Sentence splitting and discourse structure in translations
The typical informational density in German non-fictional prose often triggers sentence splitting in translations into Norwegian. Information given as VP- or NP-adjunctions in the monosentential source versions is extracted and rendered as independent sentences or conjuncts in coordinative structures in the target version. Typically, subordination in the source version signals that the information should not be seen as the main focus of the sentence. Hence, an important means of guiding the reader with regard to discourse function is lost in the translated version. This article aims at showing how certain choices of target version form can be explained by the goal of preserving the discourse structure of the original. A recurring strategy is the use of coordinated clauses or VPs in the target version. Coordination — at least in narratives licensing consequential readings between the first and second conjunct — is exploited as a device of ’downgrading’ the information of the first conjunct to a background role, preserving the second conjunct as the main focus equivalent to the original. Thus, coordination seems to compensate for the more restricted use of syntactic subordination in Norwegian.
Keywords: translation studies, Coordination, translation strategies, German/Norwegian
Published online: 18 April 2008