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The generic person in English and Swedish: a contrastive study of 'one' and 'man'

Altenberg, Bengt LU (2005) In Languages in Contrast 5(1). p.93-120
Abstract
To find out how the ‘generic person’ is expressed in English and Swedish, the use and correspondence of the generic pronouns one in English and man in Swedish are examined in a bidirectional English-Swedish translation corpus. The material demonstrates clearly the greater frequency and versatility of Swedish man and the restricted use of English one. The difference is partly register-related: while man is stylistically neutral one is relatively formal and often replaced by you or various other pronouns. However, the most striking difference is syntactic. The English correspondences of man cut across grammatical systems and can be seen to reflect two diverging tendencies: the English fiction texts often have a subject corresponding to... (More)
To find out how the ‘generic person’ is expressed in English and Swedish, the use and correspondence of the generic pronouns one in English and man in Swedish are examined in a bidirectional English-Swedish translation corpus. The material demonstrates clearly the greater frequency and versatility of Swedish man and the restricted use of English one. The difference is partly register-related: while man is stylistically neutral one is relatively formal and often replaced by you or various other pronouns. However, the most striking difference is syntactic. The English correspondences of man cut across grammatical systems and can be seen to reflect two diverging tendencies: the English fiction texts often have a subject corresponding to Swedish man, but the non-fiction texts rely to a large extent on syntactic shifts and clause reductions without a corresponding subject. In other words, the difference between the languages is not just a matter of pronoun choice but of syntactic preferences and subject selection. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
corpus linguistics, contrastive linguistics, Swedish, generic person, English
in
Languages in Contrast
volume
5
issue
1
pages
93 - 120
publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN
1387-6759
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
840b06be-682f-4e19-9bd8-3aeb7b38e758 (old id 567267)
alternative location
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jbp/lic/2004/00000005/00000001/art00006
date added to LUP
2007-10-05 08:21:21
date last changed
2016-04-16 04:05:56
@article{840b06be-682f-4e19-9bd8-3aeb7b38e758,
  abstract     = {To find out how the ‘generic person’ is expressed in English and Swedish, the use and correspondence of the generic pronouns one in English and man in Swedish are examined in a bidirectional English-Swedish translation corpus. The material demonstrates clearly the greater frequency and versatility of Swedish man and the restricted use of English one. The difference is partly register-related: while man is stylistically neutral one is relatively formal and often replaced by you or various other pronouns. However, the most striking difference is syntactic. The English correspondences of man cut across grammatical systems and can be seen to reflect two diverging tendencies: the English fiction texts often have a subject corresponding to Swedish man, but the non-fiction texts rely to a large extent on syntactic shifts and clause reductions without a corresponding subject. In other words, the difference between the languages is not just a matter of pronoun choice but of syntactic preferences and subject selection.},
  author       = {Altenberg, Bengt},
  issn         = {1387-6759},
  keyword      = {corpus linguistics,contrastive linguistics,Swedish,generic person,English},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {93--120},
  publisher    = {John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  series       = {Languages in Contrast},
  title        = {The generic person in English and Swedish: a contrastive study of 'one' and 'man'},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2005},
}