Information structure in parallel texts : a Czech-English view

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2019, vol. 45, iss. 2, pp. [9]-34
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
The article is a contrastive study of information structure in Czech originals and their English translations. It focuses on problems arising from a different hierarchy of the word order principles in the two languages, the primary word order principle being functional sentence perspective (FSP) in Czech, in contrast to the primary grammatical function of word order in English. Three aspects are considered: linear ordering, FSP structure, and within the latter the basic distribution of communicative dynamism (CD). The study pursues two aims: to find out which configurations of linear ordering and FSP structure present translation problems, and to compare the results with the findings obtained in the opposite English-Czech direction. The research material comprising 300 examples, drawn equally from three novels, was excerpted from parallel InterCorp texts manually as the contextual and the semantic FSP factors, together with the varying realization forms of the carriers of the FSP functions, flout corpus search through query forms. The results corroborate the general validity of the principle of end focus and present some novel findings from the contrastive viewpoint.
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