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Telling the SugarStory in 6 Indo-European languages: What may and what must be conveyed? “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not.

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Presentation on theme: "Telling the SugarStory in 6 Indo-European languages: What may and what must be conveyed? “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not."— Presentation transcript:

1 Telling the SugarStory in 6 Indo-European languages: What may and what must be conveyed? “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey” Roman Jakobson (1959:236) SugarTexts Viktor Smith, Copenhagen Business School Lingue e culture europee: tipologie a confronto, Cagliari, 13-14 novembre 2007

2 Conceptualization, lexicalization, and verbalization of “moving, or being moved, from Loc 1 to Loc 2 ” Suggested terms: Smith (2003: 71ff; 2005)  The cognitive mechanisms involved appear to be universal  The linguistic means available for communicating their products display profound and systematic crosslinguistic differences Basic assumptions: Project focus (at least initially) Relocation  Relocation Verbs

3 Systematic crosslinguistic differences also dividing the Indo-European Language Family Example: Danish hunden gik/løb ind fisken svømmede ind fuglen fløj ind bilen kørte ind skibet sejlede ind Italian il cane il pesce l’uccello la macchina la nave entrò

4 Typological frames of explanation  Manner (or: satellite-framed) vs. Path (or: verb-framed) languages Talmy (1985, 2000); Slobin (2004a/b); Mora Gutiérrez (2001); Berthele (2004)  Endocentric vs. Exocentric languages Herslund (2000); Herslund & Baron (2003); Korzen (2005) Growth points for continued research Refining and differentiating the typological description of particular languages Assessing the impact of typological differences on crosslinguistic communication and translation The language  worldview & “thinking for speaking” dimensions The SugarTexts Corpus provides an empirical basis for shedding new light on these and other dimensions

5 The SugarTexts Corpus Multilingual text corpus containing authentic step-by-step descriptions of the processing of sugar beets into refined white sugar in a sugar factory, as found in textbooks, technical research reports, information folders, encyclopedias, sales material, on websites, etc. Collected and screened by the joint effort of 8 master thesis students and 1 PhD student in collaboration with senior researchers at CBS Spontaneous verbalizations of uniform extralinguistic scenarios containing a wide variety of relocation processes and events in terms of both Path and Manner of motion That is: Status:English: ItalianFrenchSpanish DanishGermanRussian: Status: English: 17 texts, Italian: 15 texts, French: 26 texts, Spanish: 17 texts, Danish: 17 texts, German: 32 texts, Russian: 13 texts.

6 Frog Stories Related approaches Berman & Slobin 1994; Strömquist & Verhoeven 2004 Skytte et al. 1999 The Mr. Bean Project

7 Virtues of the SugarTexts material: Real-life texts produced by text writers simply doing their job Immediate intelligibility to non-specialists and “fairy-tale appeal” Path & Manner of motion change and combine in numerous ways throughout the process The process media are affected and evolve along the process which further differentiates their motion potential Realistic basis for testing the impact of typological differences on crosslinguistic communication: Translating technical process descriptions is a real-life challenge to thousands of translators! Text categorization: A, B & C texts depending on the intended reader’s expected degree of special knowledge

8 But how is it conceptualized and verbalized? What we see...

9 The SugarWorld Ontology soil crude juice thin juice cosettes beets WASHING pulp filter cake SLICING DIFFUSION PURIFICATION thick juice massecuite steam molasses CRYSTALLIZATION CENTRIFUGATION EVAPORATION sugar crystals

10 The ontology involves a wide variety of Actions involving a change of location in terms of presence or absence of a Figure on a particular Ground (Location) Activities involving unstable Figure-Ground relationships on one and the same Ground (Location) may be further specified linguistically in terms of Loc 1  Loc 2  Path Examples:arrive enter may be further specified linguistically in terms of Figure  Ground interaction and compatibility (+ impact of Agent, for transitive verbs)  Manner Examples: roll soak throw For further details on the semantic metalanguage: See Smith 2003; 2005a

11 Different languages present these variables in different ways A first taste: Danish:Tyndsaften pumpes til fordampestationen, hvor saften koncentreres SugarText_DA 9 [‘The thin juice is pumped to the evaporation station where the juice is concentrated’] SugarText_DA 9 Italian:Il sugo leggero passa alla stazione di evaporazione [...] SugarText_IT 1 More examples will follow in subsequent talks by my CBS colleagues Danish:Roerne glider direkte ind i en langstrakt beholder, roevasken [‘The beets slide directly into an elongated container, the beet SugarText_DA 3 washer’] SugarText_DA 3 Italian:Le bietole, unitamente all’acqua di trasporto, entrano nelle lavatrici SugarText_IT 4

12 Still: What we present today does not exhaust the range of linguistic phenomena and questions that are currently being explored and could be explored in a SugarTexts context And we might even crystallize some new ideas today Everyone is invited!

