A comparative account of the interpretation of temporal relations in narrative in Vietnamese and English
This paper provides a comparative account of the interpretation of temporal relations in Vietnamese and English narrative, using a bi-directional corpus of 3,082 clauses of narrative passages originally written in Vietnamese and their English translations and 3,124 clauses of narrative passages originally written in English and their Vietnamese translations. It is shown that the principles for the interpretation of temporal relations between situations in narrative are similar for both English and Vietnamese despite the fact that English has a well-developed tense system, while Vietnamese is a widely-known tenseless language. The principles are based on the temporal properties of situation aspect and the discourse relations between the clauses, which are elicited from pragmatic inferences.
Keywords: Vietnamese, English, situation aspect, temporal interpretation, narrative
Published online: 19 November 2015
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Appendix — texts included in the parallel corpus
Lê, Minh Khuê
Nguyễn, Huy Thiệp