A Corpus-based Study of the English Translation of Chinese Empty Words

Title: A Corpus-based Study of the English Translation of Chinese Empty Words
Authors: Chen, Yi-Chiao
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: This study aims to investigate the translation procedures adopted for the English translation of Chinese empty words. To begin with, the methods which translators adopt to tackle empty words are identified by examining examples in a specially-constructed parallel corpus, which includes Chinese literary texts and their English translations. Eventually, eight translation procedures (1) Match; 2) Paraphrase; 3) Shared Match; 4) Implicitation; 5) Amplification; 6) Grammatical Conveyance; 7) Borrowing; 8) Omission) and one non-procedure (Mismatch) are identified. It is noted that Grammatical Conveyance is a procedure which could be deemed as a newly-identified method. As a further step, the proportion of these procedures/non-procedure is investigated to identify the most-/least-adopted ones (Match and Amplification respectively) and to discuss category-specific ones (Shared Match and Borrowing). In addition to identifying the procedures for translating Chinese empty words into English, this research also makes contributions in the following two aspects. Firstly, this study, to my knowledge, is the first research which examines all Chinese empty words at a time to identify the ways translators tackle them. Secondly, it is known from the results that difficult-to-tackle empty words are found in the categories of Adverb and Particle. In other words, not all empty words are difficult to translate as former scholars have described.
Issue Date: 2013
Date Awarded: Apr-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/11142
Supervisor: Shuttleworth, Mark
Department: Humanities
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:School of Professional Development PhD theses

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