Interlingual correspondence at the syntactic level

Edward S. Klima

The paper will investigate a few major construction types in several related European languages: relative clauses, attributive phrases, and certain instances of coordinate conjunction involving these constructions. In each of the languages independently, the constructions will be described as resulting from syntactic mechanisms further analyzable into chains of partially ordered operations on more basic structures. Pairs of sentences equivalent in two languages will be examined. Sentences will be considered equivalent if they are acceptable translations of one another. The examples used will, in fact, be drawn primarily from standard translations of scholarly and literary prose. Equivalence between whole sentences can be further analyzed, as will be shown, into general equivalence 1) between the chains of operations describing the constructions and 2) between certain elements (e.g., lexical items) in the more basic underlying structures. It will be seen that superficial differences in the ultimate shape of certain translation pairs can be accounted for as the result of minor differences in the particular operations involved or in the basic underlying structure. We shall examine two languages (e.g., French and German) in which attributive phrase formation and relative clause formation on the whole correspond and in which, in a more or less abstract way, the rules of relative clause formation are included as intermediate links in the chain of operations describing attributive phrases. The fact that in particular cases a relative clause in the one language corresponds to an attributive phrase in the other will be found to result from, e.g., differences in the choice of perfect auxiliary in the two languages.
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Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics
25-26 August
Denver, Colorado
Cite (ACL):
Edward S. Klima. 1963. Interlingual correspondence at the syntactic level. In Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics, Denver, Colorado.
Cite (Informal):
Interlingual correspondence at the syntactic level (Klima, EarlyMT 1963)
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