From: Gert De Sutter <gert.desutterhogent.be>
Subject: Methodological Advances in C-B Translation Studies
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Full Title: Methodological Advances in C-B Translation Studies
Short Title: MATS 2010
Date: 08-Jan-2010 - 09-Jan-2010
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact Person: Gert De Sutter
Meeting Email: gert.desutterhogent.be
Web Site: http://veto.hogent.be/actua/mats2010/
Linguistic Field(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics; Translation
Call Deadline: 30-Sep-2009
Methodological Advances in Corpus-Based Translation Studies. Areas of interest
include: (i) the relationship between non-translated texts and translated texts
in one language; (ii) the relationship between source texts and target texts;
(iii) innovative methods and techniques for collecting and analysing data in
Call for Papers
We invite papers for a two-day symposium which will focus on corpus-based work
in the field of Translation Studies. Areas of interest include:
- The relationship between non-translated texts and translated texts in one
- The relationship between source texts and target texts
- Innovative methods and techniques for collecting and analysing data in
The introduction of a corpus-based methodology in the field of Translation
Studies (Baker 1993) gave rise to a large number of empirical studies that
investigate the fundamental characteristics of translated texts and their
relationship to their source texts and non-translated texts. These studies have
yielded interesting insights into the nature of translated language and the
translation process, such as the so-called translation universals, the ideology
of translation and stylistic differences between translators.
Nevertheless, important methodological and conceptual challenges lie ahead. Some
languages, for instance, are less well-studied within corpus-based Translation
Studies. Obviously, in order to empirically verify general hypotheses about
translation products and processes, as many languages as possible have to be
In addition, some general hypotheses, like the explicitation hypothesis, need
conceptual refinement: to what extent, for instance, is explicitation at
syntactic level identical to explicitation at discursive level? Most
importantly, how can general hypotheses be put to the test or, in other words,
how do we 'translate' (operationalise) hypotheses so that they are empirically
testable in a corpus?
The two-day symposium therefore wants to encourage corpus-based work on
translations in less well-studied languages as well as corpus-based work that
pushes methodological and conceptual frontiers in Translation Studies. Possible
questions / hypotheses include (but are not limited to):
- Untranslatability or implicitation - Contrary to explicitation, which has been
confirmed as one of the translation universals in many corpus-based studies,
implicitation has received much less attention except for a few studies.
Fabricius-Hansen and Behrens (2001), for instance, have come across 'S-universal
implicitations' by applying Dyvik's mirror technique (1998) and looking for the
presence of specific linguistic items in either source or target text.
Similarly, Puurtinen (2003) has found cases of 'S-universal implicitation' by
investigating syntactic differences between source and target texts in aligned
parallel corpora, such as the differences between clauses and nominal phrases,
or those between clauses and complex premodifiers. Can these methods be applied
to find all types of 'S-universal implicitation', and can they be employed to
retrieve 'T-universal implicitations' in comparable corpora?
- Deictic shifts in translation - Deictic elements, such as demonstratives,
personal pronouns, verbal tenses or spatiotemporal adverbs, may be affected by
translation: demonstratives may alternate with definite articles or other
determiners, proximals may alternate with distals, present tenses may alternate
with past tenses, etc. Hence, the question arises: do deictic shifts occur
systematically? What are the main motivations for shifting or non-shifting? What
are the semantic effects of deictic shifts? What is the effect of the
translators' conceptualization of the deictic centre? Previous studies in this
domain are Mason & Şerban (2003) and Bosseaux (2007).
- Information structure asymmetries between source and target texts - Parallel
texts have been used in the analysis of information structure at sentence level
(Gundel 2002; Musacchio 2007). However, unlike some studies on cohesion which
focus on information structure at discourse level (Blum-Kulka 1986), none of
this research has addressed the possible influence of typical aspects of the
translation process in the distribution and marking of information structure in
parallel texts. Gundel (2002) entirely attributes the observed differences
between Norwegian and English to language specific properties of the source
language, whereas Musacchio (2007) focuses on traces of source language
interference. Even though both studies undeniably reveal aspects of the fate of
information structure in translation, it would be rather surprising if
information structure and its marking remained unaffected by such phenomena as
explicitation, simplification, normalisation, etc. Hence the question, are there
sentential information structure shifts between source and target texts that can
be ascribed to one of these phenomena?
