Paper

Title: Structural effects of English–German language contact in translation on concessive constructions in business articles
Paper URL:
Author: Mario Bisiada
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Translation
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Studies on a variety of languages have observed a shift away from hypotactic, hierarchical structures towards paratactic, incremental structures, and have attributed this to language contact with English in translation. This paper investigates such a shift towards parataxis as the preferred structure of concessive constructions in German business articles. To this effect, a diachronic corpus method that has been applied to popular science articles in existing studies is adopted and applied to business articles, in an attempt to reproduce existing findings for this genre. This method is complemented by a corpus of manuscripts which allow to control for the effect of editing on the translated texts. Based on the analysis of hypotactic and paratactic translations of English concessive conjunctions between 1982/83 and 2008, I argue that hypotactic structures are indeed used less frequently in translated texts, but that this development is restricted to translated language. In non-translated texts, the use of hypotactic conjunctions has increased. The use of sentence-initial conjunctions, however, does seem to spread in this genre (as was reported for popular science), which may be further evidence for it to be a case of language change through contact in translation.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Bisiada, Mario. 2016. Structural effects of English-German language contact in translation on concessive constructions in business articles. Text & Talk. 36(2). 133−154. doi:10.1515/text-2016-0007.
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