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A corpus based contrastive approach for the analysis of tense and aspect in translation from English into Mandarin Chinese [Elektronische Ressource] / Mimi Shi. Betreuer: Wolf Paprotté

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313 pages
Englische Philologie A Corpus-based Contrastive Approach for the Analysis of Tense and Aspect in Translation from English into Mandarin Chinese Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Philosophischen Fakultät der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität zu Münster (Westf.) vorgelegt von Mimi Shi aus Dalian, Liaoning, China 2011 !Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 12.05.2011 Dekan: Prof. Dr.!Christian Pietsch Referent: Prof. Dr. Wolf Paprott! Korreferent: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Emmerich Abstract Temporal expression is a fascinating topic in linguistics as it is a universal feature in all natural languages but is realized in a variety of different forms. Comparative studies of temporal expression usage within languages and comparing translations between languages are of importance to understanding both individual languages and the accuracy and efficiency of translation. In this dissertation, I examine the topic of tense and aspect usage in English and Mandarin Chinese, two important languages that belong to distant families and have substantial differences in tense and aspect formalization. I investigate three general questions regarding the translation of English tense and aspect into Mandarin Chinese. First, how and to what degree are English tense and aspect translated into Mandarin Chinese? Second, is the translated text target text oriented, source text oriented, or a third code?
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Englische Philologie



A Corpus-based Contrastive Approach for the Analysis of Tense and Aspect
in Translation from English into Mandarin Chinese





Inaugural-Dissertation

zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades

der

Philosophischen Fakultät

der

Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität

zu

Münster (Westf.)



vorgelegt von
Mimi Shi
aus Dalian, Liaoning, China
2011
!Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 12.05.2011
Dekan: Prof. Dr.!Christian Pietsch
Referent: Prof. Dr. Wolf Paprott!
Korreferent: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Emmerich Abstract
Temporal expression is a fascinating topic in linguistics as it is a universal
feature in all natural languages but is realized in a variety of different forms.
Comparative studies of temporal expression usage within languages and
comparing translations between languages are of importance to understanding
both individual languages and the accuracy and efficiency of translation. In this
dissertation, I examine the topic of tense and aspect usage in English and
Mandarin Chinese, two important languages that belong to distant families and
have substantial differences in tense and aspect formalization.
I investigate three general questions regarding the translation of English
tense and aspect into Mandarin Chinese. First, how and to what degree are
English tense and aspect translated into Mandarin Chinese? Second, is the
translated text target text oriented, source text oriented, or a third code? And
finally, are the features of translation universals applicable? These questions,
although well studied with translations between western languages, remain
debated for English - Mandarin Chinese translation.
In order to address these questions, one needs to compare English and
Mandarin Chinese translations, and to compare original and translated Chinese. Taking a quantitative and non-biased approach, I collect
data from two corpora: the Babel English-Chinese Parallel Corpus for
translation patterns, and the Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese for L1
Mandarin Chinese data. Sentences are manually annotated for tense and aspect
classification and distribution. Statistical tests, e.g., chi-square test, are applied
to compare distributions and conclude their differences.
The results suggest that English tense and aspect are translatable into
Mandarin Chinese, but each tense and aspect can be translated by different
elements, with certain elements preferred over others. For example, context is
preferred to translate the English present; perfective aspect markers are to the English past; and temporal adverbials are preferred to
express the English perfect and progressive. Additionally, aspect shift is
observed in translation, since Mandarin Chinese has different aspectual
domains than English aspect. Translated Mandarin Chinese is shown to be
different from both English source text and original Mandarin Chinese in terms
of tense and aspect usage and distribution, which leads to the conclusion that
translated Mandarin Chinese is a third code. Based on monolingual comparable
data, differences between translated Mandarin Chinese and original Mandarin
Chinese support the feature of normalization, but not the feature of
explicitation.
This dissertation presents a systematic comparative study in translation of
English tense and aspect into Mandarin Chinese, with a corpus-based
quantitative approach. The study demonstrates how linguistic theories built
based on western languages can or cannot be extrapolated into Mandarin
Chinese. The discussion in this dissertation comprises the following parts: Part I
Chapter one is a general introduction; Part II offers theoretical preliminaries,
containing three chapters, Chapter two discusses tense and aspect in English,
Chapter three discusses the Mandarin Chinese aspectual system, and Chapter
four investigates the conventional rule of tense and aspect in English-Mandarin
Chinese translations. Part III describes the presented research, containing four
chapters, Chapter five introduces research questions and aims, Chapter six
describes the methodology in this study, Chapter seven presents data results,
including translated and original Mandarin Chinese and Chapter eight performs
statistical analysis of the results. Part IV Chapter nine is conclusions and
outlooks.

