"Translational perspectives on non-native and edited English: a corpus-based analysis of mediated discourse"

Simona Anselmi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

The rise of English as a global language has led to an exponential growth in the production of texts written in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) by non-native speakers (NNSs) and, concomitantly, the revision of these texts by native speakers (NSs). These are two forms of language mediation characterized by conflicting features: while ELF texts are hybrid texts that inevitably bear the traces of the speaker’s mother tongue, the edited texts are the results of a number of dehybridizing strategies aimed to remove all traces of interference. Despite these differences however, the present paper claims that these forms of mediated English share certain features in common which reflect the tendency of non-native authors and editors alike to simplify the text and make it more explicit in a common effort to cooperate with the target audiences. ELF writing and ELF editing are investigated with data from the EuroCom corpus, a 1-million-word parallel corpus of texts produced within the European Commission, which includes a subcorpus of texts written in English by speakers of various mother tongues and a subcorpus of the same texts revised by native speakers of the Editing Unit. The investigation is conducted in two stages. In the first stage the editors’ revisions are examined to identify the most frequent lexico-grammatical deviations of ELF writing from NS norms. In the second stage the lexical and syntactic patterns shared by the non-native texts and their edited versions are taken into consideration. These data are then compared with the patterns identified in another variety of language mediation, that is translational language, which differs significantly from non-translational language. The comparison shows that certain differences between NNS and NS production can be explained with reference to the bi- or multilingual situations in which NNSs operate. Like translators, having at least two language systems at their disposal, NNSs have greater resources than NSs, and therefore a greater potential to innovate. Other differences may be explained precisely by those features that set texts written by NNSs apart from texts written by NSs and make them akin to edited and translated texts due to the mediating role that NNSs, editors and translators perform.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteChallenges for the 21st Century: Dilemmas, Ambiguities, Directions
Pagine65-73
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
EventoChallenges for the 21st Century: Dilemmas, Ambiguities, Directions. XXIV Conference of the Associazione Italiana di Anglistica. - Roma
Durata: 1 ott 20093 ott 2009

Convegno

ConvegnoChallenges for the 21st Century: Dilemmas, Ambiguities, Directions. XXIV Conference of the Associazione Italiana di Anglistica.
CittàRoma
Periodo1/10/093/10/09

Keywords

  • ELF features
  • L1-specific deviations
  • editing
  • mediated discourse
  • non-native writing
  • translation universals

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