Is there interference of usage constraints?: A frequency study of existential there is and its French equivalent il y a in translated vs. non-translated texts

Abstract : We examine the possible impact of frequency differences between a construction in L1 and its equivalent in L2 on translations. Our case is that of existential there in English and existential il y a in French. Using corpus evidence, we first confirm previous claims that existential there is used more freely in English than existential il y a is in French. Drawing on extensive counts conducted in available corpora and self-compiled samples of translated English and French, intra-language comparisons of translated and non-translated language use show that existential there is under-represented in English translated from French while existential il y a is over-represented in French translated from English. It is suggested that source-language interference is responsible for these differences. In addition, counts of existentials in individual novels and their translations show that inter-language frequency shifts systematically occur in the direction of target-language norms, most clearly so for translations into French, which suggests that the observed usage constraint on il y a still applies to a noticeable extent in translated French. Methodologically, we argue the need for a large corpus of translated French.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01495728
Contributor : Bert Cappelle <>
Submitted on : Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 7:27:41 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 11:38:40 AM

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Bert Cappelle, Rudy Loock. Is there interference of usage constraints?: A frequency study of existential there is and its French equivalent il y a in translated vs. non-translated texts. Target, John Benjamins Publishing, 2013, 25 (2), pp.252-275. ⟨10.1075/target.25.2.05cap⟩. ⟨hal-01495728⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

190