Publication details [#6668]

Mauranen, Anna. 1999. What sort of theme is there? A translational perspective. Languages in Contrast 2 (1) : 57–85.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
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Target language
Journal DOI


This paper explores uses of thematic there on the basis of a parallel corpus with two-way translations between English and Finnish, focusing on two questions: how translators deal with the information structure of there constructions, and what discourse functions thematic non-referential there is used for. Overall, translators tended to maintain the original information structure, particularly its main focus, without translating word by word, and showing sensitivity to the text level. Pre-topical orienting themes played an adaptive role in focus maintenance. In discourse, there constructions play an important role in organizing information: they prospect and introduce new items, new points, topics, and conclusions. In contrast, Finnish appears to use more orienting themes, new topical themes and verb-initial clauses signaling a change of tack in discourse. The findings throw into sharp relief sentences without topic or theme, and question the universality of both phenomena.
Source : Bitra