[Corpora-List] CfP: Methodological Advances in Corpus-Based Translation Studies (Ghent - Belgium, 8-9 January 2010)

Gert De Sutter gert.desutter
Fri Apr 3 12:36:01 CEST 2009


*Methodological Advances in Corpus-Based Translation Studies*

Hosted by University College Ghent (Belgium) January 8 and 9, 2010


We invite papers for a two-day symposium which will focus on corpus-based work in the field of Translation Studies. Areas of interest include:

- The relationship between non-translated texts and translated texts in one language - The relationship between source texts and target texts - Innovative methods and techniques for collecting and analysing data in Translation Studies


The introduction of a corpus-based methodology in the field of Translation Studies (Baker 1993) gave rise to a large number of empirical studies that investigate the fundamental characteristics of translated texts and their relationship to their source texts and non-translated texts. These studies have yielded interesting insights into the nature of translated language and the translation process, such as the so-called translation universals, the ideology of translation and stylistic differences between translators. Nevertheless, important methodological and conceptual challenges lie ahead. Some languages, for instance, are less well-studied within corpus-based Translation Studies. Obviously, in order to empirically verify general hypotheses about translation products and processes, as many languages as possible have to be studied.

In addition, some general hypotheses, like the explicitation hypothesis, need conceptual refinement: to what extent, for instance, is explicitation at syntactic level identical to explicitation at discursive level? Most importantly, how can general hypotheses be put to the test or, in other words, how do we 'translate? (operationalise) hypotheses so that they are empirically testable in a corpus? The two-day symposium therefore wants to encourage corpus-based work on translations in less well-studied languages as well as corpus-based work that pushes methodological and conceptual frontiers in Translation Studies. Possible questions / hypotheses include (but are not limited to): - Untranslatability or implicitation ? Contrary to explicitation, which has been confirmed as one of the translation universals in many corpus-based studies, implicitation has received much less attention except for a few studies. Fabricius-Hansen and Behrens (2001), for instance, have come across 'S-universal implicitations? by applying Dyvik?s mirror technique (1998) and looking for the presence of specific linguistic items in either source or target text. Similarly, Puurtinen (2003) has found cases of 'S-universal implicitation' by investigating syntactic differences between source and target texts in aligned parallel corpora, such as the differences between clauses and nominal phrases, or those between clauses and complex premodifiers. Can these methods be applied to find all types of 'S-universal implicitation', and can they be employed to retrieve 'T-universal implicitations' in comparable corpora? - Deictic shifts in translation ? Deictic elements, such as demonstratives, personal pronouns, verbal tenses or spatiotemporal adverbs, may be affected by translation: demonstratives may alternate with definite articles or other determiners, proximals may alternate with distals, present tenses may alternate with past tenses, etc. Hence, the question arises: do deictic shifts occur systematically? What are the main motivations for shifting or non-shifting? What are the semantic effects of deictic shifts? What is the effect of the translators' conceptualization of the deictic centre? Previous studies in this domain are Mason & ?erban (2003) and Bosseaux (2007). - Information structure asymmetries between source and target texts ? Parallel texts have been used in the analysis of information structure at sentence level (Gundel 2002; Musacchio 2007). However, unlike some studies on cohesion which focus on information structure at discourse level (Blum-Kulka 1986), none of this research has addressed the possible influence of typical aspects of the translation process in the distribution and marking of information structure in parallel texts. Gundel (2002) entirely attributes the observed differences between Norwegian and English to language specific properties of the source language, whereas Musacchio (2007) focuses on traces of source language interference. Even though both studies undeniably reveal aspects of the fate of information structure in translation, it would be rather surprising if information structure and its marking remained unaffected by such phenomena as explicitation, simplification, normalisation, etc. Hence the question, are there sentential information structure shifts between source and target texts that can be ascribed to one of these phenomena? - Register differences within translated language ? Although it has been repeatedly shown that actual choices between competing variants in non-translated language are heavily influenced by the type of register (e.g. Biber 1988), corpus-based Translation Studies are mostly restricted to one single type of register. Given the high degree of register variation in non-translated language, it would be interesting to find out to what extent linguistic choices in translated language are (consciously or unconsciously) influenced by the type of register. If that is the case, it would probably mean that translation universals need to be reformulated in more register-sensitive terms.

These examples illustrate the type of questions and hypotheses that we would like to see addressed. We call on researchers within the corpus-based strand of Translation Studies to submit a paper on these and related topics.


Baker, M. (1993). ?Corpus linguistics and translation studies?. In: M. Baker, G. Francis & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and technology. In honour of John Sinclair. Amsterdam ? Philadelphia: Benjamins, 223-250. Biber, D. (1988). Variation Across Speech and Writing. Cambridge: CUP. Blum-Kulka, S. (1986). ?Shifts of cohesion and coherence in Translation?. In: J. House & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlingual and Intercultural Communication: Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies. Tübingen: Narr, 17-35. Bosseaux, C. (2007). How Does it Feel? Point of View in Translation. The Case of Virginia Woolf into French. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. Dyvik, H. (1998). ?A translational basis for semantics?. In: S. Johansson & S. Oksefjell (Eds.), Corpora and Cross-linguistic Research. Amsterdam ? Atlanta: Rodopi, 51-86 Fabricius-Hansen, C. & B. Behrens (2001). Elaboration and related discourse relations viewed from an interlingual perspective. SPRIKReports, 13, June 2001. Gundel, J. (2002). ?Information structure and the use of cleft sentences in English and Norwegian?. In: H. Hasselgċrd, S. Johansson, B. Behrens & C. Fabricius-Hansen (Eds.), Information structure in a cross-linguistic perspective. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 113-128. Mason, I. & A. ?erban 2003. Deixis as an interactive feature in literary translations from Romanian into English. Target 15(2): 269-294. Musacchio, M. T. (2007). ?The distribution of information in LSP translation: a corpus study of Italian?. In: K. Ahmad & M. Rogers (Eds.), Evidence-based LSP: translation, text and terminology. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 97-117. Puurtinen, T. (2003). "Explicitating and implicitating source text ideology". Across Languages and Cultures 4(1): 53-63.

Submission requirements

Abstracts should be written in English and should clearly articulate: - the corpus materials used; - the research hypothesis as well as the operationalisation of this hypothesis in corpus-linguistic terms; - the results of the analysis and its theoretical implications (statistical analysis of the corpus data is a plus). Although one of the objectives of the symposium is to stimulate corpus-based research on less well-studied languages, contributions on well-studied languages will also be welcomed.

Submission procedure

For purposes of easy editing, please download the abstract template available at our website (http://veto.hogent.be/actua/mats2010/). Send your abstract (500 words, excluding references) to gert.desutter at hogent.be. Specify your name(s), affiliation and contact details in the message body only.

Abstracts are due on September 30, 2009 and will be reviewed anonymously by two members of the local organising committee and the scientific committee. Notification of acceptance is scheduled on October 30, 2009.

Plenary speakers

- Silvia Bernardini (University of Bologna at Forlì) - Andrew Chesterman (University of Helsinki)

Local organizing committee

Bart Defrancq (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Gert De Sutter (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Patrick Goethals (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Torsten Leuschner (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Reine Meylaerts (University of Leuven) Sonia Vandepitte (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Marc Van de Velde (University College Ghent / Ghent University) Dominique Willems (Ghent University)

Important dates

- September 30, 2009: Abstracts due - October 30, 2009: Notification of acceptance - January 8 and 9, 2010: Symposium

Conference website


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