Investigating Lexical Explicitation in Translated English: A Corpus-based Study
It has been pointed out that frequencies of syntactic explicitation tend to be higher in translated texts than in non-translated texts (Olohan and Baker 2000; Olohan 2004). The present thesis attempts to establish whether the same pattern is observed with regard to lexical explicitation, which is understood here as the process of elucidating or elaborating in the subsequent linguistic unit information given in a preceding linguistic unit to minimise ambiguity or to guide the addressee in the interpretation of the conveyed information. This type of explicitation can occur in translated and non-translated texts. Lexical explicitation is investigated in the current thesis through an analysis of apposition, since apposition is considered one of the devices that realise explicitation. Instances of apposition are identified from a monolingual comparable corpus of translated English (a subset of the Translational English Corpus) and non-translated English (a subset of the British National Corpus) through an investigation of apposition markers. A comparative analysis of these instances of apposition is carried out to assess differences and similarities in the distribution of the selected apposition markers across texts, translators and writers. Some possible factors influencing the differences observed between the two corpora are investigated further in a small-scale case study of variation in patterns of explicitation between translations and their source texts in the form of a parallel corpus. The relationship between apposition and lexical explicitation is verified by analysing the pragmatic functions of apposition in utterances. The findings indicate a strong correlation between apposition and explicitation (more than 80% of instances of apposition produce lexical explicitation) and a high prevalence of apposition in the corpus of translated English compared with the corpus of non-translated English. The interpretation of these findings is that translated English favours lexical explicitation as a textual strategy.