Methodological issues in the use of directional parallel corpora
A case study of English and French concessive connectives
The recent emergence of large parallel corpora has represented a leap ahead for cross-linguistic and translation studies. However, the specificities of these corpora and their influence on the nature of observed linguistic phenomena remain underexplored, especially in the field of contrastive linguistics. In this study, we compare the translation equivalences of four concessive adverbial connectives in English and in French across three corpora varying along three dimensions: register, directionality of the translation and translator expertise. Our results indicate that these dimensions affect the cross-linguistic equivalences observed between connectives. We conclude that, in future work, translation-based claims about cross-linguistic equivalences should be balanced according to the type of data analysed. We also identify a pressing need for more rigorously-documented parallel corpora for the English-French language pair.
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