13 Project status: Text collection and “straining” almost completed Texts used by colleagues and students for exploring verb typologies, anaphors, nominal lexicalization patterns etc. (a few articles and 4 master theses) Next steps: Making the corpus publically available on with additional multimedia ScienTainment facilities, serving as a forum for interested SugarTexts Symposium with Proceedings Development of electronic sugar processing dictionary with additional language and knowledge management tools incorporationg research results gained

14 Thank you for your attention!

15 Berman R.A. & Slobin D.I., eds. (1994). Relating events in narratives. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Berthele, R. (2004): The typology of motion and posture verbs: A variationist account. In: B. Kortmann, ed. Dialectology Meets Typology. Dialect Grammar from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Berlin & New York, 93-126. Blaser, E. & Sperling, G. (in preparation) When is motion motion? Borst, A. (2000). Models of motion detection. In: Nature Neuroscience 3, 1168. Durst-Andersen, P. (2002). Russian and English as two distinct subtypes of accusative languages, Scando-Slavica Tomus 48. Durst-Andersen, P. (2000). The English progressive as picture description. In: Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 32, 45-103. Durst-Andersen, P. (1992). Mental grammar. Russian aspect and related issues. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica Publishers, Inc. Durst-Andersen, P. & Herslund M. (1996). The syntax of Danish verbs. Lexical and syntactic transitivity. In: Content, expression, and structure. Studies in Danish functional grammar. In: H. Engberg-Pedersen et al., eds. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 65-102. Dodge, E. & Lakoff, G. (2005). On the neural basis of image schemas. In: B. Hampe, ed. From perception to meaning: Image schemas in cognitive linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter. Ettin, T. (2007). Relokation i en endo- / exocentrisk kontekst. En analyse af relokationsbegivenheder i danske og italienske SugarTexts med henblik på udformningen af en oversættelsesstrategi.[Relocation in an endo- / exocentric context. An analysis of relocation events in Danish and Italian SugarTexts as a basis for formulationg a translation strategy]. Master Thesis. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School. Fong, V. & Poulin, C. (1998). Locating linguistic variation in semantic templates. In: J.-P. Koenig, ed. Discourse and cognition. Bridging the gap. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications, 29-39. Gennari, S. P.; Sloman, S. A.; Malt, B. C. & Fitch, W. T. (2002). Motion events in language and cognition. In: Cognition 83 (1), 49-79. Herslund, M. (1998). Typologi, leksikalisering og oversættelse. [Typology, lexicalization, and translation]. Lingvistisk Oversættelse. Copenhagen Working Papers in LSP 3. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School, 7-12. Herslund, M. (2000). Tipologia grammaticale e tipologia lessicale. In: I. Korzen & C. Marello, eds. Argomenti per una linguistica della traduzione. Notes pour une linguistique de la traducion. On linguistic aspects of trans­lation. Gli argomenti umani 4. Alessandria: Edizioni del­l'Orso, 11-18. Herslund, M. & Baron, I. (2003) Language as world view. Endocentric and exocentric representations of reality. In: I. Baron, ed. Language and culture. Copenhagen Studies in Languages 29, 29-42. Ibarretxe Antuñano, I. (2004). Language typologies in our language use: The case of Basque motion events in adult oral narratives. Cognitive Linguistics 3, 317-349. Jakobson, R. (1959). On linguistic aspects of translation. In R. A. Brower, ed. On translation, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 232-239. Selective bibliography

16 Korzen, I. (2005). Lingue endocentriche e lingue esocentriche: lseeico, testo e pensiero. In: I. Korzen & P. D’Achille, eds. Tipologia linguistica e società. Considerazioni inter- e intralinguistiche. Firenze: Franco Cesati Editore, 31-54. Mora Gutiérrez, J. P. M. (2001). Directed motion in English and Spanish. In: Estudios de Lingüística Española 11. Nørgaard, K.; Nielsen, L. Ø. B. (20079: Model for dansk-fransk terminologisk vidensformidling inden for sukkerproduktion. [A model of Danish-French knowledge transfer in the field of sugar manufacturing]. Master Thesis. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School. Ozol, S. (2004). Fra sukkerroe til sukkerskål: Onomasiologisk undersøgelse af danske og russiske relokationsverber baseret på SugarTexts. [From sugar beet to sugar pot: An onomasiological study of Danish and Russian relocation verbs based on SugarTexts.] Master’s Thesis. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School. Palmer, S. E. (1999) Vision science. Photons to phenomenology. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. Papafragou, A.; Massey, C. & Gleitman, L. (2001). Motion events in language and cognition. In: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Papafragou, A.; Massey, C. & Gleitman, L. (2002). Shake, rattle ‘n’ roll: the representation of motion in language and cognition. In:: Cognition 84, 189-219. Plungjan, V. A. (2002). O specifike vyraženija imennych prostranstvennych charakteristik v glagole: kategorija glagol´noj orientacii. In: V. A. Plugjan, ed. Grammatikal­izacija prostranstvennych značenij. Moscow: Russkie slovari, 57-98. Rojo, A. & Valenzuela, J. (2001) ”How to say things with words: Ways of saying in English and Spanish”. In: Meta, XLVI, 3 467-477. Skytte, G.; Korzen, I.; Polito P. & Strudsholm, E., eds. (1999). Strutturazione testuale in italiano e in daneses. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Sinha, C. & Kuteva, T. (1995) Distributed spatial semantics. In: Nordic Journal of Linguistics 18, 167-199. Slobin, D. (2004a). The many ways to search for a frog: Linguistic typology and the expression of motion events. In: S. Strömquist & L. Verhoeven, eds. Relating events in narrative: Typological contextual perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Slobin, D. (2004b). Relating narrative events in translation. In: D. Ravid & H. B. Shyldkrot, eds. Perspectives on language and language development: Essays in honor of Ruth A. Berman. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Slobin, D. (1996a). Two ways to travel: Verbs of motion in English and Spanish. In: Grammatical constructions: Their form and meaning. M. Shibatani & S. Tompson, eds. Oxford: University Press, 195-219. Slobin, D. (1996b). From “thought and language” to “thinking for speaking”. In: J. J. Gumperz & S. C. Levinson, eds. Rethinking linguistic relativity. Cambridge: University Press. Selective bibliography

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