“When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill.” : A study of clause-initial adverbials and ellipsis in recipes

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: This paper focuses on two aspects of the recipe minilect: clause-initial adverbials and object and determiner ellipsis in the translation from English into Swedish. The aim of the study is to find general tendencies on how clause-initial adverbials are translated and how this affects the information structure. In addition, the occurrence of object and determiner ellipsis in translations is studied, to see if there are differences between English and Swedish. Based on a theoretical background by Hasselgård (1997) the translation of clause-initial adverbials is identified and structured, according to Hasselgård’s (1997) model of word order correspondence. The structures are then studied quantitatively, through different examples in English and Swedish, and with regards to Lindquist’s (1989) definition of adverbial placement. The theoretical background for the study on object and determiner ellipsis is mainly based on the work by Nordman (1994), Hultman (2003) and Biber et al (1999). The occurrence of ellipsis is identified and then studied quantitatively. The results show that different kinds of word order restrictions govern the translation of clause-initial adverbials and that changes in adverbial placement can affect the information structure. The occurrence of object ellipsis is somewhat higher in the present study than in the analyzed parallel texts, possibly due to influence from the ST. Due to Swedish rules on definiteness, there is a low occurrence of determiner ellipsis in the TT.

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