!!







To my parents
Dianmin Shi and Huijun Yang
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!Acknowledgements!

'( )* +,-./0123456
Confucius once said, “among every
three people, there will be someone I
can learn from”.

Ten years have passed since I started my Magister and PhD studies at the
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany. I have been extremely
fortunate to have many talented and dedicated teachers from whom I have
learned not only about scholarship, but also about how to be a scholar and how
to enjoy research. Particularly, I want to express my greatest appreciation to my
advisor, Prof. Dr. Wolf Paprott! of the Institute for Englische Philologie at the
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. His profound knowledge in
linguistics has sparkled my interests in the field of translation studies and
contrastive linguistics. Special acknowledgements also go to Prof. Dr. Reinhard
Emmerich of the Institute for Sinologie und Ostasienkunde at the Westfälische
Wilhelms-Universität Münster, whose mastery of Chinese highly inspires and
motivates me to explore deeper and broader in my mother tongue. I also owe
many thanks to Dr. Charles Sanft of the Institute for Sinologie und
Ostasienkunde at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, for his
critical comments and advices on my writing. Dorit Hahn has been helpful for
reading the dissertation summary in German. Without their generous help and
encouragement, it would not have been possible for me to make achievements
and progresses as presented in this dissertation.
My parents Dianmin Shi and Huijun Yang, who have been always
supportive and encouraging for every aspect of my life and study in Germany,
are the source of my inspiration and motivation. I also owe so much to my
husband, Dr. Xian Zhang, who is extremely supportive of my academic career.
Last but not least, I want to thank my closest friends, Bin Huang, Prof. Dr.
Jianhua Yang, Dr. Jun Lu, Jiening Shan, Wenjia Zhu, Lili Fortun, Yuwei Wang,
and Haili Yang, for their inspiration, help, and company.






Table of Contents
Table of Contents
List of Tables ………………………………………………………………...I
List of Diagrams …………………………………………………………….V
List of Illustrations …………………………………………………………VI
Abbreviations …………………………………………………………......VII

PART I INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1 Introduction .................................................................................... 1
1.1 Background......... 1
1.2 Theoretical Basis................................ 4
1.3 Research.............................................................................. 6
1.3.1 Previous Results and Current Questions ...................................................... 6
1.3.2 Methods........ 8
1.3.3 Results ........................................................................................................ 10

PART II THEORETICAL BASIS
Chapter 2 Tense and Aspect in English ........................................................ 12
2.1 Previous Studies ...............................................................12
2.1.1 Tense........................................................................... 13
2.1.2 Aspect......... 21
2.2 Tense in English................................................................................................33
2.2.1 Two-model Classification........... 33
2.2.2 Simple Present............................34
2.2.3 Simple Past ................................................................................................. 40
2.3 Aspect in English..............................44
2.3.1 The Perfect.. 44
2.3.2 The Progressive ..........................................................................................47
2.4 Summary........................................................................................................... 52
Chapter 3 Aspect in MC................. 55
3.1 Previous Studies ...............................................................................................55
3.1.1 Tense or Aspect in MC ............................................................................... 55
3.1.2 Problem of Aspectual System..... 57
3.2 Aspectual Marking in MC............... 64
3.2.1 Aspect Marker.............................................................................................64
3.2.2 Temporal Adverbial.................... 73
3.2.3 Lexical Verbs..............................76
3.2.4 Context........................................................................................................ 79
3.3 Summary........... 81
Table of Contents
Chapter 4 Tense and Aspect in English-MC Translation............................ 82
4.1 Translating English Tense and Aspect into MC ............................................ 82
4.1.1 Conventional Rules of Translation Equivalence........ 82
4.1.2 Interim Summary........................................................................................90
4.2 Features of Translated Languages.................................. 92
4.3 Summary........................................................................... 93

