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Constraints on Structure and Derivation in Syntax, Phonology and Morphology


Edited By Anna Bloch-Rozmej and Anna Bondaruk

The papers collected in this volume explore the major mechanisms, that is derivations and constraints, claimed to be responsible for various aspects of the linguistic systems, their syntax, phonology and morphology. The contributors approach these issues through a detailed analysis of selected phenomena of Modern English, Old English, Polish, Russian, Hungarian and Icelandic, offering novel theoretical and descriptive insights into the working of human language.

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Translations or transgressions? Syntactic convergence with the source in two medieval vernacular Psalters (Magdalena Charzyńska-Wójcik)


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Magdalena Charzyńska-Wójcik

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Translations or transgressions? Syntactic convergence with the source in two medieval vernacular Psalters*

Abstract: The paper aims at establishing whether syntactic convergence was a valid parameter in evaluating the closeness of medieval scriptural renditions. The discussion is based on an analysis of a sample of the Psalterium Gallicanum and its two medieval renditions: into English and Polish. A general conclusion that follows from the study is that, unlike other aspects of grammar, syntax did not rate high for medieval translators and that syntactic convergence was not part of the evaluation of the medieval biblical translation. This can, at least partly, follow from the indecision with which syntax was treated in the medieval curriculum.

Key words: medieval Psalter translation, Richard Rolle, Walanty Wróbel, syntax

1. Introduction

The paper examines the treatment of syntactic patterns in medieval renditions of the Psalter to determine whether syntactic convergence between the source and target text was a valid principle of medieval biblical translation. It would seem that inherent differences between the source and target languages exclude some syntactic patterns of the source text from being replicated in the translation. However, while the grammaticality of the rendition is taken for granted in the case of modern translations, medieval productions seem to defy this expectation, prioritising the closeness of the rendition over the quality of the target text. They are...

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