Discourse connectives across languages
Factors influencing their explicit or implicit translation
Coherence relations linking discourse segments can be communicated explicitly by the use of connectives but also implicitly through juxtaposition. Some discourse relations appear, however, to be more coherent than others when conveyed implicitly. This difference is explained in the literature by the existence of default expectations guiding discourse interpretation. In this paper, we assess the factors influencing implicitation by comparing the number of implicit and explicit translations of three polysemous French connectives in translated texts across three target languages: German, English and Spanish. Each connective can convey two discourse relations: one that can easily be conveyed implicitly and one that cannot be easily conveyed implicitly in monolingual data. Results indicate that relations that can easily be conveyed implicitly are also those that are most often left implicit in translation in all target languages. We discuss these results in view of the cognitive factors influencing the explicit or implicit communication of discourse relations.
Keywords: discourse relations; translation, discourse connectives, implicitation; English/French/German/Spanish
Published online: 29 September 2016
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