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Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms) 9 October 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms) 9 October 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms) 9 October 2007

2 Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies  Categories in Linguistics Sound structure (phonology) Grammatical structure (syntax) Word and sentence meaning (semantics)  Types of Organisation in Language Syntagmatic Paradigmatic

3 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms) SyntagmaticParadigmatic Grammar (syntax) Structure (e.g. SVO, dhq, SPOCA) System (e.g. pronoun system; active vs. passive) Lexis (vocabulary) Collocation (e.g. rancid butter, addled eggs, stale bread) Sets (e.g. lexical field of vehicles, flowers, etc.)

4 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Collocation The tendency of certain items to co- occur regularly in a given language (Baker 1992:285)  Lexical Set Items which share a like privilege of collocation (share collocates) e.g. for hair: dark, black, red, blonde, auburn

5 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Grammar Structure  Obligatory  Largely predictive  Lexis Patterning  Largely not predictive  Organised on top of structure  Can concern the recurrence of structural items

6 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Word e.g. die, dies, died, dying  Word-form Token (e.g. man, men)  Lexeme Base form of a word, without inflections (e.g. DIE)

7 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Applying Lexical Analysis in T&I Meaning does not totally organise the vocabulary of a language Meaning in a text is cumulative Categories of lexis different from grammar and semantics  Collocation  Lexical Set

8 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Lexical item Any word or expression which has a unique pattern of collocation and which represents an independently meaningful stretch of language  Grammar and lexis are two complementary ways of looking at language

9 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Types of collocation Collocations which exist for semantic reasons (brown cow) Culturally conditioned collocations (cottage cheese) Arbitrary collocations (running commentary but not running discussion)

10 Lexical Level (Collocations and Idioms)  Domain-specific collocations (e.g. vigorous depressions)  Collocation and metaphor (e.g. time is money)  Marked/unmarked collocation  Collocational range and range extension  Idioms and Fixed Expressions

11 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Some major functions of MWUs Sequencing ideas: first and foremost Anaphoric connections: in other words Argumentation: as a result of, for that matter Greetings and closings: How are you? See you later Politeness routines: if you don’t mind, I beg your pardon Assent/agreement: sure thing, you’re absolutely right Rejection/conflictive: no way, you’re kidding, not on your life Fluency/interactive devices: you see, I mean, you know

12 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Some major functions of MWUs Markers of new information: guess what, you’ll never believe this Suggestions: if I were you Concessions: it’s up to you, never mind Support: not to worry, don’t let it get to you Qualification: mind you, and yet Expression of emotions (gets more idiomatic): have/get cold feet, have butterflies in one’s stomach, turns one’s stomach Expression of evaluation/assessment: small fry, not worth the paper it’s written on, worth peanuts

13 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Idioms Literal (as a matter of fact) Semi-transparent (skate on thin ice) Opaque (spill the beans) Misleading idioms (public school)

14 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Transparency/opacity continuum Concretising (playing on visual dimension) Playing on both literal and idiomatic meanings simultaneously

15 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  Semantic fields and idiom Parts of the body  Syntactical structure Can be extremely ‘fixed’  Ellipsis common with sayings The grass is always greener  Cultural references East End, Harley Street, cucumber sandwiches  Idioms vs. Allusions ‘The Origin of the Species’/’The Origin of the Spices’

16 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  References Abu-Ssaydeh, Abdul-Fattah (2004) ‘Translation of English Idioms into Arabic’, Babel 50(2): 114– 131. Baker, Mona (1992) In Other Words, London & New York: Routledge. (Chapter 3: Equivalence Above Word Level) Baker, Mona (in press) ‘Patterns of Idiomaticity in Translated vs. Non-translated English’, Belgian Journal of Linguistics. [Available on Intranet] Baker, Mona and Michael McCarthy (1988) ‘Multi- Word Units and Things Like That’. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Birmingham. [Available on Intranet]

17 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  References (cont.) Bolinger, Dwight and Donald Sears (1981) Aspects of Language, New York: Harcourt Brace, 3rd Edition. (Chapter 4: Words and their Make- Up) Fernando, C. (1996) Idioms and Idiomaticity, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gabrielatos, Constantinos (1994) ‘Pedagogical Grammar. Collocations: Pedagogical Implications and Their Treatment in Pedagogical Materials’. Unpublished Article, Cambridge: Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics’. [Available on Intranet]

18 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  References (cont.) Gottlieb, Henrik (1997) ‘Quality Revisited: The Rendering of English Idioms in Danish Television Subtitles vs. Printed Translations’, in Anna Trosborg (ed.) Text Typology and Translation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, Mitchell, T. F. (1975) Principles of Firthian Linguistics, London: Longman. (Chapter 4: ‘Linguistic “goings on”: collocations and other lexical matters arising on the syntagmatic record’, pp ). Newman, A. (1988) ‘The Contrastive Analysis of Hebrew and English Dress and Cooking Collocations: Some Linguistic and Pedagogic Parameters’, Applied Linguistics 9(

19 Lexical Level (Collocation and Idioms)  References (cont.) Rose, James H. (1978) ‘Types of Idioms’, Linguistics 203: [Short Loan Collection] Shei, Chi-Chiang. (2005) ‘Fixedness in genre- specific language and intercultural differences: Comparing English and Chinese fire news corpora’, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 10(2): Sinclair, J.M. (1987) ‘Collocation: a progress report’, in R. Steele and T. Threadgold (eds) Language Topics: Essays in Honour of Michael Halliday, Vol II, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, Sinclair, John (1991) Corpus, Concordance, Collocation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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