Article published in:The Complementary Contribution of Comparable and Parallel Corpora to Crosslinguistic Studies
Edited by Sylviane Granger and Marie-Aude Lefer
[Languages in Contrast 20:2] 2020
► pp. 235–262
Questions in English and Swedish fiction texts
A study based on parallel and comparable corpus data
The aim of this article is to shed new light on the use and translation of English and Swedish questions in fiction by using a combination of parallel and comparable corpus data extracted from the bidirectional English-Swedish Parallel Corpus. In particular, the study examines questions containing a question mark (QMquestions) categorised into wh-interrogatives, polar interrogatives, alternative questions, tag questions (including those with invariant tags), declarative questions, wh-fragments and non-wh-fragments. The parallel analysis shows that most QMquestion types are more often translated congruently into English than into Swedish. The focus is on types with low mutual correspondence scores: fragments, tag questions and declarative questions. The comparable analyses concern both bilingual contrasts between the original texts and monolingual contrasts between the translation and original subcorpora in both languages. The bilingual analysis aligns with several preliminary findings in the parallel analysis, e.g. the favouring of tag questions and some types of wh-fragments in English. The monolingual analysis reveals both over- and underuse in translations and points to a strong effect of source-language influence.
Keywords: questions, mutual correspondence, parallel corpora, comparable corpora, English/Swedish
Published online: 06 October 2020
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