PART III RESEARCH
Chapter 5 Research Aims............................................................................... 96
5.1 Problem of Previous Results in English-MC Translation.............................96
5.1.1 Comparison between English and MC.......................96
5.1.2 Relationship between Original and Translated MC.................................... 98
5.2 Current Aims.................................................................... 99
5.2.1 Aim 1.......... 99
5.2.2 Aim 2........................................ 101
5.2.3 Aim 3 ........................................................................ 102
Chapter 6 Methodology................................................................................ 104
6.1 Previous Approaches in Cross-linguistic Research..... 104
6.1.1 Main Areas of Cross-linguistic Research................. 104
6.1.2 Intuition-based Approach ......................................................................... 105
6.1.3 Machine Translation Approach. 106
6.2 Corpus-based Cross-linguistic Research ..................................................... 108
6.2.1 What is a Corpus?................................ 109
6.2.2 Applications.............................. 116
6.3 Corpus Databases...........................................................121
6.3.1 BECPC Corpus .........................................................122
6.3.2 LCMC Corpus..........................123
6.4 Data Collection...............................................................126
6.4.1 Collection of MC Translation Patterns of English.................................... 127
6.4.2 Collection of L1 MC................................................. 129
6.4.3 Chi-square Test for Comparing Linguistic Element Distribution............. 131
6.5 Summary......................................................................... 131
Chapter 7 Data Results ................................................ 133
7.1 Results of Translating English Tense and Aspect into MC.........................133
7.1.1 MC Equivalence of the English Simple Present....................................... 133
7.1.2 MC Equivalence the English Simple Past................ 146
7.1.3 MC Equivalence of the English Perfect ................................................... 157
7.1.4 MC Equivalence of the English Progressive............ 169
7.2 Results of Aspectual Marking in L1 MC..................... 178
7.2.1 Perfective Aspect ...................................................................................... 179
7.2.2 Imperfective Aspect.................. 185 Table of Contents
7.2.3 Modality.................................................................................................... 191
7.3 Summary......... 193
Chapter 8 Contrastive Studies..................................... 195
8.1 Comparing English with Translated MC..................................................... 195
8.1.1 Translation Pattern.................... 195
8.1.2 Aspectual Domains................................................... 202
8.1.3 Interim Summary...................................................... 209
8.2 Comparing Translated MC with L1 MC..................... 210
8.2.1 Distribution of Aspect and Modality........................210
8.2.2 Distribution of Aspectual Marking ...........................................................215
8.2.3 Usage of Aspectual Marking.................................... 217
8.2.4 Interim Summary...................................................... 219
8.3 Summary......................................... 220

PART IV CONCLUSION
Chapter 9 Conclusion and Outlook............................................................. 222

REFERENCES ............................................................. 226
APPENDICES............................................................... 249
Appendix 1: Lebenslauf.......................................................249
Appendix 2: Zusammenfassung in deutscher Sprache..................................... 250
Appendix 3: Sentence ID of Corpus Data..........................................................255

I
List of Tables
List of Tables
Number Title Page
Table 1 Regular Verb Form 14
Table 2 Irregular Verb Form 15
Verb Classifications Table 3 22
Table 4 Differences between State and Event 23
Table 5 Temporal Features of Situation Types 25
Table 6 Telicity and Atelicity 26
Table 7 Linguistic Constrains 28
Table 8 Non-progressive and Progressive 32
Table 9 Perfective and Imperfective Viewpoints 33
Table 10 Non-progressive Verbs in English 48
Table 11 Tense and Aspect in English 53
Table 12 Aspect in MC 59
Table 13 A Fourfold Classification of Verbs 61
Table 14 Event vs. Activity 62
Table 15 Dynamic Verb vs. Static Verb 62
Table 16 A Two-fold Classification of Verbs 63
Table 17 Linguistic Form of Aspect and Tense in English 83
Table 18 Perfective Aspect Marker in English Translation 84
Table 19 Imperfective Aspect Marker in English Translation 86
MC Temporal Adverbials in English Translation Table 20 87
Table 21 RVC/Verb Reduplication in English Translation 88
Table 22 Auxiliary Verb in English Translation 88
Table 23 Future-oriented Verb in English Translation 89
MC Translation Patterns of English Table 24 94
Table 25 McEnery/Xiao/Tono (2006)’s Results 98
Table 26 Parallel, Monolingual, Comparable Corpora 113

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