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English Lexical Nominalizations in a Norwegian-Swedish Contrastive Perspective

Nordrum, Lene LU (2007) In Doctoral Theses from University of Gothenburg / Doktorsavhandlingar från Göteborgs universitet
Abstract
The present study investigates English lexical nominalizations in terms of their syntax and semantics, and contrastively, in terms of their translations into Norwegian and Swedish. The material comprises 586 English lexical nominalizations and their Norwegian and Swedish translations collected from seven popular science texts in the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus (ENPC) and the English-Swedidh Parallel Corpus (ESPC). The general theoretical orientation is systemic functional linguistics, from which the central notion 'grammatical metaphor' is taken. To address issues related to the argument structure of deverbal nouns, Grimshaw's theory of argument structure is used (1990).



The investigation shows that lexical... (More)
The present study investigates English lexical nominalizations in terms of their syntax and semantics, and contrastively, in terms of their translations into Norwegian and Swedish. The material comprises 586 English lexical nominalizations and their Norwegian and Swedish translations collected from seven popular science texts in the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus (ENPC) and the English-Swedidh Parallel Corpus (ESPC). The general theoretical orientation is systemic functional linguistics, from which the central notion 'grammatical metaphor' is taken. To address issues related to the argument structure of deverbal nouns, Grimshaw's theory of argument structure is used (1990).



The investigation shows that lexical nominalizations are used more extensively in the English source texts compared to their Norwegian and Swedish translations: approximately 1/5 of the source lexical nominalizations were turned into clauses. A clausal translation is particularly favored if the lexical nominalization includes many adnominal elements; if it functions as subject in the sentence; if it functions as a postmodifier; if it follows a preposition; or if it is part of an expanded predicate.



Various explanations could be given for the translations with a clause. The thesis discusses typological differences, the lack of a good lexical correspondence of the source deverbal noun in the target languages and the possibility of there being different genre conventions in the three languages. There is also extensive discussion of the meaning of lexical nominalization. It is shown that if the argument structure of deverbal nouns is analyzed in more detail, semantic types of lexical nominalizations characterized by differences in nouniness and grammatical metaphor can be determined. These semantic types have partly different translation correspondences, suggesting that the relationship between the lexical nominalization and the clause is related to both meaning and form. It is therefore necessary to consider both the syntax and semantics of lexical nominalizations in discussions of nominal and verbal style and in theoretical discussions of grammatical metaphor.



The study also shows that two parallel translations can reveal differences in form both between lexical nominalizations in the source and target languages and between the two target languages. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Professor Emeritus Wikberg, Kay, Oslo University
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
lexical nominalization, grammatical metaphor, deverbal noun, argument structure, popular science, nominal style, verbal style, contrastive linguistics, English, Norwegian, Swedish
in
Doctoral Theses from University of Gothenburg / Doktorsavhandlingar från Göteborgs universitet
pages
205 pages
defense location
Lilla Hörsalen, Humanisten, Göteborgs Universitet
defense date
2007-12-15 13:00
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
ad7226c1-a897-42cf-bd2d-347e7f34b6e2 (old id 3055538)
alternative location
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/17181
date added to LUP
2013-07-08 13:11:11
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:18
@misc{ad7226c1-a897-42cf-bd2d-347e7f34b6e2,
  abstract     = {The present study investigates English lexical nominalizations in terms of their syntax and semantics, and contrastively, in terms of their translations into Norwegian and Swedish. The material comprises 586 English lexical nominalizations and their Norwegian and Swedish translations collected from seven popular science texts in the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus (ENPC) and the English-Swedidh Parallel Corpus (ESPC). The general theoretical orientation is systemic functional linguistics, from which the central notion 'grammatical metaphor' is taken. To address issues related to the argument structure of deverbal nouns, Grimshaw's theory of argument structure is used (1990).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The investigation shows that lexical nominalizations are used more extensively in the English source texts compared to their Norwegian and Swedish translations: approximately 1/5 of the source lexical nominalizations were turned into clauses. A clausal translation is particularly favored if the lexical nominalization includes many adnominal elements; if it functions as subject in the sentence; if it functions as a postmodifier; if it follows a preposition; or if it is part of an expanded predicate. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Various explanations could be given for the translations with a clause. The thesis discusses typological differences, the lack of a good lexical correspondence of the source deverbal noun in the target languages and the possibility of there being different genre conventions in the three languages. There is also extensive discussion of the meaning of lexical nominalization. It is shown that if the argument structure of deverbal nouns is analyzed in more detail, semantic types of lexical nominalizations characterized by differences in nouniness and grammatical metaphor can be determined. These semantic types have partly different translation correspondences, suggesting that the relationship between the lexical nominalization and the clause is related to both meaning and form. It is therefore necessary to consider both the syntax and semantics of lexical nominalizations in discussions of nominal and verbal style and in theoretical discussions of grammatical metaphor. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
The study also shows that two parallel translations can reveal differences in form both between lexical nominalizations in the source and target languages and between the two target languages.},
  author       = {Nordrum, Lene},
  keyword      = {lexical nominalization,grammatical metaphor,deverbal noun,argument structure,popular science,nominal style,verbal style,contrastive linguistics,English,Norwegian,Swedish},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {205},
  series       = {Doctoral Theses from University of Gothenburg / Doktorsavhandlingar från Göteborgs universitet},
  title        = {English Lexical Nominalizations in a Norwegian-Swedish Contrastive Perspective},
  year         = {2007},
}