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A Corpus-Based Study of Nominalization in Translations of Chinese Literary Prose

Three Versions of "Dream of the Red Chamber</I>


Yu Hou

This corpus-based study investigates the use of nominalization in English translations of Chinese literary prose through the analysis of three English versions of the Chinese novel Hong Lou Meng ( Dream of the Red Chamber).
Previous studies have explored the relevance of the cultural and linguistic positioning of different translators, but thus far no corpus-based study of nominalization has been undertaken in relation to translator style. This book uses quantitative and qualitative analyses of the nominalized transform of finite verbal forms in three Chinese-to-English translations to distinguish between translator styles, concluding that nominalization is a key identifier in translations.
This book provides a comprehensive picture of the use of nominalization in English translations of Chinese literary prose and, more generally, encourages further study into nominalization in translation.
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Chapter 5: NOMs in three English versions of Hong Lou Meng



NOMs in three English versions of Hong Lou Meng

In this chapter, a comprehensive presentation of the nominals (NOMs) used in the first fifty-six chapters of the three English versions of HLM were given. This presentation covers the NOM functioning as adverbial (in section 5.1), in the position of subject (in section 5.2), and in the position of object (in section 5.3). It consists of describing different types of nominalized structures used, their potential triggering factors, and their stylistic effects. In addition, the two concepts of explicitation and implicitation inform the whole data analysis. Specifically, in every example an explanation was given about how nominalized structures manifest implicitation and how their corresponding explicit finite structures manifest explicitation.

5.1 NOMs as adverbial

In this function, nominalized structures are adverbial modifying constructions, which stand in a subordinate relation to their correlated sentential predications. In other words, nominalized structures function as adverbial, condensing adverbial finite clauses of temporal, causal, purposive, conditional, and concessive clauses. ← 73 | 74 →

5.1.1 NOMs as a condenser of temporal clauses

In a multi-predicative sequence, the NOM can express the action as simultaneous, anterior or posterior in relation to its correlated sentential predication. By a simultaneous, anterior or posterior relation, it means that the action expressed by the NOM takes place simultaneously with, before or after the action expressed by its correlated sentential predication. Seventeen types of constructions were found combinedly used in the three versions...

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