- Register differences within translated language - Although it has been
repeatedly shown that actual choices between competing variants in
non-translated language are heavily influenced by the type of register (e.g.
Biber 1988), corpus-based Translation Studies are mostly restricted to one
single type of register. Given the high degree of register variation in
non-translated language, it would be interesting to find out to what extent
linguistic choices in translated language are (consciously or unconsciously)
influenced by the type of register. If that is the case, it would probably mean
that translation universals need to be reformulated in more register-sensitive
These examples illustrate the type of questions and hypotheses that we would
like to see addressed. We call on researchers within the corpus-based strand of
Translation Studies to submit a paper on these and related topics.
Baker, M. (1993). "Corpus linguistics and translation studies". In: M. Baker, G.
Francis & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and technology. In honour of John
Sinclair. Amsterdam - Philadelphia: Benjamins, 223-250.
Biber, D. (1988). Variation Across Speech and Writing. Cambridge: CUP.
Blum-Kulka, S. (1986). "Shifts of cohesion and coherence in Translation". In: J.
House & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlingual and Intercultural Communication:
Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies.
Tübingen: Narr, 17-35.
Bosseaux, C. (2007). How Does it Feel? Point of View in Translation. The Case of
Virginia Woolf into French. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
Dyvik, H. (1998). "A translational basis for semantics". In: S. Johansson & S.
Oksefjell (Eds.), Corpora and Cross-linguistic Research. Amsterdam - Atlanta:
Fabricius-Hansen, C. & B. Behrens (2001). Elaboration and related discourse
relations viewed from an interlingual perspective.SPRIKReports, 13, June 2001.
Gundel, J. (2002). "Information structure and the use of cleft sentences in
English and Norwegian". In: H. Hasselgård, S. Johansson, B. Behrens & C.
Fabricius-Hansen (Eds.), Information structure in a cross-linguistic
perspective. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 113-128.
Mason, I. & A. Şerban 2003. Deixis as an interactive feature in literary
translations from Romanian into English. Target 15(2): 269-294.
Musacchio, M. T. (2007). "The distribution of information in LSP translation: a
corpus study of Italian". In: K. Ahmad & M. Rogers (Eds.), Evidence-based LSP:
translation, text and terminology. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 97-117.
Puurtinen, T. (2003). "Explicitating and implicitating source text ideology".
Across Languages and Cultures 4(1): 53-63.
Abstracts should be written in English and should clearly articulate:
- the corpus materials used;
- the research hypothesis as well as the operationalisation of this hypothesis
in corpus-linguistic terms;
- the results of the analysis and its theoretical implications (statistical
analysis of the corpus data is a plus).
Although one of the objectives of the symposium is to stimulate corpus-based
research on less well-studied languages, contributions on well-studied languages
will also be welcomed.
For purposes of easy editing, please download the abstract template available at
our website. Send your abstract (500 words, excluding references) to:
gert.desutterhogent.be. Specify your name(s), affiliation and contact details
in the message body only.
Abstracts are due on September 30, 2009 and will be reviewed anonymously by two
members of the local organising committee and the scientific committee.
Notification of acceptance is scheduled on October 30, 2009.
- Andrew Chesterman (University of Helsinki)
- Silvia Bernardini (University of Bologna at Forlì)
Local Organizing Committee
Bart Defrancq (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Gert De Sutter (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Patrick Goethals (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Torsten Leuschner (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Reine Meylaerts (University of Leuven)
Sonia Vandepitte (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Marc Van de Velde (University College Ghent / Ghent University)
Dominique Willems (Ghent University)
- September 30, 2009: Abstracts due
- October 30, 2009: Notification of acceptance
- January 8 and 9, 2010: Symposium
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