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Tag questions in translations between English and Swedish

Kapitel i bok
Författare Karin Axelsson
Publicerad i Northern lights: Translation in the Nordic countries
Sidor 81–106
ISBN 978-3-03911-849-6
Förlag Peter Lang
Förlagsort Oxford
Publiceringsår 2009
Publicerad vid Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
Sidor 81–106
Språk en
Ämnesord English, Swedish, translations, tag questions, corpus linguistics
Ämneskategorier Svenska språket, Engelska språket

Sammanfattning

This paper deals with Swedish translations of English tag questions and Swedish sources to English tag questions in translations from Swedish into English. The data comes from the fiction parts of the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus (ESPC). English question tags are usually variant, i.e. grammatically dependent on the preceding clause, the anchor, whereas Swedish question tags are invariant. The English tag questions in this study are divided into three types: 1) Tag questions with declarative anchors and reversed polarity, 2) Tag questions with declarative anchors and constant polarity, and 3) Tag questions with imperative anchors. The reason is that these types perform different functions in English, and they are thus hypothesized to have different sets of correspondences in Swedish. This proves to be the case; the most common Swedish correspondences to question tags of the first type are clause-internal modal adverbs, especially the modal particles väl and ju, and invariant tags, or combinations of these, whereas tag questions of the other types mostly have a range of other kinds of translations. The large majority of tag questions are of the first type; accordingly, this chapter focuses on the Swedish correspondences of such tag questions. There are clear differences in the Swedish translations of and sources to such question tags: invariant tags are most common in the Swedish translations, whereas modal adverbs dominate in the Swedish sources. Combinations of a modal adverb and an invariant tag are only found in the Swedish translations, and this might be seen as a result of the translation process. The Swedish invariant tags eller hur and inte sant are overused in the Swedish translations compared to the Swedish sources (and the Swedish originals), which means that the sentence type tagged declarative is also overused in the Swedish translations.

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