Testi, corpora, confronti interlinguistici: approcci qualitativi e quantitativi

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IGli studi linguistici basati su corpora vantano una recente ma già ricca tradizione che vede affiancarsi ricerche di carattere eminentemente quantitativo a indagini di stampo più marcatamente qualitativo. I contributi presentati in questo volume sono nati nell’ambito del progetto Attribuzione d’autore, di traduttore e di lingua di partenza: un approccio statistico-linguistico, finanziato dall’Università degli Studi di Trieste. I motivi portanti delle indagini illustrate nel volume sono l’idea del “contatto” e la ricerca di “tracce”. A stabilire un contatto tra lingue e comunità di parlanti sono, tipicamente, le traduzioni oppure l’uso di una “lingua franca” (oggi soprattutto l’inglese). Di tale contatto possono essere identificate, nei testi, tracce di vario genere, a partire da quelle morfosintattiche fino a quelle lessicali e retorico-discorsive. I contributi inclusi nel volume esplorano vari scenari di contatto linguistico cercando di identificare e interpretare le tracce che ne derivano. Vengono esaminati testi tradotti e testi in lingua inglese rivolti a un pubblico internazionale, ma anche i romanzi al centro del maggiore caso letterario degli ultimi anni, ossia quelli a firma di Elena Ferrante.

Corpus-based approaches to the study of language have given rise to a recent but already rich research tradition that applies both quantitative and qualitative methods. This volume collects contributions emerging from the research project Attribuzione d’autore, di traduttore e di lingua di partenza: un approccio statistico-linguistico [“Authorship attribution methods for investigating translations and source languages: a statistical and linguistic approach”], funded by the University of Trieste. The studies revolve around two central notions: the notion of language “contact” and that of the “traces” deriving from this contact. Contact scenarios usually involve translations or the use of a lingua franca (a role that is today mostly played by English). The deriving traces may be found at syntactic, lexical and rhetorical-discursive level. The contributions included in the volume look at translations and texts written in English for international audiences but also at the novels which gave rise to the most talked-about literary mystery in recent years, that of Elena Ferrante’s true identity.


Giuseppe Palumbo è professore associato di Lingua e traduzione inglese presso il Dipartimento di Scienze giuridiche, del linguaggio, della traduzione e dell’interpretazione dell’Università degli Studi di Trieste. Si è occupato di traduzione specialistica, terminologia, lessicografia e tecnologie per la traduzione. È inoltre autore del volume Key Terms in Translation Studies (Continuum, 2009).

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 8
  • Publication
    Notes on investigating the native vs non-native distinction in written academic English
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017)
    Palumbo, Giuseppe
    Texts written in English by non-native speakers can be considered instances of mediated language, where the mediation takes place between a writer’s native language and English, seen, respectively, as the “source” and “target” poles. In investigating such texts, the methods of analysis can thus draw on some assumptions and approaches used in translation studies, starting from the idea that in mediated communication the target product always shows traces of interference from features and traits associated with the source material. This chapter reports on an investigation of written academic language in English. The investigation is corpus-based and the texts included in the corpus include research papers in two different academic disciplines written by either native speakers or non-native speakers of English. Initial findings of the investigation are discussed in relation to two specific aspects: part-of-speech distribution and preference for pre- or post-modification in noun groups.
      421  157
  • Publication
    Finding traces of transnational legal communication: cross-referencing in international case law
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017)
    Peruzzo, Katia
    National and international judicial systems are today in constant interaction. This interaction has been mainly studied by legal scholars, who termed it “transjudicial communication”. This communication manifests itself in case law and may also be of interest for linguists. The focus in this chapter is on one of the possible linguistic manifestations of transjudicial communication in the judgments delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). They consist in “external cross-references”, i.e. references that point to sources of legislative or judicial law other than the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and its Protocols or the ECtHR case law. The chapter presents a feasibility study conducted on a small corpus of three English judgments delivered by the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR. The aim of the study is first to develop a language-specific methodology for the semi-automatic extraction of cross-references and then to conduct a qualitative analysis of the extracted cross-references that fall within the category of “external cross-references”. These cross-references are analysed to identify both the type of sources they point to and the function they perform. As regards the sources, they are both judicial (case law) and normative (legislation); therefore, an alternative term to refer to the communication that emerges is proposed, namely “transnational legal communication”. The three functions cross-references are seen to perform are: (i) description of the factual background and the legal history of the case, (ii) recall of relevant domestic law or other legal provisions, and (iii) provision of a backbone for the legal reasoning and argumentation of the ruling.
      348  221
  • Publication
    A cross-cultural contrastive analysis of interpersonal markers in promotional discourse in travel agency websites
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017)
    Incelli, Ersilia Amedea
    The present study is an investigation into the use of interpersonal markers in English and Italian tourism texts obtained from three successful online travel agency websites: one American, one British and one Italian. The aim is to explore cross-linguistic, cross-cultural pragmatic perspectives through a comparative analysis of the discoursal and pragmatic features related to the interpersonal use of language, so as to better understand how the discursive patterns of tourism texts from different cultures might affect the communicative function, or the interactional metadiscourse strategies, in promotional discourse. Results show how a comparative analysis of interpersonal devices in tourism websites offers insights not only into the way in which culture is conveyed and transmitted via tourism discourse, but more specifically into how authorial stance is constructed in the websites and how the audience is engaged in the discourse. The premise is that an awareness of the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural differences involved in interpersonal discourse can contribute to improving cross-cultural understanding, and ultimately contribute to the fields of intercultural and translation studies.
      573  627
  • Publication
    Distanza intertestuale e lingua fonte: analisi di un corpus giornalistico
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017)
    Ondelli, Stefano
    ;
    Nadalutti, Paolo
    This chapter illustrates the results of a revised method for calculating the inter-textual distance between newspaper articles originally written in Italian and translated from other languages. Starting from the theoretical background provi-ded by the translation universals hypothesis, we have used five different parsing and token-selection criteria to check whether intertextual distance measures can distinguish native texts from translations and group together texts translated from the same source language. Although the combined impact of several fac-tors (source language, contents, author and translator) needs to be taken into account, results show that translations tend to be mutually closer, while inter-textual distance measures are greater between translations and non-translated texts (and vice versa). In addition, although the distinction is not as clear-cut, translations from the same language tend to group together since they are inter-textually closer than translations from other source languages. However, further research is necessary to explain the erratic results obtained when we have used grammar words to calculate the intertextual distance.
      352  439
  • Publication
    Distanza intertestuale e lingua fonte: premesse teoriche, compilazione di un corpus e procedure di analisi
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017)
    Nadalutti, Paolo
    This chapter illustrates the theoretical background of the implementation of computational linguistic methods to probe the translation universals hypothe-sis. Starting from the assumption that both the translation process and the source language impact the linguistic features of translations, we use Labbé’s method for calculating intertextual distance to check whether it can distinguish trans-lated from non-translated texts and proves successful in grouping together texts translated from the same language within a corpus of translations. In addition to compiling a balanced corpus of newspaper articles (both originally written in Italian and translated from several languages), ad hoc procedures are necessary to offset the impact of different text lengths and contents on intertextual dis-tance values. The selection of text chunks of equal length and different language tokens (grammar words, multi-words etc.), along with POS-tagging procedures to identify additional useful linguistic features, provide a promising approach to evaluate different methods to calculate the intertextual distance between trans-lated and non-translated texts (cosine similarity, machine learning, stylometry).
      471  463